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The Magnus Method

The Magnus Method

Have you heard of Magnus Lygback?

He is the world-renowned Swedish health and wellness expert, entrepreneur, and life coach. For over 15 years, he has become best known for working with some of the world’s most recognisable actors, musicians, athletes, artists and high-performance business entrepreneurs.

You may remember when True Blood star Alexander Skarsgard took the lead role in The Legend of Tarzan. Yep, that was Magnus who trained him into shape. Others you may recall, include Gal Gadot who played Wonder Woman and Ben Afleck in Justice League.



Throughout his career, Magnus has developed what he calls the “Magnus Method”, a training philosophy that embraces 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.

But let’s focus on Tarzan for the moment and how Alexander underwent an intense four-month long program, under Magnus’ instructions.

The first thing Magnus did was stop him running to stop him burning off all those extra calories so he could start putting weight on, according to Bro Bible.

“This was a guy who ran 10k (races) four times in a week, he explained. “His cardio was great coming into the project. But he had to stop that and expend all his energy into lifting weights and building muscle mass.”

Image credit: http://magnusmethod.com/

The Magnus Method,


The bulking phase saw him started on 5,000 calories but day to day monitoring through his strength training still saw him losing weight and body fat so this was increased to an incredible 7,000 daily calories.

In order to start adding muscle to his frame Skarsgard started hitting some serious strength work. His weekly training plan was broken down into body parts – with legs, chest and front delts, back and rear delts and a whole day devoted to biceps and triceps.

Each session started with a meaty pyramid set on one of the big lifts – like squats or bench – kicking off with 12 reps on a lighter weight and working heavier while dropping the reps through 10, eight and then six reps. It then finished with a 10 rep burner to further exhaust the muscle.

 His programme was designed to hit the muscle from every angle with a range of different exercises on each body part, all in that 8-12 rep hypertrophy sweet spot range.

His core training was equally important to make his abs pop. Every other day he did a mixture of static core work like planks and rotational exercises like obliques.

Movement training involving yoga or obstacle courses was also key because Lygdback wanted Skarsgard to look less like a bodybuilder and more like a guy who got ripped living in the jungle.

Skarsgard’s training also involved him cutting after three months of bulking and the re-introduction of cardio including High Intensity Interval Training included lots of sprints.

 Could you undergo such an intense training regime? 

Many of us mere mortals could not, but still, it’s pretty amazing to see how this one personal trainer has turned his method of training into a worldwide phenomenon.

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