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How James McAvoy Got Insanely Jacked For Glass

Written by marcie on January 16 2019

James McAvoy is going BIG with Glass. He didn’t have time to get too muscled-up before filming Split, but now that The Beast is back in Glass, the 39-year-old Scottish actor turned to a professional for help.

Cue celebrity trainer Magnus Lygdback, who was tasked with taking James McAvoy’s Beast to the next level for the sequel. As the trainer put it…

Obviously he was brilliant in Split, but I don’t think his physique was where it could have been, and I think everyone recognized that within the team. That’s why they called me.

British GQ asked Magnus Lygdback if The Beast was meant to look unnaturally pumped, and the trainer confirmed that was the goal — and he thinks they pulled it off.

We had a lot of work to do. The Beast is supposed to be able to flex his veins and muscles and have a freaky look. It was about building as much mass as possible in a short time. I like to start the day with working out, because that’s when you have the most energy. We had a program with which you go really hard on a couple of muscle groups at a time and then let them rest. So we would do legs one day, back and outside shoulders the second day, the third day the chest, front shoulders and core, and the fourth day, arms. That allows the muscles to recover before you work them again and also means you can do more sets, more reps on each muscle.

James McAvoy is not a naturally big guy, so it really must’ve taken a lot of hard work to get where they wanted him to be. In terms of food, McAvoy had a lot to eat, but they counted “macros” instead of calories. As Magnus Lygdback explained:

I’ve never counted calories, because you can eat a bag of crisps and get 1,000 calories or eat a chicken breast and get 1,000 calories. It’s about the quality, the proportion of the macros: fat and carbs are the energy source and protein is the building stone of the muscles and tissue.

He suggests the macro plan for everyone. But the exercise routine, with a trainer around to keep you in line? Probably not practical for everyone, but that’s part of the job for a Hollywood star, depending on the role.

James McAvoy was phenomenal in Split, and probably deserved some awards attention, in my humble opinion. He has a chance to impress both physically and with his range in Glass, the combined sequel to both Unbreakable and Split.

Kevin Wendell Crumb and his many personalities are returning, alongside Bruce Willis’ Unbreakable hero David Dunn (now also called The Overseer) and Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price/Mr. Glass.

Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has warned that the trailers for Glass aren’t telling the real story for the movie, which is an exciting tease. He also warned/promised that Glass won’t recap the previous two films, allowing the movie to stand on its own for anyone who happens to wander into the theater without having seen Unbreakable or Split. (Let us know if anyone is planning to do that; it would be fascinating to hear their experience.)

At this point, though, fans expect major twists in Night’s movies, and there’s a fear of building it up too much, or getting fans already thinking of twists so that inevitably they see them coming in the theater. We’ll have to see if that’s the case, and if it harms the viewing experience at all. Certainly, the big Split twist was a shock to many viewers. And this is the guy who gave us the ultimate twist ending with The Sixth Sense.

Since this story is already combining two successful Night films, I’m not worried that I’ll be as disappointed as I was with The Happening. Some lucky fans will be able to watch Glass in advance, and while I envy them, it makes me anxious about spoilers floating around the web. Be careful out there.

Glass opens wide in the U.S. on January 18. 

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