How James McAvoy Got Totally Ripped

He went from wimp to wow in just a few simple steps.

If you're anything like me, then you probably first fell in love with James McAvoy in the 2007 film Atonement, where he was, in true Scottish form, pale, freckly, and very thin. In that film, like so many of his other films, he seemed fragile, with his sensitive blue eyes and his wan smile, like a baby bird that was in need of your protection.

But that was then and this is now. Earlier this year, the 38-year-old underwent an enormous physical transformation to play a psycho who kidnaps three girls and keeps them in the basement. The M. Night Shyamalan thriller, Split, demanded that McAvoy play a character who has 23 very different personalities, and he got major accolades for nailing such a challenging role. The movie was released in January to critical acclaim, but it didn't make much of a splash otherwise, which is perhaps why the Internet is only now starting to notice that the actor has considerably beefed up.

To use a popular colloquial term, he is now "thicc."

So, how did he get so ripped? McAvoy told Mr Porter that it all started with a Google search.

"I Googled, 'Good way to put on muscle quick' then went to a gym and did it myself. It was a power-lifting routine called 5×5. You do five different exercises four or five times a week – huge, big exercises. It's super-simple but works every muscle."

It wasn't just maintaining a consistent routine of heavy lifting that's making him fill a sweater out so very well. A high-calorie, protein-packed diet is what turned his fat into big, beautiful muscles.

"I also ate 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."

He's also basically cut out booze, especially beer and whiskey, which is no easy feat for a Scotsman.

"I find that I can't drink too much whisky any more. More than one or two now and I get a bit leery, a wee bit fighty, a bit chippy, looking for an argument. And I didn't like that. So I mostly stopped drinking it. My problem is, if I have it in the house, I'll tan the lot… I still drink, and sometimes have a lot of drink. But I just don't want to have alcohol in the house any more."

Sadly, it's nothing that you don't know already, and there's no magic pill to getting fit. But, if it makes you feel better, McAvoy said it didn't take very long for him to completely transform his physique.

"In a relatively short space of time, I got bigger. I wasn't huge but I was quite chuffed with myself," he said.

If he can do it, then so can you!

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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