Steal James McAvoy's Secret Muscle-Building Diet
Get ready to start counting your macros.
If you've seen recent photos of James McAvoy, you know that the 38-year-old has transformed from a skinny, pale kid into an absolute beast. Back in January, McAvoy told Mr. Porter that, in order to beef up for his role in the 2017 M. Night Shyamalan thriller Split, he did a 5×5 power lifting routine, which required doing 5 different exercises 4 or 5 times a week. He also said that he cut down on the booze and packed on a protein and calorie-heavy diet, eating "between 5000 and 6000 calories a day. Instead of eating two eggs in the morning, I'd eat eight. Then a snack of chicken breast. Then two chicken breasts for lunch and a steak for another snack. Then two salmon steaks for dinner."
After photos of a newly "thicc" McAvoy went viral, and the story of how he got jacked spread all over the Internet, McAvoy had to clear up that he may have exaggerated his calorie intake just a smidge. Earlier this week, the actor posted a screenshot of a Men's Fitness article claiming that he was eating 6,000 calories a day for his new movie, Glass, along with the following caption:
"Seeing a lot of articles saying that I ate 6000 calories a day to get bigger and leaner. Just to set the record straight incase anyone decides to give this a go. I have never done this. The quote is taken from an interview I did for a movie called "Split",not the one I'm on right now which is called "Glass" . The interview was done at the beginning of the year and me saying "I ate 6000 calories a day" is inaccurate, was meant as a joke and is being widely used out of context. The truth is that this time around I gained more muscle weight and got leaner by not counting a single calorie. Good old @magnuslygdback had me eating a lot but nowhere near the 6000 calorie mark. In fact we didn't count a single calorie. We counted macros…I think probably a healthier way of tracking intake. I'm sure most people would never dream of copying the advice of some article/s on the internet about some actor but I know some would and id be gutted if they laboured under bad advice or worse yet seriously harmed their health. 6000 a day might work well for somebody but I've got zero experience or info on that being the case. Guys and girls in the gym and out…this IS NOT how I got the results I got.please don't copy. enjoy your workouts or non workouts.stay healthy and eat well to enjoy if you can! All the very best,James."
It's really sweet of McAvoy to be concerned for other peoples' health and safety, and he's totally right, as counting calories is rarely the best way to get fit.
To prepare for Glass, the M Night Shyamalan follow-up to Split, McAvoy trained with Swedish celebrity coach Magnus Lygdback, who has worked with Alicia Vikander on Tomb Raider, Ben Affleck on Justice League, and Alexander Skarsgard on Tarzan, among many others. On his official website, Magnust states that the philosophy at the center of his method is "embracing the 'ethos of an athlete'—approaching life fitness with the same specific intensity and structure that an athlete would, whilst also maintaining a balanced and healthy life."
Since Magnus applies "individually tailored psychological tasks, much in the same way that a sports psychologist would for a professional athlete," the program for each of his clients is very unique and might not be ideal for you. But if you, like McAvoy, do want to try the Macro diet, you should know that it involves counting your meals' macronutrients—aka the amount of carbs, protein, and fat you consume—as opposed to just calories. The idea is that the system would help you make much healthier eating choices. For example, both a 4 oz serving of salmon and a snickers bar are about 250 calories, whereas one is high in carbs and fat and low in protein, the other is likely to give you the protein kick you need to turn fat into big, beautiful muscles.
Of course, the Magnus Method is also very heavy into exercise (he had Vikander do heavy lifting five to six days a week, climbing two or three times a week, and boxing and MMA four times a week on top of daily stunt rehearsals for Tomb Raider), so there's no avoiding that. If you need some inspiration, here's McAvoy himself goofing around with Magnus at the gym. And for more great fitness tips, check out the secret workout billionaires are doing.
After all, a good mindset is critical to getting ripped!
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