Healthy Living

Inside Halle Bailey’s Fitness Routine and Nutrition Plan (Spoiler: It’s Motivating AF)

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halle bailey"
halle bailey
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider

Playing the IRL Princess Ariel may come across as all glitz and glamour, but don’t let the girl who seems to have everything—you know, gadgets and gizmos a-plenty—fool you. Actress and singer Halle Bailey went through intense “mermaid training” to gear up for (and make a splash in) her starring role in the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Thanks to her interview on Live With Kelly and Mark and her trainer’s conversation with Women’s Health, we got the BTS inside scoop on just how Bailey transformed into the mythical creature—abs, shimmering tail, and all. It doesn’t hurt that Bailey was primed to become the Disney icon—she was in her fitness girlie era long before she had to take on her strenuous merfolk regimen (if you follow her on IG, you already knew that). Ahead, all the details I gleaned from her workout and diet routine to dip your toes into (pun intended) yourself—no fin required. 



Her Fitness Routine

With a 4 a.m. gym start time, followed by stunt work, then hours either suspended in a harness and wires simulating swimming motions or submerged in a water tank, it’s no wonder Bailey told Kelly and Mark she was in the “best shape of [her] life” while filming the movie. According to Women’s Health, Bailey enlisted the help of London-based personal trainer Sana Shirvani to get her in tip-top, half-human, half-sea-creature shape. It turns out “swimming” in the air (gracefully, no less) and pretending not to have human legs takes major core, back, neck, glute, and hamstring strength, so Shirvani had Bailey on a program of full-body strength and conditioning workouts 5-6 times a week to get her “stronger, fit, and agile.” 

“While the neck muscles are often overlooked in traditional strength training programs, they play a crucial role in providing stability, supporting good posture, and reducing the risk of neck-related injuries,” explained Shirvani in her interview with Women’s Health. “We used a variation of neck isometrics and resistance-based methods, which involve applying resistance without actually moving the neck.” In one of Shirvani’s IG posts, you can see Bailey slaying goblet squats, back extensions, battle ropes, box jumps, hip thrusts, medicine ball slams, and various core exercises (think: weighted side planks and isometric holds). According to an interview with Insider, Shirvani implemented progressive overload (read: gradually increasing the weight or the number of reps) in all of Bailey’s exercises. But she doesn’t just stick to weights and cardio for her sweat sessions—Bailey also mixes it up with hot yoga to decompress while getting a solid workout in. 



Her Nutrition Plan

Bailey has her workout routine on lock, and how she nourishes her body is no different. Bailey follows a vegan diet, and Shirvani helped her focus on eating whole foods and protein to help her build strength and recover from training. That doesn’t mean Bailey shies away from her favorite foods. Her go-to vegan eats? Avocado toast, rice, and bread, which she shared during BuzzFeed’s Sister Test (ICYMI, Halle is part of the Grammy-nominated, R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle). She’s also not one to pass up on (vegan) pizza and hot dogs (case in point: her TikTok below).

As for her plant-based sweet treats of choice? Cheesecake or pancakes from Crossroads Kitchen, doughnuts from Sage Vegan Bistro, and homemade gluten-free sugar cookies (a girl after my own heart). And, finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the sisters’ DIY, vegan-friendly smoothie—made of almond milk, raspberries, blueberries, apple, agave nectar, ice, and vegan protein powder—which they whipped up on MTV’s Fresh Out Live and enjoyed in champagne glasses. We’ll cheers to that!  



im so deliriously jetlagged & hungryyy lol watch me rate these vegan hotdogs ❤️#fyp

♬ original sound – halle