dakota johnson's superhero workout regimen

CELEBRITY TRAINER + The Sculpt Society Founder Megan Roup is emphatic that the way women relate to fitness and their bodies needs to change for the better—and her mission was no different while preparing Dakota Johnson for her latest role in Madame Web. 

When she’s not giving us hyper-motivating workouts that can be done on the fly, at home, in a pinch, or for a specific event, Megan is training some of Hollywood’s top celebs—Miranda Kerr + Sofia Richie, just to name a few—with a blend of dance cardio, HIIT, weight training, and calisthenics. The best part? She just wants you to show up, feel good, and have fun.  

We asked Megan all the ins and outs about how she got Dakota superhero-ready under pressure and how regular people (like us) can achieve the same great results in their daily lives. Her tips not only shocked us, but it made us love her (and Dakota) even more. 

Megan’s Tips For Working Out Like A Superhero

COMMIT TO LESS. SHOW UP MORE | Dakota’s main goals were increased endurance and strength, but I needed to be able to support her incredibly busy schedule, which—on some days—left her on set, on the road, and without a lot of time. When we weren’t doing our 45-minute, full-body sculpt in person two or three times per week, I would have her do workouts on the The Sculpt Society app that didn’t require any equipment and could be done in 20, 30, or 45 minutes.  

For me, I prioritize consistency above all else—intensity and length of time included. If you’re able to just show up for yourself for at least 10 minutes every day, you’ll get way more out of your workout and will be more motivated to continue your practice vs. killing yourself with super intense class that makes you never want to work out again. Going super hard in order to get results is a total myth!  

FIND JOY IN MOVEMENT | I think part of the reason this program worked (and continues to work) so well for Dakota is because she enjoys the workout—plain and simple.

She brought such positive, uplifting energy to every session, which was totally aligned with what I’m focused on at The Sculpt Society. At the end of the day, finding a way to exercise that brings you joy will be helpful over time in making that commitment to yourself. As I’ve evolved, I’ve seen that working out is not that serious, and can actually be really fun.   

In addition to finding a person or program that brings you energy, consider the music you move to! I spend a good amount of time hand-selecting the music that goes in my playlists (which I’ve been told are quite good, if I do say so myself). I like to have a mix of pop, throwback hip hop + R&B, and current music to really amp up the experience for my clients. Even my royalty-free music on my app is specifically chosen to keep the vibes and energy high!  

10-minute cardio with megan roup

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY | Hours of working out are not sustainable, nor is it necessarily better for your body. As we get older, life just continues to get more busy and more hectic. I’m challenging people to look at exercise primarily as a mental-health tool.  

Maybe you’re not training for a big movie. Maybe you just want to reduce your stress and expel a little bit of energy every day. We all have different hurdles. If fitness is just about yielding physical results—aka an input-output state-of-mind—it can get really overwhelming and daunting.  

I’m asking for clients to be more intuitive and energetic when it comes to what their bodies need in the current moment. While I offer classic 45-minute, full-body workouts, I’ve also created different flows for women at every stage of their lives—whether it’s during their cycle, pre or postpartum, or bridal. I’ve also just launched a Cozy Sculpt Session on my app for all of the moments where you just want to roll out of bed and need something gentle and supportive (maybe while drinking your morning coffee).  

BE KIND(ER) TO YOURSELF | Listen, results are not a bad thing. I want my members to reap the rewards of their hard work. But it’s more the approach of how we’re talking to ourselves in our daily lives.  

How many times have you been in a workout class, looked in the mirror, and started to tear yourself down? There’s so much I seek to do in my classes to shift that narrative. My method is not militant. It’s all about encouraging you to listen to your body, which—in turn—motivates you to get results that make you feel good.   

Do people show up to get results? Sure. But they stay for the feeling of positivity and high energy. I hope to shift how people feel during their workouts, and then keep that feeling after (at least until the next one, of course).  

RECOVER LIKE A SUPERHERO | Dakota has already been on her fitness journey for quite some time (she was actually a Sculpt Society member for years, and I didn’t even know!), making her well-versed in what it means to recover effectively. 

Her usual recovery routine includes the infrared sauna, yoga, stretching, etc. For any of my clients (Dakota, included), I constantly reiterate the importance of taking a day off, which can be an active recovery day—a walk outside, a stretch, sauna—whatever feels good for you. No matter what, your body needs time to recover, replenish, and rebuild.  

Quick Dakota-Approved Workouts from TSS

To get a taste of Dakota’s superhero routine, check out Megan’s fierce workout flow that can be used in pieces for a quick-and-dirty ab set, or as a more comprehensive full-body routine. Let us know how it goes in the comments!

Planks using TSS sliders: If you like reformer pilates then you’ll love sliders (Dakota, loved/hated planks with sliders).

01 | Plank to Pike x 8 reps
02 | Bear to Plank x 8 reps
03 | Crossbody knee pulls (one side at a time) x 8 reps
04 | Straight leg slice to the side x 8 reps
05 | Mountain climbers x 8 reps

Booty withTSS ankle weights—in table top

01 | Fire hydrant side and close x 8 reps
02 | Kick side and close x 8 reps
03 | Alternate hydrant close and kick side close x 8 reps

Repeat twice.

Dance cardio: Dakota grew up dancing, and she loved moving to the beat of the music.

01 | Grapevine to the right + 2 jumping jacks. Grapevine to the left + 2 jumping jacks ( x2 reps)
02 | Alternating heel tap x 8 reps
03 | Step touch right to left x 8 reps
04 | Slam downs to the side x 4 right (repeat left side)
05 | Jumping jacks x 8 reps 

Abs on back with a light TSS booty band: Place band around feet (Dakota loved using a band for abs. She really felt it).

01 | Bicycle crunches with upper body twist
02 | Hold a twisted bicycle crunch. Tap opposite elbow to bent knee x 8 reps (repeat other side)
03 | Table top—wide-heel tap on the ground, bring back to table top
04 | Heel taps on the ground, out and in x 8 reps

Standing legs using one TSS slider + holding 3lb TSS hand weights:  

01 | Reverse lunge x 8 reps
02 | Pulse low lunge x 8 reps 
03 | Curtsy squat x 8 reps
04 | Pulse low curtsy x 8 reps 
05 | Slide side x 8 reps
06 | Pulse low side x 8 reps 

 Arms with 3lb hand weights: 

01 | Punch both arms overhead, pulling elbows back into side body x 8 reps 
02 | Punch both arms side, pulling elbows back into side body x 8 reps 
03 | Alternate overhead and side x 8 reps 
04 | Alternating punches on a high diagonal x 8 reps
05 | Tricep kick back x 8 reps  

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