As Blake Lively's body double on the film The Shallows, it's a given that Isabella Nichols would have had to be in serious shape during filming. (Lively—and Nichols—both spent a heck of a lot of screen time in bikinis, after all.) What you may not have guessed, however, is that Nichols, who actually happens to be an Australian Pro Surfer, is an expert on looking fit in swimwear year-round. With the kind of strong and toned figure that only comes from a commitment to proper nutrition and dedicated exercise, we were keen to learn her secrets.
It obviously follows that we reached out to the new Sun Bum ambassador to quiz her on her daily diet (spoiler: Banana smoothies are involved), weekly workout and surf schedule, and the one simple move she recommends for lean legs.
Keep scrolling for the Q&A.
Byrdie Australia: What does a day in your diet look like?
Isabella Nichols: A general day’s diet starts with muesli, yoghurt and fruit, and possibly a piece of toast or a crumpet with jam. I’ll then do a carb-based snack before training, and a protein-based one afterwards (something like a banana smoothie). Lunch varies depending on how much exercise I’ve done that day but it’s usually a piece of protein (chicken, tuna, steak, ham), brown rice and salad. For dinner it’s a combination of the same plus veggies. Throughout the day I drink at least four litres of water, and during and after training I mix it with Hydralyte Sports ($17).
B: Walk us through your weekly workout schedule.
IN: My weekly schedule varies depending on whether I am competing or not. A normal week consists of five to six strength and conditioning sessions in the gym, plus a minimum four hours of surfing per day. Within those gym sessions, I’ll do three high intensity strength sessions, two moderately difficult sessions and one mobility and recovery session.
B: Are there any exercises you always prioritise?
IN: Lately I’ve been focusing on leg strength, with many of my gym sessions dedicated to leg exercises such as squats and lunges. A simple move for lean, toned legs is a body weight squat, which works both legs and glutes.