How Magnus Lygdback Transformed Alexander Skarsgard for ‘The Northman’

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In the course of the strategy of serving to Alexander Skarsgård transform his physique for The Legend of Tarzan, superstar coach Magnus Lygdback and the actor established a friendship and bond that’s nonetheless robust to today. In the course of the close to year-long dedication of the movie, Skarsgård knowledgeable Lygdback about an concept he had for a undertaking that centered round Vikings. The man Swede might see the eagerness in his buddy’s eyes when discussing the small print and he made it identified that if the undertaking was ever to be dropped at fruition, he would you’ll want to get a name.

With two very totally different and busy schedules, the pair would catch up each time Skarsgård could be in Los Angeles. The decision lastly got here someday in the midst of 2019. The undertaking was The Northman. Directed by Robert Eggers, the movie facilities round a younger Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father’s demise.

Having already had the expertise from Tarzan to drag from, Lygdback already knew how nice of a piece ethic Skarsgård had and the way he would reply to the dietary and bodily coaching. They already had concepts on what they wished the character to appear like once they set to work that December.

We spoke with Lygdback in regards to the course of of remodeling Skarsgård into Amlet for The Northman in addition to how he helps push purchasers like Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Alicia Vikander, and others to achieve their bodily greatest. You may as well observe the identical packages as his star clientele at MagnusMethodApp.com – powered by Playbook.

Coach/nutritionist Magnus Lygdback and actor Alexander Skarsgard on the set of Robert Eggers Viking epik, The Northman, a Focus Options launch. Aidan Monaghan/Focus Options LLC

Magnus Lygdback Displays and Measures

I’m not an enormous fan of bulking an excessive amount of, though I name it the bulking or buildup cycle. We had an enormous buildup cycle, wherein I made positive he was on a calorie surplus daily in order that he wasn’t shedding physique fats as a result of he’s usually lean. You possibly can at all times faux to know what number of energy somebody ought to eat, however everyone knows that’s extremely particular person and relying on what you do in a day, it modifications. I like to observe my actors, and I monitored him by measuring his fats each week — simply ensuring he wasn’t too lean within the buildup section and likewise ensuring he didn’t acquire an excessive amount of physique fats. We form of constructed up all the best way till we put him on a weight loss program, and he was on that weight loss program for 3 weeks. Usually, I need six weeks with somebody, however I knew his physique so nicely from Tarzan. I had previous notes and I knew tips on how to practice him. That’s the fantastic thing about working with somebody a couple of time.

Construct Mass and Get Thick

Actually, the man is getting older, and we knew he was doing a number of his personal stunts and transferring round. The important thing a part of his physique had been his shoulders. We wanted to guarantee that we prepped his shoulders for all of the combating, swinging a sword and an ax. We made positive to do some additional accent work on the shoulders. Aside from that, it was about constructing mass and getting thick.

We did a number of energy coaching and totally different sorts of coaching. The energy coaching was a four-day break up, and I at all times scheduled seven days every week with my actors. We by no means find yourself doing seven and we take a break when we have to. Anyplace from 5 to 6 days every week, we might do energy coaching. Legs on Day 1, chest and front-side shoulders on Day 2. Again, back-side shoulders, and outdoors shoulders on Day 3. Arms on Day 4. On every day, I at all times do high-intensity cardio or common cardio and core. The best way I method core coaching is I do it daily, however I make certain to work totally different elements of the core as a part of the splits.

I’m an enormous fan of the high-protein breakfast — usually eggs in any type. For him, it could be 4 to 5 eggs. In the course of the three-week interval, he didn’t get any carbs with breakfast. We did a protein-based snack after breakfast. Lunch would include a protein, gradual carbs, good fat, and greens. After that, one other high-protein snack. Dinner would include protein, carbs, good fat, greens, and fiber.

Alexander Skarsgard training for ‘The Northman’ by performing a kettlebell workout
Actor Alexander Skarsgard in coaching on the set of Robert Eggers Viking Epic, The Northman a spotlight options launch. Aidan Monaghan/Focus Options LLC

Prepping In the course of the Pandemic

I have to say I lucked up huge time. I didn’t really feel fortunate on the time, however we had been fortunate as a result of the pandemic hit. I began with him in December and began touring to Vancouver the place he was filming The Stand, and I began constructing him up, after which we traveled to Northern Eire. I acquired him in actually fine condition, after which the pandemic hit. We had been two days out from filming, and we needed to shut store. He flew again to Sweden, and I flew again to LA. All the gyms had been closed, and he was remoted on some island together with his household.

He did some body weight exercises, however he misplaced a number of his beneficial properties. We began again up in June and it turned like a pure coaching cycle. We began filming in September. It turned out actually nice as a result of he was in even higher form than in March. It’s laborious to say how a lot time we needed to prep as a result of it was two coaching cycles. In Tarzan, he was extra slim and agile and this time he gained about 20 kilos as a result of we wished a thicker and extra imposing look. In hindsight, I’m joyful we acquired that point since you’ve seen the trailer.

Pushing Purchasers to New Limits

It’s a number of psychology clearly. I at all times say you need to work out what kind of mind you’ve in entrance of you, what makes them tick and the way do you push them the correct approach and never the improper approach — how do you talk with them. It’s all about constructing a personality. Even with having fundamentals, that stays the identical. I’ve my go to programming. Relying on the place you begin, what we would like you to appear like, and what we need to combine into the character, it’s sports-specific stuff or skill-based stuff. When you take a look at my programming, I’m fairly open with it. Energy-wise, it’s a number of the identical stuff. I’m not one who’s attempting to reinvent the wheel and give you new fancy workouts. I consider in sticking to a routine, the basics, and getting actually good at that.

Have a Plan

So long as you’ve a plan, you could be affected person. You possibly can’t rush issues. It’s important to construct a robust basis with anybody you’re employed with as a result of if we don’t undergo the basics, you don’t transfer the correct approach, you will get injured alongside the best way as a result of that’s how excessive it’s to push the physique that tough for the quick time that we have now. You’ll want to be affected person, take the correct steps, begin with the fundamentals and construct on that basis. Earlier than I say sure to a undertaking, I attempt to do analysis on who I’m working with and I at all times have a dialog with them earlier than I say sure. I do need to know who I’m working with and see if it’s somebody who desires me as a result of I’ve executed a great job up to now. If that’s the case, I’m not going to say sure to that as a result of each single job, I have to know that they perceive they usually’re keen to place within the work. That goes on my resume as nicely. If I don’t do a great job, then I’m not going to get my subsequent gig. It’s additionally not rewarding both to spend a yr — six months prepping somebody, and 6 months filming they usually actually don’t put within the work.

Observe Magnus Lygdback on Instagram @magnuslygdback





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