4. Russell Crowe
What He Did: In a bid that won him an Oscar, Crowe lost 40 pounds.
Why He Did It: Crowe needed to chisel down to fighting form to play the Roman general Maximus in Gladiator. The feat was even more impressive given that he had played former tobacco executive Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider just prior—a role that required him to gain 50 pounds of blubber.
What He Ate: Six to eight meals of lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats kept Crowe’s metabolism burning. He chose high-fiber fruits and vegetables to control his appetite and aimed for one gram of protein per pound of his body weight to maximize muscle gain.
His Workout: Crowe weight trained, learned to use a sword, and worked on his farm in Australia.
Plus: Due to on-set accidents, Crowe broke bones in his foot and hip, received stitches on his face, and lost feeling in his right forefinger (after a sword sliced into it).
Crowe says: “I injured myself a lot on Gladiator.” Yes, but his performance echoes in eternity.
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