Getting into sword-fighting shape to play the titular character in “The Legend of Hercules” wasn’t too difficult for the self-proclaimed “always active” Kellan Lutz.
“It’s a lifestyle,” says the star, who says he likes to make his workouts fun. “I live in Venice Beach, so it’s either going for runs on the boardwalk or playing basketball or volleyball with friends.”
But when what he calls “the movie of my dreams” rolled around, he had to get in fighting shape — and fast. “By the time I got the role I had nine days to get to Bulgaria and start shooting,” he says. “So the idea of Hercules that I wanted to do I kinda threw out the window.”
Lutz says he stuck to his standard routine while working on the role — moves like pushups, squats, leg-lifts and lunges that “work out multiple muscles of the body.” On days it was possible, he worked out twice a day. And while there were dumbbells and some other equipment at the shoots, Lutz calls his TRX “my best friend on film sets because you just bring this band around and use your own body weight.” He also did some specialty workouts that came in handy for his particular role, like riding on a motorized horse saddle and practicing his deftness with a sword.
But playing a Greek god known for his strength also meant that Lutz had to keep up his healthy lifestyle out of the gym. Lutz began following the Paleo diet for the role — embracing meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts and other unprocessed foods — and hasn’t stopped.
“[It] gave me the energy that I needed, it gave me the tightness that I needed for the role, for it being in 3D,” he says with a laugh. Among his favorite Paleo-friendly foods: juices from Equinox gyms and a quinoa salad with salmon, avocado and pomegranate. “Deleting gluten out of your diet and deleting all the candy that I love, and doing high-protein and multiple meals throughout the day, and vegetables, I just felt great. I really just felt like I looked great too, in the kind of shape that I hadn’t been in before.”
Steal his gym move
Doing the same routine at the gym gets boring — Lutz knows that all too well. So he likes to play a game with himself that determines where his gym time will take him. He takes a deck of cards to the gym and leaves the decision up to them: If he guesses a card’s color correctly, he has to do as many reps of pushups or crunches as the number on the card. So for example, if he guesses red and a red Jack shows up, he does 11 pushups. If he guesses wrong and a black card shows up, he does double the reps on the card. “It’s fun and it’s always different,” he says of the routine.