At 5’3″, Alison Brie seems like the last person who could play a convincing professional wrestler, but her trainer is here to tell you she’s the real deal.
For Brie’s new show, Netflix’s “GLOW” (available June 23), the funny actress busted her butt for months with trainer Jason Walsh to not just look the part, but also to actually withstand the rigors of playing one of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
“Alison did all her stunts,” Walsh recently told Business Insider. “I’ll tell you right now, I’ve worked with a lot of people and she’s a little ba da–.”
In “GLOW,” Brie stars as Ruth Wilder, a struggling actress who gets invited to audition along with 12 other women for the professional wrestling promotion Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (G.L.O.W.), which was indeed a real promotion started in the ’80s.
Walsh, who’s worked with everyone from Emily Blunt on “Edge of Tomorrow” to Matt Damon for “Jason Bourne,” put together a workout plan for Brie that was a mix of cardio and strength training four days a week (often with a workout in the morning and afternoon each day) so her body could take the abuse.
“Alison would be jumping off ropes and landing on people and flipping. I wanted to get her resilient so she didn’t run the risk of injury,” Walsh said. “The science of training has really shifted the past decade to that more than glamour muscles.”
Here’s a glimpse at the exercises Walsh put Brie through:
Heavy bag slams
Here’s Brie (center) with Molly McQueen (left) and Mika Kelly (right) doing this insane workout.
“This is a full-body, explosive workout for conditioning,” Walsh said.
They would do 6 sets of 5 reps.
Another full-body workout. Walsh said Brie was deadlifting 165 pounds and did 6 sets of 3-5 reps.
“Great way to get the body warmed up,” Walsh said. Brie held onto 65-pound dumbbells and did 45-second walks for 3-4 sets.
“Great variation of the regular pull-ups that engages the abs while utilizing the upper body,” Walsh said. Brie would do 6-8 reps of 3-4 sets.
On her off days, Walsh would have Brie on the VersaClimber. Below is Matt Damon (left) working out on it. Pretty intense. But Brie stepped it up for her training.
“She would do it with a weight vest on,” Walsh said. “That’s a whole other level. She did it with a 10-pound vest anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds.”
They even did piggyback rides!
- Erica Parise/Netflix
Walsh said there were even times when he would get on Brie’s back and she would give him a piggyback ride up and down his hallway track.
“I’m 220 pounds!” Walsh said.