How to get Tarzan Fit: Alexander Skarsgard’s Tarzan Workout Plan


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When you think of Tarzan you think, Beast. You think King of the Jungle Strong, muscular and athletic. So when Alexander Skarsgard was chosen as the next Tarzan for David Yates’ The Legend of Tarzan, He knew he would have to hit the gym.  Skarsgard exceeded expectations. The 6’ 4” True Blood star gets many praises and accolades for his hard work. “I’ve never seen anyone more hardworking,” says his trainer, Magnus Lygdbäck, who trains and conditions musicians like Harry Styles and Aviici. “I had to force him to take days off sometimes. He was eating food out of a box for about eight months, and not a drop of alcohol.”

Before this role, Skarsgard prefered long-distance running to hitting the weights, but the King of the Jungle requires more mass. So the goals had to change, they required him to boost his testosterone through fundamental lifting, as well as adhere to a strictly designed diet, which allowed him to gain 25 pounds of muscle. “We didn’t want that generic gym-built body for Alex,” says Lygdbäck. “We wanted to create a physicality close to his primate family, so there was a concentration on sculpting a broad back, huge traps, with less focus on the chest.”

In addition to that gym work, an obstacle course was built in the actor’s home, where he could do master the choreography developed by Wayne McGregor. There he supplemented his core training by climbing along bars using just his arms and leaping from object to object on all fours. And then there’s the diet, you might not want to try this at home, it’s nuts! A 6,000-calorie diet — custom-built to feed all those new muscles.


A Day in the Life of Alexander Skarsgard’s Tarzan Training

The Workouts


Jogging: 10 minutes

Sprints: 6 sets of 1 minute

Max Sprints: 1 minute

Stationary Sprint: 1 minute


Bear Crawls: 5 sets of 1 minute

Deadlift (4 sets)

Set 1: 12 reps

Set 2: 8–10 reps

Set 3: 6 reps

Set 4: 12 reps (pyramid set)

Pull-Ups (4 sets)

Set 1: wide grip, max reps

Set 2: narrow grip, max reps

Set 3: wide grip, max reps

Set 4: narrow grip, max reps

Standing Alternating Rows with Dumbbells: 3 sets of 20 reps

Kettlebell Swing: 3 sets of 15 reps

Lateral Raise with Dumbbells: 4 sets of 12 reps

Moving Front Plank on Exercise Ball: 4 sets of 1–2 minutes

The Meals

No gluten. No sugar. No dairy. During their bulk-up period, Skarsgard was consuming up to 6,000 calories a day, which is much more than most people should, or even could.


• Omelet with spinach

• Tea with homemade almond milk

Lunch 1: 

• Shrimp fried in olive oil with garlic

Lunch 2:

• White fish fillet

• Asparagus

• Sweet potato

Lunch 3:

• Poached eggs

• Green vegetable


• Smoked salmon

• Brown rice

• Brussels sprouts