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The Alternative Oscars: Acting Schmacting, What About the Workouts?

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The Oscars are this Sunday, but we’re making our picks early – picks for our made-up but totally worthy catagories, that is. Which winner will be reduced to a blubbing Paltrow-esque mess? (Rudd, blatantly.)

Most Motivational Montage: Michael B Jordan, Creed

It’s no Rocky IV, but Creed’s blend of flashy padwork, faddish technology (hellooo, training mask) and fist-pumping triumphalism just about beats Ant-Man’s stellar home gym design (pegboards and punchbags and gym rings OMG) and Suffragette’s unexpected display of Bartitsu (the same martial art that Sherlock Holmes does) to take home the gold. Also notable: Jordan let Tony Bellew actually knock him unconscious during filming. Your move, De Niro.

Least Necessary Transformation: Paul Rudd, Ant-Man

Everyone’s favourite everyman spent months eating clean and doing flutter-kicks in preparation for one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shirtless scene in a film where he’s otherwise swathed in ant-suit throughout. Be honest, though: if there was a chance of Evangeline Lilly glancing at your abs for even a second, you’d do the same.

Creepiest Workout Routine: Oscar Isaacs, Ex Machina

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Bro-tech moguls take note: if you’re aiming to simultaneously wrongfoot and out-alpha an employee before performance appraisals, forget the power-staring – just make sure they walk in on you while you’re curling a set of Argos dumbbells in a sweaty grey vest, then make them pound wheatgrass shooters with you.

Most Terrifying CGI Pecs: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator Genysis

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If this is the last time Arnie ever appears on screen shirtless, it’ll be a fitting final hurrah: a gleaming, hairless computer-aided recreation of his chest from its Pumping Iron glory days, when it launched a cable-crossover boom that’s barely slowed since. Go with him if you want to lift, etc.

Lifetime Achievement (Protein Consumption): Dwayne Johnson

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Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? If you can, it’s probably fish: the man eats 400g of protein every day, and apparently most of that is cod. At his current rates of expansion, scientists predict that our oceans and waterways won’t be able to keep up past 2021, but until then let’s all enjoy him doing what he does best: being effortlessly charming and looking great in a dress shirt.

This story is taken from Gym Punk, the weekly email newsletter from Men’s Fitness. Let this kind of goodness into your inbox by signing up to Gym Punk (opens in new tab).

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From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.