We are launching a new column today, and it’s about health! And what better way to start it than talking about Mr. Fitness himself? The one who runs in the middle of a blizzard, in the cold of Scotland, the one who does weight training, muay thai, climbs mountains and runs marathons? Yep, that’s him!
Sam Roland Heughan!
Once upon a time, we were cleaning our bathrooms and drinking caipirinhas when we came across a subject that caught our attention: Whole Wheat Carrot Cake with chocolate toppings’ fitness health.
Anyone who knows Harry understands that he gets heavy in training and takes it VERY seriously, no wonder he has this perfect body. And to maintain it, you need a lot of determination, a lot of commitment and, especially, a lot of FOCUS!
Harry has been working on his body for a looooong time. To come out of this:
That’s it, Coach Sam! No pain, no gain, right? Yep!
First, let’s talk a little about how he got his body like that.
For the role of Jamie in Outlander, Sam reports that he had to work very hard, since his character is a Scottish warrior – very strong – well appealing.
Before, his weight was 82-84kgs, so he had to “get a little bigger than he already was”. He also says he spent six weeks in London with a personal trainer at a CrossFit gym learning to perform deadlifts and Olympic lifts in addition to conditioning workouts. Over the course of the year, he gained lean mass, his weight went to 92-94kgs and he bumped 180 kilos!
In addition to the long hours he spent working out, 3x a day, Sam followed a strict regulated diet and fitness plan, but in an interview he said he also ate a bit of everything.
Sweet potatoes, chicken and peanut butter were also o his menu. However, it is not always possible to maintain this diet due to the extended filming hours of Outlander.
Sam said he started taking supplements and eating protein bars, because besides being easier to carry around, he can’t always find adequate nutrition when they are filming.
Sophie also liked the idea and decided to join him:
At the Edinburgh marathon on May 27th, we were able to see him with one of these bars:
Another thing Sam likes to eat during their breaks are chestnuts and nuts, and he has mentioned, more than once, the nut sack he kept inside Jamie’s sporran – and that Caitriona loves to steal his nuts!
While filming Outlander in South Africa, Sam had a different training. Each day of the week had a different purpose. The coach in charge of this training, James White, spoke a little of what Sam’s training days were like:
“Monday: Upper body work with a hypertrophy (muscle building) bias.
Tuesday: Legs day with a real focus on front squats as his quads, glutes and midsection needed strengthening and building.
Wednesday: Hellish mix of weights and cardio.
Thursday: Upper body hypertrophy again.
Friday: The 1000 Rep Challenge – a session in which we did 1000 repetitions made up of different exercises. This may sound like a huge amount of work, but we used it as a recovery session with the weights being light and the heart rate staying in a fat burning zone between 100 and 120 beats per minute.
Saturday: Weights and cardio, similar to Wednesday in that we really dialled up the intensity of the session.
Sunday: Steady state cardio, usually a 1h30 walk or slow cycle, once again staying in the 100 to 120 beat per minute zone. This serves as recovery as well as an essential part of the leaning out process.”
Check out the full article on the Men’s Health website: https://www.mh.co.za/fitness/the-weekly-training-regime-that-got-outlanders-sam-heughan-in-top-shape/
In addition to all this, Sam climbs mountains, is a marathon runner and also creator of the My Peak Challenge (MPC) program, where he and his friend, and also coach, John Valbonesi (AKA Valbo) encourages people to change their lives through exercise and a balanced nutrition while helping others. Carrot cake is very proud of this project!
And of course, so are the Peakers, people who believe that willpower and commitment to change their lives is possible, with the help of Coach Sam (and Coach Valbo) is even better!
PHEW! With this whole routine between long hours of shooting, gym, marathons and nutrition, we got tired of just imagining it! We think it’s already pretty clear that our Harry has worked hard from the beginning to gain muscle mass and fitness, right?
It seems that some people are not understanding the matter very well.
Since the news came out that Sam will star in “Bloodshot”, rumors came with it, but we know that to play his character, he would have to further boost his exercise routine.
In his IG post where he announced his role in the movie, Sam said that the training had already begun, and even Coach Valbo confirmed!
However, some comments came up:
Where did those muscles that weren’t there the week before come from?
Why is Sam losing his hair so fast?
How is he gaining muscle mass so fast?
Would Sam Heughan be using anabolic steroids to gain muscle hypertrophy faster??
What? How come? Where did this idea come from, guys?!
Has it gone unnoticed to these people that Carrot cake has been working hard FOR MANY YEARS to build and maintain his body?!
SIS thought about it and decided to do this post with the intention of clarifying a thing – or maybe two – about it.
In addition to what has already been exposed and the reports of Sam himself, he said that he also takes supplementation.
Ok, let’s clarify one thing: SUPPLEMENTS ARE NOT STEROIDS.
LET’S UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANABOLIC STEROIDS AND SUPPLEMENTS
Anabolics: They act on cell and body tissues growth, such as bone and muscle. In cases of clinical need, patients are advised to take only minimal doses to just regularize their dysfunction. However, it causes side effects in both men and women, such as disorders on liver function, liver tumors, anger or aggressive behavior, paranoia, hallucinations, psychoses, blood clots, fluid retention in the body, increased blood pressure and risk of acquiring transmissible diseases (AIDS, Hepatitis). Excessive consumption of this type of product is very dangerous and can cause irreparable damage to the human body. In men, the excess can cause breast enlargement, reduction of the testicles, decreased sperm count and baldness.
Supplements: Food supplements are products for the purpose of supplementing the diet (eg. vitamins, minerals, herbal products, amino acids, enzymes and metabolites). Sports supplements (protein powders and bars, gels, energy drinks) are a category of dietary supplements that aim to increase muscle mass, loss of body weight or improve performance.
Source: Kreider RB, Wilborn CD, Taylor L, Campbell B, Almada AL, Collins R, et al. ISSN exercise & sport nutrition review: research & recommendations. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010;7(1):7.
With that difference clarified, we can then ask the following questions:
Sam Heughan, a guy who is transparent about his choice to live in a healthy way and that not only speaks, but shows that he lives that truth, would risk everything including his health and reputation just to build the “dream body”?
To play a character?
Would he risk his health for it?
Yes, steroids “helps” to achieve muscle hypertrophy faster, but would it really be worth it?
We can not answer for Sam, but his attitudes alone speaks for him.
“There is something very physical about Jamie, and he is probably bigger than I would be in real life.”
Understanding this fact, we know that (if you don’t, now you will) whoever objectifies muscular hypertrophy NEEDS to associate training with a DIET, and we also know that this is one of the ways Sam uses to gain muscle mass “faster”. I said “faster”, not easier. Getting to that level is NOT EASY. You give up your eating habits that once brought you pleasure, but they did not make you healthy.
After all, haven’t you ever chosen to eat a delicious hamburger with a coke instead of an apple? I have! Many, many times!
It’s not that you can’t eat those things, of course you can! But one thing Sam has is self-CONTROL, because if he didn’t, how would that be possible? Balance is the key.
By the way, Valbo, tell us what Carrot cake gets after training?! It isn’t dessert.
SIS has researched (because yes, we also use science to base our posts), and we found this article published by the Brazilian Journal of Sports Nutrition, in which the researchers report that:
“They studied 114 practitioners between 18 and 30 years of age in the weight training. They observed that 95.6% of those practitioners consumed carbohydrates the wrong way, so they are more prone to hypoglycemia, decreased performance and muscle mass due to the impairment of muscle contraction for lack of energy. Negative impacts in the immune system, losses in metabolism of adipose tissue and early muscle fatigue.”
Although this study has been done in Brazil, it does not rule out the valid information for those who are bodybuilders.
A balanced diet is essential, otherwise there is no result!
Bobby Maximus, a writer for Men’s Health magazine and a former UFC fighter, went to Scotland for a training session at Valbo’s gym, where Sam had the opportunity to train with him. After training, Bobby posted on his IG how much he was impressed by the level of fitness Sam has and gave him a lot of compliments.
Before the Stirling Marathon, which took place on April 30th, our Sam slowed down a bit on the exercises because she got sick, but still ran the marathon. We noticed that he had lost some weight too.
In this photo we can check Sam’s quadriceps:
Now let’s compare this picture with this one at the Edinburgh marathon:
It is noticeable that this muscular group increased, so do we really need to lecture about it, having already explained so much about this man’s routine?
It seems we do since people find it unbelievable that he gained muscle mass in such a short time.
It is incredible, yes, for those who are not used to working out, that in such a short time he has acquired this “amount” of mass, but for him, it is certainly a little thing!
In that one-month break between one marathon and another, Sam kept training, and the result could not be different! The same goes for the other muscles.
Do you think it’s news that he has quads like that?
Take a look at this photo here from 2013:
Moving on to another subject, we realize that people are saying that Sam’s hair has been falling little by little and several factors can be added to this factor.
Want to know an important one?
Do you know what Androgenetic Alopecia is?
Androgenetic alopecia, or baldness, is a genetically determined form of hair loss, being the most common form of hair loss in men. Both sexes can be affected by the problem, which can be transmitted by several genes of the father and some of the mother. Inheritance is the main responsible for the development of alopecia in men, contributing with 80% of the predisposition to be bald. The fact that androgenetic alopecia manifests with different degrees of intensity and at different ages within the same family, suggests that there is more than one gene responsible for the manifestation of this condition, besides having other factors that regulate the intensity of this genetic inheritance.
Whoever has seen photos of Sam’s parents must have already noticed that Papa Heughan suffered from a possible hair loss.
Genetics is something that can influence, but there is also another fairly common factor: Emotional.
Let’s understand a bit about another type of alopecia.
Alopecia Areata is a dermatological disease that results in loss of hair, varying in shape and extent (SAMPAIO, 1978), localized or generalized, without inflammatory signs or atrophy. Emotional stress has often been know to triggering the disease. The initial characteristic of the Alopecia Areata lesion is a limited loss of hair […] and in 60% of cases, the scalp is the first affected area. Estimates suggest that about 1.7% of the general population present at least one episode of Alopecia Areata during life (Safavi et al., 1995).
Sam reported that he fell sick a few times this year and this may be related to his immune system, which configures a state of exhaustion, which may be associated, or be driven, also by stress.
An interesting fact that we observe is that Carrot Cake usually goes through periods where he has more hair while in others not so much. This thought is corroborated according to the article by Yazigi, Andreoli and Godinho, entitled “Study of Stress Management in Patients Stricken by Alopecia Areata”:
“After the appearance of the first lesion, the evolution of Alopecia Areata occurs in a variable way, observing cases of a single episode of loss in small areas with spontaneous repilation (when the hair grows back) to cases of total hair loss in a matter of days. If there is a slight loss, repilation can occur within a few months or new lesions may appear after an interval of three to six weeks.“
I can affirm with certainty that in situations of stress, my hair fell… big time! And that worried me even more. Sometimes I get too overwhelmed with university, responsibilities and problems (who doesn’t?). Even my doctor has said that my hair loss problem is stress (please, note that I’m talking about a personal experience).
Now let’s think: between Outlander, Spy Who Dumped Me promo, marathons, shooting for the MPC training program and now the intensified workout for the role in Bloodshot, don’t you think he’s a little overloaded and with that, stressed out?
It’s a possibility!
So, SISters, we hope that with this post you have understood a bit more about the body process of our Sam. It is super important to see all angles in situations like this, in which many make hasty conclusions and may end up offending someone, even if unintentionally.
Even our dear Dora has already spoken about it:
All of this because she knows he used no other way to have that body: Hard work and sweat.
Do you have any questions about this or any doubts? Send us in our VIP group on facebook and we’ll answer you!
Proofreaders: Thaís and Manu
Tranaslators: Bianca and Lotti