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Reacher: Alan Ritchson Says Gaining Weight For The Role Was Like A 'Full-Time Job'

At this point, no one should be surprised by the amount that goes into perfecting movie stars' bodies. Whether they're gearing up to be the next Superman or preparing for more intimate scenes, diet and exercise become actors' second jobs. Once he finally landed the role of Jack Reacher, Alan Ritchson was no exemption to the rule, packing on massive amounts of muscle to bring the character to life.

"Yeah, I put on 30 pounds [of muscle]," he told "The Kelly Clarkson Show" after host Derek Hough showed a picture of his impressive physique to the audience. "I don't know if you've ever done [it]. It's a full-time job to eat enough to put on 30 pounds. I had an assistant whose only job was to bring me food. It was like a conveyor belt of smoothies and protein." 

The actor said he would practically eat hundreds of times daily to ensure he consumed enough calories. He also revealed his secret to meeting his daily calories: "You can get pretty clever with this. I would order the crew like Popeye's chicken sandwiches [and] cookies, just so I could get the kind of calories I wanted."

Alan Ritchson is used to getting his body ready for a role

"Reacher" isn't the first project that required Alan Ritchson to hit the gym religiously. The actor previously played collegiate football star Thad Castle in "Blue Mountain State," District 1 tribute Gloss in "The Hunter Games: Catching Fire," and Hawk in "Titans." However, Jack Reacher proved to be an entirely different ball game.

Ritchson spoke to Men's Journal about preparing his body for the role, saying that he always keeps his body in shape because of the roles he's landed in the past. However, healthy for him was sitting comfortably at 205 pounds, but "Reacher" needed him to reach a new level of fitness. "I was grinding it out five days a week for the eight months that we had to prep," he told the magazine. That meant working out multiple times a day and eating 4,500 calories daily, something that most mere mortals couldn't imagine having to do.

Ritchson also had to train for "Reacher" while filming another project. To make a bad situation worse, he had to do all of this during the pandemic, saying, "The rules were very strict in Canada, so there was no chance of getting out to train anywhere else." To compensate, he built a home gym in his dining room, exercised by himself, and managed to go from 205 to 235 in preparation for "Reacher," an unbelievably impressive accomplishment.