Nuno de Salles
Nuno de Salles – elite personal trainer

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s not a big secret that actors (and actresses, of course) go through some impressive body transformations for the roles they play. They need to look the part in order to play the part. Regardless of their celebrity status, however, they work just as hard on screen, as they do off screen.

An impressive body transformation for a leading role in a Hollywood blockbuster requires an impressive personal trainer too. Nuno de Salles is one of those elite personal trainers. His educational background and lengthy personal training portfolio are just as impressive as the “big screen” body transformations he is responsible for.

One of his latests projects is Kit Harington’s body transformation for his role as Milo in Pompeii – one of the biggest action movies of 2014. I caught up with Nuno to talk about Kit’s exercise programme and diet.

Kit Harington’s exercise programme

Kit’s character – Milo, is a slave-turned-gladiator. The type of charter who is strong enough to move mountains while remaining flexible in order to be able to fight and perform complicated stunts. Nuno says:

“My goal was to get Kit as lean and as muscular as possible in the least amount of time. I needed to come up with a programme that would cater for those needs and allow him to perform complicated fight sequences, designed by the stunt coordinator.”

Kit Harington on horse in Pompeii
Kit Harington doing his stunts as Milo in Pompeii

“My biggest challenge was to design a programme that followed the requirements from the Director.”

Nuno worked closely with the stunt coordinator to make sure the programme didn’t interfere with Kit’s ability to move and perform the stunts.

“So, for the first part of the programme, we focused on a dynamic programme while keeping in mind that he needed to pack on muscle. The reason being was that all the major fighting scenes were to be filmed during the first part of the shooting schedule.”

As soon as the bulk of the stunt filming was done, he was able to focus more on a bodybuilding routine.

“I changed his routine every three weeks to make sure Kit doesn’t get accustomed to the training stresses imposed on his body. I also increased the volume (steadily) while manipulating rest periods. Then, I cut the volume considerably while increasing the loads he was lifting.”

Kit Harington as gladiator Milo
Gladiator Milo in Pompeii played by Kit Harington

“He reacted very favourably as witnessed in the first scene where the audience is introduced to Kit’s character.”

Nuno kept the same muscle group training regiment. During the whole filming, Kit’s workout schedule was as follows:

Day 1: chest
Day 2: back & biceps
Day 3: legs
Day 4: soldiers and triceps
Day 5: abs & core
Day 6: arms (biceps & triceps)

Kit Harington’s diet

As you well know, the right diet is a vital ingredient of any successful body transformation. Kit Harington’s transformation is no exception.

“To achieve Kit’s lean and muscular physique, I needed to design a specialised meal plan. I hired a chef who would cook organic healthy foods on daily basis, while complying with my specific caloric requirements and perfect nutritional ratio for Kit’s transformation.”

Kit Harington as Milo entering the gladiator's arena
Kit Harington as Milo in Pompeii

“The Director wanted Kit’s character to be muscular but incredibly lean.”

“So, I needed to make sure he ate only what was necessary. His nutritional plan delivered his calories from powerful, nutritious and efficiently sourced foods with a ratio of 45% carbohydrates, 35% proteins and 20% fats.”

In addition to his meal plan, Kit was taking BCAA, casein protein, fish oils and magnesium glycinate on daily basis.

[quote_left]Eight weeks after the initial start date, Nuno introduced a “Cheat Day”[/quote_left]

“I allowed Kit to eat and drink whatever he wanted for one full day, once a week. As Kit said to me: “It’s like Christmas Day once a week!”

“I genuinely believe in the effectiveness of the “Cheat Day”. It has a negligible and negative impact but the positives are abundant too:

It gives you a break from the strict diet
It gives you the chance to indulge in your cravings
It stimulates your metabolism
It gives you a chance to socialise with family and friends
It gives you a chance to rest, both mentally and physically

Pompeii on Blue-ray and DVD

Pompeii Blu-ray
Pompeii on Blu-ray, DVD and 3D Blu-ray out now

Set in 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo (played by Kit Harington – Game of Thrones), a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a terrible race against time to save his true love Lady Cassia (played by Emily Browning – Sucker Punch).

As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena as the once magnificent city crumbles around him and becomes engulfed in scorching magma.

Both DVD and Blu-ray include a variety of action-packed extra content. Included are features on “The Gladiators”, “The Volcanic Eruption” and “The Weapons of Pompeii” alongside director’s commentary and deleted scenes.

Pompeii is released on Blu-ray, DVD and 3D Blu-ray on 15 September 2014 and available to pre-order now.

[quote_box_center]For more information on Pompeii and for exclusive videos, please visit the movie’s official website – pompeiimovie.tumblr.com [/quote_box_center]

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