Famous A-list actor Chris Pratt got himself in incredible shape for his role as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. Known mostly as the hefty sidekick in a number of movies and television shows, the question is, “How did he do it?”
Famous actors have taken on superhero roles before Pratt and had done the same. From Ryan Reynolds in Blade: Trinity or Christian Bale as Batman to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man, it’s common practice for Hollywood’s leading men to put on a little muscle or get ripped prior to donning the tights for a big-budget blockbuster. That said, few have had the transformation Pratt did when he went from Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation to one of the most adventurous misfits in the Marvel Universe.
While Guardians of the Galaxy was arguably Pratt’s big break, this wasn’t the first time the actor had lost weight for a role. In 2012, and before Guardians, Pratt had to get in shape for the Oscar-winning film Zero Dark Thirty. He was able to become a believable Navy Seal. The difference between then and the second time was that Pratt was doing 500 push-ups a day, working out at the gym, running five miles a day, and starving himself. He felt terrible, injured himself often, and wound up needing shoulder surgery. Without the proper coaching, he found out that simply losing weight was not the right way to go. So, to become Star-Lord, what did Pratt do differently? Here are 15 things that turned the overweight comedic goofball into the hunky, slimmed-down buff heartthrob.
Of course, any good workout where one is going to get ripped for a movie includes a routine that incorporates weight training.
Pratt had a variety of workouts but one included Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and each day were dedicated to different body parts.
For example, Monday was Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets RPT, Incline DB Bench Press: 3 sets RPT, Cable Rows: Rest-Pause. Incline DB Curls: 3 sets RPT. Bent Over Flyes: Rest Pause. Wednesday and Friday were other body parts of his body. He had cardio dates and other combinations of workouts and rest in-between. By the time Pratt was done, he weighed around 190-195 pounds with 10-11% body fat. His shoulders and arms had great separation, his chest was well-shaped, and his abs were well defined, making him look like a real superhero.
14. No “Partying”
One of the first things Pratt did was cut out beer. When he was trying to gain weight for his other roles where being bigger was the goal, he said that not only did he eat everything that was in front of him, but he drank the darkest beer and a lot of it. When realizing he needed to shed 60 pounds, beer was the first thing to go.
Sometimes they say, a good way to lose weight is to realize what the one or two things you eat regularly that you know are not good for you and simply cut them out.
13. 3-4 Hours Per Day Of Hard Work (300 Pounds To…)
Today, he doesn’t put nearly the amount of work he does into his workouts, but that is simply because he is trying to maintain what he’s worked so hard to achieve. But, in order to get into the shape,
he needed to shed the pounds in a healthy way so he had to put in about 3-4 hours a day of hard work.
This included not only his workouts (cardio and weight training) but committing to eating right and drinking lots of water. Pratt was pushing 300 pounds when he was at his heaviest, and he needed to get that weight down in a hurry. That drastic a change meant a lot of long and hard days of working to get his body into the shape he needed for the studio to feel good about casting him as Star-Lord.
12. Personal Trainer And A Nutritionist
Here’s the part that a lot of us, everyday Joes, don’t get to take much advantage of. But when you’re a famous actor with a huge movie studio wanting to ensure you get in tip-top shape, you’ll have a little money to help back your success. Nothing helps more than having experts in your corner guiding you along the way.
Marvel paired Pratt with personal trainer Duffy Gaver, and nutritionist Phil Goglia.
Goglia wrote a book entitled Turn Up the Heat: Unlock the Fat Burning Power of Your Metabolism, and he was able to completely alter Pratt’s diet, dramatically upping his caloric intake to 4,000 calories a day and adding lots and lots of water. The trick was eating right, working out properly, and fueling his body to start becoming a machine.
11. The Well Known P90X Program
One of the most famous workouts in the last decade, Pratt used P90X to get himself into shape.
A mix of cardio, weight-training, plyometrics, abs, yoga, and other types of workouts rolled into an easy-to-follow but taxing workout made for quick results.
P90x has sold more than 4 million copies of their training program and many celebrities and everyday dudes swear by what the program can do in a short amount of time. The program boasts that you’ll see amazing results in just 90 days, and if the trainers Pratt was working with put him on the program as part of his routine, then you know it has to work. It’s not an easy program to do consistently over 90 days. So if you’re going to do it, you have to stay committed.
10. Running (While Listening To A Lot Of Books On Tape)
The first time Pratt lost a ton of weight, he said he’d been running about 5 miles per day. That’s a lot, especially if you’re not taking in food to properly fuel your body to help the running be effective. But,
running was part of Pratt’s regular routine as he was trying to shed 50-60 pounds for his role as Star-Lord.
It was likely much more difficult early on when Pratt was at his heaviest. Carrying a huge load of almost 300 pounds and running with it can have hard consequences on the back and knees. With a trainer, the two must have found the right amount of running to make it work for the goals Pratt was trying to achieve. Today, he runs but not nearly as much as he did when he was trying to drop the weight in a hurry. Pratt said he listened to a lot of books on tape when he ran.
9. Lots And Lots Of Swimming
One of the best workouts anyone can do is swimming. It’s an amazing cardio workout but it also causes a lot less strain on the bones and joints of the human body. It’s a good workout for anyone. But for folks who are bigger, it’s amazing because it allows for a complete workout with resistance but little pain. When Pratt was first starting to lose the weight, swimming was likely a regular item on his training schedule.
Swimming not only requires you to move your whole body against the resistance of the water but it is an all-around activity
8. Kickboxing (3-4 Hours/Day)
Another amazing cardio workout is kickboxing. You’ll find it in a number of workout programs, and Pratt utilized the exercise found in the martial art for his training as well. Some of the areas that kickboxing can really affect in a positive way are the heart, joints, strength, balance, and coordination. It’s a great way to tame stress too and looks pretty bad-a*s if you appear like you know what you’re doing.
Kickboxing was likely one of the more physically demanding workouts Pratt did,
but he wouldn’t be the first to use the technique. Tom Hardy‘s training program for his role as Venom in the upcoming Spider-Man series relied a lot on workouts like kickboxing. When Pratt referenced three or four hours a day of just consistent a*s-kicking hard work, this is likely one of the things he was referring to.
For those who have heard of the term triathlon but don’t really know what it is, the easiest way to describe it is to say that it’s swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances. It’s extremely taxing and not something Pratt would have done in the early stages of trying to lose his excess weight.
Pratt raced his triathlon in support of Mike Day, a retired wounded warrior who served for more than 21 years in the Navy, 20 of which were as a Navy SEAL.
He found Day’s story motivational and figured if a person like Day (who’d be shot 27 times) can race a triathlon, Pratt could too. Pratt found that the toughest part was the open water swimming since most of his swim training was done in a pool.
6. Staying Committed (And Being Offered A LOT To Do So)
Most workout enthusiasts will tell you that the hardest part about really losing the weight and getting into tip-top shape is sticking with it. They say anything becomes a routine if you do it enough and the hardest part of becoming healthier is the first month. After that, you and your body sort of get used to the idea of getting up, eating nutritious foods, and getting your workouts in.
Pratt had a very good reason to stay committed to this body transformation. He was being offered the movie role of a lifetime and the big bucks and exposure that would come from starring in a Marvel Universe film. Had he not lost the weight, he likely would have been replaced by another actor. And, can you imagine anyone else playing the character of Star-Lord other than Pratt?
5. Being Believable
Part of the idea of staying committed wasn’t just to earn the role of Star-Lord. But, the idea was that Pratt needed to be a believable thief in space who would also become a superhero.
You don’t get to be that way if you’re overweight and pushing 300 pounds that isn’t muscle.
Pratt has worked hard for roles before where he plays a character that has to look a certain way. He’s gained weight for movies and TV, and he’s lost it too. This transformation was something that he needed to not only achieve but be able to maintain because a number of sequels and spin-offs were likely to come as a result of being part of the Marvel Universe. Could you imagine Pratt space-hopping and piloting his spacecraft if his belly was hanging over the stirring controls?
4. Ate More Food
One of the misconceptions about getting into fantastic shape is that most people believe they need to diet and restrict food. Pratt thought that too, as it was what he did for his first role in a movie where he had to lose a ton of weight. But, the real trick is doing the opposite. To get one’s body working like a machine that helps the fat-burning process, one has to eat better foods and more of them. Pratt upped his caloric intake to over 4000 per day, and he cut out the crap that was making him fat. He said,
“I actually lost weight by eating more food, but eating the right food, eating healthy foods, and so when I was done with the movie my body hadn’t been in starvation mode,”
Pratt told People magazine. “It wasn’t like I was triggered to just gorge myself and get really fat again.” That’s the real secret. Pratt had to be taught what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat it, and how it affected his results. Eat more, not less, but eat the right things.
3. Worked Out Less (Hit The Right Spots)
While Pratt worked out a ton to get into shape, he’s on record saying that he now only works out for an hour at a time and about four days per week at the most. He’s doing this to maintain the weight and body that he’s got now after working so hard.
Another secret to getting in shape is what workouts you do and not how long you do them.
You can run five miles per day, but if you don’t push your body or get your heart rate moving, fluctuating, and increasing during your workouts, too much of any exercise just isn’t good. You can achieve a lot more if you do the right workouts, hit the right spots, and give your body time to rest and recuperate.
2. Drank Tons Of Water
If you’re going to drink anything as you’re busting your butt to get in shape, the idea is to drink a ton of water. In fact, you have to drink so much water you find yourself hating the idea of drinking water. Pratt did not like the process but knew it was a necessary evil.
“I was peeing all day long, every day. That part was a nightmare.”
Any trainer, nutritionist, or somewhat healthy person will tell you the first thing you do is drink water. Not only is it the best fluid and doesn’t contain extra calories or sugars but it cleanses your system of all the junk you had in it prior to your workouts or exercise program. It’s actually hard to drink as much water as you’re supposed to in a given day. It takes time and effort to make sure you’re getting enough.
1. Had A Great Coach
Finally, most successful people will tell you that they earned a lot of their success by having a coach. A coach is someone you trust to help guide you along your path to achieving your goals. It could be a trainer, nutritionist, trusted friend, co-worker, spouse, or family member. But the idea is that they hold you accountable, motivate you, and give you advice having been in your spot and having done what you’re trying to do.
Pratt had a number of coaches along his journey, and they helped motivate and ensure that he was getting to where he needed to be.
You can motivate yourself, but nothing works as well as having deadlines or someone you have to explain your decisions to. These celebrities don’t just have acting coaches; they have coaches for everything. Duffy Gaver was one of Pratt’s coaches.
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