Gerard Butler was born in Scotland but his family is Irish. His parents divorced when he was 2 and he did not see his father again until he was 16. Butler attended Glasgow University and had plans to become a lawyer. He was discovered in a London coffee shop and after acting in a play, decided to ditch the law just one week before he earned his qualification. Despite having no formal training as an actor, Butler found small roles in tv and film. His breakout came in 2001 when he was cast as the lead in the tv mini series Attila. Although he was still a relative unknown, his persistence paid off and he also nabbed the lead in Dracula 2000. Butler then landed more roles in high-budget films like Phantom of the Opera, Timeline and 300. He is a fan favorite and has been voted Handsomest/Sexiest by various magazines. Butler has millions of followers on social media. He is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 185 lbs.
Gerard Butler’s Diet
Butler spend beaucoup hours in the gym to develop his royal abs for the film 300, but his diet was just as important because fat will hide even a rock-solid core. He would eat tons of protein, along with plenty of vegetables, fresh fruit and complex carbs, and snack on things like nuts that provide healthy fats. To keep his energy up and feed his muscles, he had to eat every few hours, and of course he stayed hydrated with plenty of water.
- Low-Medium Carb 25% 25%
- Low-Medium Fat 25% 25%
- High Protein 60% 60%
Cut the Crap
Butler didn’t quite resort to a Spartan diet, but he did eat extremely clean and stuck to things like lean chicken breast, veggies and protein shakes.
Butler worked out for hours every day which meant he needed to keep the fire stoked. He would eat a meal or snack every 2-3 hours.
Butler had serious problems with alcohol abuse as a young man. It took a health scare to quit.
One of Butler’s bad habits is smoking, and he managed to give it up while filming 300, but not permanently.
Butler doesn’t eat chicken and broccoli all the time. One of his favorite cheats is a nice, gooey lasagna. He’s also fond of burgers and fries.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Butler on His Diet When Not Prepping For a Role
‘My diet is still never quite as scheduled as I wish it were.’
Butler on Balance
‘A more balanced life would be better for Gerry Butler. But the obsessive, all-or-nothing way I tend to go about things worked great for playing Leonidas who knew he had no future.’
Butler on Charges That His 300 abs Were Computer-Enhanced
‘I was a bit annoyed when people suggested I was wearing a body suit, when I thought of all the work involved.’
Butler on Favorite Foods
‘I love lasagna.’
Gerard Butler’s Fitness Routine
For Butler, the most important thing for him in prepping for 300 was genuinely looking the part. He’s not naming names, but he says he hates it when some dude with twiggy arms and legs and a posh British accent is supposedly leading an army.
Butler worked with a mountain climber named Mark Twight who had him train as if his life really depended on it.
Bootcamp for Kings
Butler did lots of unconventional exercises such as sprints tied to a bungee cord, and flipping truck tires to constantly challenge and grow his muscles.
Butler worked out every day for months to prepare to play King Leonidas. Between weight training, stunt training and fight choreography, he spent some 6 hours a day exercising.
Butler says lifting weights is a pretty mindless activity, so he would picture the body he wanted to keep himself inspired.
Pump It Up
One trick Butler used to make his muscles look bigger was to pump iron right before a scene.
Butler didn’t just work out with the crew for 300. He also did plenty on his own. He has been asked if he’ll bring the abs back other roles, but he says no because of how hard it was to get and maintain them.
A Gerard Butler 300 Routine
Do 300 reps as quickly as possible:
25 pull ups
50 deadlifts w/ 135 lbs.
50 box jumps
50 floor wipes w/ 135 lbs.
50 clean & press w/ 36 lbs. kettlebell
25 pull ups
Butler on his Physique
‘I’ve always had a relatively good body.’
Butler on Twiggy Heroes
‘I never bought that for a second.’
Butler on his 300 Body
‘I wanted to have a physique like you wouldn’t believe…I hope I’ve done that.’
Butler on Intimidation Through Nudity
‘You wanted to be naked. The more naked you were, the stronger you felt because you could shock your opponents.’
Butler on Inspiring Others to Exercise
‘I think that movie worked on so many levels, and people appreciated it for more than the abs. It’s about team spirit, sacrifice and honor.’
Gerard Butler’s Supplements
Gerard Butler has not openly shared his supplement regimen, but here are some supplements that will be beneficial for those trying to get in Spartan-shape.
To get ripped like a Spartan, you might want to start with protein powder. Not only does protein build muscle, it also burns fat so you can show off your 8-pack.
A post workout with ingredients like BCAAs, glutamine and crea-tine help build mass and reduce recovery time and omega-3s can help reduce inflammation.
Gerard Butler’s Lifestyle
Playing the lead in Phantom of the Opera required serious commitment. Butler would spend 4 hours getting into makeup and prosthetics for each shoot. He didn’t get much sleep at that time, often waking at 3 am to start the process.
Real Life Hero
Butler once saved a boy from drowning. He received a Certificate of Bravery from the Royal Humane Society but says he was just doing what anyone would have done in the same situation.
No Plaid for You
Because Butler’s family is originally from Ireland, they do not have a tartan.
Butler was president of the law club in college and sang in a rock band.
Butler didn’t see his father from age 2 to 16. Reuniting churned up a lot of feelings for him, and when his father died a few years later, Butler went off the rails dealing with his grief by drinking.
Butler’s drinking could get out of control. He was known for smashing bottles over his head and running into traffic, and he once woke up in Paris covered in blood with no idea how he got there. He gave up alcohol when he was 27.
Butler has tried every method under the sun to quit smoking including patches, lasers and hypnotism, but he can’t seem to quit the habit.
Butler on the Requirements of Being a Leading Man
‘A 6-pack. A sense of humor. And some honorable traits.’
Butler on Scotland vs. the US:
‘In Scotland, I’m just like a lot of other guys, but in America I’m seen as a very strong, masculine guy.’
Butler on Getting Taken Down a Notch
‘They’ll cook Christmas dinner and [Mom] is like, “C’mon, give a hand, come on, wash the dishes…” And I’m like, “Mom, I am a major Hollywood movie star, I can’t be doing this. It’s embarrassing.”’
Butler on Life
‘I see a lot of actors for whom life becomes one big schedule.’
Butler on Alone Time
‘I love to spend a lot of time on my own…I always felt that was a form of escape.’
Olympus Has Fallen
Phantom of the Opera