Girls

'NCIS' Star Shalita Grant Talks Deadlifts and Bad Pickup Lines

This pint-sized ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ star packs a punch. She talks about her workouts and what not to say to women in the gym.

Shalita Grant
Sam Lothridge

Muscle & Fitness: You’re a Juilliard-trained, Tony-nominated actress. But you’re also a former Equinox trainer. Were you a good trainer?

Shalita Grant: When I first started, hell no. I didn’t know what I was doing. But after I put myself on the workout regimen that I gave my clients, I was a much better trainer.

What was your top tip?

Show up. Just show up.

What’s your fitness routine like these days?

I have a Schwinn bike in my house. I use the Peloton app on my iPhone and do spin classes. I’ve also been using Nike’s training app for workout ideas. It’s really good, and it’s free. And I’ve started doing Pure Barre. I’m in there with a bunch of 50-year-old women, but it’s actually really great. They’re onto something.

Do you lift weights?

Yes. Yesterday I did a couple sets of deadlifts. I can deadlift 135 pounds, which is well over what I weigh. I have a little gym in my house with a Smith machine, barbells, dumbbells, and a bench. There was a period when I was solely focused on strength training.

How many days per week do you train?

There isn’t really a day that I’m not working out. We move every day, so the idea that you should only work out, like, three times a week is kind of bonkers. I’m not saying that you should be lifting 400 pounds every day, but dedicating 30 minutes a day to fitness, that’s great.

TV production is known for its superlong shoot days. Do you have a trailer workout?

Yes. I’ll do yoga in my trailer using yoga videos. I also have an ab roller. Or if we’re on a set with bars, I’ll do pullups between takes. I do little challenges with people—keeping it fun, keeping it active.

Has your NCIS: New Orleans co-star Scott Bakula ever taken you through his Necessary Roughness workout?

No, I really don’t know what Scott’s regimen is like. But I’ll work out with [co-star] Lucas Black and a couple of guys on the crew.

You briefly worked as a bartender. What’s a low-calorie cocktail we should be drinking?

Honestly, you should just not be drinking liquor. If you have body goals, drink once a week, max. Alcohol takes a toll on your body.

What’s the worst pickup line you’ve ever gotten at the gym?

“Do you need help with that?” It’s like, no, back off. If anything, I should be the one offering assistance. “You’re breaking form, bro. Do you need help with that?”

By the way, what can we expect on the show this year?

Well, my character, Sonja, gets a love interest. And every week, we’re blowing some shit up. Houses, cars, all that stuff. If you’re into that, you’ll be happy.

Catch NCIS: New Orleans on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on CBS and follow Shalita Grant on Instagram and Twitter: @ShalitaGrant.

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