Exercise like Avengers: Infinity War stars, this is how they got fit
If you’ve stopped marvelling at Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, here’s something more to fall for: The intense exercise and diet regimen the superheroes put themselves through to get fit for their roles. Here are the fitness routines of Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johannson, Gwyeth Paltrow and others.Updated: May 01, 2018 14:08 IST
Avengers: Infinity War is breaking all box office records — $630 million (approximately Rs 4,181 crore) in the first weekend — the all time highest global opening for a film.
The movie stars some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as Robert Downey Jr, Josh Brolin, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Hiddleston among more than two dozen superheroes fighting to save the universe.
While the world is bitten by the Avengers: Infinity War bug, here is something more to celebrate — the superhero physiques of the actors.
Each of the actors put in long hours of intense hard work and discipline to lose weight and carve out those ripped physiques.
Here’s a behind-the-scene look at what it takes to carve out a physique like that, with all those long hours of sweating it out in a gym, and no motivation bigger than a chance to star as a superhero, entrusted with the task of saving the world.
Chris Evans (Captain America)
Chris Evans owes his hot Captain America bod to a strenuous combat-training routine. He was on a strict high-protein diet to pile on at least 30 pounds.
“For this film, it was about three months of training, and I wasn’t looking forward to it,” Evans told bodybuilding.com in an exclusive interview earlier this year.
“I’ve always liked going to the gym, but these weren’t normal gym sessions. I was puking at the gym. They were brutal, absolutely brutal,” he said.
Evans was also put through lot of weight training to get big.
“The preparation for Captain America was really about me bulking up, looks wise. So it was a lot of weight training. The training regimen was based on heavyweight/low-rep sets of the classic compound lifts. I did stuff like squats, deadlifts, shoulder press, incline bench presses, weighted dips, and chin-ups,” he told bodybuilding.com.
In honor of Infinity War coming out next week, here are a few videos I found from 2013 while prepping for The Winter Soldier. pic.twitter.com/TFur0vZs3M— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) April 19, 2018
Each of his gym sessions would involve the team working on two muscle groups. “It is a very balanced workout, hitting every single muscle. I think even my toes got bigger. We would take two muscle groups, whether it was chest and back or biceps and triceps and we would just destroy those muscles, literally destroy them for just over two hours. Then we’d cool down with core and abs.”
Some other exercises he did included different angles and grips, close-grip incline press, incline bench flies and incline press-ups for chest, for example.
Scarlett Johansson: Black Widow
To fight Loki’s army in Avengers, Scarlett Johansson only had six weeks to get in shape before shooting began and she got in touch with Bobby Strom, the same trainer she had worked with for Iron Man 2.
Scarlett combined cardio with circuit training, and focused on MMA outside the gym. To complement her intense workout, Scarlett also focused on clean eating: a vegan-dominant diet.
This, however, didn’t stop her from enjoying a slice or two of her favourite chocolate cake when she felt like.
In an interview to popsugar.com , Bobby revealed that he put Scarlett on several circuit-training-focused workouts a week for 909 minutes, using a variety of equipment like TRX cables, resistance bands and dumbbells.
This helped Scarlett burn fat and build strength. She was also introduced to cardio in circuit training, Bobby revealed.
Apart from getting her into shape, Bobby’s aim was to ensure Scarlett had enough strength and flexibility to perform the stunts she had to do for the film. Her training involved hand-to-hand combat training with her stunt double Heidi Moneymaker and fighting with weapons similar to the ones she used in the film.
Talking about her MMA experience, Scarlett told Vogue , “You get beat up a lot. It’s painful.”
Lupita Nyong’o: Nakia
Before shooting for Black Panther, Lupita Nyong’o and her co-stars had to endure an intense six-week boot camp for various physically challenging scenes. She plays Nakia, a street fighter, in the film.
“It was intense. It meant I had to get into particularly good shape to be able to do the stunts,” Lupita told E! New at the premier of Black Panther.
“And I loved it. I loved the physical challenge... We had six weeks of boot camp before we started filming. Boot camp was going to Atlanta and working with a stunt team. It started off with four hours of training a day, which was exhausting. It’s just gaining strength, stamina, and flexibility,” she said.
In an earlier interview to Hollywood Reporter , Lupita had talked about how the boot camp started off with four hours a day initially, which was then reduced to two hours when she started bulking up.
“I remember coming home for Christmas and couldn’t fit into my clothes. We would have warm-ups together, then break off and do our individual techniques.”
Karen Gillan: Nebula
Karen Gillan had to undergo a complete change in her lifestyle to fit into her role of Nebula in Avengers: Infinity War. From intense workouts to training in martial arts, and a protein-heavy diet, Karen had it all.
“When I first started playing this role, I had to start from the scratch in terms of learning how to fight,” Gillan told POPSUGAR.
She added that she had to increase her intake of protein shakes and would have apples and almond butter throughout the day.
Karen also said that she trained regularly on cardio to build her stamina, but also worked out heavily, especially her legs, with squats and barbell deadlifts.
Michael B. Jordan: Erik Killmonger
Michael B. Jordan’s training was so intense that it ended up inspiring three workouts for the Nike Training Club app: 1) Quick Quarter — A bodyweight and plyometric workout that lasts 15 minutes, 2) Slim Chance 2.0 — A boxing workout and 3) The Big 4 — Comprises barbells and more, according to POPSUGAR.
“The word that kept playing in my mind was ‘savage’,” says Corey Calliet, who trained Jordan for Black Panther.
“When you see him, you need to be scared. You need to be intimidated. We don’t want the nice, young-looking Michael,” Calliet told Men’s Health during an interview.
Calliet made Jordan do 2–3 workouts daily and eat six meals a day. To get a sculpted chest and back, Calliet made the actor go back to the basics, with heavy weights.
“[We did] a lot of old-school bench presses, lat pulldowns, deadlifts. Nothing fancy, just really contracting the muscle,” Calliet told Men’s Health. “We lift heavy, a lot, a lot of times.”
Brie Larson: Captain Marvel
To be fit enough for playing Captain Marvel, Brie Larson did exercises which exerted her entire body. The pull-up is the one exercise which helped her build solid upper arm strength.
Larson was very committed to her role as the leader of the first female-led Marvel movie, and recently the Academy Award-winning actress shared a video on Instagram, showing off the results of her workouts.
The video, which is titled ‘9 months of training really does some stuff to your body’ shows Larson doing five pull-ups, showing off her toned arms, proving that her strength was real.
She posted a video the next day, doing a set of wide-stance push-ups, while she had heavy chains attached at the waist level.
“Getting stronger is a process I’m committed to showing up for everyday,” Larson wrote in the caption.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Pepper Potts
Gwyneth Paltrow is always in tune with the latest wellness trends, but one thing that she has been consistent with has been celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson and her popular method dance cardio classes.
Anderson’s classes are steeply charged, at over $500 per month, but that’s something Paltrow can afford, reported POPSUGAR.
Anderson has been training Paltrow for the last 10 years, and Anderson shared Paltrow’s main fitness moves — the v-punch and the walking plank — with SELF during an interview. The following routine is described in SELF.
Stand with feet at hip-width apart, a 3-pound weight in each hand at hips. Punch right arm all the way up, with palm facing front, 4 times. Repeat with palm facing back. Complete sequence 3 times. Switch sides and repeat.
2. Walking Plank
Start in a high plank. Imagine feet pointed to 6 on a clock face. Keep body straight as you rotate counter-clockwise slowly until feet are at 3 o’clock. Step back to 6. Rotate clockwise to 9 o’clock and back for one rep. Do 3–5 reps. Take a short break and repeat.
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