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Celebrity Bodies

How Kate Upton Gets in Swimsuit-Ready Shape

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Kate Upton is gracing the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue for the third time, and she looks better than ever thanks to her dedicated fitness routine.

“I found a training plan that really works for my body,” Upton, 24, told PEOPLE in December. “I love feeling strong, and strength training has really changed my body.”

Upton works out five to six days a week for at least an hour each time with her trainer Ben Bruno.

A typical workout session begins with a warm-up, which can include foam rolling and stretching, lateral band walks (walking from side to side with a resistance band around the knees) and lunges.

The warm-up is followed by a circuit-based strength-training workout, in which Upton does a series of three or four strength-building moves without rest in between. The circuits can include moves such as weighted hip-thrusts (Upton uses 200 lbs. for hers!), TRX rows, single-leg Romanian deadlifts and a body saw for core stability. She cycles through the moves without rest, which provides a cardio component as well.

#Repost @benbrunotraining ・・・ Kate Upton (@kateupton) demonstrates an assisted 1 arm/1 leg row with great technique. While rows are ostensibly an upper body exercise, this is more of full body exercise that also works the glutes, hamstrings, hip stabilizers, and core, giving you a great bang for your buck. I’ve found that for most clients, true 1 arm/1 leg rows become too much of a balance exercise to get much of a training effect, but using the foam roller for assistance helps just enough with balance that you can use substantial weights without worrying about tipping over. In fact, after getting the hang of the movement, most of my female clients can use almost the same weight on this exercise that they use for traditional dumbbell rows on the bench, so it’s by no means a foo-foo exercise. When you progress to more challenging weights, you’ll feel the glutes working like crazy, and as a nice bonus, I’ve noticed that as a byproduct, clients tend to improve their single leg RDL form, allowing them to progress to bigger weights there as well. There’s a tendency to want to open up the hips to the side of the working arm and flare the toes out to the side (I call this the “peeing dog”), but to get maximum benefit for the hips and core, the key is to keep your body as still as possible with your hips and torso square.

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Reppin @britneyspears #workbitch @benbrunotraining ・・・ Kate Upton (@kateupton) crushes some heavy landmine bench squats with great technique. Strong! Taller lifters, and particularly those with proportionally longer femurs, tend to struggle to stay upright with traditional squats and often default to folding forward, which puts a lot of undue strain on the lower back. Using the landmine helps to stay more upright to protect the lower back, and the arc of the bar helps encourage more of a posterior weight shift to work the glutes more while also taking stress off the knees. As an added bonus, loading in this manner is also a great way to work the anterior core and upper back. Squatting to a bench serves the dual purpose of being a depth gauge to ensure a full range of motion while also helping to aid with form.

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Upton’s workout ends with conditioning exercises, such as weighted sled pushes and pulls, and rowing.

“One of they key tenets of my program is progressive overload,” Bruno previously told PEOPLE. “We do slow increases over time, so you build gradually. It’s important to always strive to be better, whether that’s with more weights or reps or moving to a harder exercise. With Kate we do all three at different points, so we’ve gradually built up.”

Upton can now deadlift over 200 lbs., do sled pushes with 500 lbs., and do bear crawls with 300 lbs.

“She’s insanely strong,” says Bruno. “Stronger than a lot of athletes I train!”

Upton has also become more disciplined about her diet.

“On the diet front, I’ve learned balance,” she said. “For example, rather than having wine and doughnuts, you can have wine or doughnuts.”

Eating a donut while working out… I'm playing for the tie #donuts #balance 🍩🍩🍩🍩

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And on occasion she even has a doughnut while working out!