Hollywood’s five biggest earning actors all have one thing in common. They’re ripped. Not just nicely toned, but properly ripped.

The top five, Robert Downey Jr, Channing Tatum, Hugh Jackman, Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson together made $288 million (Over R3 billion) in 2013, according to Forbes.

Not a bad return on investment for all those hours spent in gym. In fact if number five, Johnson, spent three hours a day in gym for five days a week, he would have made more than $59 000 (R 620 000) per hour of sweat last year.

When it comes to Hollywood, success equals size and it’s not just the mega earning elite stars that are ripped. If you want screen time, you need to put in gym time.

Ever notice how many of the male characters in Game of Thrones are ripped? Or how a poster for a Marvel Comics movie looks like an advertisement for the perfect body?

It wasn’t always this way. Yes in the 90’s had big actors, think Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, but it also had Nicolas Cage and Richard Gere. Back then, Pierce Brosnan was James Bond!

Fast forward 20 years and the defined frame of Daniel Craig fills out 007.  Now there are abs. . . abs everywhere, and it’s not just Hollywood.

Flip from the movie channel to Super Rugby, and you’ll find that our rugby heroes have also become increasingly larger than life. The average  English international rugby player now weighs 2kg more than he did ten years ago. When Joel Stransky kicked ‘that drop goal’, he weighed around 86kg. His present day contemporary, Morne Steyn, weighs 91kg.

The trend has health benefits. Guys who lift are healthier with  less chance of heart disease or obesity. They also lead longer (and healthier) lives, according to many studies.

 

Time For Your Superhero Upgrade

You may never be involved in a radioactive fallout that gives you the ability to fly, or asked to be a part of the next 300 movie, but there’s no reason why you can’t upgrade your body. However, it starts with the mind.

Master Your Mind

Ask any of our belly-off winners, transformation only happens once you decide to make it happen, similarly Hollywood heroes know that they have to be in tip-top shape for filming.

In order to meet the character brief of Karl Drogo in Game of Thrones, Jason Momoa needed to be the biggest built character in a series packed with big men. He shows us how discipline helped him to pack on warrior size.

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“You know when you’re working out but thinking about the shit you’ve got to do for the rest of the day?” Momoa asks. “Well your workout is going to be half-arsed. Trust me – I’m ADD as hell.”

To win the muscle war, there needs to be a calculated, occasional, release from the discipline regime. “You need to eat big and lift big. Bit I prefer to eat as much lean meat and green veg as possible and save the kilojoules for beer. It keeps you sane.”

Gyms Are Nice But Superheroes Don’t Need Them

The Hulk doesn’t stay in shape by lifting weights, he lifts rocks, cars, his enemies and just about anything.

Do you travel a lot? So do actors, when they’re on set in distant locations, it’s not so easy to pop into gym, which is why The Game of Thrones Workout is a free weight routine that can be performed anywhere.

When You Need To Get Mutant Big, Ask For a Mutant Workout

Hugh Jackman already had a strong body before the Wolverine movies, but in the 3 months prior to filming he went from ripped, to mutant ripped. The Wolverine Workout is perfect if you’re looking to level up some more.

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Training Like a Warrior – If you need to shred kilos and transform yourself into a warrior, try the original 300 workout.

Ready to adopt Momoa’s mental toughness and get barbarian big? Try this workout to bulk up your arms and chest.