In case you aren’t familiar with Jason Statham’s films, above is a sample.

Jason before and after—could this before photo be real?

Jason Statham filled out for Death Race

There is so much interest in Jason’s physical transformation and growth into a top action star that I have collected two interviews. Notice his diet and that his workout routine is not a regular routine at all. Maybe I should shake up my own training activities. In the first interview below, he admits how miserable the training makes him. I can easily relate to that.

Q. You’re in such good shape in this movie (Death Race). What was the training like?

JASON STATHAM: In terms of the training? It changed a lot. The training schedules were put together by a guy called Logan Hood he’s an ex-Navy seal who’s pretty intense. The good thing about his sessions is nothing was ever repeated. We’d hawk back to the old starlets of exercise, using everything that uses your own body weight and the very basic things like pull-ups and pushups and squats and dead lifts, power planes, that kind of thing, sprints, explosive power stuff.
Q. Every day?

JASON STATHAM: Six days a week, yeah.
Q. For how long per day?

JASON STATHAM: Not that long, actually. 40 minutes, 45 minutes, sometimes an hour.
Q. What kind of diet did you have during your shoot?

JASON STATHAM: It was lots of protein, lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts, berries, a little bit of dairy, no refined carbohydrates, no pasta, no bread, no sugar, no juices.
Q. Did you find that difficult?

JASON STATHAM: It makes me very miserable. But you know, it’s in for a penny, in for a pound. You do it for a reason and it’s part of the job, so it’s nice to have that focus and dedication.
Q. Where you up early to train?

JASON STATHAM: Yes, we used to get up at 5, and hit the running machine which is no fun. Then we’d do an hour and then get ready and start the film. It’s amazing how much energy you get once you get into the routine.

Jason talks about his training for Death Race in the clip above.

Now here is the second interview after Transporter 3 came out.

How fit are you out of ten?

It depends. When I was filming Death Race I was extremely fit but right now… If I was a ten then, I’m probably about a six or seven now.

What level martial artist are you?

Movie level.

You recently lost 17lb (7.7kg) in six weeks. What did you eat?

Not much. Mainly protein, nuts and berries. I was a miserable bastard.

You also trained with a former Navy SEAL. Why him?

He leads by example. You see people working out with some trainers and the trainers look like they need a trainer. It’s bizarre how they get the job if they’re not in fucking amazing shape themselves.

What did you do with him?

I trained six days a week, 35 minutes a day. We had two rules: we wouldn’t do the same workout twice and we’d record everything. The main part of the session would be intense and involve heavy compound lifts, circuits, kettlebells and medicine balls.

How long before a movie do you get into serious training?

Ten weeks is good. If you can do ten weeks you can make some real changes. Anything under six weeks you may as well forget about it.

What’s your top training tip?

Train early in the morning. Get out of bed and just do it. That way you’ll never find an excuse not to.

Where do you work out in Hollywood? Plush club or spit-and-sawdust gym?

I go to this place out near the airport in Los Angeles. It accommodates all these stuntmen. People who go there really train hard. It’s great.

You finished 12th in the diving World Championships when you were younger. How did you get into the sport?

I just turned up one day and did it. I wanted to be a stuntman when I was a kid and it was a step in the right direction.

Who’s your favourite action hero?

Bruce Lee. He’s the fucking real deal, you know? Most of the Asian action stars have been inspirational to me: Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Tony Jaa – they’re fucking great at what they do and it is them doing it. They impress me, not people who take credit for something they don’t do.

How would you fare against them in a fight? Chan’s getting on a bit, you could have him.

Poor old guy. To put himself through the mangle so many times in all those films, I’m amazed he can still walk properly. The thing about getting older is you don’t heal very well. When you’re 18 you tear a muscle and it heals quickly, but now it takes fucking months.