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  • He may have already looked god-like in all of his DC appearances, but Henry Cavill took

  • his workouts to a whole new level in order to play the lead in Netflix's The Witcher.

  • Here's how he got into the best shape of his life to play Geralt of Rivia.

  • To make sure that he was looking as shredded as humanly possible for his many shirtless

  • scenes in The Witcher, Cavill allowed himself to systematically dehydrate.

  • Over the course of four days, he would gradually reduce his fluid intake so that when the time

  • came to shoot, he had zero water weight.

  • As he explained during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show,

  • "Yeah it gets your, makes your skin really thin, so it sits on the muscles."

  • He goes on to explain the grueling, borderline masochistic process:

  • "On the first day you'll have a liter and a half, and the second day half a liter, and

  • then the third day no water, and then you'll shoot the fourth."

  • Cavill has plenty of experience when it comes to pushing his body to the limits for a role,

  • but this was definitely a tough ask, even for him.

  • The actor even admitted,

  • "You're the most miserable person on the planet."

  • In fact, he says that,

  • "You get to the point on the last day where you can smell water nearby."

  • Well, the results speak for themselves.

  • The internet went wild when shots of Geralt in the bathtub were included in the Witcher trailer.

  • Believe it or not, Henry Cavill was once told that he was too fat to play James Bond.

  • The actor was up for the role of 007 in the period between Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig,

  • and he received some rather harsh feedback.

  • As he explained to Men's Health UK,

  • "I remember the director [of Casino Royale], Martin Campbell, saying, 'Looking a little

  • chubby there, Henry.

  • I didn't know how to train or diet.

  • And I'm glad Martin said something, because I respond well to truth.

  • It helps me get better."

  • Cavill learned all about the importance of training and dieting in the years that followed,

  • but it wasn't until he started preparing for The Witcher that he began to truly appreciate

  • what goes into being a bodybuilder.

  • In an Instagram post, Cavill revealed that he'd been reading into the big players of

  • the bodybuilding game, and he found himself in awe of them.

  • The caption reads:

  • "It's absolutely fascinating to see what they put themselves through, the drive and mental

  • strength required to get to such a place physically.

  • Phil Heath in particular has caught my eye not only for his achievements but also for

  • his genuinely humble and informative approach to his messaging."

  • Clearly all of his hard work paid offbut perhaps that goes without saying.

  • "There I go again, justdelivering exposition."

  • To get more ripped than ever for The Witcher, Cavill joined forces with Dave Rienzi, the

  • strength and conditioning coach that helps sculpt some of the biggest bodies in Hollywood.

  • In fact, none other than Dwayne Johnson calls him the "mastermind" behind his fitness regimen.

  • Rienzi suggested that Cavill try something called fasted cardio to get into next-level

  • shape for his big Netflix series.

  • This essentially means working out when your body isn't processing or digesting food, which

  • is thought to help burn fat at a faster rate.

  • So did this turn Henry Cavill into Hangry Cavill?

  • Evidently not.

  • Explaining that he starts his day with an empty-stomach workout, Cavill told Men's Health UK,

  • "It's some of the best, or most enjoyable cardio I've done.

  • It's only 20 minutes, so it's not massively exhausting.

  • It's not like doing [high intensity interval training] which, psychologically, can be quite

  • grueling.

  • My heart rate's at 125-135bpm, so it has a really good effect on fat-loss."

  • Cavill went on to tell the men's mag that Rienzi's suggestion helped him reach peak

  • fitness for his debut as Geralt.

  • The buff Brit revealed,

  • "Out of all the things I've done in the past, I think the fasted cardio stuff is actually

  • working best for me.

  • I'm in the best shape of my life."

  • When Cavill convinced Netflix to let him be Geralt in The Witcher, he knew exactly what

  • he was signing up for.

  • In fact, he's reportedly a huge fan of the source material and relentlessly pursued the

  • role when he heard the show was being made.

  • The actor was well aware of what the character called for, and the fact that he was going

  • to be doing his own action sequences meant that his body had to be able to withstand

  • the strain.

  • To get Cavill where he needed to be, coach Dave Rienzi introduced some grueling new exercises

  • to his workouts.

  • In a Men's Health tutorial video, Cavill and Rienzi explain and demonstrate the killer

  • moves they employed.

  • Cavill revealed that,

  • "For The Witcher in particular, we had to focus on things that would support the level

  • of stunt work that I was doing."

  • Rienzi called the Romanian deadlift the quote "key foundation movement" of their sessions.

  • It strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, and the whole posterior chain.

  • The trainer says that,

  • "The whole key here is just maximizing time under tension so he's able to fatigue the

  • muscles more but not over-stress his nervous system and his adrenals."

  • In June 2017, Cavill shared a throwback photo with his Instagram followers, giving them

  • a look inside his training for The Witcher.

  • The actor became a regular at Budapest's Flex Gym while he was on location in Hungary, and

  • the staff looked after him for the duration.

  • The gym had everything that Cavill needed to stay Geralt-ready, but he didn't always

  • opt for the fanciest machine or the heaviest weights.

  • When he came across this old snap of himself lifting some pretty small dumbbells at Flex,

  • Cavill decided to share a little pearl of workout wisdom with the world.

  • "It doesn't take huge weights everyday to achieve results.

  • I was doing everything I could in a busy busy schedule to try and get something in, whenever

  • I could.

  • During this period I learned that it's not the weight that matters, it's the workout."

  • Cavill went on to encourage people who aren't necessarily blessed with a frame like his,

  • telling his fans not to be discouraged by all the gym rats who lift massive weights.

  • He says,

  • "You do your weights, just make every workout count.

  • You might end up looking better than the fella or lady next to you that's using those heavy weights."

  • While training for The Witcher, Cavill did regular hyperextensions to reinforce his posterior

  • chain and strengthen his lower back, using a glute ham machine to make the exercise extra

  • challenging for him.

  • The actor did three sets of ten reps and would hold each repetition for two seconds, all

  • while keeping his hands behind his head.

  • In a tutorial video for Men's Health, Cavill's coach Dave Rienzi explained,

  • "The focus here is again on isolating the posterior chain.

  • Really activating the glutes and the lower back."

  • It might seem odd that Cavill spent so much time working on muscles that remain covered

  • for the most part, but getting in shape for The Witcher wasn't just about looking good

  • with his clothes off, it was about making sure he was up for major physical challenges

  • on a daily basis.

  • As the Brit said,

  • "When it comes to the posterior chain and the kind of stunts I have to do, especially

  • when it's pirouettes with swords, anything which is based upon one-leg movement where

  • a knee can have a bad injury...this stuff is what saves me."

  • Finding time to exercise when a project is still in pre-production is usually pretty

  • straightforward for actors, but maintaining an impressive physique throughout a shoot

  • is way more challenging.

  • That's especially true when it comes to a long project like The Witcher.

  • Henry Cavill told Men's Health UK that at one particularly intense point during the

  • production,

  • "[We were doing] 16 and 15-hour shoot days."

  • That meant that in order to stay in top shape, he had to become a master of time management.

  • The actor revealed that he was getting up at 3 a.m. every morning so he had enough time

  • to shower and get his extensive hair and makeup applied before the cameras started rolling.

  • In December 2019, he told Entertainment Tonight,

  • "The most taxing thing is always going to be time."

  • He goes on to say,

  • "It's just about getting that training in each day and forcing yourself to do it.

  • You've finished a very long shift and you were there two-and-a-half hours early for

  • your hair and your makeup, and then you have to go to the gym."

  • In an Instagram post, Cavill's workout coach Dave Rienzi praised the actor's dedication:

  • "His choice to take things to the next level is no small task as he's currently working

  • a grueling shoot schedule...His 110 percent commitment is no joke."

  • Henry Cavill's shoulders have always been pretty heroic, but the stacked actor knew

  • he'd need them to be stronger than ever for The Witcher.

  • Dave Rienzi advised the A-lister to use a combination of side laterals and front raises

  • to make sure he was hitting all the right spots in one exercise.

  • During their "Train Like a Celebrity" tutorial for Men's Health, Rienzi revealed that,

  • "Each repetition is actually three repetitions."

  • Rienzi goes on to say,

  • "He's starting out in a traditional side lateral for the first rep, then he's coming a little

  • further forward for the next one, and then doing a traditional front raise."

  • Combining these exercises into one meant that Cavill could work the medial deltoid and the

  • anterior deltoid at the same time, giving him the size and strength he needed to stay

  • safe during The Witcher's intense action sequences.

  • Cavill said of his tailored shoulder workout,

  • "This really helps with the sword fighting aspect."

  • Cavill also revealed that

  • "When you're film fighting, you're not going through for kill strikes, you're pulling the

  • blow at the last second, but you have to keep that speed up between the striking moment

  • and the stopping moment to make it look realistic."

  • Just like the rest of his workout, Henry Cavill's dumbbell curls were tailored to his specific needs.

  • The actor had to have forearms that were capable of taming big, strong horses for extended

  • periods of time.

  • In the source material, Geralt is an experienced rider and goes through numerous horses, all

  • of whom he named Roach.

  • Dave Rienzi had his client do dumbbell curls alternating from a static hold, which helped

  • sculpt those huge forearms you see in the show.

  • During his "Train Like a Celebrity" video for Men's Health, he said that,

  • "With horse riding also this can make a difference."

  • He goes on to say,

  • "If you have a particularly powerful horse, whether it be a stallion or anything else,

  • which is really, really going for it, to have that necessary heave back on the bit, it does

  • help."