An Oscar for ‘Best Fitness Trainer’? Reebok President Says Yes.

Actor Mahershala Ali poses in the press room at the 89th annual Academy Awards.
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic / Getty Images

Whether trying to save the world, destroy it, or just chill out at the beach, today’s Hollywood stars are more ripped, sculpted, and fit than ever.

In a world of bigger, stronger, leaner, and meaner, a muscular and chiseled physique is often a must for the heroes, heroines, and villains who strut, soar, and rumble across the big screen every year.

Josh Brolin (Cable), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Jason Mamoa (Aquaman), Zac Efron (Brody), and, of course, Dwayne Johnson (any character he plays): These are just a few of the actors who have taken their physique to the next level to get ready for their muscle-required roles.

In reality, hundreds of actors and actresses dramatically transform their bodies each year to play physically demanding roles—and be a little easier on the eyes. These head-turning transformations don’t happen overnight, or without the help of experienced trainers.

And a few voices are starting to argue that it’s time to for Hollywood to start recognizing the hard work of those behind-the-scenes training masters.

One such proponent is Reebok President Matt O’Toole, who makes a case for a new award category—Best Fitness Trainer—in his open letter to the new Academy President. O’Toole argues that the Academy should celebrate the craft of fitness, just as it does for a variety of other technical categories essential to a movie’s success.

“Why not reward the people who keep our role models in peak condition?” O’Toole asks. “They’ve crafted their expertise on the playing field, in their garage gyms, and even defending our country. Their diverse backgrounds mean they are not traditional movie heroes, but ask any motion picture star and they will tell you, these are the people who power the scenes and stories fans love so much. Let’s call attention to this group and reward their hard work with the rigors of other motion picture crafts. No longer will these be the unsung heroes of summer blockbusters but instead role models for fans everywhere.”

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