Simu Liu Workout and DIET
Simu Liu was born in China and his family moved to Canada when he was 5. His parents had high expectations for young Liu and he studied hard and eared a degree in business administration in 2011. Liu worked for a short time as an accountant, but on a whim tried out to be a stuntman for Pacific Rim. His first significant role came in 2015 with Blood and Water. Also in 2015, Liu was cast in the series Kim’s Convenience, but his big break came in 2019 with the lead in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He has been nominated for ACTRA Awards and Canadian Screen Awards. Time magazine listed Liu on their 100 Most Influential People in 2022. His memoir When We Were Dreamers is about the hardship his parents suffered growing up during China’s Cultural Revolution. Liu has millions of followers on social media. He is 6 feet tall and weighs about 175 lbs.
Simu Liu‘s Diet
Liu works out hard at the gym but diet is also an essential component of his ripped physique. Being the first Asian to play a lead in a Marvel film carries some extra pressure, and he gave 100% to prepping for the role. A total foodie, he completely revamped his diet, limiting his meals to a 12-hour window, focusing on , and doing carb cycling. The Marvel diet is used by many of its stars and involves alternating between low-carb and high-carb days. Foods are all nutrient-dense and include egg whites, chicken breast, fish, and green veggies. Macros are counted precisely. Water is essential for hydration.
- Low-Medium Fat 25% 25%
- Low-Medium Carb 25% 25%
- High Protein 50% 50%
As if the Marvel diet isn’t challenging enough, things got even more complicated when filming was interrupted by the pandemic. Just as Liu thought he could take a little break from the strict regimen, he was told they were going to start.
Liu got a lot of practice being disciplined growing up. He traded in his math books for lifestyle discipline and used that will power to stick to a strict diet. Even so, he loves food, and admits it was rough going.
The Marvel diet involves fasting a minimum of 12 hours each day. When you’re working out as hard as Liu did, that can be challenging.
Carb intake on the Marvel diet varies between 75 and 125 g per day. A low-carb day works out to an apple, 1/2 a banana and a bowl of rice at lunch. Dinner is carb-free.
Liu admits to cheating more than once on the Marvel diet. But he swears he had a good reason: chili crabs with Michelle Yeoh can’t be turned down.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Liu on his Foodie Status
I’m a big food guy.
Liu on the Marvel diet
I’m outing myself as someone who didn’t follow their “Marvel Diet” as much as they should have.
Liu on Sticking to the Strict Marvel diet during the Pandemic
As the start-up date kept getting pushed, I was like, “Okay, maybe I can loosen up a bit.” Then, all of a sudden, they said, “We’re starting again,” and I had to get back into shape.
Liu on Cheats
When you have chili crab with Michelle Yeoh on the table, you don’t say no to that.
Simu Liu‘s Workout Routine
Liu did all of his own stunts for Shang-Chi, including the crazy bus scene.
Liu had some skills with martial arts going into the movie biz, but training to be an accountant left some gaps. He had a lot to learn to get ready to play a superhero.
Call in the Pros
Liu worked with Bart Kwan who developed a hyper-mobility based routine that helped him to bulk up while staying agile.
Liu more or less lived at the gym while preparing to play Shang-Chi.
To save time and get him up to speed as fast as possible, Liu’s workout focused on supersets and multi-directional moves.
Also in the interest of saving time, Liu did high-intensity routines. He still spent hours at the gym.
Strength Is Essential
To play a superhero convincingly means being strong. Liu did a lot of lifting, but his trainer took care that he didn’t get too bulky.
A Simu Liu Routine
Warm-up: air fan bike: 5 min
Banded trap bar deadlift: 5 reps x 5 sets
Box jumps: 5 reps x 5 sets
Sled push to spring: 20 yds x 5 rounds
Rotational medicine ball slam: 5/side x 3 sets
Lat pulldown: 15 reps x 3 sets
Dumbbell lateral raise: 15 reps x 3 sets
Strength routine for upper body
Deadlifts (heavy): 5 reps x 5 sets
Kettlebell swings: 25 x 5 sets
Sled push to spring: 20 yds x 5 rounds
Incline dumbbell chest press: 12-15 reps x 4 sets
Arnold press: 12-15 reps x 4 sets
Barbell bent-over rows: 12-15 reps x 4 sets
Liu on his Pre-Marvel Physique
I had the 6-pack, but I didn’t have any of that other stuff going on.
Liu on becoming a Superhero
Obviously, learning the martial arts is a big part of my training, but the other part of being a Marvel superhero is, well, looking like a superhero.
Liu on balancing Strength & Agility
It was really important for us not to sacrifice range of motion and explosiveness because I’ve still got to be able to throw a punch at the end of the day.
Liu on Backflips
When I was 16…I thought that backflips were, like, the coolest thing. So I spent months and months of my life literally flipping onto my head. My parents were like, “What are you doing?
Liu on Fitness
The most important thing is to show up.
Simu Liu’s Supplements
Besides his protein shakes, Liu isn’t dishing on any supplements he might be taking. So, below are options that may benefit anyone following a similar diet plan.
Simu Liu‘s Lifestyle
Real Life Struggles
Liu’s parents suffered under China’s Cultural Revolution. His brilliant mother was made to do hard labor in the fields. His parents managed to escape to Canada and, after washing dishes for extra money, eventually became astrospace engineers.
Liu spent the first 5 years of his life living with his grandparents in a small apartment that often did not have running water. Nonetheless, he describes that time as ‘idyllic.
Liu’s parents expected total obedience from him, and assigned lots of extra homework. He says they often fought, and his parents would beat him for insubordination. He distanced himself from them when he decided to quit accounting for acting. They have since reconciled.
Liu says seeing Kim’s Convenience in the theater helped him see his parents’ view of life for the first time, and how much they sacrificed to try to make a better life for him.
One of Liu’s part-time jobs while he was breaking into the acting biz was being Spiderman for kids parties. One rule: keep the mask on to preserve the illusion.
There’s Pain and Pain
Liu says one of the most painful experiences he’s ever undergone was waxing his body hair for the film Barbie, set to release in 2023. Liu will play one of 3 versions of Ken, the other two being played by Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa. Barbie will be played by Margot Robbie.
Liu on his Grandparents
With my grandparents, I felt completely safe. To me, that’s what home is.
Liu on himself
I am that person that’s always felt he was never enough.
Liu on his relationship with his Parents
‘It really just hit me, how much they sacrificed to come to this new country…It really made me sad for all the years that I spent resenting them.
Liu on taking Stereotypical Asian Roles
Looking back now, I wish I could slap myself in the face.
Liu on Personal Identity
Be unapologetically you. You aren’t less than anybody else.
Liu on Waxing
Waxing has been a education, to say the least. I have such a newfound admiration for the incredibly brave women who go through this on a monthly basis.
Liu on Making a Difference
Once you have the power, how are you going to use it?
we were dreamers
fan air bike