He may be best known for his role as Emmett Cullen in the "Twilight Saga" film series, but Kellan Lutz has moved past the vampire gig and stepped into the shoes of a demigod.
The actor shed his yellow contacts and white skin in favor of a broadsword, helm, and shield for his upcoming role as young Hercules in "The Legend of Hercules."
Bodybuilding.com caught up with the actor to learn how Lutz built the body of a legend.
Given his love for heroes, Lutz seems like a natural choice to play the son of Zeus. "I [have] always loved Hercules, He-Man, Tarzan—all those epic, classic heroes," Lutz says. "Now that I get to bring Hercules to life, my spirit is on fire."
His love and respect for the character gave Lutz all the motivation he needed to carve a godlike body. When he scored the role, his first priority became the gym. "I wanted to have three months of training. I wanted to get big like the guys who had already portrayed [Hercules]. I had some big shoes to fill."
However, Lutz's plans for putting on mass didn't quite pan out. "[Director Renny Harlin] called and said I would be leaving to film in two weeks," Lutz recalls. That left little time for adding serious size, but enough time to break out the chisel and work on definition.
Luckily, Harlin already had a unique vision for Lutz and his character. "He wanted me to be cut," says Lutz. "The movie is more about the legend—how [Hercules] becomes the man. It's the journey from his youth to his taking up responsibilities and becoming a leader." So, Lutz stopped worrying about size and focused on athletics and aesthetics.
To physically become the hero, Lutz did more than just don a costume. He used cardio, resistance training, and creativity to build a body worthy of his character. "On set in Bulgaria, we didn't have a very big gym or much equipment," Lutz says. "I didn't have a lot of time, so I had to multitask and work multiple muscles at once."
The treadmill circuit below is an example of how Lutz used limited equipment to great effect. Not only is the circuit challenging, but it's fun and fast-paced, which helps Lutz enjoy the workload. "When I'm working out, I try to make it competitive," he says. "I make up challenges. I need it to be a game."