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How Magnus Lygdback Reworked Alexander Skarsgard for ‘The Northman’


Through the strategy 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 sturdy to at the present time. Through 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 may 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 make sure to get a name.

With two very completely different and busy schedules, the pair would catch up at any time when Skarsgård could be in Los Angeles. The decision lastly got here someday in the course 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 dying.

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 concerning 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 achieve their bodily greatest. You can even observe the identical applications 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 Screens 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 an enormous buildup cycle, through which I made certain he was on a calorie surplus day-after-day in order that he wasn’t shedding physique fats as a result of he’s usually lean. You may all the time 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 in addition ensuring he didn’t achieve an excessive amount of physique fats. We sort of constructed up all the best way till we put him on a food plan, and he was on that food plan for 3 weeks. Usually, I need 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 lots of his personal stunts and transferring round. The important thing a part of his physique have been his shoulders. We would have liked to be sure that we prepped his shoulders for all of the combating, swinging a sword and an ax. We made certain to do some further accent work on the shoulders. Aside from that, it was about constructing mass and getting thick.

We did lots of energy coaching and completely different varieties of coaching. The energy coaching was a four-day cut up, and I all the time 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 all the time do high-intensity cardio or common cardio and core. The way in which I method core coaching is I do it day-after-day, however I be certain 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 might 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, 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 Through the Pandemic

I have to 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 received 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 together with his household.

He did some body weight exercises, however he misplaced lots 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 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 joyful we received that point since you’ve seen the trailer.

Pushing Purchasers to New Limits

It’s lots of psychology clearly. I all the time say it’s important to work out what kind of mind you have got in entrance of you, what makes them tick and the way do you push them the proper 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. If you happen to have a look at my programming, I’m fairly open with it. Power-wise, it’s lots 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 consider in sticking to a routine, the basics, and getting actually good at that.

Have a Plan

So long as you have got a plan, you might be affected person. You may’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 proper method, you’ll 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 have now. It’s essential to be affected person, take the proper 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 all the time 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 desires me as a result of I’ve performed 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 and so they’re keen to place within the work. That goes on my resume as effectively. If I don’t do 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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