To the term "action hero," you invariably attach an image. Some of these images fade over time or are replaced with newer ones, but a few are timeless: Steve Reeves, Charles Bronson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone. Some of the newer images are those of Liam Neeson in Taken, Jason Statham in The Transporter series and Dwayne Johnson in anything with a co-star taller than 4'.
Just like the U.S. car manufacturers, today's American action hero needs retooling. In the past couple of decades, it appears that not everyone got the "bigger is better" memo. While NFL and MLB players got larger and heavyweight champions grew more muscular, action heroes seem to have neglected the size it takes to play the part of a hero.
Enter Gunnar Peterson, one of SoCal's most trusted trainers. When an actor needs to tighten up his abs or pack on muscle for an upcoming role, he calls Gunnar, whose client list has included headliners Hugh Jackman and Sylvester Stallone. On his website, gunnarpeterson.com, is a quote from US Weekly that sums up his reputation: "Behind almost every Hollywood hardbody is a great trainer - and it's usually Gunnar Peterson."
In the wake of this crisis of skinny dudes playing action heroes, we approached Gunnar with one simple question: If you had a client who was preparing for an action role and wanted to add some muscle, how would you train him? Gunnar responded with what he thinks an action hero should be and a program that can and will help bring back some muscle to Tinseltown.
For the rest of our story on The Next Action Hero pick up the July Issue of M&F.