Fitness expert and celebrity trainer Michelle Lovitt shared an old photo of her workout session with Jason Statham in 2005 on her Instagram today and wrote, “To that time when I kicked this man’s ass.” And boy, does his competitiveness shine through in this snapshot.
But wait, we have more for you. In an interview with Edmonton Sun in 2012, Michelle Lovitt spoke about the time she trained (with) Jason Statham and how competitive things got between them.
Celebrity trainer Michelle Lovitt doesn’t typically work out alongside her clients.
Like most exercise gurus, she takes a more supervisory role while putting her protégés through their paces.
But Lovitt, 42, says that was next to impossible when training Tinseltown tough guy Jason Statham.
“He is so incredibly intense. Normally, I don’t jump in and do workouts. With Jason, it was hard not to,” she tells Sun Media in a phone interview from Los Angeles. “He and I were so competitive with each other. He’s like the brother I never had.
“When we were training together, he would do (for example) hanging abs — suspended with his arms, bringing his toes to his nose. He would do 10. And then he would go, ‘OK, how many can you do?’ It was always this competition.”
Lovitt, a strength and conditioning specialist, trained the bullet-headed British actor with the perennial five o’clock shadow “on and off for a couple years.”
In one particularly memorable stint, she helped Statham get ripped for Transporter 2.
The 2005 action blockbuster was filmed in Miami.
So the backdrop for Statham’s arsekicking workouts was Miami’s Fight Club, a fitness facility that focuses on boxing, kickboxing and martial arts.
“We would warm up with dynamic flexibility (stretching while moving) and then we would incorporate a foot ladder into a drill so he could get used to moving his feet quickly without looking at his feet,” Lovitt explains.
“We worked a lot on lateral speed and agility because he can’t look at his feet when he’s doing a stunt. So we had to do a lot of kinesthetic awareness stuff.”
From there, they would move into boxing and kickboxing moves, followed by abs and lower back work.
For Statham, who likes to do his own stunts and fight scenes, it’s all about “functional fitness,” says Lovitt.
“A lot of things he would do in a scene, we would do in a workout.”
Squats, for instance, would typically involve punches — “like a torque rotation where you’re punching the weight over your head,” she notes.
Besides cranking up the intensity, the Hollywood hunk — a chiselled 170-175 pounds at five-foot-nine — revels in variety.
“He does everything,” Lovitt says. “He trains like an athlete.”
And for good reason.
Long before reaching superstardom, Statham was an athlete.
In 1988, the cockney hardman was a member of the British diving team that went to the Seoul Olympics. And four years later, he was the No. 12-ranked diver in the world.
“I don’t think a lot of people know that about Jason,” Lovitt says.
“And so his training methodology and genetic predisposition is that of somebody with a sprint-type muscle. He was genetically predisposed to that muscle that he has. So he tones the muscle he has. He doesn’t necessarily go in and build it. He’s not out to get big. He’s just out to stay ripped. So he does a lot of moves where his heart rate’s up. He’s burning calories. And he eats really lean.”
Statham, 44, trains full-time with Logan Hood, a former Navy SEAL. Despite the action icon’s hectic travel and filming schedule, Lovitt still keeps in touch with him via email.
“He’s a truly good friend of mine,” she says. “He’s a great guy.”
And training with Statham, according to Lovitt, was much like his explosive movies.
“It was a blast.”
Thanks a lot to Dawn for sharing this great article with us.