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View Full Version : Do you think celebrities use steroids to get in shape for movie roles?


Moriarty
05-11-2016, 10:57 PM
I've been a gym rat for most of the last 22 years. While I am certainly no behemoth, I know my way around a gym, and I can put together a few months of high intensity weight training and strict nutrition to get in decent shape. In fact, I've done one of those "3 month comebacks" several times in my life.

My point is, I am familiar with exercise and its effects on the body, and I know what's realistic when it comes to working out.

So I am routinely bemused when I read about actors bulking up for movie roles; invariably, the star is said to gain ridiculous amounts of muscle in just a few months. Examples are Ed Nortion (http://celebrityfitnesstraining.com/celebrity-workouts/edward-norton-american-history-x/) in American History X, who reportedly gained "35 pounds of lean muscle"; Ben Affleck (http://digitalspy.com/movies/batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice/news/a579377/ben-affleck-reveals-huge-weight-gain-for-batman-role/), who is said to have put on "40 pounds" for Batman; and Chris Hemsworth (http://huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/18/thor-star-chris-hemsworth-weight-gain_n_850702.html), who is said to have gained 20 pounds to play Thor.

When reading for an explanation, I generally see platitudes about eating lots of calories and exercising hard. Fine, I get that. But normal people don't gain 10s of pounds of muscle in just a few months from those activities (now, if you told me an actor lost 20 to 30 pounds of fat while gaining a few pounds of muscle, I would believe it). It generally takes years to put on that kind of quality size, even with proper nutrition and exercise.

Or, I'll read that the actor worked out for 4 or 5 hours each day. This seems to placate most people, since the assumption is that the actor was able to make extreme gains because he had more time than the average person to devote to it. But, everything I've read and seen has taught me that training for hours each day leads to overtraining, which can actually make you weaker.

Unless...you accompany that training with a round of performance enhancing steroids. Professional bodybulders train so much because their bodies can handle the abuse, owing to their performance enhancing drugs. And steroids can add 10s of pounds of muscle in just a few months.

Adding to my suspicion is the fact that Sly Stallone was once convicted (http://today.com/id/18667351/ns/today-today_entertainment/t/stallone-pleads-guilty-australia-drug-charges/#.VzPvyo-cGUk) of bringing Human Growth Hormone and steroids into Australia. I have little doubt that he is the only one, and it is trivially easy to go to one of those "anti aging" clinics (which I bet abound in Southern Californai) and get a prescription, to say nothing of doctors who will do anything to serve a celebrity.

So, what do you think? Are bodybuilding drugs the commonly used method for movie stars to get ready for their big action role?

nearwildheaven
05-11-2016, 11:43 PM
It wouldn't surprise me at all.

Sitnam
05-12-2016, 12:08 AM
I have no doubt they hit the gym before the scene to get their pump on, but yeah, I'd also be surprised if the majority where natural. You can tell by the face bulk. Toby Maguire in Spider-Man, Brad Pitt in Troy, putting on FACE muscle like that in that amount of time is ridiculous.

Patch
05-12-2016, 12:57 AM
ISTR Stallone bragging about using steroids to bulk up around the time the first Expendables movie came out, but don't have a source on it.

Rigamarole
05-12-2016, 01:15 AM
Of course.

mhendo
05-12-2016, 01:29 AM
When reading for an explanation, I generally see platitudes about eating lots of calories and exercising hard. Fine, I get that. But normal people don't gain 10s of pounds of muscle in just a few months from those activities (now, if you told me an actor lost 20 to 30 pounds of fat while gaining a few pounds of muscle, I would believe it). It generally takes years to put on that kind of quality size, even with proper nutrition and exercise.

Or, I'll read that the actor worked out for 4 or 5 hours each day. This seems to placate most people, since the assumption is that the actor was able to make extreme gains because he had more time than the average person to devote to it. But, everything I've read and seen has taught me that training for hours each day leads to overtraining, which can actually make you weaker.
My hunch is that you're right about a lot of this.

Here's an interview (http://muscleandfitness.com/athletes-celebrities/news/bulking-thor-2-stuntman-bobby-holland-hanton) with the guy who stunt-doubled for Chris Hemsworth in Thor. This is a guy who is already fit and strong, and who does stunts for a living. He talks about how hard he had to work in order to put on muscle so that he could approach Hemsworth's size. He also talks about the incredible rigor of the diet, eating massive amounts of food while also avoiding sugar and salt and sauces and stuff like that.

It sounds pretty miserable, to be honest. I go to the gym and try to keep relatively fit for my age, but i'm far from perfect. I'd like to be stronger, and to shed a few pounds from my waist right now, and i should probably eat less sugar than i currently do. But i also want to actually enjoy my life.

Here's a more general article (http://salon.com/2016/05/11/the_real_costs_of_a_marvel_body_how_the_pressure_to_look_like_thor_and_captain_america_is_hurting_me n/) about the general difficulty, and the longer-term health costs, of intensive training and over-exertion. I'm sure there are people who are willing to put up with costs, and it could be that actors are among those people, but i still think that these massive gains in short time periods are a bit suspicious in some cases.

Of course, some actors keep themselves big and strong basically all the time, and then just increase the amount or intensity of their workouts as they approach a role the requires a lot of muscle. Hugh Jackman seems to be one of those guys; he's always working out, and always looks muscular.

There's a guy in my gym who was complaining about this the other day. He's probably the strongest and most impressive-looking guy at my YMCA. He's about 6'3", very muscular with very little fat and excellent tone. From the back, he's a big V, with big arms and shoulders. He hangs a 45-pound weight from a chain around his waist before he starts doing pull-ups.

He says that he often gets people coming up to him and asking how many months he had to work out to get that big and strong. "Months?" he said. "These people don't know what the fuck they're talking about. I've been working out for years to get like this."

I think that the stories of actors bulking up and losing huge amounts of fat for their roles gives people the impression that anyone can do this, as long as they're willing to put in 6 or 8 weeks worth of effort.

gaffa
05-12-2016, 10:11 AM
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has a movie coming up called "Central Intelligence." (https://youtube.com/watch?v=MxEw3elSJ8M) He plays a former fat kid, and when he meets up with an old friend from school (Kevin Hart) and says "I just did one thing. I worked out six hours a day. Every day. For twenty years."

Moriarty
05-12-2016, 10:58 AM
I have no doubt they hit the gym before the scene to get their pump on, but yeah, I'd also be surprised if the majority where natural. You can tell by the face bulk. Toby Maguire in Spider-Man, Brad Pitt in Troy, putting on FACE muscle like that in that amount of time is ridiculous.
There's a side effect of steroid use called "moon face (http://evolutionary.org/moon-face-and-steroids/)", which is what you're describing, and is due to water retention. If you are noticing it, that's a good sign of juicing.
...
I suppose another possibility is that movie studios exaggerate how much working out the celebrity did, and how much muscle they gained. If you are a Ben Affleck fan who thinks he's attractive, you might be really inclined to see a movie where he got huge muscles. And movie magic can certainly make a person look better than in person. But much of the weight and muscle gain does indeed appear real (compare Ed Norton in Fight Club to Ed Norton in American History X), which is why I asked the question.

Thanks for the replies!

Lemur866
05-12-2016, 11:28 AM
You can't go from an ordinary in-shape dude to rippling muscles in 6 months without steroids. Yes, they have personal trainers and work out like crazy and eat like crazy. And as you said, at a certain point you can't train any harder in a day. Unless you take steroids.

bump
05-12-2016, 11:29 AM
It's also hard to tell if they're really that huge, or if maybe they're really that cut. I mean, Affleck Channing Tatum and Hemsworth are all large guys to begin with, and might just need to lose fat more than they need to rapidly bulk up, assuming they already work out regularly (which I think in their case is probably a reasonable assumption). That's how bodybuilders do it- in the off season, they're kind of bulky, slightly pudgy looking guys, and then during competition season, they lose all that extra fat and get really lean- they're no more big than before, but now you can see it better.

OTOH, Bradley Cooper in "American Sniper" is a good example of someone who did bulk up quite a bit vs. his usual size and build. I have no idea how long that took him though, so I won't offer any opinions about how he did it.

Moriarty
05-12-2016, 11:44 AM
OTOH, Bradley Cooper in "American Sniper" is a good example of someone who did bulk up quite a bit vs. his usual size and build. I have no idea how long that took him though, so I won't offer any opinions about how he did it.
Per this (http://menshealth.com/fitness/bradley-cooper-weight-gain) article, he gained 40 pound of muscle in 10 weeks...that's simply outrageous.

This (https://t-nation.com/workouts/american-sniper-workout) article purports to give his workout routine, which had him working out twice a day, 5 days a week, for a total of 4 hours per day. As I've argued, this would not result in massive gains for the typical natural athlete...quite the contrary, I'd expect someone to get burned out from the volume of exercise. Not Mr. Cooper, though...the article says he got to where he was doing "rack pulls [basically, the last half of a deadlift] with 425 pounds for 10 reps". Ironically, the link promotes "supplements" that Cooper supposedly used to train, and is found on a website full of pictures of bodybuilders neglecting to mention their hormone usage.

running coach
05-12-2016, 11:57 AM
It's also hard to tell if they're really that huge, or if maybe they're really that cut.

Seriously.
Pierre Van Den Steen (http://bodybuilding.gr/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=63476&d=1363807719). Looks pretty big, right?
Not so much. (https://google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fgetbig.com%2Fboards%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D534497. 0%3Battach%3D563167&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fgetbig.com%2Fboards%2Findex.php%3Ftopic%3D534497.0&docid=bpBNqm4_gdXN0M&tbnid=ioAIRuHUdFoWSM%3A&w=550&h=355&bih=793&biw=1510&ved=0ahUKEwibpsTU8tTMAhVPzGMKHUYBCtIQMwguKA0wDQ&iact=mrc&uact=8)

Sam Lowry
05-12-2016, 12:27 PM
You can't go from an ordinary in-shape dude to rippling muscles in 6 months without steroids. Yes, they have personal trainers and work out like crazy and eat like crazy. And as you said, at a certain point you can't train any harder in a day. Unless you take steroids.

I'd guess that most actors who'd be taking roles where they need to be big and muscley are more than just ordinary in-shape dudes most of the time. An average actor probably works out more than the average person just because they know it's a possibility they'll be trying to get roles that will require looking big and strong. Steroids still might be in play, but it's not like if you hired a guy from my office and tried to get him ready to be an action hero in 6 months.

I'd guess there's also some exaggeration, like exaggerating how many pounds of muscles were put on, and maybe photoshop on photoshoots and CGI on the movie.

Arizona Mike
05-12-2016, 01:14 PM
Most of the accounts of the heroic efforts in the gym that publicity departments put out are either lies, or an indication of steroid use. A non-roided lifter cannot devote 4 hours per day every day in the gym and have good results. If you are using roids, then all the extra workout time and more calories will benefit you - roids enhance the body's ability to increase protein uptake and recovery time.

There are some ways to cheat the appearance - people appear to have a more impressive physique if they have broad shoulders, a wide back, and a narrow waist, so working for reduced mid-section fat while working shoulders and back heavily has a good effect.

Just losing a lot of fat, through cardio, fasting, or clenbuterol will have the effect of making a person look more muscular - a ripped look on camera is more impressive looking than a blocky physique. Brad Pitt looked impressive in Fight Club and undoubtedly lifted hard but much of the impact of that physique was by losing fat, not gaining muscle.

Genetics help as well. Pitt looks like one of those guys who naturally has defined abs if he watches his diet a bit. He was skinny in Thelma and Louise but his abs really popped out. Again, that comes primarily from keeping a low body fat rate, ab work doesn't have much to do with it. The young Iggy Pop had a similar natural build.

Filmmakers usually will pick a target date for filming the shirtless scenes in a movie early in the shooting schedule, as well, and the actor and his trainer will work to peak for that date. The scenes where the actor can wear a shirt are then filmed later, and the actor can go back to a more normal diet and reduced gym schedule. When the scene is shot, he will pump up before the shot with heavy, hi-rep sets to engorge the muscles with blood just before shooting and will have drastically dieted down. Tricks like using red wine and glycerine to increase vascularity before the shirtless shot, or following a ketonic diet (manipulating protein and carb intake to flush the muscles) to peak before the shot (like bodybuilders do before competition night) are also used. Actors don't maintain that level of condition throughout the shoot, it's next to impossible.

Ultimately, actors stand to make a lot of money for a short period of heavy training, and if they look impressive shirtless on camera, are likely to improve their sex lives for years afterwards - young women or men will always remember how they looked in those scenes. Many actors are willing to use any number of other drugs in their personal lives as well, so why should they balk at using performance-enhaning drugs to get a part and make more money?

Push You Down
05-12-2016, 01:24 PM
I don't know why they wouldn't.

gaffa
05-12-2016, 01:54 PM
I don't know why they wouldn't.
Their testes shrinking to the size of peas?

Joey P
05-12-2016, 02:27 PM
but it's not like if you hired a guy from my office and tried to get him ready to be an action hero in 6 months.

Funny you should mention that:
John Krasinski (http://famousbodies.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/article-2510836-198B4BBE00000578-197_634x562.jpg) when he was on The Office.
John Krasinski (http://eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/2016016/rs_634x1024-160116082053-634.john-krasinski.cm.11616.jpg) from 13 Hours.
This is another 2x a day, 5x a week, for 'several weeks' story. Of course, he could have started training months (or even years) ahead of time and only did a final push in the weeks leading up to it after he landed the role and he might have lost a good chunk of it right after the he was done shooting (as I think tends to be the case with Chris Pratt who says he prefers being fat).
And of course there's lighting and makeup to help define the muscles.
Also, I read that for Magic Mike the actors would lift weights between takes to so they'd be nice and 'swole' for the camera (but that was mostly with body builders to begin with).

Sam Lowry
05-12-2016, 03:50 PM
Funny you should mention that:
John Krasinski (http://famousbodies.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/article-2510836-198B4BBE00000578-197_634x562.jpg) when he was on The Office.
John Krasinski (http://eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/2016016/rs_634x1024-160116082053-634.john-krasinski.cm.11616.jpg) from 13 Hours.
This is another 2x a day, 5x a week, for 'several weeks' story. Of course, he could have started training months (or even years) ahead of time and only did a final push in the weeks leading up to it after he landed the role and he might have lost a good chunk of it right after the he was done shooting (as I think tends to be the case with Chris Pratt who says he prefers being fat).
And of course there's lighting and makeup to help define the muscles.
Also, I read that for Magic Mike the actors would lift weights between takes to so they'd be nice and 'swole' for the camera (but that was mostly with body builders to begin with).

John Krasinski is someone who has previously auditioned for other action hero roles like Captain America. He looks decent but doesn't look in peak shape in that beach picture, but I'm guessing it was part of his career plan to stay in shape enough that if an action role came around it wouldn't be impossible for him to get ready. And I don't know exactly how the audition process works, but I'd think part of it is that the actor seems like or proves that they can get in the needed shape.

And lighting and makeup can do wonders. And I wouldn't be surprised if there was also some CGI used to enhance things in many cases. There was an article I read about the CGI used to make an actor look like his younger self in a movie recently, and how CGI is not just being used for story reasons like that, but also to just make people prettier, although the source couldn't name names that it's been used on.

bump
05-12-2016, 04:40 PM
John Krasinski is someone who has previously auditioned for other action hero roles like Captain America. He looks decent but doesn't look in peak shape in that beach picture, but I'm guessing it was part of his career plan to stay in shape enough that if an action role came around it wouldn't be impossible for him to get ready. And I don't know exactly how the audition process works, but I'd think part of it is that the actor seems like or proves that they can get in the needed shape.

And lighting and makeup can do wonders. And I wouldn't be surprised if there was also some CGI used to enhance things in many cases. There was an article I read about the CGI used to make an actor look like his younger self in a movie recently, and how CGI is not just being used for story reasons like that, but also to just make people prettier, although the source couldn't name names that it's been used on.

While I don't doubt that Krasinski did a lot of work for 13 Hours, it looks to me much more like he lost every ounce of body fat and then some, rather than putting on a whole lot of muscle.

Sir T-Cups
05-12-2016, 05:02 PM
While I don't doubt that Krasinski did a lot of work for 13 Hours, it looks to me much more like he lost every ounce of body fat and then some, rather than putting on a whole lot of muscle.

It's been said by you, and basically said upthread, so I'm not really doing much more than just agreeing, but I think this is a lot of the case.

None of these guys were that particularly big to begin with, so really is was more along the lines of just removing the fat, and the muscle is going to show because it's bigger than before, but there's nothing covering it.

They also, because they weren't fat to begin with, don't have the problem of the excess skin. As a wrestling fan I see that a lot in guys who used to be linemen in football and transition to the ring. They usually look great in the arms and have decent shoulders, but their chest and stomach look bad because they went from being fit 300 pound linemen to stronger 250 pound wrestlers.

lisiate
05-12-2016, 05:52 PM
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has a movie coming up called "Central Intelligence." (https://youtube.com/watch?v=MxEw3elSJ8M) He plays a former fat kid, and when he meets up with an old friend from school (Kevin Hart) and says "I just did one thing. I worked out six hours a day. Every day. For twenty years."

Isn't that pretty much the Rock in his own words? He's a pretty good counter example to the usual 'actor got super buff in ten week' nonsense. He's maintained a pretty insane routine for more than 20 years. He boasts of last eating candy in 1989.

There's a really interesting blog by a guy who followed the Rock's routine for a month. You can see the results in this post (http://rockingfor30days.com/the-selfie-debate-battling-vanity-and-the-beforeafter-photos). It's a pretty impressive transformation, but he didn't load on massive slabs of muscle in that time.

Lemur866
05-12-2016, 05:55 PM
Except the way to cut fat while keeping muscle is by juicing.

As a pro/college athlete, they test you for that stuff. And strength is a lot more important than low body fat so your muscles pop. It's a lot easier to keep muscles on when you can keep a couple extra pounds of body fat and aren't simultaneously stuffing your body with protein and starving it of calories. So athletes don't do that.

For actors, models, and entertainers like wrestlers strength is secondary to looking good, and they don't get tested for anything.

msmith537
05-12-2016, 06:05 PM
I feel like it's probably more a combination of diet and exercised to get ripped by losing fat, plus padding in their super suit, plus camera angles. They don't actually need to gain 40 lbs of muscle. They just need to look like they did.

I had read that Afleck's suit was padded and that he is nowhere as big as his massive bodybuilder double.

Ryan Reynolds suit wasn't padded for Deadpool because his naturally tall and lean build was more appropriate for the character.

I feel like Bradley Cooper just ate a shitload of food for American Sniper. He just looked big, but not particularly ripped. Again, who cares if it was cheeseburger muscle? He's not actually becoming a SEAL.


I suppose it's not out of the question that some take steroids. But doesn't that make them look...I don't want to say..."puffy"?


I'm more interested in how actors like Christian Bale go from Mechanic skinny to Batman jacked or Chris Pratt goes from skinny baseball player to Navy SEAL / StarLord.




I mean 30-40 lbs is a lot

beowulff
05-12-2016, 06:24 PM
I read that Ben Affleck had "17" arms" for BM vs SM.

Then, I saw a photo of him... (http://dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2736156/Ben-Affleck-shows-buff-arms-fitted-T-shirt-heads-meeting-Beverly-Hills.html)

Yeah, right. Another Hollywood exaggeration, like age or weight.

Sage Rat
05-12-2016, 06:32 PM
I'm more interested in how actors like Christian Bale go from Mechanic skinny to Batman jacked or Chris Pratt goes from skinny baseball player to Navy SEAL / StarLord.
Pratt may have had a bit of latent muscle just by virtue of having been a bit pudgy. Having a lot of excess weight is, in some ways, equivalent to walking around with a bunch of weight equipment strapped to you all of the time. Losing weight may simply have helped to reveal all the muscles he already had.

Just conjecture, mind.

Simplicio
05-12-2016, 09:12 PM
There was a pretty good article a few years ago about how the increasing demands for male action-stars to have really defined muscles and low body-fat had made the job much more physically demanding than it used to be. The routines people have to go through sound pretty miserable.

Another factor is that a lot of people start getting those jobs in their twenties, when its possible to keep that physique naturally, but then are expected to keep it for films in their 30's and 40's, when trying to remain a muscle bound adonis becomes increasingly unrealistic, even if your spending all your time in the gym.

Hugh Jackman (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/hugh_jackman) is a good example. He had a muscular but fairly natural physique 16 years ago when playing Wolverine when he was 29. Now at 47, he's pretty clearly turned to some artificial help to continue playing the frequently shirt-less mutant.

Anyhoo, the take-away of the article is that pretty much every male action star over the age of 30 is using some sort of steroids.

treis
05-12-2016, 10:16 PM
This study says 6.5% of males have used steroids:

http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24582699

So yeah, they're pretty much all juiced. It is enormously difficult to be 30+, have visible abs, and be muscular. What people picture today when they think of a superhero male type body is essentially impossible without steroids. It's a bit like how the high rate of obesity has reset our definition of fat.

beowulff
05-12-2016, 10:24 PM
This study says 6.5% of males have used steroids:

http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24582699

So yeah, they're pretty much all juiced. It is enormously difficult to be 30+, have visible abs, and be muscular. What people picture today when they think of a superhero male type body is essentially impossible without steroids. It's a bit like how the high rate of obesity has reset our definition of fat.

I wouldn't say enormously...
Just difficult.

It is certainly hard to be super-hero huge and cut without chemical help, but lean, muscular and defined is possible well past your 50's with just dedication and determination.

The Other Waldo Pepper
05-12-2016, 10:30 PM
I feel like it's probably more a combination of diet and exercised to get ripped by losing fat, plus padding in their super suit, plus camera angles. They don't actually need to gain 40 lbs of muscle. They just need to look like they did.

I had read that Afleck's suit was padded and that he is nowhere as big as his massive bodybuilder double.

Ryan Reynolds suit wasn't padded for Deadpool because his naturally tall and lean build was more appropriate for the character.

I feel like Bradley Cooper just ate a shitload of food for American Sniper. He just looked big, but not particularly ripped. Again, who cares if it was cheeseburger muscle? He's not actually becoming a SEAL.

That said, Chris Evans went shirtless to look like a superhero who took steroids.

Miller
05-12-2016, 10:30 PM
But, everything I've read and seen has taught me that training for hours each day leads to overtraining, which can actually make you weaker.

I'm basically a human pudding, so I know fuck all about weight training. But this bit here, about overtraining - does it just make you weaker, or does it also reduce muscle definition? Because Chris Hemsworth only has to look strong. If overtraining gives you big, useless muscles, that's all they really need for the movies.

But you're probably right about steroid use anyway.

beowulff
05-12-2016, 10:38 PM
I'm basically a human pudding, so I know fuck all about weight training. But this bit here, about overtraining - does it just make you weaker, or does it also reduce muscle definition? Because Chris Hemsworth only has to look strong. If overtraining gives you big, useless muscles, that's all they really need for the movies.

But you're probably right about steroid use anyway.

Mostly, you just get stuck.
So, your muscles stay the same size, you might lose a bit of strength, but you make no progress.

So, yeah, it's probably OK for a actor.

Ambivalid
05-12-2016, 10:38 PM
It is impossible to put on 40lbs of lean mass in 10 weeks without drugs. Impossible. 10 pounds of lean mass in one year would be an excellent gain naturally.

ETA: Shit, 40lbs of muscle in 10 weeks just sounds impossible, even with drugs.

Moriarty
05-12-2016, 11:13 PM
It is enormously difficult to be 30+, have visible abs, and be muscular. What people picture today when they think of a superhero male type body is essentially impossible without steroids. It's a bit like how the high rate of obesity has reset our definition of fat.
Sorry, but I have to disagree; gyms are full of fit, lean, and muscular people over 30 years of age. Hell, I'm 38, and after 6 weeks of serious lifting and nutrition (i.e. heavy duty barbell exercises, 6 nutrient dense meals a day, tons of water) my muscles are starting to pop and I can see my abs (in good lighting, or first thing in the morning)...it's what prompted the question.

Of course, I owe my development to my formative years in my late teens and early 20's, when I never skipped workouts and went for years exercising intensely. I'm basically "getting back" in shape now, which I consider eminently doable. And I expect that something similar often happens when actors get ready for roles: they cut fat and pump up the muscles they already have. John Krasinski looks like he could have done that, in my opinion.

What I question, though, is the ridiculous claims of putting on 20, 30, or 40 pounds of muscles in just months...it's not realistic, unless a) it is a lie, or b) it is accompanied by performance enhancing drugs.

I'm basically a human pudding, so I know fuck all about weight training. But this bit here, about overtraining - does it just make you weaker, or does it also reduce muscle definition? Because Chris Hemsworth only has to look strong. If overtraining gives you big, useless muscles, that's all they really need for the movies.
Muscle definition is a function of bodyfat. But overtraining does more than just cause a plateau; muscle building is an adaptive response to the stress of exercise, and occurs when your body has a chance to rest. If you overtrain, your body never gets sufficient rest, and your muscles will break down. Symptoms of overtraining are very much like being sick - you may lose appetite, get depressed, feel tired. It actively sabotages muscle gains.

It is impossible to put on 40lbs of lean mass in 10 weeks without drugs. Impossible. 10 pounds of lean mass in one year would be an excellent gain naturally.

ETA: Shit, 40lbs of muscle in 10 weeks just sounds impossible, even with drugs.
I completely agree.

treis
05-13-2016, 01:50 AM
Sorry, but I have to disagree; gyms are full of fit, lean, and muscular people over 30 years of age.

Gyms are also full of people that use steroids.

Fiveyearlurker
05-13-2016, 08:52 AM
Gyms are also full of people that use steroids.

I just turned 40, have never used steroids, and have visible abs (not to the Hollywood extent because I do like the occasional slice of cake!) and muscular. But, that said, I've done it largely by working out 4-5 times per week for the past 23 years, not in 12 weeks!

Also, I've looked into HGH and other things we've discussed up thread. For the most part moderate use of performance enhancing drugs is something that I will likely initiate in the next 5-10 years. There is a Reefer Madness level of hysteria around this issue that is completely disproportionate to the actual data.

treis
05-13-2016, 09:30 AM
I just turned 40, have never used steroids, and have visible abs (not to the Hollywood extent because I do like the occasional slice of cake!) and muscular. But, that said, I've done it largely by working out 4-5 times per week for the past 23 years, not in 12 weeks!


Not to the Hollywood extent because the Hollywood extent requires steroids. I think we need to talk about the degree here. When I said what I did I was picturing something Hugh Jackman:

http://bodybuilding.com/fun/mutant-strength-hugh-jackmans-wolverine-workout-plan.html

That level of musculature and leanness isn't possible natural at his age.

ivylass
05-13-2016, 09:57 AM
What about the flip side, where actors lose a ton of weight for a role, like Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club? Could he have used illegal weight loss supplements?

According to this (https://accesshollywood.com/articles/matthew-mcconaughey-reveals-diet-for-extreme-dallas-buyers-club-weight-loss-137739/), he ate five ounces of fish and a cup of vegetables twice a day, did get a small breakfast and some wine, and exercised vigorously.

I can't see how these rapid weight gains and losses for a role are at all healthy in the long run.

I know athletes like Michael Phelps eat a ton, but they're also working out and training all day, since it's their job.

Sam Lowry
05-13-2016, 10:09 AM
I can't see how these rapid weight gains and losses for a role are at all healthy in the long run.


I would guess that even if done 100% without drugs or chemicals, it still isn't healthy. I'm sure that Christian Bale has shortened his lifespan considering the extremes he's gone to of skinniness and bulkiness, though I wouldn't be able to guess how much. I'm far from an expert, but I'd guess that getting skinnier or bulkier might be okay, or maybe getting super skinny or super buff for that one star making role and it's just a short time and then mostly staying around your normal weight is okay, but that going to extremes in relatively short periods of time repeatedly can't be good overall.

Enter the Flagon
05-13-2016, 10:19 AM
That level of musculature and leanness isn't possible natural at his age.

Not only that, but that level of size and leanness wasn't even seen in bodybuilding competitions until steroid use became commonplace.

ivylass
05-13-2016, 10:56 AM
Re: Overtraining...I know you must give your body a rest while strength training. IIRC, strength training involves making microscopic tears in your muscles. Resting gives them time to heal, which makes them bigger/stronger. I've heard multiple times you must give yourself at least 24 hours rest.

dasmoocher
05-13-2016, 11:32 AM
I have a non-actor steroid question. I knew a guy who was listed as 6'4 and 185 lbs. as a high school Sr. Four years later, he was the starting tackle on the team that won the NCAA D1 football national championship. He was listed as 6'5 and 290 lbs.

Could you gain over a 100 lbs in four years without steroids? I realize that a major college football program is going to have an intense strength program, but a 100 lbs seems a bit unnatural.

Enter the Flagon
05-13-2016, 12:07 PM
Depends. I could get to 290 pounds if I wanted, but a whole lot of it would be fat.

I knew a guy who played defensive line at a major college, and according to him, the whole team was on PED's. He said that the choice was either to take them or get bumped off the team by somebody who was taking them - they're that effective. But he said that HGH was much more popular than steroids were.

No way for me to verify what he was saying, but bear in mind that an NFL physician was complaining about rampant steroid use as far back as the early '80's, and since then, players haven't gotten any smaller or weaker.

beowulff
05-13-2016, 12:10 PM
Not to the Hollywood extent because the Hollywood extent requires steroids. I think we need to talk about the degree here. When I said what I did I was picturing something Hugh Jackman:

http://bodybuilding.com/fun/mutant-strength-hugh-jackmans-wolverine-workout-plan.html

That level of musculature and leanness isn't possible natural at his age.

That's not true.
I'll look like that (or close) in 6-9 months, and I'm 100% natural, and 56...

Arcite
05-13-2016, 01:02 PM
Not only that, but that level of size and leanness wasn't even seen in bodybuilding competitions until steroid use became commonplace.

No kidding. Sean Connery was considered a "bodybuilder" (https://google.com/search?q=sean+connery+bodybuilder&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjknPDHwtfMAhUK7yYKHXywCbcQ_AUIBygB&biw=1280&bih=899&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=Ah2KAoPixw_N8M%3A) when he was young. Compare those pictures of him to the way Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson looks today. And I can't believe someone suggested upthread that The Rock is natural. He's continued to get bigger into his forties, a time when natural testosterone is declining. No way he's not juicing.

beowulff
05-13-2016, 01:12 PM
Well, you know....
It's not just chemistry that has improved in the last 60 years. The Science of bodybuilding has improved, too, and with the much improved training techniques and better diets, average Joes can become more muscular than bodybuilders of the past.


This doesn't mean that Hollywood action stars aren't juicing - they probably are, but all the people who say it's "impossible" to do something like put on lean muscle naturally past your 40's are mistaken.

BigT
05-13-2016, 01:56 PM
Speaking of only having to look strong, might it be possible to use that filler that some guys do, but make it look real, instead of comical? Even if only to add to the bulk a little bit?

I do know it's possible to add (apparent) muscle definition with makeup and contouring, as well.

Ambivalid
05-13-2016, 02:18 PM
Speaking of only having to look strong, might it be possible to use that filler that some guys do, but make it look real, instead of comical? Even if only to add to the bulk a little bit?

I do know it's possible to add (apparent) muscle definition with makeup and contouring, as well.

Its called Synthol. While what you say seems possible, it seems unlikely due to the health risks involved with such injections.

beowulff
05-13-2016, 02:21 PM
Its called Synthol. While what you say seems possible, it seems unlikely due to the health risks involved with such injections.

Oh, geeze...
Some of the photos of morons who have used that stuff... [shudder].

I can't stand when those bozos are called "bodybuilders" by the media, and lauded for having "the world's biggest arms," etc.

treis
05-13-2016, 02:25 PM
I have a non-actor steroid question. I knew a guy who was listed as 6'4 and 185 lbs. as a high school Sr. Four years later, he was the starting tackle on the team that won the NCAA D1 football national championship. He was listed as 6'5 and 290 lbs.

Could you gain over a 100 lbs in four years without steroids? I realize that a major college football program is going to have an intense strength program, but a 100 lbs seems a bit unnatural.

Here's a study about FFMI which says:

The normalized FFMI values of athletes who had not used steroids extended up to a well-defined limit of 25.0. Similarly, a sample of 20 Mr. America winners from the presteroid era (1939-1959), for whom we estimated the normalized FFMI, had a mean FFMI of 25.4. By contrast, the FFMI of many of the steroid users in our sample easily exceeded 25.0, and that of some even exceeded 30.

http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7496846

FFMI is a calculation based on your fat free mass and height. Looking at the NFL draft combine, there were 6 linebackers that measured at 6'. Their weight ranged from 226 to 245. Assuming 15% body fat, the lightest of them has a FFMI of 26 while the heaviest is 28.5. Assuming 10%, the lightest is at 27.8 while the heaviest is 30.1. The obvious conclusion here is that they're basically all on steroids or other PEDs.

Look at it logically. We know that PEDs are very effective. Depending on a lot of factors we are talking about the ability to put on muscle at 2-3x the rate and to top out at a bigger amount of muscle over baseline. For a natural person to make up for that they would have to have a corresponding advantage in genes, routine, diet, or something else. But if that special sauce is anything but genes, the steroid users are going to do the same thing and will still win.

Lowdown
05-13-2016, 03:55 PM
I feel like Bradley Cooper just ate a shitload of food for American Sniper. He just looked big, but not particularly ripped. Again, who cares if it was cheeseburger muscle? He's not actually becoming a SEAL.

This is either here nor there, but the first active-duty SEAL I ever met was a short, pudgy dude who looked like Rick from Magnum P.I. It was a total fucking bummer.

epbrown01
05-13-2016, 05:11 PM
Their testes shrinking to the size of peas?

That happens because the body drops its own production when your test levels are up due to steroids. When you stop using 'roids, they return to normal. No one ever mentions that.

Gyms are also full of people that use steroids.

Not really. This is another part of 'roid hysteria - that everyone that looks better than you must be juicing because, darn it, you work out three hours a week and you don't look like that. The percentage of people using steroids, I last read, was .5 percent of the population, about a million people, spread out across the entire country. Assuming an even distribution at your local gym, you'd be lucky to see one guy at Planet Fitness using steroids. And the truth is, if you're going to a national chain to workout, you've likely never seen someone "roided up" as they prefer hardcore gyms that cater to people who workout at a different level.

It's likely these actors did a "cycle" of steroids to prepare for a role. It's unlikely they did so on a treadmill or spin class at Planet Fitness or the like.

Fiveyearlurker
05-13-2016, 05:40 PM
That happens because the body drops its own production when your test levels are up due to steroids. When you stop using 'roids, they return to normal. No one ever mentions that.


While we're on the subject, roid rage isn't a real thing either.

treis
05-13-2016, 06:19 PM
The percentage of people using steroids, I last read, was .5 percent of the population, about a million people, spread out across the entire country. Assuming an even distribution at your local gym, you'd be lucky to see one guy at Planet Fitness using steroids. And the truth is, if you're going to a national chain to workout, you've likely never seen someone "roided up" as they prefer hardcore gyms that cater to people who workout at a different level.

That's not good reasoning because people who don't lift weights regularly aren't likely to take steroids. And I do go to a national chain and there are people there that I am 99.99% sure are on steroids because they have ridiculous physiques. Beyond that, most steroid users don't look like gigantic monstrosities. Taken from this reddit thread (https://reddit.com/r/steroids/comments/2jfy14/does_anyone_actually_have_progress_pictures/) (and others) here are a bunch of people who use steroids:

http://i.imgur.com/e3KQyZx.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/FEWchpk.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/QlXjPS6.jpg
http://imgur.com/a/aKDx1#0
http://imgur.com/a/2cokS
http://imgur.com/74Dv6cd
http://imgur.com/4D9nBek
http://i.imgur.com/capiMW0.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/0muTUN1.jpeg
http://i.imgur.com/4YqqdHb.jpg

You're telling me you don't see people like that at a national chain type gym?

Ambivalid
05-13-2016, 07:23 PM
That happens because the body drops its own production when your test.
There are drugs (hcg) that prevent testicular atrophy when using steroids.

TonySinclair
05-13-2016, 08:15 PM
I'm not disputing much of what's been said here, but it's also true that there are guys who are just blessed when it comes to genetics, and really can make amazing transformations in a short time.

Back in the late 40's, before steroids, Steve Reeves would make the other bodybuilders frustrated by how quickly he could go from out-of-shape to Mr. Universe, training several hours a day. Yes, bulk up and trim down was a common technique, even then, but he amazed even other Mr. Universe winners with what he could do in a couple months.

And I witnessed an amazing transformation first-hand with a guy in my basic training unit at Ft. Lewis, back in the 70's. He was a poor, skinny kid from the ghetto, who apparently had never had enough to eat at home. I'd guess he put on about 20 pounds of solid muscle in eight weeks, just from running, pushups, pullups, and eating all he wanted.

AK84
05-14-2016, 04:31 PM
Well I think it depends. Chris Pratt's transformations for his roles are quite striking (http://bustle.com/articles/34645-chris-pratt-is-buff-now-so-how-will-everyone-on-parks-and-rec-react-to-andys), however, his basic body type has not changed, (http://businessinsider.com/how-chris-pratt-got-in-shape-for-jurassic-park-sequel-jurassic-world-2015-6).

Bradley Cooper OTH, looked has whole different body type (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a3/ea/e1/a3eae1ac7871c5075733c5c75b4e7c26.jpg) from what he normally looks like. (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/9d/26/d3/9d26d3c374b16c2187688e5e449b4e92.jpg).

SO, while I have no way of knowing, I would, if pushed guess that Pratt used the gym and diet, Cooper has an assist from certain.............. substances.

AK84
05-14-2016, 04:40 PM
Incidentally, Hollywood Reporter says that PED use is rampant in Hollywood. (http://hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywood-steroid-use-a-list-609091)

bump
05-15-2016, 09:25 PM
This is either here nor there, but the first active-duty SEAL I ever met was a short, pudgy dude who looked like Rick from Magnum P.I. It was a total fucking bummer.

My uncle used to be a paratrooper Lieutenant Colonel. Not a physically imposing kind of guy at all.

But... he does have a sort of tough, resolute feeling about him like you could pull his fingernails off trying to torture him, and he'd just yawn and ask if you're done yet.

Moriarty
05-15-2016, 11:08 PM
Incidentally, Hollywood Reporter says that PED use is rampant in Hollywood. (http://hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywood-steroid-use-a-list-609091)
Ha! I knew my hunch had legs!

From the link

...It comes as no surprise that few in the Hollywood spotlight admit to imbibing for fear of stigmatization. Oliver Stone, Nick Nolte and Dixie Carter -- who all extol the anti-aging benefits of HGH -- are among the exceptions. Charlie Sheen told Sports Illustrated that he took steroids to prep for his role as a pitcher in 1989's Major League. Mickey Rourke and Arnold Schwarzenegger also have opened up about using PEDs...

...Several talent agents and managers interviewed for this piece chuckle at how steroid and HGH use is the new worst-kept secret in showbiz, the "no duh" cousin of Botox and Restylane, and point to scrawny actors who quickly morphed into he-men for roles. Studios largely have turned a blind eye to the practice, they contend.

In fact, studios might be part of the problem, with their tight schedules and Herculean expectations. An actor typically trains for just one to two months before tackling a body-intensive role, a far cry from the regimen of the professional athletes whose bodies they mirror...

The article emphasizes that Henry Cavill trained naturally to play Superman, but it says that Tyler Perry and 50 Cent allegedly ordered performance-enhancing drugs from doctors and pharmacists who were targeted in a New York criminal probe. And it drops a juicy anecdote without naming names...Hugh Jackman, perhaps?

In 2005, a 30-something actor on the precipice of superstardom began prepping for a lead feature role that required ample spotlight on his abs. The actor met with the film's trainer and outlined the performance-enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone (HGH), he already had been taking. The trainer, a firm believer that a chiseled physique should be achieved naturally, recused himself from working with the actor...That actor, now an A-lister who continues to cash in on his impressive torso is just one of Hollywood's growing list of stars who turn to injectable HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) amid the ever-competitive world of looking great at any age.

Merneith
05-15-2016, 11:24 PM
I have no doubt that any number of actors use drugs to maintain their physiques, but in Hollywood movies, these days, at least some of what you're seeing is CGI.

Nava
05-16-2016, 09:44 AM
I have no doubt that any number of actors use drugs to maintain their physiques, but in Hollywood movies, these days, at least some of what you're seeing is CGI.

Agreed. I came out of Deadpool thinking that while RR shows quite a bit of skin, in most scenes he looks like a normal human being (well, his body I mean, I'm not talking about Deadpool's mind). But there is one scene where he looks like his muscle's edges could cut laser beams; in every other one, he looks yummy but not sharp enough to scare light. I assumed CGI touch-up, it's not as if there wasn't a computers budget!

Poysyn
05-16-2016, 03:18 PM
Ha! I knew my hunch had legs!

From the link



The article emphasizes that Henry Cavill trained naturally to play Superman, but it says that Tyler Perry and 50 Cent allegedly ordered performance-enhancing drugs from doctors and pharmacists who were targeted in a New York criminal probe. And it drops a juicy anecdote without naming names...Hugh Jackman, perhaps?

The comments suggest Gerard Butler (who I am also in love with).

TonySinclair
06-05-2016, 02:41 PM
I'm not disputing much of what's been said here, but it's also true that there are guys who are just blessed when it comes to genetics, and really can make amazing transformations in a short time.

Back in the late 40's, before steroids, Steve Reeves would make the other bodybuilders frustrated by how quickly he could go from out-of-shape to Mr. Universe, training several hours a day. Yes, bulk up and trim down was a common technique, even then, but he amazed even other Mr. Universe winners with what he could do in a couple months.

And I witnessed an amazing transformation first-hand with a guy in my basic training unit at Ft. Lewis, back in the 70's. He was a poor, skinny kid from the ghetto, who apparently had never had enough to eat at home. I'd guess he put on about 20 pounds of solid muscle in eight weeks, just from running, pushups, pullups, and eating all he wanted.

With all the attention the death of Ali is getting, it occurs to me that he's a perfect example of what I was referring to. Look at the iconic photo (http://static.boxrec.com/thumb/c/c4/Ali-Liston_II.jpg/450px-Ali-Liston_II.jpg) of him standing over Liston. AFAIK he never touched a weight; he just did roadwork, hit the heavy and light bag, and sparred. He may also have done some bodyweight exercises, but he never lifted weights the way even junior high kids do today. A few months on a serious bodybuilding program would have turned him into a monster.

And if the reports can be believed, Herschel Walker (http://theathleticbuild.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/163215_493254688228_61345743228_6180677_5490445_n_large.jpg) also never touched a weight, and he WAS a monster.

Johnny Ace
06-05-2016, 03:09 PM
Re: Overtraining...I know you must give your body a rest while strength training. IIRC, strength training involves making microscopic tears in your muscles. Resting gives them time to heal, which makes them bigger/stronger. I've heard multiple times you must give yourself at least 24 hours rest.

Absolutely. When I worked out, I'd do 7 days a week because I loved it, but I'd focus on upper body/core one day and lower body the next. My big issues with it were the need to watch your diet like a hawk and the massive food intake. I spent more time preparing food than I did actually working out. (Constant body aches were only a minor annoyance.)

Enter the Flagon
06-05-2016, 06:00 PM
Back in the late 40's, before steroids, Steve Reeves would make the other bodybuilders frustrated by how quickly he could go from out-of-shape to Mr. Universe, training several hours a day. Yes, bulk up and trim down was a common technique, even then, but he amazed even other Mr. Universe winners with what he could do in a couple months.

And I witnessed an amazing transformation first-hand with a guy in my basic training unit at Ft. Lewis, back in the 70's. He was a poor, skinny kid from the ghetto, who apparently had never had enough to eat at home. I'd guess he put on about 20 pounds of solid muscle in eight weeks, just from running, pushups, pullups, and eating all he wanted.

Steve Reeves may have been using Testosterone Proprionate, a drug which predates his bodybuilding career, and was reputedly mentioned in a bodybuilding magazine as early as 1938.


I was also one of those guys who was considered genetically gifted because of the "amazing" gains I made in my first 9 months of lifting. But eventually those gains leveled off until I hit a plateau, and then another, beyond which every pound of muscle I gained was accompanied by a pound of fat. And while I had no trouble regaining my former shape in a hurry, at my best I never looked as good as Steve Reeves.

Still I think it's possible that Reeves was a (perhaps the last great) natural bodybuilder - I guess there's no way to know.

And if the reports can be believed, Herschel Walker also never touched a weight, and he WAS a monster.

Herschel was trained by the great powerlifter Terry Todd, who apparently had Herschel doing a custom program that did not include weights, but did include heavy resistance training. Whether or not Herschel is a genetic freak, Terry Todd inarguably knows a great deal about steroids and their effects on the body, and we can't assume that Walker was clean based only on his lack of weight training.

BigT
06-05-2016, 10:20 PM
Its called Synthol. While what you say seems possible, it seems unlikely due to the health risks involved with such injections.

I've never thought that actors were really big on health risks--at least, early on when they're trying to make it big. Changing your weight as drastically as some do isn't healthy either. And there's a huge history of eating disorders.

Don't know if they do, but nice to know it could be possible. I thought maybe there just wasn't a way to make it look real.

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