Published November 16, 2012
There’s a lot of pressure on vampires these days. Scary stares and fang flashes just don't cut it anymore.
Take the characters from Twilight, for example. In the blockbuster series these undead creatures of the night have to run, fly, and do battle with the forces of evil—all while looking impossibly gorgeous.
Actress Ashley Greene was up to the challenge. To play the part of vampire Alice Cullen—kin to Kellan Lutz's character Emmett and the brooding Edward (Robert Pattinson), as well as loyal pal to the object of Edward's desire, Bella (Kristen Stewart)—she had to sculpt her 5'5" frame into a lean, mean bad-guy-fighting machine. (Find out if any of the men of Twilight made the cut for our slideshow of the Hottest Bodies in Hollywood.)
"My body holds muscle really easily, and I tend to bulk up [if I'm always lifting] weights," says the 25-year-old Jacksonville, Fla., native. So while filming the movie, she focused on cardio, squats, and planks during her daily hour-long interval sessions.
"I did side planks for my obliques, which are one of my trouble areas," she says. "And traditional planks tone your back so you don't have that little bit of fat hanging over your bra. Ugh!" Ashley even inspired squat contests among her female costars ("I'm a competitive little sucker," she says with a laugh). (Target your hidden core muscles with these 4 Killer Abs Exercises from Jillian Michaels.)
She did add in a couple of nontraditional weight moves: working with kettlebells and pushing a big box filled with weights across a room.
"My butt and legs were so sore!" Clearly, this is not a woman who's obsessed with counting her ribs, like so many starlets seem to be.
"A lot of people like to be supertiny, but I don't want a child's body—I want a woman's body that is extremely fit. It's so much sexier," she says.
Between flicks, Ashley keeps her body tight and her mind calm by doing Pilates or running three to five miles, three to five days a week.
"You put on your headphones and go off into your own little world. If you're running outside and you have a beautiful view, you have this sense of being free," says Ashley, who jogs in a nearby canyon or on a treadmill at home in L.A.
High-octane tunes by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Paramore, and Lil Wayne get her revved. "It's like having a trainer yelling in your ear," she says. (7 reasons why you should be like Ashley and Take Your Workout Outside.)
Not wanting to cancel out all that hard work with junk food, Ashley tries to stick to healthy staples such as halibut, tuna, sushi, chicken, egg whites, and veggies.
"But I don't do the diet thing anymore," she says. "I'm a big believer in feeding your body what it needs. Deny yourself something and you're going to end up shoving your face full of it." Plus, being fit, she says, means not having to worry about enjoying a glass of wine or a brownie, which she does indulge in, on occasion. (You don’t have to shun fat to stay slim. Try these 5 Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny.)
Her approach to fashion is equally no-nonsense. "I live a dual life," she explains. "On the red carpet, it's complete glam. But at home, I'm a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. Simple can be beautiful." It can also be pretty hot.
This content originally appeared as "Ashley Greene" on Women's Health.