How Magnus Lygdback Reworked Alexander Skarsgard for ‘The Northman’

In the course of the technique 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 this present day. In the course of the close to year-long dedication of the movie, Skarsgård knowledgeable Lygdback about an concept he had for a mission that centered round Vikings. The guy Swede might see the fervour in his good friend’s eyes when discussing the main points and he made it identified that if the mission was ever to be dropped at fruition, he would you’ll want to get a name.

With two very completely different and busy schedules, the pair would catch up every time Skarsgård can be in Los Angeles. The decision lastly got here someday in the course of 2019. The mission was The Northman. Directed by Robert Eggers, the movie facilities round a younger Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father’s loss of life.

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 to be after they started working that December.

We spoke with Lygdback concerning the course of of reworking 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 can too comply with the identical packages as his star clientele at – 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, during which I made certain 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 fake 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 watch 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 way in which till we put him on a weight-reduction plan, and he was on that weight-reduction plan for 3 weeks. Usually, I would like six weeks with somebody, however I knew his physique so effectively from Tarzan. I had previous notes and I knew the best way to prepare 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 loads of his personal stunts and shifting round. The important thing a part of his physique have been his shoulders. We wanted to be sure that we prepped his shoulders for all of the preventing, swinging a sword and an ax. We made certain to do some additional accent work on the shoulders. Apart from that, it was about constructing mass and getting thick.

We did loads of power coaching and completely different varieties of coaching. The power coaching was a four-day break up, and I at all times scheduled seven days per week with my actors. We by no means find yourself doing seven and we take a break when we have to. Wherever from 5 to 6 days per week, we’d do power 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 way in which I strategy core coaching is I do it daily, however I make sure that to work completely different components of the core as a part of the splits.

I’m an enormous fan of the high-protein breakfast — usually eggs in any kind. For him, it will 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 encompass a protein, sluggish carbs, good fat, and greens. After that, one other high-protein snack. Dinner would encompass 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 must say I lucked up massive time. I didn’t really feel fortunate on the time, however we have 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 obtained him in actually fine condition, after which the pandemic hit. We have been two days out from filming, and we needed to shut store. He flew again to Sweden, and I flew again to LA. The entire gyms have been closed, and he was remoted on some island along with his household.

He did some body weight exercises, however he misplaced loads of his positive factors. 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 onerous 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 comfortable we obtained that point since you’ve seen the trailer.

Pushing Shoppers to New Limits

It’s loads of psychology clearly. I at all times say it’s important to determine what sort of mind you will have in entrance of you, what makes them tick and the way do you push them the precise manner and never the fallacious manner — 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 wish you to appear to be, and what we need to combine into the character, it’s sports-specific stuff or skill-based stuff. If you happen to have a look at my programming, I’m fairly open with it. Power-wise, it’s loads of the identical stuff. I’m not one who’s making an attempt to reinvent the wheel and provide you with 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 will have a plan, you will be affected person. You possibly can’t rush issues. You must construct a powerful basis with anybody you’re employed with as a result of if we don’t undergo the basics, you don’t transfer the precise manner, you’re going to get injured alongside the way in which as a result of that’s how excessive it’s to push the physique that arduous for the quick time that we have now. You might want to be affected person, take the precise steps, begin with the fundamentals and construct on that basis. Earlier than I say sure to a mission, 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 needs me as a result of I’ve performed an excellent 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 must know that they perceive and so they’re prepared to place within the work. That goes on my resume as effectively. If I don’t do an excellent 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 and so they actually don’t put within the work.

Comply with Magnus Lygdback on Instagram @magnuslygdback

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