Alexander Skarsgård Ate 7,000 Calories A Day While Training For ‘The Legend Of Tarzan’

It has been said of Alexander Skarsgård’s acting talent that he’s quite the hunk. That’s not meant as a dig at the 39-year-old Swede, because it’s basically a documented fact that Skarsgård is easy on the eyes, as far back as when he was having a gasoline fight with his fellow male models in Zoolander. He rose to fame as arguably the best thing about HBO’s True Blood, and today he’s a bona fide leading man thanks to his starring role in The Legend of Tarzan. While early returns indicate that this Tarzan is struggling at the box office, people still cannot stop talking about Skarsgård’s chiseled abs.

Specifically, there are some people who think that Skarsgård’s physique in the $180 million film is the product of Hollywood magic, but his trainer and nutritionist, Magnus Lygdback, told that the actor busted his ass to make sure that he was in the best possible shape. Apparently he takes his gorilla-fighting form quite seriously, and to make us all feel slightly worse about our own bodies, Skarsgård whipped himself into shape in just four months, eating as much as 7,000 calories per day on top of Lygdback’s custom workout plan.

Lygdback’s first job was to build some lean muscle mass to make the former Swedish anti-terror soldier look the part in the new incarnation of the legendary literary figure.

He designed a three-month bulking phase to add as much size as possible without adding too much body fat to his already-lean frame, which was followed by a four to five week cut. (Via

One of the biggest challenges for Skarsgård was cutting back on running, because, as Lygdback puts it, the actor runs four 10k races a week. What a show-off. The trainer picked all of Skarsgård’s meals for him, noting that the actor “was eating food out of a box six or seven times a day,” and his bulking diet was pretty intense.

For the cutting process, Lygdback says Skarsgård’s diet was comprised of “only fish and seafood.” Naturally, Skarsgård reached a point of exhaustion from the intense routine and diet, so Lygdback allowed him a cheat day, which resulted in a two-hour meal at an Italian restaurant. And that was without an Olive Garden Pasta Pass.