How Magnus Lygdback Reworked Alexander Skarsgard for ‘The Northman’


In the course of the means of serving to Alexander Skarsgård rework 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 thought he had for a challenge that centered round Vikings. The man Swede might see the fervour in his buddy’s eyes when discussing the main points and he made it identified that if the challenge was ever to be dropped at fruition, he would make sure you get a name.

With two very completely different and busy schedules, the pair would catch up each time Skarsgård can be in Los Angeles. The decision lastly got here someday in the course of 2019. The challenge 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 needed the character to appear to be after they set to work that December.

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We spoke with Lygdback concerning the course of of reworking Skarsgård into Amlet for The Northman in addition to how he helps push shoppers like Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Alicia Vikander, and others to achieve their bodily greatest. You can even 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, regardless that I name it the bulking or buildup cycle. We had a giant buildup cycle, wherein I made certain he was on a calorie surplus day by day in order that he wasn’t dropping physique fats as a result of he’s usually lean. You’ll be able to 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 adjustments. 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 part and likewise ensuring he didn’t acquire an excessive amount of physique fats. We type of constructed up all the best way till we put him on a eating regimen, and he was on that eating regimen 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 easy methods to prepare him. That’s the great 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 whole lot of his personal stunts and transferring 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 further accent work on the shoulders. Apart from that, it was about constructing mass and getting thick.

We did a whole lot of power coaching and completely different sorts of coaching. The power 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. Wherever from 5 to 6 days every week, we might do power coaching. Legs on Day 1, chest and front-side shoulders on Day 2. Again, back-side shoulders, and out of doors 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 method core coaching is I do it day by day, however I ensure that to work completely 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 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 include a protein, sluggish 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 must say I lucked up large 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 acquired him in actually good 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. All the gyms have been closed, and he was remoted on some island along with his household.

He did some body weight exercises, however he misplaced a whole lot of his good points. 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 arduous 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 needed a thicker and extra imposing look. In hindsight, I’m glad we acquired that point since you’ve seen the trailer.

Pushing Purchasers to New Limits

It’s a whole lot of psychology clearly. I at all times say you need to work out what sort of mind you could have in entrance of you, what makes them tick and the way do you push them the best manner and never the improper 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. For those who have a look at my programming, I’m fairly open with it. Energy-wise, it’s a whole lot of the identical stuff. I’m not one who’s making an attempt to reinvent the wheel and give you new fancy workout routines. I imagine in sticking to a routine, the basics, and getting actually good at that.

Have a Plan

So long as you could have a plan, you may be affected person. You’ll be able to’t rush issues. You need to 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 best manner, you will get injured alongside the best way as a result of that’s how excessive it’s to push the physique that onerous for the quick time that we’ve. You have to be affected person, take the best steps, begin with the fundamentals and construct on that basis. Earlier than I say sure to a challenge, 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 achieved a very good job previously. 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 keen to place within the work. That goes on my resume as effectively. If I don’t do a very good 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.

Observe Magnus Lygdback on Instagram @magnuslygdback


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