‘Heels’ star Alexander Ludwig Had to ‘Ace’ His Diet to Get Wrestling Ready
One snack that does work wonders for the actor whether bulking or maintaining his calories is to choose protein bars such as Rx bars, since they don’t contain added sugar and rely on natural ingredients such as fruits and nuts. Ludwig’s refrigerator regularly contains liquid egg whites too, since they can be turned into a low calorie, high protein omelet at any time. As a new father, convenience is vital for staying on course with any fitness regime.
Ludwig tells M&F that he has learned better habits around eating, and he’s also turned to the MyFitnessPal app so that he can track that all-important caloric and macronutrient intake. Joking that he should be being paid to promote the app, because of his enthusiasm and reliance on it, the star says that when he’s not bulking up for a role, he likes to maintain a daily target of 2,270 calories. Living with the extra muscle proves to be a heavy weight to bear for the former competitive skier however, and following the filming of “Heels” he is now happy to be returning to his preferred base weight of 210 pounds. But when required, the talented actor goes all-in to hit his target physique. “About 225 pounds is where I was at for Bad Boys,” says Ludwig of his role as “Dorn” in the 2020 movie “Bad Boys for Life.” From 2014-2020, Ludwig also starred in “Vikings” and was required to bulk-up to play the Viking king “Björn Ironside.”
Due to the physical agility required to play a professional wrestler in “Heels”, the actor weighs-in for this role at 217-220 pounds. Of course, for many seasoned M&F readers, the principles of eating more, eating clean, and hitting the gym to grow lean size will be more than familiar, as will the barrier that threatens to derail all of our progress. “The hardest thing is the consistency of it,” Ludwig acknowledges. Fortunately, he feels that sticking with a gym routine is non-negotiable for him. “Going to the gym is just a bonus because you look more toned, and then it’s good for your health,” says the star. And that’s just as well, because “show muscles” won’t get you too far in the quest to hang onscreen like a professional wrestler can. In “Heels” Season 2, Ludwig is being relied upon more than ever to undertake complex choreography in the ring.
“I think they’re insane,” says Ludwig of those that run the ropes on a regular basis. “But I respect the s**t out of them. … It is nuts. It’s the same schedule as a touring musician, except that instead of playing a show you are getting hit over the head with a guitar. It’s like, these guys are insane but I love them, they’re my family and I really respect wrestling.” That respect is clear to see from the serious commitment that Ludwig has shown to portraying one. He’s thrown himself head first into the fight scenes, and can even be seen executing a backflip off of the top turnbuckle. The star is only swapped out for a stunt-double when producers decide that a move is too risky and could disrupt filming should an injury occur. “So much of my physique in season one wasn’t even just, like, to look good in tights,” shares Ludwig. “It was really just because I had to get my body, especially my back, to a place where I could withstand the pressure, because you can’t fake a lot of this stuff.”
Alexander Ludwig returns for more thrills and spills in “Heels” Season 2, premiering July 28 on STARZ.