Dakota Johnson’s ’Madame Web’ Workout From Her Trainer

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In the newest installment to the Marvel Universe, Madame Web, Dakota Johnson plays the title character who uses her kick-ass strength and clairvoyance to fight off bad guys. While you may not be able to get the clairvoyant abilities of Madame Web, you can train to get Johnson’s superhero strength because we’ve got Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web workout routine straight from her trainer.

To prepare for her role as Madame Web, Johnson took classes from Megan Roup, creator of The Sculpt Society (TSS), a fitness method that mixes strengthening and sculpting exercises with simple dance cardio moves to create one fun and effective workout you can do with just your body weight or a few simple props. Roup, a former professional dancer turned fitness instructor, created TSS because she wasn’t finding the type of class and community that she was looking for in New York City’s boutique fitness scene.

“Boutique fitness in NYC has a very serious nature to it, and I felt really frustrated for other people,” Roup says. “Why can’t moving our bodies be more upbeat, friendly and fun? I really started thinking about the class I wanted, and I brought different elements from different modalities.”

In TSS programming you’ll find components of dance cardio, Pilates, and strength training. While some of the classes use Pilates balls, sliders, hand and ankle weights, or resistance bands, classes can also be done without equipment, or by supplementing equipment (ie. a pillow for a Pilates ball, and socks or paper plates in lieu of sliders).

With her fun and joyful approach to fitness, Roup has created an online community of over 200K people, and Johnson is one of them. Unbeknownst to Roup, Johnson had been doing TSS program for years, starting online during the pandemic. To help her get ready for her role in Madame Web, Johnson’s team contacted Roup to include in-person workouts alongside her existing online routine.

Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web workout routine with Megan Roup

Roup and Johnson trained two to three days a week in person depending on Johnson’s schedule, and in those sessions they would do a 45-minute full body workout. On the days they weren’t in person, Roup would give her different video options to do on The Sculpt Society app. Those videos ranged from 20 to 40 minutes and allowed Johnson to tailor them around whether she was traveling, was limited on time, or what equipment she had on hand.

“A lot of people think that when I’m working with a celebrity or influencer that the work I’m doing with them is very different from what I’m doing on the app, but what I love to tell them is that you’re doing the same workout as them,” Roup says.

What happened when I tried The Sculpt Society

I decided to try some of the classes myself, to see if working out like Johnson would make me feel ready to enter the Marvel Universe. One of the first things I noticed was how many options there were. Not only could you choose beginner, intermediate, or advanced classes, but there were also lots of options for the duration of the workout, and different collections like “Cozy Sculpt,” (workouts gentle enough to do in your pajamas or sweats), “TSS Outdoors” (videos shot in the open-air of sunny southern California where Roup lives) and even a bridal collection (which is not focused on weight loss, but rather feeling your best on your wedding day).

The choices for duration was my favorite way to look for classes. I don’t always have a lot of time in my schedule to workout, but there were videos in the library that were only five or 10 minutes and I could certainly do that.

“We really have been told over and over and had our heads hit against the wall with what we should be doing and how much we should be [working out],” Roup says. It’s just not sustainable. We’re all so busy. I would so much rather my community show up to shorter workouts, I’m talking 10 minutes a day consistently throughout the week, than do one long workout and be burnt out by it.” Roup believes in “Committing to less, so you can show up more,” she says.

In the spirit of less committing, and more showing up, I did a few of the 10 minute classes, and that was perfect for my busy schedule. I was able to get in some movement for the day, but also tackle all of the tasks I had to do.

Roup says this type of approach can be effective if your goal is improving your fitness as consistency is really the key. “People think when someone’s getting into shape for a big role that it has to be extreme and intense, but it really doesn’t have to be so complicated,” she says.

Let me tell you, just because my workouts were short, didn’t mean they were easy. Even in just 10 minutes I was working up a sweat and finding myself out of breath with the dance cardio classes, and really feeling the burn with the sculpting classes. I do have ankle weights that I added to the booty workouts for extra difficulty, but even without those it would have kicked my butt.

As someone who has had a majority of my training based in HITT, doing The Sculpt Society’s “Slow + Controlled” classes were challenging. It’s always hard for me to work through slower movements, but I know how beneficial they are for building muscle. Although I have been working out for years, I started with the beginner workouts because the program was out of my wheelhouse, and they helped me understand the program better.

If you’re worried you won’t be able to train like Johnson because you’re new to fitness, have no fear. Roup built out a true beginner program. She wanted to make sure people found the right class for their level. She hopes beginners take a class and leave feeling successful. She says that Covid actually helped her create better programming for her clients because she realized so many people were beginners, and her programs were not serving them back then.

I’ve tried a lot of online workouts over the years, and one thing I noticed about them is that even the classes that are typically labeled as beginner aren’t designed for people with no fitness background. I felt like they required extreme balance or flexibility, or that somehow I missed an intro to the beginner classes. This wasn’t the case with The Sculpt Society. Roup breaks down the moves in a way that is easy to grasp and it didn’t leave me feeling confused.

Johnson’s favorite type of Sculpt Society workout

While Johnson’s Madame Web workout program with her involved a mix of different class types, Roup says that the actress really loved the dance cardio routines, and I must say, that’s what I liked the most. I can hold a beat, but I am by no means a dancer. I am a self-proclaimed “ayeeee” girl who will cheer on anyone dancing, but I prefer to dance in the comfort of my own home.

The dance moves were simple and repetitive, which made it really easy for me to follow along with. Roup says that moves are intentionally repetitive to allow your brain not to think so hard, and just move to the beat of the music. It’s something she finds very meditative, and I agree with her. I found myself getting lost in the music, and I stopped caring so much about what I looked like and found joy.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Sculpt Society. I get why Johnson is a fan, and used it to train for her role as Madame Web. I can see how the fluid movements from the dance cardio along with the strength training would be an asset to getting her into her best shape. Not only for the role, but also for the long days on set.

And though I’m not a superhero actress, this workout is definitely something I could add to my fitness routine for the days I’m short on time but still want a good sweat.

The Sculpt Society can be accessed online or through the app, and costs $19.99 monthly, or $179.99 for the year. Both plans include full access to all workouts, live classes, and programs.





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