GET RIPPED LIKE A CELEB
THE ROCK, ZAC EFRON, JAI COURTNEY – THESE ARE SOME OF THE ‘BIGGEST’ NAMES IN HOLLYWOOD. BY BIGGEST, WE’RE TALKING STRENGTH AS MUCH AS STARDOM. MEET AARON WILLIAMSON, THE MAN BEHIND THE BRAWN.
Meet the man who’s trained The Rock and Zac Efron.
Thought Jai Courtney’s arms looked massive in Terminator Genisys? Seen pictures of Zac Efron on the Baywatch set lately? Perennially envious of The Rock’s unrivalled strength and impressive muscles, or in awe of JK Simmons’ recent, and unbelievable, transformation from 60-year-old Oscar winner to 61-year-old gun-show powerhouse? Well, all these Hollywood stars share something in common – they’ve worked with Aaron Williamson. How the 37-year-old Floridian came to be in such a position is a Hollywood script in itself. “It’s a destiny thing,” Williamson tells GQ. After leaving the army, he came to New Orleans, Louisiana in the summer of 2009 “on a leap of faith for a contracting job in the Marine Corps” but it fell through. Consequently, for a couple of years, he struggled through obstacles and hardships, losing everything and living in his car. Then, one day, he decided it was time to jump right into fitness and do what he knew he was good at: training people. Within a few months, at his local gym in uptown New Orleans, Williamson met Zac Efron, who was training for the movie The Lucky Ones. “And then from there, things snowballed into something that I could never have imagined,” says Williamson. “The following summer, I got calls within the course of a week from Sylvester Stallone, Josh Duhamel and Zac, who was coming back in for The Paper Boy.” Soon after, he was asked to train the cast of GI Joe: Retaliation, where he met Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson*. They’ve since become firm friends. Indeed, Williamson’s training service – where he works in line with a movie’s production schedule – is renowned for enabling actors to achieve their (and a director’s) exact target for what shape a character should be in. The motto on his website reads, ‘In every aspect of what I do, the goal is to teach along the way. The more my clients know, the better off he or she will be in achieving great results.’ And, judging by his A-list testimonials, he delivers the goods for those he works with. Williamson’s exposure to the limelight has also landed him acting roles, Terminator Genisys the biggest to date. “When I got the call to say I’d got the role, it brought back memories of me sitting in my living room as a young kid watching the original. At the time I never dreamt I’d ever be involved in film. So even though I was a bad guy and get killed quickly, it was still a surreal experience.” Back to training mode, and how to get ripped like his celebrity projects, Williamson provides some allimportant tips. Here’s what he has to say on...