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.

GQ (Australia) - - INSIDE GQ - WORDS MIKE CHRIS­TENSEN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY GAVIN BOND

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...

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