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‘We needed to get really strong.’
Florence Pugh might have made it in Hollywood, but she’s humble AF. She bagged her first big-screen role when she was just 17, starring alongside Maisie Williams in The Falling, and has since gone on to feature in Midsommar, Black Widow, Fighting With My Family and Little Women. Now – sound the klaxons! – her new movie with Harry bloomin’ Styles, Don’t Worry Darling, is out.
She’s a big deal, basically, but have a gander at her IG and you’ll see Florence also likes to sink the odd pint of Guinness, dance like nobody’s watching (even when 8.1million people are) and, er,
do impressions of chillis on the floor. She doesn’t give a monkeys what other people think, so long as it makes her happy, and the same goes for her approach to health and fitness. Here’s everything she’s said about it in the past, that you could learn from.
Not even for work. In an interview with Glamour UK, she spoke about her first role in The Falling, when she was just 17: ‘I did a job where it was made very apparent that I needed to lose weight and when it was over, I was very aware I didn’t want to do that kind of work.
‘Because I was faced with that, I realised what I wanted to represent, and had that not happened, I may not have overcome my issues with my body at such an early age. I’m happy about that, but a lot of women aren’t that lucky.’
Instead, she practices everything we preach – skill-based goals over aesthetic ones. Which brings us onto our next point…
When Flo secured her role in Fighting With My Family, in which she plays the part of a pro wrestler, she was tasked with ‘getting really strong’, so she told Culture Trip. Since then, she’s continued to train in a similar way after it ‘brought a lot of skills to the surface’.
‘As soon as we got the roles, [director] Stephen [Merchant] mentioned he wanted us to do as much wrestling as we could. We would have stunt doubles, but he wanted to get us in the ring so we needed to get really strong. We were assigned CrossFit trainers, and it was a month of intense squatting and eating as many protein bars as possible. And wrestling 24/7. My trainer had a gym in Oxfordshire, which is where I was based at the time. I still train with my guy because I actually got ready with him for The Little Drummer Girl. It’s brought a lot of skills to the surface.’
Flo works with the genius that is PT James Shields and has done since 2019, when they first joined forces to get Flo in fighting form for Fighting With My Family. The pair did CrossFit workouts together, with Shields prescribing Flo ‘burpees’ that matched her character’s need for repeatedly ‘getting up from the ground’, he told CrossFit.
Flo also told podcaster Sue Perkins that she did ‘kickboxing for two hours with this amazing guy called Troy,’ adding that he was ‘one of the mega muscle men that did all of the fighting.’
Granted, Flo seems to have superhuman abilities when it comes to smashing role after role out the park, but fitness doesn’t come as naturally. Speaking to CrossFit, she said her CrossFit training helped her to feel more ‘solid and secure’, but added, ‘Those sessions in CrossFit are difficult. You do have to push yourself.’
If you’re one of her 8million IG followers you’ll already know this (she loves a boogie on her Stories), but she loves dancing. In fact, she ‘grew up with a lot of dance a lot of movement’, she told Elle Canada. ‘I was always fighting my brother, so I find all of that combat stuff so exciting. Once you put it on camera, you’ve got to know how to make it look right, and that’s a whole different beast,’ she added.
In the same way that she won’t train to look a certain way for a filming role, she won’t change her eating habits, either. Speaking to Elle Canada, she explained that she was expected to maintain a certain physique for her role in Marvel’s Black Widow, but she declined to have her meals monitored and prepared for her like many of her castmates did.
‘That was a big deal for me,’ she said. ‘I didn’t want to be part of something where I was constantly checked on and people were making sure I was in the ‘right’ shape. That’s not me at all.’
Though she doesn’t want anyone eyeing up her daily meals on set, she does take stock of her own nutrition. While filming Black Widow, she took in Tupperware meals every day. ‘Scarlett [Johansson] had this amazing guy who cooked beautiful things for her and her team,’ she told Elle Canada.
‘I thought that was clever because you’re doing fitness all the time and you need to have someone who’s on top of what you’re eating and the nutrients you’re getting. I remember her asking: ‘Why are you cooking for yourself? Just let us feed you!’ And I was like, ‘Nope.’ My brain is so ‘pew, pew, pew.’ Genuinely, my therapeutic thing is chopping and cooking and stirring and tasting.’
Spot the kettlebell. Also, is that not the most relaxing workout spot you’ve ever seen?
When the job allows, Flo likes to learn to do her own stunts. She shared a pic on IG and wrote, ‘Here we have my awesome stunt double @kella.mcallister on the left, who trained me on and off set. She walked me through any and all choreography daily until I had it perfected and in lockstep with her. Then we have @cali_nelle on the right, he was my main guy for tweaking and improving movement and knife work. Making it look as smooth and as real as possible… because.. you know.. i didn’t know how to knife fight before.’
This video of her training for Little Drummer Girl says it for us:
Flo often shares pics of herself walking in the woods, including this one taken during lockdown. She captioned it: ‘There’s a lot to frown about at the moment, which is even the more reason it’s SO crucial we allow ourselves some peaceful happiness.
Discovering adventures in the trees and the leaves is my HEAVEN.
‘Go biking, go swimming, go to the beach, go to the woods, eat that Gyros with extra tsatziki, climb a mountain, watch Bojack Horseman, have a long bath, cook a Sunday Roast, make some toast at 10pm..DO IT.’
Usually while travelling, Flo enjoys hiking and has shared a few pics in her time. Those views, though.
Naturally, boxing workouts and wrestling were a key part of her training for Fighting With My Family, but this IG post suggests she was into boxing way before filming began.
As mentioned, Flo and her PT James Shields did CrossFit workouts together to prep for Fighting With My Family. Here is evidence of her nailing a tyre flip – a traditional CrossFit move.
Because as if she can’t already do enough, Flo can also ski. (Another requirement for her role in Fighting With My Family, FYI.)
Rock climbing is also part of Flo’s routine. Anyone noticing a recurring theme? Do you like adrenalin, Flo?
Another vid for you here:
Does this girl ever run out of energy? We think not.
Though it’s not something she’s spoken about in the past, and there’s only one photo evidencing her interest in running, it seems this is also something she’s partial to.
Whether for fitness or fun, we’re not sure, but we’re here for it.
Eva Longoria also swears by her mini trampoline, check out our edit of the best mini trampolines to try now.
More on the food front, she grows her own herbs. See Flo picking rosemary for her Sunday roast:
She captioned this photo: ‘Get all those VEG out ladies and gentlejam Tarts.
Odd, bumpy, crooked, half used, banged up but beautiful on the inside.. we will incorporate them!!’
A girl after our own hearts.
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Women’s Health, Part of the Hearst UK Wellbeing Network
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