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How Magnus Lygdback Remodeled Alexander Skarsgard for ‘The Northman’



Through the means of serving to Alexander Skarsgård rework his physique for The Legend of Tarzan, celeb coach Magnus Lygdback and the actor established a friendship and bond that’s nonetheless sturdy to today. Through 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 guy Swede may see the eagerness in his pal’s eyes when discussing the main points and he made it recognized that if the challenge was ever to be dropped at fruition, he would remember to get a name.

With two very totally 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 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 needed the character to appear like after 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 shoppers like Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Alicia Vikander, and others to succeed in their bodily finest. You can even observe the identical packages as his star clientele at – powered by Playbook.

Magnus Lygdback drinking a cup of coffee with Alexander Skarsgard
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, during which I made certain he was on a calorie surplus day-after-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 watch 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 achieve an excessive amount of physique fats. We form 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 nicely from Tarzan. I had previous notes and I knew methods to practice him. That’s the great thing about working with somebody a couple of time.

Construct Mass and Get Thick

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

We did quite a lot of energy coaching and totally different sorts of coaching. The energy coaching was a four-day cut 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 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 best way I method core coaching is I do it day-after-day, however I be 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. Through 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 Through the Pandemic

I must say I lucked up massive 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 obtained 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. The entire gyms had been closed, and he was remoted on some island along with his household.

He did some body weight exercises, however he misplaced quite a lot of his positive factors. We began again up in June and it grew to become 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 exhausting 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 completely happy we obtained that point since you’ve seen the trailer.

Pushing Shoppers to New Limits

It’s quite a lot of psychology clearly. I at all times say you must determine what sort of mind you’ve in entrance of you, what makes them tick and the way do you push them the correct method and never the improper method — 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 wish to combine into the character, it’s sports-specific stuff or skill-based stuff. In case you have a look at my programming, I’m fairly open with it. Energy-wise, it’s quite a lot of the identical stuff. I’m not one who’s attempting 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’ve a plan, you will be affected person. You’ll be able to’t rush issues. It’s important 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 correct method, you’re going to 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 now have. It is advisable be affected person, take the correct 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 wish to know who I’m working with and see if it’s somebody who needs me as a result of I’ve executed 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 they usually’re keen to place within the work. That goes on my resume as nicely. 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 12 months — six months prepping somebody, and 6 months filming they usually actually don’t put within the work.

Comply with Magnus Lygdback on Instagram @magnuslygdback


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