There's no doubt you have to look good to be on the big screen. Old tricks of sewing on superman's muscles to wearing a Shatner-esq corset, are no longer options. So how do the great and the good of Hollywood stay fit and well?
The fitness world evolves like any other industry, so rules form the foundation and never change while new techniques, sports and scientific understanding all change around them. We will not be discussing any "chemical enhancements" that some on our list have admitted to using over the years, regardless of this they make our list as their advice is first rate.
Unlike his movies, staying in as good a shape as Stallone takes more than a 2 minute montage. In his book Sly Moves, Stallone admits to his many fitness failings over the years. That he succumbed to many Hollywood fad diets, ate poorly for the first Rocky movie and many more. So we can at least take solace in the fact that he's fallen foul as many times as we have and that he's not been cosseted by a Hollywood trainer his whole life. His main advice is to avoid "diets" at all cost! A man who's tried the South Beach Diet, Atkins, High Protein, Grapefruit and many more diets. He says he sticks to a varied diet which (unsurprisingly) leans toward Italian cuisine. Keeping an eye on carb laden pasta but with copious salad and vegetables.
His one time training coach and mentor Franco Columbu, once tried to get Sly to believe in the power of yogurt and had him eat a bowl with every meal. Sly states that "I was loaded with gas 24/7, i felt like the Hindenburg. I realised that what works for one person may not be right for me".
Yep the dancing pecs himself. Ok, thats unfair. One of the few to make a success of jumping from professional sport into professional acting and still be in great shape and successful. You'd think his life and training advice would be "hit it hard or not at all" type advice. Actually the reverse, a man who believes greatly in the power of the mind and that motivation drives training and not the other way around. Stating that its about creating the lifestyle and building healthy habits.
“I say just go to the gym for 21 days straight”
"Don’t even work out if you don’t want to. Go there, look around, spend some time, read a magazine, sit down on the recumbent bike, and just read a magazine and watch everybody work out. And then, you know what? When you’re done, go home.”
The hulking actor also recommends listening to audio books. Everything from fitness and history to self-help. But he also makes certain to add in titles like Public Enemy and a little Rick Ross. “I like to run angry,” he says.
As Christopher Reeve found when he first put on the red cape, you have to fill the suit to fill the role of superman. No half measures or sewn on muscles allowed! When Cavill took the role he was already in great shape from filming 300, he still had to pack on muscle for the role. He worked with Mark Twight, a world-class climber. Who runs an exclusive invite-only gym that trains athletes, military personnel, and now I guess superheroes. It’s best known for training the cast and stunt crew for the epic movie “300” helping to whip the thespians into Spartan worthy fighting shape.
Don't be misled, this is no air conditioned, cucumber water and spa type gym. According to Cavill
"It's not a cozy place. There are no televisions, no machines, no comfortable spot to sit . Effort and pain aren't avoided. Physical and psychological breakdowns do occur."
Cavill's mental breakthrough came one day early on into his training "I remember one moment, doing some horrible rowing sprint thing, and I said, ‘I can’t do this Mark, I can’t, I’m done,’ and he said, ‘No you’re not, don’t listen to the lies.’ I kept on pulling and pulling until suddenly I realised I had finished.” and " we all have fun doing it as well".
Hollywood royalty I suppose you'd call him and yes he's still alive and training. Eastwood is a lifelong non-smoker, has been conscious of his health and fitness since he was a teenager, and practices healthy eating habits, even now well into his 80s. He practices daily meditation, and is renowned for being an obsessive health and fitness nut.
"I'd always done muscle-training exercises" Clint says "I realised very quickly that the best way to keep your muscles strong, hard and fit was with weight training. Once I got into weight training, I never gave it up!"
Eastwood maintains a low-fat, high protein diet and gets plenty of sleep. Everything in moderation, nothing in excess. Some cardiovascular exercise, some muscle training. Eating healthy food and watching your weight. And exercise and attention to diet, Clint Eastwood believes, should be a lifetime habit, best begun when you are as young as possible.
"Stay away from high carb foods, especially rich desserts. Keep a scale in your bathroom. Get proper rest. Try to be optimistic. Eat fruits and raw vegetables. Take vitamins. Skip sugary drinks and avoid excess alcohol.
The one man behind the Daniel Craig 007 physique is Simon Waterson. A man who spent seven years with the Royal Marines before becoming a personal trainer. Over his many years service to the film industry he has trained James Bond stars Pierce Brosnan, Denise Richards and Halle Berry and many more. So back in 2008 when Daniel Craig began preparing for his role as 007 in the blockbusting Casino Royale, Mr Waterson had his work cut out.
Daniel had a firm idea of what Bond should be like physically, a bruiser, brawler and someone who looked like he could kill with his bare hands. Dan had briefed his trainer on his goals, and was determined to get straight to work. Developing speed, strength, stamina and a sharp, focused mind.
The workouts are a blend of power lifting, with a lot of compound exercises thrown in. This allows you to work out extremely hard with heavy weights, and because it's so intense the heart rate is elevated. Therefore, you are working not only on the development of nice lean muscle tissue, but you're also getting a bit of cardio as well, and keeping your body fat down.
Casino Royale was a hit and with Quantum of Solace already in Pre-Production mid-2010 Dan changed tack about the Bond Body. He felt he had been too big and bulky and that Bond was more of an athletic man. He then added in boxing to boost his cardio while building strength. The lesson is never rest on your laurels, learn adopt and find what's right and go for it.
Although long since past, McQueen is still a Hollywood icon and still a very much mans - man type figure. He was also a fitness fanatic, working out for hours at a time and enjoyed many sports. Sadly little is known about his daily gym routine in depth. Many reporters who visited his home and took pictures like the one above, ever noted anything down. This was long before publishers cottoned on to the idea that men at home would want to know such details.
Steve's training was based on systems learned during hi time with the Marine Corps. Running, boxing and weight training along with swimming, were the backbone of his regime. McQueen was also an avid martial arts fan. His friendship with Bruce Lee is the stuff of legend, and McQueen was apparently tutored in Jeet Kune Do to a high grade by the Enter the Dragon star himself.
One reporter noted of their training sessions:
"He just kept pushing himself for hours—punching and kicking without a break—until he was completely exhausted. His gym clothes were completely soaked by the time we gave up."
His methods may seem excessive today, but that’s with the benefit of today's modern sport’s science that didn’t exist 50 years ago. Functionality underpinned McQueen’s attitude towards training, and that has to be credited in an era where very few many actors trained for their physique, or simply didn’t bother at all.