HomeCelebDietKaren Gillan Workout Routine and Diet Secrets

Karen Gillan Workout Routine and Diet Secrets

When you are asked to play the role of a space pirate, what do you do? You obviously train for the role, hide under a lot of makeup and prosthetics but there is something more important, you train.

Karen Gillan wearing Burberry red dress with wet hair in April 2018
Karen Gillan wearing Burberry red dress with wet hair in April 2018 (Karen Gillan / Instagram)

Yes, this is exactly what Karen Gillan did when she was asked to play the role of Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). She was supposed to shoot for just 8 days for the movie, but her role was extended. In this role, she tried to stop her father and renowned supervillain Thanos, from completing the Infinity Gauntlet.


After the success of the film, the Scottish actress was asked to do Avengers: Infinity War (2018), a film that has broken many earning records to date. How did she train for the recent film? Let’s find out.

Karena Gillan Nebula Workout and Diet Changes for Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Workout Changes

There are only a few actors who transform their lifestyles for a film and Karen is certainly one of them. She recently admitted that she had to transform her lifestyle completely because she had to do strength training exercises for the first time in her life. She also increased the amount of time she was putting in workouts to look lethal or like someone who can harm other people easily as the role demanded the same.

Learning Martial Arts

To get ready for the fight sequences, the stunner had to learn a lot of different types of martial arts choreography. She had never known how to fight, so she had to start from scratch. Karen practiced it regularly with the stunt crew when she was not required to be involved in the filming process.

Karen Gillan selfie in September 2017
Karen Gillan selfie in September 2017 (Karen Gillan / Instagram)

Diet Changes

The diva had to overhaul her diet to develop new muscles for the role. She boosted her intake of protein and started her days with a protein shake daily. Karen also snacked on healthy options like almond butter or apples throughout the day. The number of calories she was supposed to eat also went up when she was filming as compared to when she was not filming or prepping for the role.

Less Cardio

Another workout change adopted by the star is that she switched cardio with weightlifting exercises. Though she still likes cardio exercises like cycling and running as they help her enhance her stamina levels, she did a lot more weightlifting than ever before because it helped her to build muscles quickly. The preferred exercises of the Doctor Who (2005-Present) actress were squats and barbell deadlifts as she liked working on training her legs.

Intense Schedule

The schedule of the film was quite intense because, at times, she had to shoot one fight scene for 4 days in a row. (Sounds grueling, doesn’t it?)

Intense Training for Another Role

Though Gillan put a lot of effort in training for Marvel movies, these are not the only movies she trained for. She admitted a few months back that while rehearsing for dance-fighting scenes in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), she had to train very intensely and she took a lot of help from her stunt double.

She calls the experience more grueling than the fight scenes in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Her training for Jumanji was tested when she had to get through all dance fighting scenes in just one take. It looked awesome on screen, but we can hardly estimate how much work it was behind the scenes.

Karen Gillan in black sunglasses in March 2017 selfie
Karen Gillan in black sunglasses in March 2017 selfie (Karen Gillan / Instagram)

All we would like to say is Karen is a committed actress who goes beyond what most actors do to train for a role, and we hope to see a lot of her in future Marvel movies as well, won’t you agree?

Featured Image by Karen Gillan / Instagram

Did we miss anyone?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Recent Articles