Aaron Eckhart’s Monster Workout for I, Frankenstein
What was your training like for I, Frankenstein?
Hardcore. I did six months of Kali stick fighting training—it’s the Filipino art of using two-and-a-half foot rattan sticks to destroy an opponent. I worked with this gentleman named Ron Belicky in Southern Cali who’s an expert in that and other things—knife fighting and all that. I trained every single day for two or three hours a day and then I would go straight from Kali stick fight training to my trainer here.
I train on the beach, doing sand sprints, doing all sorts of Parkour, strength training. When I went over to Australia to shoot, I had a trainer who was a Cirque Du Soleil acrobat and my first words to him were, “Try to kill me.” And so each day after Kali stick fighting and rehearsal, he would try to kill me. And we would do all sorts of strength training, and I got in really good shape through that.
Did you keep that up on set?
Yeah. Wherever we were, on location or the studio, my assistant would set up a tent for me with my weights. They were nice enough to give me a dip-pull-up machine. I would jump rope, I would do pull-ups and triceps, I would have my weights and bands on set with me at all times. And then all the abs and core and stuff.
It was one after another after another until you’re exhausted. For example, if I were to do a burpee into a push-up, I would roll over and do abs and then push-ups and roll over. I would be doing a plank for two minutes, roll over, do the dish for a minute.
And then doing it with weights, and doing pull-ups and a freezing in the middle of a movement. You freeze halfway through a pull-up, and go into a leg raise and keep sets of those.
Did you do any tough training for other roles?
I just did a movie call the Expatriate where I did all MMA training. My trainer and I would go every day to the park in Malibu and we would wrestle. We would do that kind of stuff to the point that they kicked us out of the park because two men, every single morning, were scaring the kids and the dogs. And then I started doing my beachside training. Even today, if I don’t do Parkour at my house, I go to Santa Monica on third street and I run down to the beach and I run to the jungle gym by the pier and I do an hour of suspension on the parallel bars, on the rings, I do all that and then I do sand sprints all the way home. That’s another incredible workout.