Belfast Telegraph

Ricky Whittle tucked into dry chicken to get American Gods bod

Ricky Whittle also had to hit the gym every day for two months before filming the show.

Ricky Whittle had to cut “the good stuff” from his diet to bulk up for American Gods.

The English actor, who first found fame on U.K. soap opera Hollyoaks before securing success across the pond, is currently starring as Shadow Moon in the hit TV show, about a recently released convict who becomes involved in a conflict between the gods.

While Ricky has always taken care of his body, he had to ramp up his fitness and diet plan to get into peak physical condition for the show.

“I’m a child. I love meat and candy but for a role I’ll do anything,” Ricky told GQ Australia. “In the beginning you find food, you eat it; you just need to stack up. But then I cut out sugar, sodium – the good stuff. Suddenly you’re not eating the chicken with sauce, it’s dry chicken with broccoli and brown rice.”

Ricky had to chow down on 4,000 calories a day, and get plenty of protein to aid his gym sessions.

On the fitness side of things, the 35-year-old trained for two hours a day for two months at the Unbreakable Performance Center gym in L.A. where he added some serious muscle to his frame.

“This is a gym frequented by NFL players in their off-season, UFC Champions and just beasts of the game. Sylvester Stallone is training there at the moment,” Ricky smiled. “You’ve got these 300-pound monsters in there just squatting houses.”

During his daily workouts, Ricky concentrated on deadlifts, squats, heavy bench exercises and boxing.

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