You too can get those Alexander Skarsgård Tarzan abs
Alexander Skarsgård ate 7,000 calories a day to prepare for his role as Tarzan. According to Mr. Porter, he followed a strict gluten-, sugar-, dairy-, alcohol-, and wheat-free diet. He weight trained twice a day. Damn.
For comparison's sake, Michael Phelps ate 12,000 calories a day while training for the 2008 Olympics. Surprisingly, this is relevant: The Legend of Tarzan producer Jerry Weintraub, who died during post-production, had his eye on Phelps for the role. The precedent was set by Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan in the '30s and '40s. Nothing came of it—Weintraub thought Phelps was too much of a "goon," according to Vanity Fair. So the role went to abs-on-abs-on-abs Skarsgård.
Skarsgård spent three months building the muscles that feature front and center (and sideways and backways) in Tarzan. More comparisons: It took six months for Chris Pratt to get into Guardians of the Galaxy shape (although he had far less to work with), and Gerard Butler spent four months getting jacked for 300.
In total, Skarsgård added 25 pounds to his 6-foot, 4-inch frame. Body builders often hope to gain one pound of muscle a week. One expert said it is physiologically impossible to gain more than an ounce of muscle a day due to muscle cell structure, which calculates out to a maximum of 23 pounds of muscle a year. So those 25 pounds Skarsgård packed on are likely not purely muscle, despite what the images look like.
Twenty-five additional pounds; monstrously intense, twice-daily workouts; and 7,000 daily calories. Given the film's critical panning and box office whimper, was it worth it?