July 23, 2010 03:00 PM

David Giesbrecht

Angelina Jolie had to be in tip-top shape for her role as a kick-ass CIA agent on the run in the new action thriller Salt, opening today. So what did the stunning A-lister do to prepare for the demanding part? She ate about five small meals a day and stuck to a diet of 70% carbs and 30% protein–and actually avoided cardio–to help “put muscle on without losing weight,” says trainer Simon Crane, who worked with the actress to get in top form for the film. On the hit list: No junk food, and alcohol only on weekends. And the most surprising thing about Angelina’s Salt diet? Carbs weren’t a mortal enemy. To build muscle and stamina for her role as CIA officer Evelyn Salt, Jolie was disciplined with her training regimen. “She knew that she was going to suffer!” says Crane, who started the actress with two-hour training sessions, five days a week. Both strength and fight training helped prepare the star for stunts involving safety cables and wire rigs. Once shooting began, they took training down a notch by squeezing in four weekly sessions over lunch breaks and weekends, and altered her diet to 60% carbs and 40% protein. And forget about any fear of heights: ”She loves doing action,” says Crane. —Thailan Pham

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