Let’s take tips from Lucas!
Originally of Disney blood, Battle: L.A. actor Lucas Till gets physical in a fun workout editorial for the Spring 2011 issue of VMAN Magazine. Said to be the “next action star,” Till had to bulk up big time from his upcoming action film X-Men: First Class.
To really get a feel for Lucas’ brutal fitness regime the actor kept a journal logging about breakfast, training, and different routines.
The day after I arrived on location to shoot Battle: Los Angeles, I started a three-week boot camp. The first week consisted of getting my body physically and mentally ready for everything the marines would be doing in the weeks to come. There was a group of us portraying marines in the film, and we began by assembling our living quarters for the duration of boot camp. In the mornings, we would wake up for physical training. This would consist of push-ups, crunches, sit-ups—exercises based on your own body weight. But the challenging part was the competition between some of us coupled with the fact that any sort of failure or insubordination would result in double the amount of repetition—and not just for that person, but everyone. Afterwards, we would run several miles. And this all took place at five-thirty in the morning.
Breakfast would follow, and then we would fire our weapons until lunchtime. Of course, that was the best part. Rehearsals and drills would happen later, along with a lot of holding very heavy weapons in our hands and aiming at imaginary enemies. Our equipment was not light either, and we wore all of it all day long. The whole process just made it easier to get in the mindset of being a marine because for a short span of time we lived like marines, who go throughout these same experiences we are trying to portray, and we tried to keep up with the strain that is put on one’s body.
For X-Men: First Class, my routine is a lot different. Portraying Alex Summers [aka Havoc], I want to look as athletic as his character is in the comics. My trainer, Ed Chow, is one of the nicest people on the face of the earth, which is deceiving, because he is damn good at what he does—possibly because he is so nice.
I warm up my shoulders with a couple of three-minute boxing rounds, either against the bag or with Ed holding the pads. Then we move on to various body parts without working the same muscle groups we worked the day before. These exercises usually consist of standard curls, triceps dips, normal and reverse flys, bench and shoulder presses, lunges, squats, and many other painful activities. Since I’m trying to get bigger, this is all three sets of each exercise at six to ten reps. I finish with abs, which consists of whoever is in the gym, usually four of us, sitting in a circle and suggesting the ab exercise, saying how many reps to do, for three or four rounds. Then a quick stretch and maybe a protein shake and I’m finished for the day. And I do this five days a week.
To keep working out for that period of time a lot of the cast and crew have set records in the gym and have made charts of who has lifted what and how many times. It keeps everyone constantly striving to beat everyone else, so there’s always a reason to get into the gym. My favorite challenge is a combination of a pull-up and a dip: you go from hanging fully down to being above the chin-up bar with your arms fully extended, like the top of a dip. [These are called ‘muscle-ups’ and they’re more or less impossible for anyone not in insane, peak physical condition.] I am currently ahead of Edi Gathegi [of Twilight evil vampire fame, and he plays Darwin in First Class] by one. Just thought everyone should know.
The boys got his head on straight and priorities lined up just right. We have no doubt that this young talent will prevail as Hollywood’s next big action star!
Keep at it, buddy!
[Images via Bretty Lloyd, V Man Magazine]