The man who helped sculpt Lara Worthington’s age-defying body is a former US Marine who preaches a grueling ‘old school, fast and furious’ training style similar to that of professional boxers.
California-based Rodney Johnson began working with the Australian model nearly a decade ago after the pair met through her husband, actor Sam Worthington.
Johnson previously helped Sam get in top shape for his 2010 action film Clash Of The Titans, and before that he was the man behind Christian Bale’s transformation for Batman Begins.
The exhaustive but no-nonsense approach is believed to have been integral to Lara’s preparation for her famous global Seafolly campaign in 2021.
Lara has recently added hot yoga to her exercise routine, with the 35-year-old mum-of-three showing off the results during a dip in Bondi recently
Lara has recently added hot yoga – also known as Bikram yoga – to her training, which involves working out in a 41 degree heated room designed to replicate the climate in India
Lara and Sam Worthington – seen here at the premiere of this year’s Under The Banner Of Heaven – have worked with the same trainer for a number of years, with Sam teaming up with him back in 2010 for Clash of the Titans
Johnson’s first major film credit dates back to 1997 when he trained Brendan Fraser for his role in the family action comedy George of the Jungle.
A proponent of ‘old school’ techniques that ‘deliver results’, Johnson advocates a regime that includes daily and sometimes twice-daily workouts, from lifting heavy weights to skipping and climbing stairs.
Outlining his program for intermediate-to-advanced exercisers, Johnson advises choosing four alternate days for weight training and then adding cardio on the remaining days.
Former US Navy trainer Rod Johnson has helped Lara Worthington get into phenomenal shape after the 35-year-old mother and model had three children with husband Sam Worthington
Johnson helped Lara prepare for her stunning Seafolly campaign in 2021
Lara’s trainer preaches a mantra of intense, daily training with one day of ‘double cardio’ each week for clients who are at an ‘advanced or intermediate’ level
“Your 6th day will be a double aerobic day,” he says.
On those days, he advises cardio training, including running, swimming, cycling, rowing, stair climbing, skipping and basketball.
Diet plans under Johnson’s program are limited to 1,800 calories a day for women and 2,500 for men, with food options including ‘hard-boiled eggs, tuna in water, lean meats, cottage cheese and whole grain pita bread’.
Lara showed off the results of her intense training in Sydney last week when she took to the waves at Bondi for a quick dip – a break from her promotional duties for athleisure label 2XU.
The 35-year-old mother-of-three looked super fit in a black strapless swimsuit which highlighted her toned legs and slim waist.
Speaking of Johnson’s training methods back in 2020, Lara told OK! The magazine, the American, had also changed her approach to food, with her and Sam both switching to a ‘mostly vegetarian-slash-pescetarian’ diet in recent years.
“For many years, I’ve worked out (when possible) with my personal trainer Rodney,” Lara said.
Lara, seen here in last year’s Seafolly shoot, mixes up her daily exercise, alternating between lifting heavy weights and jumping and stair climbing
Lara surprised in the 2021 Seafolly campaign. The Aussie brand recently announced Jesinta Franklin as its new global ambassador.
RODNEY JOHNSON’S EXERCISE GOSPEL
* Alternate weight training and cardio sessions
*Double your cardio on day 6 of your workout plan
*Women limit calories to 1800 per day for weight loss
*Men limit to 2500 calories
* Mix up your workouts and include jumping rope, stair climbing, running, racquet sports and swimming to burn fat
* For weight training, machines, hoses and bands and free weights are mixed
*Drink little or no alcohol
“Rodney is old-school and hardcore – super simple in his approach, but hands down the best workout I’ve done to date, and he’s also taught me a lot about nutrition.”
Recently, Lara has been practicing hot yoga – also known as Bikram yoga – an extreme workout performed in a heated room designed to replicate the climate of India.
Other celebs who have also adopted the cult-like practice include Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba, Hailey Bieber and Meghan Markle.
It is understood that Lara, who is now based full-time in New York, does Bikram training to keep fit while she is unable to train with Johnson.
Lara also incorporates regular home Pilates sessions and has installed a Pilates reformer in her homes in both Australia and the US.
‘I love Pilates and of course Fluidform in Sydney is a favourite. I like trying new places and recently bought a reformer to keep at home – I also started studying Pilates to further my knowledge of it,’ she said.
‘If I can get to a gym, I walk at a high incline for up to an hour each time.
‘I love skipping too! I just started using a skipping app called Crossrope, it’s amazing!
‘I enjoy working out and planning time every day to make it happen. At the moment I love walking everywhere in New York – it’s exercise without even realizing it.’
Sam has also long been a proponent of Johnson’s training methods.
Lara also incorporates regular home pilates sessions into her day and has installed a pilates reformer in her homes in both Australia and the US
Sam pictured during Clash of the Titans in 2010. The Australian actor said he looked ‘like a tank’ in the film after weeks of heavy weight training
“Before ‘Clash of the Titans,’ I was working out five or six hours a day,” Worthington told Men’s Health.
‘I would get up, exercise for two hours, eat and then take a short nap. Then I would get up, train again with heavy weights, eat and sleep again. By the time I finished, I was a tank.”
The now 45-year-old star’s intense schedule allowed him to pack on muscle, burn body fat and build definition, and he says he often feels more like a “boxer” than an actor.
‘You live like a boxer. The workouts are fast and furious, meaning the results come pretty quickly.
‘Rodney took Christian from the size he was in ‘The Machinist’ – where he couldn’t even do a print – to the size he was in ‘Batman Begins’ in less than four months.’
Christian Bale went from not being able to do a push up after filming The Machinist (in 2004) to bulking up just months later for Batman Begins
Christian Bale worked with trainer Rodney Johnson to get camera ready for Batman Begins – lifting weights and eating every three hours