The Northman, Alexander Skarsgård and Your New Viking Gym Clients

A muscular, tattooed Viking poses with an ax on his shoulder and flames behind him.

Imagine having Alexander Skarsgård pitching your gym to prospective clients.

Wouldn’t that be sweet?

Well, it’s actually happening right now.

Here’s how to capitalize.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

“The Northman” is now out in movie theatres, and the web is full of articles explaining how Skarsgård got jacked for the role. Here’s a quick survey:

“Alexander Skarsgård Gained 20 Pounds of Muscle”

“Alexander Skarsgård Got Absolutely jacked for ‘The Northman’—Here’s How He Did It”

“How Alexander Skarsgård Transformed Into a Ripped Viking for ‘The Northman’”

If you search for “Northman fitness” or anything similar, you’ll get pages of this stuff.

Right now, people really, really want to know how Skarsgård achieved his .

And you have the answer, right?

So provide it for local people. I’ll even give you a headline:

“How [YOUR CITY] People Can Train Like The Northman.”

300: Rise of Intensity?

Remember “300?”

It came out in 2006, and the physiques of Gerard Butler (Leonidas) and the Spartan heroes were linked to functional fitness and high-intensity workouts through Mark Twight and Rob MacDonald of Gym Jones.

That was great news for anyone who had barbells instead of pec-deck machines.

I’m not sure if “The Northman” will hit the fitness community as hard as Leonidas’s spear, but right now people want to know how Skarsgård changed his physique. And his trainer, Magnus Lygdbåck, is the man of the hour in the media.

The exact training plan? It’s not really that relevant. Add muscle, stabilize and strengthen the shoulders to handle lots of ax swinging, blah-blah-blah. Great coaches could write the program in their sleep.

I’ll mention that photos from the movie show Skarsgård isn’t really that “ripped.” He just looks bigger, and his trainer reported he was eating 3,700 calories a day to add muscle. Alexander has abs, but he certainly didn’t achieve Wolverine/Hugh Jackman levels of body fat. Unlike Weapon X, The Northman has pecs that appear to be free of veins. But, to be fair, he’s usually covered in a lot of blood—so who knows how ripped Skarsgård actually is.

The point: Whenever the media focuses on fitness, you have a chance to capitalize by sharing your knowledge. Ride the wave and be an expert. Connect people’s interest to your services and solutions.

I won’t use a bearded ax to beat this to death. I’ll just give you a three-step plan.

The Northman’s Media Plan

1. Write a blog with this title: “How [YOUR CITY] People Can Train Like The Northman.” Talk about training basic principles and how you solve this problem: “I want to look like The Northman.” Add a small dose of reality—this isn’t a six-week challenge—but be sure to tell people that you know exactly how to get the results people want. Share the blog on social media.

2. Create a series of about five movement videos and release them on YouTube and social as “Top 5 Tips to Train Like a Viking.” Skarsgård used battle ropes, kettlebell halos and kettlebell Bulgarian split squats, for example. You aren’t tied to those, of course, but battle ropes slay on Instagram.

3. Create another blog: “3 Viking Workouts.” Put together three simple workouts that you’d recommend for anyone who wants a taste of Norse mead. Then tell them to book a consultation to talk about a personalized plan.

4. Bonus—Write this article: “Why You Shouldn’t Eat 3,700 Calories a Day to Look Like The Northman.” You and I both know a 3,700-calorie diet likely isn’t going to make a person “ripped.” But the average person doesn’t. Explain how nutrition affects muscle and body fat, then tell people to book a consultation to talk about a personalized plan.

And so on. If you get a response, go further.

You can apply a simple plan like this anytime celebrities and fitness pop into the news.

Remember: The articles in Vanity Fair and GQ won’t actually help people get results. No one’s going to replicate Skarsgård’s delts in the living room over the next two weeks.

But your coaching can actually help them accomplish their goals, and mainstream media is taking care of promotion for you. All you have to do is connect the clickbait to the real solution: your coaching.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.