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Christian Bale's Muscle Gains and Weight Losses

The chart below shows the amounts of weight that actor Christian Bale loses and gains depending on the role he is playing... including the incredibly 109 lbs he gained in six months after portraying The Machinist in order to prepare for his role in Batman Begins... he got so big that he ended up losing 19 lbs in the last month to "downsize" himself to play Batman because the producers thought he had beefed up too much for the role.


Yo-yo dieting is a way of life for some people, but when it comes to Hollywood actors gaining and losing lots of weight is sometimes part of the job. But it certainly helps when they have access to some of the most expensive personal trainers available in the USA.

Another big difference between Hollywood actors and ordinary people is the amount of free time they have. Free time to consult with personal trainers, nutritionists and doctors. And abundant free time to exercise, lift weights and do cardio training.

Lets stop and do some math.

Christian Bale gained 109 lbs in 6 months. That is an average gain of 18.17 lbs per month. Granted a small portion of it was probably fat tissue, but most of it was muscle so he would look beefy for the Batman role.

That much weight gain cannot be done by the average person. It would take an incredible amount of physical and mental discipline to do it without injurying yourself. (The normal recommended muscle gain is 2 lbs per month.)

To be gaining 18.17 lbs per month he would need to be gaining an average of 0.6 lbs per day he would need to be consuming approx. 270 grams of protein per day.

To put that in perspective 10 scoops of Six Star Muscle Professional Strength Whey Protein contains 260 grams of protein - And the recommended maximum daily usage is only 6 scoops (2 scoops three times per day).

And to be fair he would need other things to do. Lots of vitamins, nutrients, minerals, fruits and veggies. And perhaps most importantly, sodium, because sweating causes the body to lose sweat.

And lastly carbs and sugar, for energy. Because how else would he be able to exercise that much and put on so much muscle in an hurry?

According to sources Bale was going to the gym 6 days per week for 3 hours per day (18 hours per week) to prepare for the film American Pyscho in 2000. Presumably he must have been following a similar or more intense program to prepare for Batman Begins.

Well there is one trick to this... Muscle Memory. People who lose muscle and then later gain it back can bounce back faster because their body remembers the muscle being there. And since Christian Bale lost muscle to play The Machinist it was easier for him to gain it back while eating himself back up to his normal weight.

In contrast people are not regaining muscle will find it very difficult to gain new muscle because the body has no memory of it. Just the way it works. There are other factors too, like age, metabolism, hormone levels, bone structure and diet.

Diet can be managed via nutrition, and metabolism can be improved through the combination of diet and hormones like testosterone... but bone structure basically gives you a set maximum for how much muscle you can pile on. Eventually you reach a physical limit wherein you can't get any bigger because your frame can't handle any more.

Many ordinary people struggle to lose weight and struggle even harder to gain muscle mass.

On the first topic Christian Bale lost 63 lbs to play The Machinist (121 lbs and anorexic), but how did he do it? Starvation, vitamins and lots of cardio. He basically burned away the fat and muscle by doing lots of cardio while simultaneously starving himself.

As part of the process, Bale consulted a nutritionist who advised him about how much weight he should safely lose — but Bale kept going past that point. “I lost another 20 pounds below what she said I should stop at,” says Bale.

After The Machinist, Bale hired a personal trainer to help him gain 100 pounds (45 kg) in the span of only 6 months to prepare for the role of Batman in 2005. He ended up gaining 109 lbs, almost doubling his weight, and once he had reached 210 lbs he lost 20 lbs because he ended up looking too beefy. His extra large physique was not appropriate for Batman, who relies more on speed and strategy.

I should also note that it isn't healthy or good for your heart to create these kinds of huge weight fluctuations. It can cause a person to get holes in their heart and cause a heart attack.

People who are new to weightlifting can gain up 20 lbs of muscle in a hurry. This is known as "Newbie Gains".

Another way to gain muscle is Muscle Memory, but that only works if you have a history of weightlifting and used to have a lot more muscle. This is more common amongst athletes who suffer an injury and then bounce back to full strength after a long rest.

A larger bone structure and genetics helps too, especially if your body produces lots of hormones that help build muscle (like testosterone).

The last and final thing is steroids. Which is banned amongst athletes and very commonly used by professional bodybuilders. Steroids causes a slew of health problems however, including problems with liver, heart and even shrinks the testicles. It robs other body parts of needed energy and nutrients and funnels it towards muscle growth instead.

So what is the lesson from all of this?

Yes, you can gain muscle in a hurry if you want to... 2 lbs per month is certainly within the safety limits and doable if you exercise and lift weights for an hour or two daily. And if you're doing that then you need to be eating approx. 900 grams of protein per month on top of your regular diet. Which is a little over a scoop of Six Star Muscle Whey Protein per day.

Lastly if you do decide to do this, you need to know how to weigh yourself properly.

#1. Assuming you are pretty regular always measure your weight after you urinate and do your "Number 2" for the day.

#2. Wear the same clothes (or no clothes at all) every time you weigh yourself.

#3. Keep a chart and record your weight fluctuations daily.

If you're not gaining weight and seeing noticable changes in your muscles then you need to be lifting more weights and challenging yourself more. You may even need to hire a personal trainer to make certain you are getting the best possible results.

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