As we know, for some movie roles actors have to go to amazing lengths to transform their bodies. Such was the case with former True Blood star Alexander Skarsgard as he prepped for the lead role in The Legend of Tarzan.
Skarsgard, who was already in pretty good shape, underwent a training and diet program that most of us mere mortals wouldn’t last a week attempting.
The actor’s trainer and nutritionist Magnus Lygdback spoke to JOE and explained Skarsgard’s intense four-month long program.
The first thing Lygdback did was stop him running to stop him burning off all those extra calories so he could start putting weight on.
“This was a guy who ran 10k (races) four times in a week, he explained.
“His cardio was great coming into the project. But he had to stop that and expend all his energy into lifting weights and building muscle mass.”
The bulking phase saw him started on 5,000 calories but day to day monitoring through his strength training still saw him losing weight and body fat so this was increased to an incredible 7,000 daily calories. You can read about his full diet here.
In order to start adding muscle to his frame Skarsgard started hitting some serious strength work.
His weekly training plan was broken down into body parts – with legs, chest and front delts, back and rear delts and a whole day devoted to biceps and triceps.
Each session started with a meaty pyramid set on one of the big lifts – like squats or bench – kicking off with 12 reps on a lighter weight and working heavier while dropping the reps through 10, eight and then six reps. It then finished with a 10 rep burner to further exhaust the muscle.
His programme was designed to hit the muscle from every angle with a range of different exercises on each body part, all in that sweet eight to 12-rep hypertrophy sweet spot range.
His core training was equally important to make his abs pop. Every other day he did a mixture of static core work like planks and rotational exercises like obliques.
Movement training involving yoga or obstacle courses was also key because Lygdback wanted Skarsgard to look less like a boydbuilder and more like a guy who got ripped living in the jungle.
The entire training program can be viewed here.
I’d love to see some regular someone try it out sometime like one did with The Rock’s plan and see how it goes.
Skarsgard’s training also involved him cutting after three months of bulking and the re-introduction of cardio including High Intensity Interval Training included lots of sprints.
The best part of the interview above with Conan O’Brien might be the fact that he admitted falling off the wagon once filming was completed. Dude is human after all.