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Hollywood has its fair share of classic movie physiques. From Arnold Schwarzenegger (in every movie he has done) to Brad Pitt in Fight Club, they've been some immensely inspirational physiques. Here are --in our opinion -- the top 20 classic Hollywood physiques in alphabetical order:
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
It all started with Arnie, the bodybuilder who became an actor and would later become Governor. While his breakthrough film was Conan the Barbarian, the movie that really launched him in the big league was The Terminator, a role what would stay with him for life. It wasn t easy for the six-time Mr Olympia though, many dismissed him for not having classic hero looks but soon it became the norm for heroes to look jacked.
Brad Pitt (Fight Club)
What can we even say about Tyler Durden in David Fincher s cult classic Fight Club. In the movie, Pitt sets up an underground fighting organisation and had to look like a fighter. With time, his character would go on to become synonymous with anarchy, deeply opposed to the consumerism that has engulfed today s world. For the role, Brad Pitt cut down to 6% body fat and muscled up which was hard for a natural ectomorph.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
When Chris Hemworth was picked to play Thor, most fans wondered how the thin surfer dude from Australia was ever going to play the muscular Norse God of Thunder. To play the part, Hemsworth combined boxing, Muay Thai with old school bodybuilding and nutrition techniques to pack on a lot of muscle. In fact, he even took to wood-chopping so he could wield the hammer Mjolnir correctly. He added some yoga for flexibility and voila! .
Daniel Craig (James Bond)
When Craig was picked to be the Bond who d succeed Pierce Brosnan, everyone thought the studio had made the wrong decision. After all Bond was a suave, tall, dark and handsome individual, not a blonde ripped guy. However, Craig brought modern day qualities to 007 in Casino Royale and was the first Bond to actually come out of the water ala the Bond girls of yore.
Gerard Butler (300)
If Arnold brought bodybuilding to the big screen, 300 the Spartan CGI-fest started a bodybuilding renaissance which left one critic to remark that it appeared the Spartans had access to better health clubs than their Persian counterparts. While the plot was somewhat funny, Butler and co, got in shape with a workout designed by Mark Twight, an avid mountain climber and gym owner. Just check out what the 300 workout comprises of (it isn t a workout per se but a test to see how fit the actors and stuntmen were):
300 reps total
Editor's Note: Floor wipers: Floor wipers are performed by keeping a barbell extended over your chest. After that, you need to keep your legs straight and feet together. Once, in this position, lift your lower body diagonally moving your shins towards the left side of the bar. After this, lower them down again within a few inches of the ground and repeat the diagonal motion on the right side.
Kettlebell Clean and Press: In order to perform a kettlebell clean and press, you need to pick up a kettlebell and hold it keeping your arm down and straight. Now pick it up and bring the kettlebell towards your shoulder. After this, swing the kettlebells between both your legs.
Henry Cavill (Man of Steel)
Playing Superman on the big screen is an almost insurmountable task. The Man of Steel is the epitome of male evolution, a man who combines a Greek god physique with all that s good and right. Getting in shape for this role couldn t have been an easy task and Henry Cavill said that it was hell and wonderful at the same . Incidentally, his trainer for the movie was the same Mark Twight who whipped into shape the actors for 300.
Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine)
To play Wolverine, Jackman needed to create a physique which would be animalistic and scary, not just look like a guy who hit the gym and looks big. And he managed to do that, making us believe that Jackman indeed was capable of being the brutish anti-hero. He trained 18 months for the role, ate lots of chicken and spent more time in the gym than he d ever done before. He also took up meditation to get him through the phase and we must say that Wolverine definitely deserves to be in our top 20 list.
Jason Statham (The Transporter)
Sylvester Stallone had once remarked that Jason Statham was the actor who d take on the mantle of top action hero from him and Statham has always impressed the audiences with his physique. He projects real strength, not just the bulked up look that seems like it has been created in the gym but on the streets instead which isn t odd considering he s big fan of mixed martial arts. Just one peek at the scene where he takes off his shirt in The Transporter will remind you exactly what a real man looks like!
Jean-Claude Van Damme (Bloodsport)
Jean-Claude Van Damme shot to fame after he played Frank Dux who participated in an international underground martial arts tournament and showed his amazing athleticism with a variety of martial arts moves including the split. Like Arnold and Stallone, Van Damme was another major actor who established the action hero figure in Hollywood.
Robert De Niro (Cape Fear)
Robert De Niro may be the greatest actor of his generation but he was no slouch when it came to getting in shape for his roles. The actor went hardcore to portray the deranged psychopath Max Cady in Cape Fear and dropped his body fat percentage to single-digits. His trainer actually made him workout 2-3 hours a day and by the end of it he was warming up 50 pull-ups and 150 lunges. And it s without a doubt that Cady was capable of evoking fear with his act.
Scott Adkins Undisputed III
The British martial artist is another man who made the transition to acting and boasts one of the most badass physiques we ve seen ever! Unlike most other celebs who train to look good, Adkins has multiple black belts in Taekwondo, is an avid kickboxer and looks perfectly capable of trouncing any of our his colleagues in a fight.
Sylvester Stallone - Rocky
If we were to pick the giants -- the ones who made heroes muscular and good looking -- Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Van Damme would be the Holy Trinity who made it compulsory for all the heroes to look jacked. While Stallone has two franchises which have defined him, we had to pick the Rocky look!
Vin Diesel (Fast and Furious)
If there was one actor who was destined to be an action hero it was Mark Sinclair Vincent, known to legions of his fans as Vin Diesel. Unlike most other actors who bulk up specifically for movie roles, Diesel has always had a formidable physique going back to the days of his youth when he was a bouncer in one of America s edgiest cities New York. I was a bouncer for ten years in New York City, he told Men sHealth. As a bouncer, he had to train not to look good but to be tough enough to keep troublemakers away. I look formidable, Diesel accepts. I have dangerous bones in my body. It s what gives him what he calls the dark, dangerous streak. This training for self-defence helped him construct a frame that few Hollywood actors can dream of competing with.
Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises)
One of the critics called Bane in the Dark Knight Rises a melded triad of Lenin, bin Laden and Steve Austin who was set on fomenting proletarian retribution and Tom Hardy really looks the part as he tries to upstage Heath Ledger s immortal portrayal of the Joker. Hardy gained 14 kg for the role and showcased a mean result-oriented fighting style. While it s unlikely that Bane will ever match the Joker s level of charisma, he certainly looked capable of destroying Christian Bale s Batman in a fight.
Tony Jaa (Ong Bak)
Tony Jaa introduced himself to the Western audience with Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior where he did all the stunts himself. A big fan of Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan, Jaa wanted to follow his heroes into stardom. Called the next Bruce Lee, Jaa has single-digit body fat percentages and actually did every stunt in the movie without the help of CGI or any sort of mechanical assistance. He even suffered a burn, a ligament injury and a sprained ankle! And we are going to soon see him in Fast and Furious 7 with Vin Diesel and Jason Statham![polldaddy poll=7875155]
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