There is a massive long inspirational list for this, top of which is always my wife Julz, so this is just to do with fitness. In this day and age, the film and TV stars are the most obvious ones; and in this day and age, the pressure is higher for those actors to look the part physically. Some of those (and their characters) are kind of the main inspiration for me: Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Stephen Amell (Arrow), and Hugh Jackman (X-Men).
Chris Pratt was as large as me once, and hated the way he looked, but loved food (like me). He lost a shit load of weight to become a special ops soldier in the film Zero Dark Thirty, and then even more and put on a boat load of muscle for Guardians of the Galaxy. He went on a “six months, no beer” regime, under the tutelage of trainer Duffy Gaver and nutritionist Phil Goglia. He ate 4000 calories a day, and drank a river of water, a cup of water for every pound he weighed… EVERY DAY! He posted a topless selfie (see below). His exercise included bouts of P90X (similar to Insanity), running, swimming, boxing, kickboxing, and even triathlons. This actually cemented his place as a bankable mega-franchise star.
His weight was over 300 pounds, like mine currently is, and managed to work hard with a specific goal: getting to a superhero physique for a specific film.
Star of DC Comics’ Green Arrow TV show, ARROW, Stephen Amell was already fit and ripped for the role in 2012, but he learned parkour for the pilot, and has continued that as a regular workout. He works out daily before filming, changing his workouts for variety. His efforts have even inspired the others in the cast to do the same. His talents in this field have taken him on to fight in a WWE match after a long-standing feud with Starburst. This year saw him do American Ninja Warrior for charity, completing the course and donating $35,000 to Red Nose Day (US), as well as easily beating the Salmon Ladder. During Arrow, he is regularly shown doing ACTUAL workouts on camera, the salmon ladder being the most famous.
The main point of inspiration is his commitment to the role, and to training for an hour or two before working horrifically long hours. But then he loves his job. Who wouldn’t?!
The Australian that EVERYBODY loves (including me); he’s a consummate professional and the nicest guy in Hollywood who played the iconic Wolverine/Logan for nearly two decades. Although he was fit and muscled when he first took on the role for X-Men, it was spur of the moment and last minute. For each film, he became better and better at putting on muscle. Wolverine Origins was the first most obvious time, and then The Wolverine he was absolutely ripped and huge. He had sought advice from an obvious source: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He was so huge, he genuinely looked like a comic-book character, eating 5000 calories a day. The day of a topless scene (you know the one: where he takes on the sword-wielding son of the villain), he went on a thirty-six-hour dehydration diet, drinking minimal water so that his skin was veiny and muscles stood out even further. Gave himself a crappy headache, but what a scene. His physique is only for the movies, however, not something he says he can maintain indefinitely.
The inspiration, again, is perseverance, and commitment. The man is unfailingly nice and polite, a gentleman. And goddamn he is huge when he needs to be!
“The Bodycoach” was originally a personal trainer when he began sharing ideas for workouts and recipes on Instagram. After a while, his followers grew to 30 million, and he began the “Lean in 15” program, all designed for quick, easy convenient recipes and workouts. My favourite is the turkey burger and sweet potato chips in the first book. His specialty is a massive variety of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions, and refers to the scales (which he maintains you don’t need) as the “sad step”, and one of his favourites is the “midget trees” (broccoli). He seems like a bundle of energy, and regularly loves to post free workout videos on his YouTube channel, one of which has been my go to for low-impact cardio sessions.
Plus, he has crazy hair like me.
Founder, owner, and star of the “Athlean-X” programs and YouTube channel, Cavaliere was a sports physical therapist, most famously for the New York Mets. Now, he runs the Xbox, his own gym, with his gummy-bear-munching assistant Jessie, assisting the likes of professional athletes across the spectrum, as well as some big movie actors. The inspiring thing about Jeff and his work is he takes the time to explain everything: each muscle is identified, and will physically show you where they are, what they do, and why they are needed. Just ask him about the muscle pens. He is a consummate professional, but is fairly capable of taking the mickey out of himself (and Jessie) when it calls for it. Just watch his YouTube channel to see what I mean.
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