Simply put, Alexander Skarsgård is freaking ripped as hell in The Northman. Way more than he was in The Legend of Tarzan, which still astonishes Northman director Robert Eggers. As for the secret to Skarsgård getting even more jacked than he already is: calories. Tons and tons of calories.
Celebrity trainer and movement coach Magnus Lygdback broke down Skarsgård’s workout regiment in a new interview with Variety. On top of learning how to move like both a massive bear and an agile wolf, Skarsgård had to constantly eat during both his training and production. And, man, did he have to pack it in:
Lygdback also curated Skarsgård’s diet, which included eating roughly 3,700 calories a day. Each day, the actor ate more calories than he was burning in order to build maximum body mass. Skarsgård ate five times a day every 2-3 hours (“This will keep your energy up and your metabolism burning,” Lygdback said). The trainer’s rule of thumb for his clients is “eat clean 17 out of 20 meals in a four-day cycle.” Three meals are “treat meals” where you can eat whatever you’re craving. A clean meal consists of a protein (chicken/fish/beef), a vegetable (spinach/asparagus/broccoli) and a slow carb or a fat (quinoa/barley/rice or avocado/olive oil). Skarsgård stuck to this diet during his three-month prep periods, plus the six-month “Northman” shooting schedule.
Interestingly, Skarsgård would toss in a protein shake every now and then, but Lygdback doesn’t consider that material. Just a non-stop stream of protein and veggies is all the trainer prescribes, but Skarsgård presumably needed to mix things up after wolfing down salmon and asparagus all day. (That was his favorite.)