Zack Snyder’s latest movie 300, the much anticipated epic on Spartan and Persian history has gotten rave reviews (as well as caused international controversy), but what most people are talking about are Gerard Butler’s abs. Were they real, or were they (as many suspect) CGI enhanced?
Men’s Health reports suggest that Gerard’s abs were indeed real, and the result of a 4-7 month killer workout from Mark Twight, a former world-class mountain climber.
…to hasten Butler’s mind-body transformation, [Twight] created what he calls the “300-rep Spartan workout.” (Trust us, 100 reps is plenty hard.) It goes like this: Without resting between exercises, Butler performs 25 pullups, 50 deadlifts with 135 pounds, 50 pushups, 50 jumps on a 24-inch box, 50 floor wipers, 50 single-arm clean-and-presses using a 36-pound kettle bell and 25 more pullups. All this, in addition to utilizing other unconventional yet equally taxing training methods, such as tire flipping and gymnastics-style ring training. Sound like hell? It is.
Five weeks before the cameras were to roll, Butler took on extra sessions with a Venezuelan bodybuilder named Franco LiCastro in order to exaggerate the physique he was after. “I wanted to look really strong,” says Butler. “I’ve seen so many actors play these kinds of roles, and you see all this equipment on either a big belly or skinny little arms.”
Even I suspected that Mr Butler’s abs looked fake, or at least CGI polished. But there are a lot of articles that suggest that Butler’s abs were, are and continue to be real – and that the hardest part for Mr Butler wasn’t getting the abs – but keeping them.