Part of what makes Andrew Lincoln endearing (well, outside of the fact that he plays the role of a gun-touting zombie thrasher on one of the most popular shows on television) is his personality—humble, honest, and relatable. And the fact he fully acknowledges the improbability of his career trajectory is what makes Lincoln, who graces the October cover of Men’s Fitness, all the more endearing.
“That’s the astonishing part about my career,” he tells writer Karl Taro Greenfield in the cover story. “I turned 40, my bones started aching, and it was the weirdest thing: I became a leading-man action hero.”
That’s why Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes on AMC’s The Walking Dead, hired a trainer to help him bulk up for the first time last season.
Lincoln was more of a runner than gym rat, but his trainer mandated he ditch the distance running if he wanted to pack on some mass. So, he cut out carbs and sugars and added free weights. But Lincoln admitted that losing the sugar and carbs did leave a void in his life. “Why would you want to do that to yourself, man?” he asked.
Mostly because shooting The Walking Dead in Georgia heat and humidity is a killer workout in itself. But Lincoln steadily leads the cast. “We’re working these hard hours in the the sun. Everyone should be breaking down; we should have divas, these Hollywood clichés,” said fellow TWD actor Steven Yeun. “But no, there’s Andy, and he’s showing up and pushing it harder than anything. He’s the culture of the show. I mean, if your No. 1 guy isn’t a diva, then who can be.?”
Don’t miss the fifth season of The Walking Dead, which premieres October 12 on AMC