The actress gained 14 pounds of muscle to play the iconic role.

By Kristine Thomason
Updated June 02, 2017
Credit: Warner Brothers

The much-anticipated Wonder Woman is finally hitting theaters this weekend. And since the DC superhero is an icon of female strength, power, and all-around badassery, we couldn’t help but wonder how Gal Gadot prepped for the physically demanding role. Below are a few of the ways the 30-year-old actress got in such amazing shape.

She spent two years in the Israeli military

Gadot served two years on the Israeli Defense Force as a combat trainer. Little did she realize the experience would prepare her to play a superheroine. Gadot told People that the training for Wonder Woman “reminded me a lot of my time during army training.” So which was tougher? Getting ready for the film was "more intensive," she admitted on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

She worked out six hours(!) a day

You don’t get a Wonder Woman bod by sitting around all day—but Gadot’s trainers certainly pushed her to her limits, helping her gain a whopping 14 pounds of muscle. To achieve this superhuman feat, Gadot worked out six hours a day for the six months leading up to filming. “I did two hours gym work, two hours fight choreography, and two hours horseback riding. Which is super hard,” she said on Live with Kelly and Ryan. “When people used to tell me, ‘Yeah I do sports I ride horses,’ I was like, ‘That’s not sport. The horse does everything.’ No! No! You’d be surprised — it’s sooo painful.”

But you don’t need personal trainers or fancy equipment (or horses for that matter) to sculpt sexy superheroine arms like Gadot. In an interview with InStyle, one of Gadot's trainers, Hayley Bradley, recommended doing 30 seconds of push-ups followed by a 30-second plank, and repeating the sequence four times daily.

She stayed active on her own time

Even when Gadot wasn't bound to her strict workout regimen, fitness and exercise remained a major part of her life. “In my ordinary life when I don't work, I like to paddle board and do TRX,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. She especially loves TRX because “everything's working your whole body," she explained to E! "I do cardio, but I don't like it as much. I'd rather do weights."

We spotted a few Instas of Gadot staying fit long after the movie wrapped:

She stuck to a healthy diet

One major key to Gadot’s success: drinking a LOT of water, reports E! Plus, the actress filled up on the most nutritious foods possible. “I'm a foodie and I love to experience food, but at the same time I look at food as fuel and I want to give the best to my body,” Gadot told Harper’s Bazaar.

Her Instagram page also serves up proof of her love for healthy eats:

But didn't restrict herself too much

Although Gadot gravitates towards nutritious fare, she also realizes it's all about balance. “I don't restrict myself, I can eat everything. It's all a matter of measurements and quantity of the food,” Gadot told Harper’s Bazaar. And while she didn't use the term “mindful eating,” she hinted at the practice, noting the importance of staying present during mealtime: “Just enjoy your food and don't eat while you drive and don't eat when you talk on the phone,” she said. “Just give the food the respect and give yourself the respect to enjoy it.” Preach.