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Karen Gillan Workout Routine

Hanna Walther Author Profile



Karen Gillan's Workout Routine and Diet

What does Karen Gillan’s workout routine look like?

Karen Gillan is a Scottish actress known for her roles in Doctor Who, as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She also starred alongside Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson in Jumanji.

Karen’s acting career has required her to be physically strong and capable of doing stunts and other physically demanding tasks on set. So she’s enlisted the help of trainers and other experts to achieve the ideal body for her roles.

This post is a compilation of social commentary and, interviews Karen Gillan has done, information from trainers and fitness experts, but it is not Karen’s exact workout routine. However, she likely follows these programs to some degree when training for a role.


Current Stats 

  • Height:‎ 5’10”
  • Weight: 130 pounds
  • Age: 34 years old
  • Birthday: November 28, 1987
  • Accolades: 2010 Cosmo’s Ultimate Woman of the Year, Empire Award for Guardians of the Galaxy, 2012 Scottish Fashion Icon Award, among many others


Workout Principles

Karen worked with personal fitness trainer Scott Pearlman to get her sculpted body for Jumanji, where she wanted to work her core as much as possible because her midsection is showing for the majority of the film. Karen Gillan achieved killer abs and a toned upper body, but she had to put the work in to get there!


Karen Gillan’s Workout Routine

Gillan did a lot of HIIT training classes, core training, weight resistance, and some cardio to prepare herself physically and mentally for Jumanji and did similar workouts for the Marvel movies.

Karen Gillan works out between 5 and 6 days a week when she’s training for a role to give herself enough time to feel confident and fit for the job.

Here is the Karen Gillan workout routine:


Monday – Chest & Triceps

Karen Gillan kicks off the week with this chest and triceps program:


  1. 3 rounds of punching intervals with a punching bag
  2. Jump rope skipping (3 sets, 100 reps)

Strength Training Circuit:

  1. Bench press (3 sets, 10 reps)
  2. Tricep cable pushdown (3 sets, 10 reps)
  3. Incline bench press (3 sets, 10 reps)
  4. Tricep cable kickback (3 sets, 10 reps)
  5. Chest fly (3 sets, 10 reps)
  6. Skull crusher (3 sets, 15 reps)
  7. Plank (3 sets, hold for 30 seconds)


Tuesday – Cardio Exercises

Karen dedicates at least one day of the week to get some cardiovascular exercise. The health benefits of cardio are extensive; from lowering the risk of disease, weight loss, an increase in energy, and a boost in mood, there are many perks to incorporating cardio exercises into any workout routine.


  1. 10-minutes on the exercise bike

Cardio Training:

  1. 5-mile run on the treadmill
  2. Jump rope or battle rope intervals


Wednesday – Legs & Shoulders

Karen burns out her legs and shoulders on Wednesday with this program:


  1. 100 jumping jacks

Legs and shoulders circuit:

  1. Squat (3 sets, 10 reps)
  2. Military press (3 sets, 10 reps)
  3. Leg press (3 sets, 10 reps)
  4. Shoulder front raise (3 sets, 10 reps)
  5. Weighted step up (3 sets, 10 reps)
  6. Clean and squat (3 sets, 10 reps)


Thursday – Cardio & Core

Karen utilizes another cardio program in her workout routine on Thursday. Karen likely works her core 3 to 4 times a week when training for a specific role, the way she did with Jumanji and Avengers.


  1. 10-minutes on the exercise bike

Core Circuit:

  1. Decline crunch (3 sets, 10 reps)
  2. Cross-crunch (3 sets, 10 reps)
  3. Leg raise (3 sets, 20 reps)
  4. Plank variations (3 sets, hold for 30 seconds each)
  5. Reverse crunch (3 sets, 10 reps)
  6. Side crunch (3 sets, 10 reps)
  7. Scissor kick (3 sets, 10 reps)
  8. Toe touch (3 sets, 10 reps)

Cardio Training:

  1. 5-mile run on the treadmill
  2. Jump rope or battle rope intervals


Friday- Back & Biceps

On Friday, Karen Gillan completes this back and biceps program to work her upper body and build a toned back.


  1. 100 jumping jacks

Strength Circuit:

  1. Deadlift (3 sets, 10 reps)
  2. Chin up (3 sets, 10 reps)
  3. Cable row (3 sets, 10 reps)
  4. Cable bicep curl (3 sets, 10 reps)
  5. Pulldown (3 sets, 10 reps)
  6. Hammer curl (3 sets, 10 reps)


Saturday- MMA Training

Karen Gillan focused on learning MMA fighting to strengthen her core, gain discipline, and learn fighting skills that would benefit her personally and professionally.


Sunday – Rest

After working out all week, Karen Gillan rests her body on Sunday and lets her muscles recover from all the hard work she did that week. 


Karen Gillan’s Diet 

To build muscle and put on weight for acting roles, Karen eats a lot of high-protein meats and avoids simple carbs and fat. She consumes a lot of fish, eggs, and chicken and doesn’t have a cheat meal very often. As a result, she is able to fight any sugar cravings for the most part. 

Karen avoids processed and packaged foods and sticks to a primarily Keto diet. Karen Gillan had to increase her caloric intake to put on weight and build muscle for her most recent roles.

Here is Karen Gillan’s diet:


1. Breakfast 

  • Shake with vanilla protein powder
  • Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries


2. Lunch 

  • Chicken sandwich with avocado and bell pepper
  • Green salad


3. Dinner 

  • Grilled fish or steak
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Brown rice
  • Veggies



Karen Gillan uses a few vitamins and supplements to support her body and immune system before, during, and after a workout to pack on muscle and tone up. Here are a few supplements she will likely take:



Karen Gillan’s fitness regime is nothing short of grueling, and her diet plan isn’t for the faint at heart. She’s the epitome of what you can achieve with hard work, consistency, and sacrifice.

Her workout routine and diet plan were major contributors to her massive success in recent years. We look forward to seeing what else she does in the Marvel universe and other movies.

What do you think about Karen Gillan’s workout routine and diet? Leave a comment below. 

Hanna has been a fitness fanatic for most of her life. She grew up on the soccer field and volleyball court and credits those sports with her determination, passion for fitness, and leadership off the field. She is currently studying to become a personal trainer and hopes to begin coaching in 2022.

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