When you hear the name “Tarzan”, your mind paints a picture of this big brute with messy long hair dressed in loin cloth and oh yes, the body of a jungle king. This is the very reason why Alexander Skarsgard, the actor who played Tarzan in the new “Tarzan” movie (opposite Margot Robbie as the lovely Jane Porter), had to go through a rigid exercise regimen and eating program just so that he could display the perfect Tarzan physique. How did he do it? We will find out soon enough.
But first, it was not all peachy for the “True Blood” actor since he was a lean machine towering his 6 feet and 4 inches height. Alexander loved to run and that was his regular exercise. But no – as Tarzan and as king of the jungle, he had to adjust a great deal and be in the best physical shape he has ever been in his life. And I do mean those impeccable 6-pack abs and bulging shoulder and back muscles. No wonder Jane was always flustered every time she saw him. Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan was the very definition of “beautiful primate creature”.
As for his exercise regimen, his trainer who is also fitness expert for the stars Magnus Lygdbäck, revealed how disciplined and hardworking Alexander was to get in shape for the role. He was lean and had a few muscles. Tarzan had to be muscular and sculpted. Alexander trained for 8 months straight and didn’t drink a drop of alcohol. His exercise program was supplemented with a high-calorie diet, 6000 calories to be exact, just so to add muscles to his lean body.
He was also tasked to climb bars because as Tarzan, he is “supposed to be” used to that. So, the production team had to create bars within the home of the actor so he can practice swinging and clinging to it every single day. This was through the initiative of the film’s movement choreographer Wayne McGregor.
Now, without further ado, here is the Tarzan Fitness Program of Alexander Skarsgard – in case you want to sport that King of the Jungle look in as short as 8 months.
The Exercise Program
He had morning jogs for 10 minutes.
Aside from the regular jogging, he had to do 6 sets at one minute each for sprints.
He also had to max out in sprints for a minute, as well.
After that, there is the stationary sprint for one minute and then he can rest.
The running had to be incorporated in his program because Alexander loved to run and he also needed that for stamina. It is more like HIIT but for the running exercise. This can speed up metabolism and burn excess fat rapidly.
He lifted weights at night and this is where the challenge begins.
He had to do bear crawls for 5 sets, 60 second per set.
The ever powerful deadlift exercise had to be done for 4 sets. The weights being used increase as the set progresses.
First set is for 12 counts.
Second set is for 10 counts.
Third set is for 8 counts.
Fourth set is a pyramid set for 12 counts.
Next is the pull-ups movement. He had to complete 4 sets of that while the weights increased.
The first has to be in wide grip and to max out in repetitions.
On the next set, it has to be in narrow grip and again, to max out.
Set three and set one are the same.
As for set four, narrow grip and maxing it out too.
After that, Alexander had to do standing alternating dumbbell rows. This was for 3 sets at 20 counts each. Each set the weights had to be increased.
The program also included kettlebell swings of 3 set for 15 repetitions.
For his shoulders, he had to do lateral raise for 12 counts each set and at 4 sets.
Lastly, he had to execute a moving front plank on exercise ball for at least 1 minute and max on 2 minutes for 4 sets.
As for his 6,000 calorie a day diet, for his bulk-up need, Alexander had to stop alcohol, dairy, sugar and gluten. He also had three lunch meals (seriously!), breakfast and of course, dinner. Each meal he had was very high on protein, veggies and he also had carbs but the unrefined kind.
The question is for the normal person like you, can you handle that extreme exercise and eating regimen? If you have the will and the determination like Alexander Skarsgard, then, why not? Just try it and who know, you might have that kind of physique in 8 months’ time.