Sam Corlett hasn’t always been the fierce, lithely-muscular type who can effortlessly portray a hardened Viking warrior. Before the Australian actor took on the lead role of Leif Erikson in Netflix’s new series Vikings: Valhalla, he was playing a character with a much different physicality for a much different audience: Caliban on the streamer’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Corlett was a world away from the Norse setting of his new show for that type of character—namely, a modern teenager.
“I got cast [in Vikings: Valhalla] just after I finished Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, so I was still auditioning for high school roles,” he told the MH crew at the Dogpound gym in LA. “I was intermittent fasting, I was high-intensity interval training. As soon as I got the role, they really wanted me to put on size, so it was straight to the gym and eating a lot of food.”
Corlett says he added about 10 kilos (roughly 22 pounds) over four months of hard work. To keep his body on point, he and a friend built a program aimed at hypertrophy (muscle growth). Once the series began shooting, training for size took a backseat to training for movement. “The mindset was primal, so we were doing a lot of CrossFit workouts, a lot of compound movements, and learning a new flows with the body, whether it be kettlebell flows or crawling.”
Corlett walked us through his current training plan as he preps to shoot the next season of the show. This is an upper body push workout—but he mixes in some full-body movement work, too.
Sam Corlett’s Vikings: Valhalla Prep Workout
- 1A. Foam Rollout
30 seconds per muscle group
- 1B. Shoulder Dislocates
- 2. CARs
Each side until shoulders are loose
- 3. External Rotation with Band
3 sets of 10 reps
- Bench Press
2 sets of 12 reps, then 3rd set drop set
- Cable Fly with Wide Arm Plank
3 sets of 12 reps; hold between sets
- Overhead Dumbbell Carry
3 rounds of 20 yards up and back
- Incline Bench Lateral Raise
4 sets of 12 reps (finish with 8 second hold)
- Pushup to Bear Crawl EMOM
5 pushup reps to crawl, every minute on the minute for 7 minutes
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