Chris Kyle is the title character in the movie “American Sniper” starring Bradley Cooper.
The role required Cooper to convince moviegoers that he was the US military’s top sniper of all time. To do that, Cooper would have to lose his pretty boy look and transform himself into a convincing battle-hardened US Navy SEAL. Rightaway he knew he needed to pack on some real muscle and follow some military workouts.
This isn’t unlike when Brad Pitt became Achilles for Troy and everyone wanted to know his secrets. Or, when everyone was nuts for the 300 Spartan workout. Cooper got everybody wondering how he did it. It didn’t help that every time the paparazzi grabbed a shot of him, he had some mysterious bottle in his hand or nearby. Here’s the scoop on what was really happening with his training.
Talking to the Legend
Cooper got to talk to the real Chris Kyle early on in the project. Mostly it was his desire to let the deadly sniper know he planned on making his story real. That he was serious about getting the guy’s story told. Although Cooper was serious about it when he said it, he had no idea at the time how much deeper that promise would have to go.
A Promise to Keep
What neither of them could have known at the time was that this would be the only chance Cooper would get to talk to Kyle. Shortly after that conversation Kyle and a friend were killed by a wayward Marine at a Texas shooting range. The pressure was amped up in his mind to be the Chris Kyle that the sniper’s family would feel proud to see on the screen, since this project had now become Kyle’s legacy.
So now it’s up to Cooper to really look like Chris Kyle did. So to get the training necessary, Cooper goes to Jason Walsh. This guy is well known for helping celebs change into different bodies for different roles. The thing is, Cooper was already fit. What he needed wasbrawn and he couldn’t just start with a work out plans for beginners.
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Kyle’s backstory involved competing in rodeo events and working as a hired hand. He was abroad shouldered cowboy and there is only so much beefing up that CGI can handle. The guy had lived a life that left him strong and tough. Those conditions do something to the body that you can’t quite do in the gym. Cooper was going to have to figure out a way to how to gain muscle mass for skinny people.
In one part of the movie, Cooper was going to have to deal with some real weights. He could have used stunts but he had something to prove for the man he was portraying. He was going to try to find the mind of the man and even played Kyle’s music to get his head into the role. He was going for not just looking like the man, but encompassing all the strength that he represented.
Not For the Faint
To create his work-out, Walsh was going to make more serious demands of Cooper than he had ever created for any other actor. He got right in there with Cooper to keep him motivated. He found the guy had plenty of fire, never once bucking the demanding program or balking at the required supplements.
This plan was much less like Walsh’s usual light trainings for celebs and more like a rigorous overhaul intended to turn an errand boy into an MMA fighter. Playtime was over. Cooper put a picture on the gym wall and attacked his work-outs with a level of vigour and intensity that Walsh was not used to working with.
He was going to have to pack on 40 pounds of muscle without completely breaking down his body, to do that, he would need more than the hand crafted strength progression. Basically, he was going to have to break down his body and build it back up. In order to handle these brutal work-outs day after day, Cooper was going to need something more.
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So Walsh hits up Tim Patterson, the founder of Biotest, to help him come up with a supplement regimen that could help his body train and rebuild into the warrior he needed to be in months instead of years.
Patterson was optimistic about Cooper because he had never seen his kind of drive go wrong, but still he was worried about Cooper being able to keep up his strength, so he customized for him the mysterious substance seen in the bottles. It was a formulation very similar to Flex Muscle Builder and Ignite Pre-Workout.
Reaching the Goal
When it was all said and done, the intense routine and 5,000 calorie diet achieved the desired results in just weeks. It was an amazing journey that left Cooper feeling like he did justice to the memory of Chief Petty Officer Kyle.
To find out more about the movie, see the website for “American Sniper.”
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