I just tried Jessica Alba’s full-body workout — here's what happened

a photo of Jessica Alba at a premiere and working out
(Image credit: Getty/Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff/Instagram/Jessica Alba)

As a fitness editor, I love nothing more than delving into the workout routines of some of Hollywood’s most famous faces, so when I got the chance to try Jessica Alba’s workout, of course, I said yes.

Unlike Alba, I wasn’t working out in a private gym in Los Angeles (a girl can dream), instead, I was in my living room, trying to stop my dog from digging on my yoga mat. But a workout is a workout, right? 

Luckily for me, Alba’s workout routine didn’t take too much investigative work — the Fantastic Four actress often shares grueling routines on her Instagram account. For this one, she was accompanied by LA-based celeb trainer, Ramona Braganza. During the workout, Alba repeats a brutal-looking strength circuit three times through, so I grabbed my best adjustable dumbbells and got to work. Read on to find out what happened.  

Looking for more celebrity workout inspiration? You’ve come to the right place. Read what happened when we tried Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine workout, Chris Hemsworth’s 250-rep workout, and Kim Kardashian’s glute workout.  

What is Jessica Alba’s full-body workout? 

Alba starts her full-body workout by jumping on her SoulCycle spin bike and doing a 30-minute class with trainer Claire Jones. This is her warm-up, so we’d like to think she’s taking things easy to make sure she has enough in the tank for her strength session.

After the bike, Alba goes into the following circuit, which she repeats three times.

TRX Rows: 15 reps

To do a TRX row or suspension row, you’ll need a TRX band looped around something stable, such as a tree, lamppost, or banister. Grasping the handles of the TRX trainer, step back to the point where your arms are outstretched. Position your feet hip-width apart, engage your core, and lean your torso back, putting your weight in your heels, until you feel your arms are supporting your body weight. Your body should be in a standing plank position, with a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head. 

Turn the handles of the TRX band inward, so your palms are facing one another. Using the muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms, pull your torso up towards the handles of the suspension trainer. Pause at the top, squeezing your shoulder blades together, then reverse the movement, lowering yourself back to your starting position. 

The beauty of a suspension trainer is that it is easy to make the exercise easier or harder. If the row is too difficult, step your feet back a couple of steps to make it easier. If it’s too easy, step your feet forwards. 

Bulgarian Split Squat: 15 reps on each leg

To do a Bulgarian split squat, stand in front of a chair or step. You’ll be roughly two feet from the chair, and your feet should be hip-width apart. Lift your right leg, and put it on the chair behind you. You can either lie the top of your foot on the chair, so your ankle joint is on the edge of the chair, or flex your ankle, and balance on the ball of your foot. Try each version and work out which feels best for you and your body. 

Make sure your feet are still roughly hip-distance apart, with your hips facing forward. Stacking your front foot in line with your back foot can make it even more difficult to balance. Engage your core, and bend your left knee, as you would in a lunge. Pause at the bottom, then drive back up to your starting position. Make sure you perform the same number of repetitions on each side to keep things even. 

Alba jumps during each rep to up the intensity, but if you’re new to the move or returning from injury, it’s best to leave the jump out until you’ve mastered the form. Read more about how to do a Bulgarian split squat and the variations to try here. 

Chest press: 10 reps

If you don’t have a bench, you can do this exercise on a footstool or a step; just make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Start by lying back on the bench and raising a dumbbell in each hand, or a barbell, with your arms out straight — the weights should be over your shoulders, and your palms should be facing toward your feet. Slowly lower the dumbbells or barbell towards your chest, pause at the bottom, then drive the dumbbells back up to your starting position. Think about pressing your back into the bench for the entire exercise, as if you’re pulling the dumbbells towards you, not arching up towards them.  

Ab crunches with sliders: 5 reps going one way, then 5 reps going the other  

To do this one, you’ll need a set of sliders, or a couple of tea towels, and to be on a hard floor rather than a carpet. Start in a plank position with a slider underneath the ball of each foot, start by tucking your knees into your chest, then circle each leg back out to a plank, as if you’re swimming breaststroke. Then switch your direction, taking your legs out to the side, then tucked under your torso, then shooting them back to a plank position. 

I just tried Jessica Alba’s full-body workout — here’s what happened 

This workout is no joke. To get started, I clipped in and did a 30-minute pop ride with Cody Rigsby on my Peloton Bike+. Throughout the class, I had to keep reminding myself that I still had a whole strength workout to go, and not to get too ahead of myself or push myself too hard. 

When I jumped off the bike, I went out to the garden to get my TRX bands set up — I bought a set in the lockdown, and haven’t used them much since, but they’re a great home workout tool. Next up, the Bulgarian split squats. I’ve never been much of a fan of this move but recently did 50 a day to work on my lower body strength. I didn’t add a jump like Alba did until the last rep, but this definitely upped the intensity. 

For the chest press, I grabbed a pair of 15-pound dumbbells — while we don’t see Alba’s weights in the video, remember that you should pick a weight that’s right for you and your body. The weight should feel challenging by the final reps, but not so heavy that you’re compromising your form. 

Finally, the ab sliders. These were, by far, the most challenging move for me, and felt like I was doing a reformer Pilates workout, without the reformer. Again, I had to fight the urge to rush through this move, and instead slowed things down, concentrating on engaging my core and not rounding my back. 

Kudos to Jessica Alba, this was a sweaty, full-body workout that left me feeling like I’d worked hard. Alba finishes up with some yoga and light stretching, so after a few minutes of lying on my yoga mat, I stood back up to do the same. This is one I’m sure I’ll return to in the future, although I’m not rushing to do jumping Bulgarian split squats again anytime soon. 

Next: Fed up with push-ups? Try these 5 variations on chest day.

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.