How Magnus Lygdback Reworked Alexander Skarsgard for ‘The Northman’

April 21, 2022

Throughout the strategy of serving to Alexander Skarsgård transform his physique for The Legend of Tarzan, celeb coach Magnus Lygdback and the actor established a friendship and bond that’s nonetheless sturdy to at the present time. Throughout the close to year-long dedication of the movie, Skarsgård knowledgeable Lygdback about an thought he had for a venture that centered round Vikings. The guy Swede may see the eagerness in his buddy’s eyes when discussing the small print and he made it identified that if the venture 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 could be in Los Angeles. The decision lastly got here someday in the midst of 2019. The venture 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 like once they started working 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 achieve their bodily greatest. It’s also possible to comply with 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, despite the fact that I name it the bulking or buildup cycle. We had an enormous buildup cycle, wherein I made certain he was on a calorie surplus on daily basis 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 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 sort of constructed up all the way in which till we put him on a food plan, and he was on that food plan for 3 weeks. Usually, I would like six weeks with somebody, however I knew his physique so properly from Tarzan. I had outdated notes and I knew how you can prepare him. That’s the fantastic thing about working with somebody multiple time.

Construct Mass and Get Thick

Truthfully, 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 wanted to make it possible for 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. Apart from that, it was about constructing mass and getting thick.

We did lots of power coaching and completely different sorts of coaching. The power coaching was a four-day cut 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. Anyplace 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 method core coaching is I do it on daily basis, however I be 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 type. For him, it will be 4 to 5 eggs. Throughout 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 Throughout 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 acquired 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. 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 lots of his beneficial properties. 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 laborious 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 pleased we acquired that point since you’ve seen the trailer.

Pushing Purchasers to New Limits

It’s lots of psychology clearly. I at all times say it’s important to work out what kind of mind you’ve got in entrance of you, what makes them tick and the way do you push them the suitable method and never the fallacious 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 wish you to appear like, and what we wish to combine into the character, it’s sports-specific stuff or skill-based stuff. When you take 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 workouts. I imagine in sticking to a routine, the basics, and getting actually good at that.

Have a Plan

So long as you’ve got a plan, you may be affected person. You’ll be able to’t rush issues. You need to construct a robust basis with anybody you’re employed with as a result of if we don’t undergo the basics, you don’t transfer the suitable method, you’ll get injured alongside the way in which as a result of that’s how excessive it’s to push the physique that onerous for the quick time that we have now. You want to be affected person, take the suitable steps, begin with the fundamentals and construct on that basis. Earlier than I say sure to a venture, 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 desires me as a result of I’ve performed a superb job previously. 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 they usually’re keen to place within the work. That goes on my resume as properly. If I don’t do a superb 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 they usually actually don’t put within the work.

Observe Magnus Lygdback on Instagram @magnuslygdback

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