In a recent interview with GQ US, the actor shared just how much preparation he put into the role, which saw him alter his approach to fitness completely. As he trained for the role, Borg came to appreciate the importance of fitness in his life and has since maintained the same workout schedule he set up before filming. He’s even still eating the same.
Prior to the role, Borg had a rather relaxed approach to fitness, claiming his dad’s genetics help him out considerably. But for the film, he hired fitness trainer Paolo Mascitti who helped him get in shape. “I only knew that my character was an Olympic athlete,” said Borg. “So I thought, number one, this means gaining some kilograms, gaining some coordination. I knew I needed to do these things immediately. I went to a fitting where they take a 3D photo of your body and I’m like, That does not look like a man who has visited the Olympics. Unless like, in the chess competition. So I needed to make some changes.”
Borg’s training consisted of four heavy weight sessions a week, for about an hour, with high weight and low reps. “Not a lot of cardio because we were trying to throw kilograms onto my button. Paolo always switched it up,” he explained to the publication. “So we did big muscle movements like pull-ups and deadlifts, but there was no clear routine. I was always confused, which I liked. I’ve been told it’s good to confuse muscles.”
But as anyone who delves into fitness knows, diet is critical. It meant Borg had to eat eight times a day. “My two natural states are eating and hungry. Usually it’s not massive meals,” he said. “It’s like if I had two fists and converted those into food, I would just do that eight times a day. I wish I had hands I could eat - that would be more convenient.”
He added, “I had a very strict meal plan that was implemented by Paolo, so I ate not so many carbs and then lots of protein, lots of vegetables. Broccoli became my new BFF. The only carbs were some fruit and some Greek yoghurt, which I love, but no sugar and no pasta or anything like that. If we did, it was garbanzo bean pasta.”
Now, Borg is still working out heavily and sticking to his newfound love for fitness, but he’s thankfully added a few more carbs into his diet, including the likes of brown rice and potatoes. As he explains, “The goal now is just to feel good,” before adding, “But the long term goal is this: in the 80s we had Schwarzenegger, we had Dolph Lundgren, and it’s time for another man with not-so-great English but firm buttocks to take over the action world.”
Watch this space.