Ryan Reynolds’ & Zac Effron personal trainer Ramona Braganza gives us some insider tips


Personal trainer Ramona Braganza, who counts the Green Lantern star, Zac Effron (pictured left) and Bradley Cooper among her Hollywood clients gives us some insider knowledge….

What’s the biggest mistake you see people making on the gym floor?

“Using momentum to help with lifts. If you’re training to build muscle, you should adopt a very slow tempo with very controlled movement. When I go to the gym I see guys just slinging around weights and sometimes even looking sideways and talking as they’re doing an exercise! If you don’t have the right form you’re not going to make decent gains – and you’re going to injure yourself in the long run.”

Top tip To optimise muscle growth, lift over two seconds, lower the weight over four seconds, and make sure there’s a brief pause between the lifting and lowering phases of each rep.

Are there any common exercises you think aren’t worth doing?

“My programmes are very functional, often geared towards building a body that looks fast and powerful, and there’s some exercises, such as those that are very specific to small muscle groups, like the forearms, which have no place.”

What’s the biggest nutritional mistake people make?

“Not eating enough. You really have to take in a lot of calories, especially before a workout, if you want to reach your goal quickly. You’ve got to eat frequently and consume the right amount, and sometimes that’s not calculated correctly, so it’s worth getting help from a nutritionist. And remember – even if you’re up training at 6am you’ve got to have had a decent breakfast.”

What would be your advice for those training to lose weight?

“Keep changing your workout, because we all plateau and we all get bored. Just don’t do too much cardio if you’re also trying to build muscle. Take your training outside, bring in some sports – anything to keep thing fresh.”

Take home tip Altering your workout (which you should aim to do at least every six weeks) doesn’t have to be a hassle. Try simply switching your grip, experimenting with different rep tempos, adding in some drop sets.

And have you any nutrition-based weight loss secrets?

“Mixing protein and fibre is a really good idea. Eating an apple with peanut butter, for example, will make you feel fuller for longer. And tuna with veg or fruit is another good one.”

Take home tip A recent study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found eating high protein, high fibre snacks lowers your peak glucose levels by 16%, crushing any hunger pangs at their source.