How to Get James McAvoy’s Beast Mode Physics from “Glass”


Of Atonement To Dirt To Atomic blonde, James McAvoy is as close to an enigma as an actor can get these days. He will appear in huge blockbusters like the X-Men franchise, then star in a romantic thriller alongside Alicia Vikander or voice an animated gnome in Sherlock Gnomes.

That is, when famous horror director M. Night Shyamalan (The sixth sense) was looking for an actor to take on a villain with multiple murderous personalities in To divide (2016) then A glass (2019), McAvoy may not have been the obvious choice. But after seeing his physical performance in one particular murderous figure – the towering beast – we couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role.

For To divide the actor went it alone. For A glass, in which he co-starred with Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson, he decided to hire a professional.

Magnus Lygdback is a trainer, life coach and nutritionist with over two decades of experience. He grew up playing hockey at a high level at home in Sweden. After the end of his career, he started working with athletes and then musicians, having developed a method to treat musicians and their performance needs like those of athletes. “We know what a football player needs,” he says. “No one looked at artists as athletes, so I started to break down what they needed.”

Naturally, Lygdback was McAvoy’s first port of call.

“I was in the UK at Corinthia. I don’t remember if it was on Justice League with Ben Affleck or when I was working with Katy Perry but I was sitting in my hotel room and got a phone call from James’ agent saying James had heard about me and was doing this movie, A glass, Lygdback explains. “James realized that after making the previous movie, To divide, he needed help to take his character to the next level.

A fan of McAvoy as an actor and a fan of the good things he had heard about him as a person, Lygdback agreed to FaceTime with the actor. “We hit it off,” he says. But, before they could work together, it was essential that McAvoy knew what he was getting into.

“It’s important to me that my actor understands what he’s going through. I’m not just here to take a paycheck and say I’ve worked with someone, ”Lygdback says. “I want to make a change. I want to do this transformation. If they’re not 100% in it, I don’t want to. Sometimes you think they’re in it, but they’re not. James was.

The mission

“He was already lifting,” Lygdback explains. “He was training but I could tell by talking to him that his lineup was not great. His nutrition was not excellent.

But, he hoped the job could be done within the few months they had. “I knew that because he could lift off the ground and already lift the way he was able to do it, we would hit the ground running and I wouldn’t have to do all those fundamental cycles where you build someone.” , says Lygdback. “I knew I could get a quick result just by changing the schedule, sets and reps. When I work with someone, I come into their life. It’s not just that time in the gym every day, it’s when do you go to bed, what do you eat, do you eat the whole serving? All of those kinds of things.

James McAvoy as “The Beast” in M. Night Shyamalan’s A glass

Comic Moviestills

The method

Lygdback’s approach to actor training considers both the character and the individual actor. In McAvoy’s case, the Beast not only had to look a certain way, but also move in a certain way.

“We wanted him to have thick traps and to look like a real beast,” Lygdback explains. “We wanted him to look as scary as possible.”

The key? Mix it up. “We did a few compound moves but I’m throwing a lot of isolated moves. This is how you get results quickly, ”explains Lygdback. “You can’t lift to failure, for example. But you can do shoulder raises to put maximum strain on the muscle. I start with a big lift, then move on to isolated exercises for pulling. get the most out of each muscle group.This also reduces the risk of injury during training.

In fact, the program was so good that Lygdback found himself in trouble with the producers of X-Men who were concerned that Professor X was starting to look a bit like a gym brother.

“At one point he got a little too big, so the producers made me sit down and berated me,” Lygdback jokes. “We had to make some adjustments. I reduced the salts that hold water so that it is a little less swollen and gave it a little less carbs. But not much because I didn’t want to lose our progress.

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As for McAvoy’s approach to training, Lygdback says if he had a least favorite exercise, it would be hard to guess what it was because the actor never complained. “He showed up every day, even when we were doing it early in the morning and he had a long day of filming. And you can tell; looking like this after three months is pretty crazy, ”enthuses Lygdback. “I always say that as a person he’s a great man. You don’t hear anyone say bad things about him. He’s a fanatic human being.

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Training

To look like the Beast, you will need to focus on your back and shoulders. And while we’re at it, let’s add some groundwork for stability. Below is Lygdback’s McAvoy Plan 1-Day Plan. Master it first, then check it all out on its app.

Warming up

Take it easy (ish) with a warm up on the treadmill. Walk to start to warm up the muscles, then sprint as fast as you can in bursts to get your heart pounding.

Light jogging on treadmill

Duration: 4 minutes

Sprints on treadmill

Times: 90secs, 90secs, 30secs, 30secs

The lifts

Narrow grip lat pulldown

Sets: 4

Representatives: 12

Rest: 30 seconds

Attach a wide handle to the vertical draft machine and sit down. Grasp the handle with your hands away from you and right in front of your face. shoulder width apart. Press down on your shoulder blades while extending your shoulder as you pull the handle down and toward your body. Slowly return the handle to the start for one.

Dumbbell row

Sets: 3

Representatives: 12

Rest: 30 seconds

Place your feet and then grasp the bar with your hands slightly wider than your feet. Sit in your glutes with your chest high and your back flat. With a grip, bring the bar towards your stomach. Keep your chin up and core strong as you work on the full set.

Rear fly machine

Sets: 3

Representatives: 20

Rest: 30 seconds

Sit in a comfortable position. Grasp the handles, then work your way through your shoulder blades to bring the handles back just past your ears. Slowly come back to the start for one.

Folding right arm

Sets: 3

Representatives: 12

Rest: 30 seconds

Attach a straight bar to a cable machine, adjusting it so that it is at head height. Step back with your hands on the bar until your arms are straight. Pull them down, pushing the bar towards your knees without bending your elbows. Slowly reverse the movement to complete your first repetition.

Lat increases

Sets: 4

Representatives: 12

Rest: 30 seconds

Find a dumbbell that you are happy with then, with your back straight and the weight in your hand, lift your hand and move it away from your body at a 90 degree angle to your torso (to the side, not to the side). before). Adjust the weight if it is too heavy or light, then continue to work on the set.

Dragon Kicks

Sets: 3

Representatives: 15

Rest: 30 seconds

Lie down on a bench. If you want, you can grab the bench behind your head with your hands to provide stability. Raise your legs in a leg elevation, then when they’re at about a 45 degree angle to the bench, you’re going to kick them up to 90 degrees, also engaging the core. Good luck.

To learn more, visit magnusmethod.com. Download McAvoyfull program via Magnus app, and follow Magnus on YouTube here.

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