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How the Fantastic One stays that way....
Actress Jessica Alba, appearing on the cover of Fit Pregnancy's June/July issue, was very close to delivering her first baby - and to her wedding with dad-to-be Cash Warren - when we spoke to her trainer, Ramona Braganza, creator of the "3-2-1 Workout." And Alba was still going strong. Here's how she stayed in such great shape before and during her pregnancy.
Fit Pregnancy: What kinds of workouts does Jessica do now?
Ramona Braganza: Right now Jessica is in her third trimester, so everything has slowed down a lot. We've been doing a lot more stretches and gentle exercises for strengthening her core. She does Cat/Cow, Downward Dog and Plank - but now she puts her knees down - and for strengthening her back, she does seated rows using a band, instead of a lat pull downs.
Jessica has been working with me for the past five or six years, and she is very intense. She does my "3-2-1 Workout," which is based on 3 cardio segments, 2 circuit segments and one core segment, that you rotate through the week. That's what she was doing up until her second trimester, then it was too much, so we took it down.
These days she does 10 to 15 minutes of cardio - usually on the stationery bike. Then, we go to standing stretches, some arm circles, then down to all fours for Downward Dog and Cat/Cow. Jessica is doing more stretching she ever has done, and she is also practicing her breathing exercises.
We do some modified yoga poses, too: Triangle with a chair, Warrior 2 seated on a ball. No ab work. She also does biceps and triceps exercises both standing and squatting so her legs stay strong, which is important both for labor and while you're pregnant.
She works with me 3 times a week now, but it will be anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minutes, depending on how she's feeling. And she walks on her own. She is active every single day; she doesn't stop.
FP: What is her favorite type of exercise?
RB: Jessica loves to do back exercises — the rows, the lat pull downs — and she also loves riding the bike, watching T.V. or reading. And now she likes some stretches — there is a stretch we do that opens her hips, a kind of sciatic stretch, also one she does on a Pilates machine.
She doesn't really like squats or lunges, but she knows they are important, so we do them anyway.
FP: She's always so energetic; how is her level of energy these days?
RB: Her energy definitely has gone down; around 6 months we realized she needed to take things down, and now it has everything to do with how she is feeling on any particular day.
FP: Do you give her nutritional advice?
RB: I don't need to — she has always loved fruits, berries and vegetables, so she is doing what she wants to do. She has become even more health conscious because of the baby. She's really craving citrus now, too.
FP: Any tips you have given Jessica that can help any pregnant woman?
RB: I think it's important to eat every 2 - 3 hours to keep your blood sugar levels up; Jessica gets really busy so this is crucial for her. She also drinks lots of water.
And she knows how important it is to stay active, even if it's just getting out the door for a 10-minute walk. We wanted to get her swimming, but it just wasn't convenient, so she shifted to prenatal yoga and Pilates.
FP: How about after the baby comes?
RB: Well, Halle [Berry] is using my "3-2-1 Baby Bulge Be Gone" workout; Jessica probably will, too. One thing I know is it doesn't go away by itself.
Update: Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren welcomed a baby girl named Honor Marie on June 7th, 2008.