Tarzan with Margot Robbie on TF1: the incredible physical transformation of Alexander Skarsgård

Tarzan is broadcast on TF1, the opportunity to review the incredible physical transformation of Alexander Skarsgård! The actor has literally transformed for the role!

Tarzan, an iconic character in popular culture culture, was invented by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912. Popularized by the film incarnation of Johnny Weissmuler, the King of the Jungle has seen many adaptations on both the big and small screen. If Christophe Lambert had marked the spirits in 1983 in Greystoke, Alexander Skarsgård also impressed the public in 2016 in the version of David Yates.


The Swedish actor, 40 at the time, put on a drastic diet and intensive training to forge the mighty stature of the ape-man. Naturally thin and slender, the actor has become in a few months a muscular colossus, sporting abs protruding at will. To best embody the 46th Tarzan on screen, Skarsgård, ex-soldier of the Swedish army, did not tremble. His physical preparation was of rare intensity.

Tarzan with margot robbie on tf1: the incredible physical transformation of alexander skarsgård


Alexander Skarsgård

Eight months before the start of filming, the actor begins his training. He spends his time lifting weights, running, swimming and training in martial arts to forge the imposing and athletic stature of his character. It was the trainer and nutritionist Magnus Lygdback who took charge of the actor. Director David Yates wanted this new Tarzan to be of course very muscular but less than in previous films. The filmmaker wanted it to be drier and thinner. Note that Magnus Lygdback will later train Gal Gadot for Wonder Woman.


The coach does not spare him, he prepares him in particular an obstacle course based on bars and jumps on all fours. These exercises were intended to increase muscle mass gain. Thanks to this, the Swede gains 12 kilos of muscle, especially in the upper back and in the arms. Six days a week, the actor gets up at 4 a.m. to lift cast iron. His military training helps him to resist physically and especially mentally.

Alexander Skarsgård also followed a strict diet! No wheat, no gluten, no milk, especially no alcohol or sugar. It feeds mainly on chicken products. The actor imposes this training and this regime on himself in a quasi-religious manner, even going so far as to cut himself off completely from those close to him to better enter his character. In all, the actor had to eat a maximum of protein and 6,000 calories daily.


Apart from the chicken breast in large quantities, the actor would thread for breakfast a spinach omelet with shrimp fried in olive oil. For lunch, white fish and some asparagus with sweet potatoes, then poached eggs and vegetables to taste it. At dinner ? Smoked salmon, brown rice and Brussels sprouts.

This ordeal, the actor also inflicts on himself during the shooting, not hesitating to train even between takes. When he arrives on the set the first day of the shoots, Margot Robbie, who plays Jane, cannot believe her eyes: “When I saw him land on set, I was speechless. People stopped working, amazed that he had worked so hard!”, exclaims the actress.

At the end of the shoot, Alexander rushed to an Italian restaurant for a good pizza, pasta and tiramisu: “the best meal of my life”, he joked. He still had to continue to be careful because reshoots were carried out a few months later, forcing him to impose “express training” to get back in shape.

Anyway, if you also want to sculpt Tarzan’s muscular body, here is the physical training followed by Alexander Skarsgård:

  • In the morning: 10 minutes of running at a moderate pace
  • Fast running: 6 sessions of 1 minute Sprint at maximum speed for one minute then another fast running session.
  • At the end of the day: Bear walk: 5 x 1 minute
  • Deadlift (4 sessions): 12 reps, 8-10 reps, 6 reps, 12 reps
  • Pull-ups (4 sessions): 2 tight grip, maximum repetitions; 2 enlarged grip, maximum repetitions
  • Alternate pull-up with dumbbells: 3 × 20 reps
  • Kettlebell swing: 3 × 15 reps
  • Lateral raises with dumbbells: 4 × 12 reps
  • Sheathing with balloon: 4 × 1’30

Tarzan is available on Netflix.

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