updated 10/16/2012 AT 2:15 PM ET
•originally published 10/17/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET
I turned to my wife to see her reaction. She was beet red and had her jaw wide open. When I asked if she enjoyed the movie, she uttered, “Ryan Gosling really was fit looking.”
(I worked out twice as hard the subsequent day, by the way.)
The fact is, Ryan got in amazing shape for the film. He has become part of a long list of leading men who have exercised and dieted to make their on-screen performance more impactful.
After more than 20 years sculpting bodies for film and television, I’ve noticed the “ideal” male physique is constantly changing.
For those of us that grew up in the ’80s, the silver screen was ruled by massive, muscular manly men (try saying that 10 times fast). Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Van Damme and Carl Weathers were built more like defensive linemen than actors. The Rambo/Commando era has been eclipsed by Brad Pitt’s physique in Fight Club, Matthew McConaughey in Reign of Fire, and Christian Bale in American Psycho.
Today’s leading men generally aspire to have more swimmer-like physiques than bodybuilder brawn. It seems that women tend to prefer the leaner longer beach volleyball look, and guys want to look like actors that carry a little more muscle bulk.
So who has the best leading male physique in movies today? I looked to my clients for their opinions on who currently has the edge, and here’s who came up most often:
Eric Bana (Troy)
Bale (American Psycho)
Pitt (Fight Club/ Snatch)
Hugh Jackman (Wolverine)
Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Ryan Reynolds (Blade Trinity)
Gosling (Crazy Stupid Love)
Gerard Butler (300)
Will Smith (Ali)
Jamie Foxx (Any Given Sunday)
Daniel Craig (Casino Royale)
Want to look like one of these guys? (or do you want your significant other to look a little more chiseled?) There are a few essential factors that make these actors look fit, lean and mean on screen: Broad shoulders, chiseled chest, defined triceps and six-pack abs!