Entering at such a late stage of Marvel’s monstrously large universe isn’t easy considering everything that’s come before in the Black Panther franchise.
Body’s have been bulked up to god-like proportions, nutrition has been dialed in and “bromances” have formed.
As you’ll see from our Chadwick Boseman interview, he had his daily grind cut out for him from day one.
Chadwick Boseman on the physicality of becoming the Black Panther
“It is a lot of work, but the physicality is a key way into the character,” he explains.
“You definitely have to tighten up the diet and the workouts. It just becomes a part of your day-to-life and a part of your lifestyle. And sticking with the regimented diet and exercise routine, harnessing Black Panther’s physicality, that’s as important as his psychology and motivations and his accent. It informs so much. For anyone that’s ever trained in martial arts, you know how it feels when you get into a groove of things. That physical ability informs and provides an internal strength, it’s this quiet strength that is so key to Black Panther.”
Regardless of your vintage or goals, you stand to make gains from martial arts training.
A paper in the journal Societies found people over 40 who regularly practiced this form of training created improvements in balance, reaction tests and in the duration of single leg stance.
It doesn’t matter if you never plan to throw a blow, the benefits you’ll earn will reward you for trying something new.
Mastering all fitness disciplines as the Black Panther
Specialization is for insects and you’re immune to Deet, so it’s wise to practice a wide variety of exercise options if you want to create a physique that moves smoothly – a fact Boseman will testify towards.
“With Black Panther, it was a lot of yoga, weight-lifting and martial arts,” he explains.
“The martial arts were key. It really helped build up the fluidity and rhythm of the character. We played around with Jiu Jitsu, Sanuces Ryu Jujutsu, To-Shin Do, fight training with the stunts, and then also Kali and some Capoeira. Part of Black Panther is that there’s an unpredictability to him, so those disciplines were so important. The rhythm of him was a big thing, and the internal strength of training the body means polishing the spirit. That grind is serious though! I always enjoy the physicality. The weights were important as well, but it was a mix of traditional weights, yoga and then different martial arts. I enjoyed it.”
If you’ve been plugging away at the iron or laying down the mileage while running, it could be worth mixing it up a little, says a recent paper in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology.
To illustrate the benefits of cross-training. the scientists got runners to swim regularly and found it improved their running performance.
That said, the researcher did admit that the best activity for running fitness is running, but it is wise to throw new types of training into your routine so your body is always guessing and adapting.
Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther diet
Even if you’re lucky enough to have all your meals prepared for you like an A-lister, you would still have to depart from your usual eating habits, which can be a difficult ask, especially if your job demands you yo-yo in size.
“It is tough; you have to be very disciplined day-in-day-out,” explains Boseman.
“I played Thurgood Marshall after playing Black Panther in Captain American: Civil War. I had to lose around 25lb after that for Marshall. And then after I had to bulk up again to play Black Panther. That was no joke and it was all about discipline and adjusting for what the goals were and having the discipline to stick to them. With Black Panther it’s obviously based around protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, fruit and veg, natural foods. Lots of greens.”
It’s that very simple nutrient prescription which yields very big dividends if you’re trying to build muscle the healthy way.
How Chad stays motivated
With the success of the movie, you can bet Boseman isn’t likely to easily give up the hard-won muscle he earned for Black Panther.
“He’s an endlessly interesting character. He has this strategic quality, and he’s always a step ahead of everyone. There’s a mystery to him that’s fascinating, he’s sort of known by everyone, but at the same time known by no one. He has this wit and wisdom to him. There’s this great paradox with him as well, him being a forward thinker, but also someone with a tremendous connection to a tradition and his lineage.”
“This role is an actor’s dream, really. It’s a tremendous opportunity to be part of them. And with Marvel, to know that these films are connected to something else and leading to further opportunities – there’s so much to explore. With Black Panther, it’s a character that has a wealth of information. There are so many possibilities with this character and with Wakanda and with the wider Marvel universe. I’m excited, in fact, very, very excited!”
What you can learn from that is finding your personal motivation to keep training is a vital part of the process – and that you can expect to enjoy several additional outings from Boseman in his famous suit.
What is the number one motivator to keep going in the exercise sphere? According to a paper in the journal Preventative Medicine, it’s competition.
Find something that you so badly want to win at and it will spur you to keep on training with relentless intensity.
It’s in your nature to use all your means to compete for limited resources, so apply it not just to work, but to your fitness and nutrition.
It’s the surest way to ensure you keep your fires stoked and ready for battle against the enemies that obesity leads.
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