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How to Look Like Tarzan (By The Man Who Trained Him)

June 2016Words by Mr Alex Harris

Mr Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan in The Legend Of Tarzan, 2016. Photograph by Mr Jonathan Olley. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Feral child raised to near super-human levels of masculinity takes on world in loincloth: a blockbuster plotline if we’ve ever heard one. But to Mr Magnus Lygdback, that was a job brief. As personal trainer to Mr Alexander Skarsgård for upcoming jungle romp The Legend of Tarzan, his was the task of building muscle worthy of one of the most famous torsos in cinema onto an actor equally famous for being lean of frame.

Unlike the film’s protagonist, the results speak for themselves. And when you see them, you’ll want to ape them. “I wanted to build a man who looked like he grew up fighting for his survival – but adapted to today's body ideals,” says Mr Lygdback. Mr Skarsgård’s physical transformation is all the more impressive when you consider that he had little in the way of muscle mass at the start of his training (so take hope, all ye hardgainers). “He’s now a more muscular but still panther-like Tarzan.”

No amount of chest beating is a substitute for hard work. So ignore the bros posturing in front of the gym mirror and follow Mr Lygdback’s mantra: mix it up and always focus on functional exercises.