From the boardroom to the classroom, the big screen to the small, these guys are at the top of their game. They’ve conquered mountains—both literally and figuratively. They’re record breakers, superheroes, and regular Joes. And that hard work, drive, sweat, and discipline is just a tiny part of what keeps them among the world’s fittest. ALEX O'LOUGHLIN The Five-O, 34

● Even the star of TV's hit Hawaii Five-O remake concedes that he's "not 21 anymore." Still, Alex O'Loughlin says that his "body's never been better." The Australian-born actor certainly looks legit in his role as a former Navy SEAL, thanks to interval training, boxing, and—yes—plenty of surfing. Another big secret to his six-pack? O’Loughlin says he chugs a gallon and a half of water daily and sticks to a low-sodium diet.

 

JORDY SMITH The Wave Rider, 24

At 6'2" and nearly 190 pounds, the South African native is the biggest, tallest guy on the World Surf Tour. He’s also one of the best. Smith finished 2010 as No. 2 on the ASP World Tour, behind only Kelly Slater. Smith is a pioneering new-school surfer, boosting huge aerial tricks high above the lip of the wave. He runs outdoors and hits the gym for spinning, skipping rope, lifting, and stretching. The only thing he likes better than working out? “Hitting the water and surfing until dusk,” he says. [pagebreak] HENRY CAVILL The Superstar, 28

● Not everyone can rock superhero spandex, but once Tudors star Henry Cavill slipped on the iconic Superman suit, he scored the coveted role. “Henry put it on, and he exuded this kind of crazy-calm confidence that just made me go, ‘Wow. OK, this is Superman,’ ’’ director Zack Snyder told Entertainment Weekly. Snyder says Cavill has been “hitting the iron pretty hard” with Gym Jones founder Mark Twight, who trained all the guys from 300. Before 2012’s still-untitled Superman reboot, you can catch Cavill (and his abs) in this fall’s Immortals, alongside fellow MF 25er Kellan Lutz.

 

LIAM NEESON The Tough Guy, 59

● The Irish actor reinvented his career, starring in a slew of action flicks usually reserved for guys half his age. With ass-kicking roles in Batman Begins, Taken, The A-Team, and Clash of the Titans, he’s clearly not settling to play someone’s grandpa. Neeson credits his background as an amateur boxer for his ability to take on these physically demanding parts: “There’s a discipline to getting up at 6, working 17 hours, and coming home to work out,” he says. While Neeson uses a stunt double on set, he handles all of his own fighting. If you ask for an autograph, be polite. [pagebreak] STEVEN STAMKOS The Phenom, 21

● The NHL’s top goal scorer endured a grueling summer-training program under former all-star Gary Roberts. With Roberts’ tutelage, the young Tampa Bay center worked out six days a week, focusing on building core and lower-body strength. On “off days” he performed intense interval training, such as sprints and sled pulls. Stamkos’ meticulously crafted diet consists of quinoa, sprouts, and protein-packed organic meals.

 

JOEL MCHALE The Wiseguy, 39

● He’s either the funniest fit guy in Hollywood or the fittest funny guy. “I imagine that I’m about 21 years old and playing football again,” the star of Community and host of The Soup told MF. “Then I wake up and realize I’m not.” Although his days of playing tight end at the University of Washington and running marathons are behind him, McHale certainly hasn’t peaked. “I train much like Stallone in Rocky,” he jokes. “I would say that sleep deprivation, not eating, and pushups are how I do it.” McHale bangs out hundreds of pushups a day, mostly in his trailer between takes. He avoids sugar and carbs whenever possible, snacks on almonds and hard-boiled eggs throughout the day, and has fish and veggies for dinner. “Usually, when I hear I’m gonna be naked on TV, I have about two weeks to prepare. So, it’s the ‘Hey, you’re-going-to-be-on-TV-naked-in-two-weeks diet.’ ” [pagebreak] MICHAEL FASSBENDER The Next Big Thing, 34

● Don’t recognize the name? You will. Perhaps you’ve caught a glimpse of him in 300 or Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, but the Irish-German actor will surely be a household name after this summer’s X-Men: First Class prequel (where he plays a young Magneto). He’s even scored the lead in Alien director Ridley Scott’s upcoming sci-fi epic Prometheus. “Michael is the real deal,” says First Class director Michael Vaughn.

 

DANNY MACASKILL The Daredevil, 25

● Danny MacAskill can do things on a bike that defy laws of physics and, in some cases, sanity. The pro street trials biker from Scotland has racked up 40 million views (and counting) on YouTube with his awe-inspiring stunt videos. “Street trials riding is a very physical sport,” MacAskill told MF. “It involves taking high impacts and requires a lot of explosive power.” To manage his sport’s insane demands, MacAskill spends three hours a day on his bike and trains with cross-country mountain biking and hill running in the Scottish countryside. His other big performance secret: haggis for breakfast every day. [pagebreak] LORENZO FERTITTA The Entrepreneur, 42

● He may be a billionaire casino owner and UFC co-owner, but for Lorenzo Fertitta, fitness comes before business. His training runs two hours a day, six days a week, and combines Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and traditional weightlifting. “It’s such a mental thing for me,” he says. “It makes me so much more productive at work. So if I’m sometimes 45 minutes late for a meeting, it is what it is. I never compromise my workouts.”

 

JOE MANGANIELLO The Werewolf, 34

True Blood’s vamps pale in comparison to the 240-pound Manganiello, who plays werewolf Alcide. To stay in howlingly good shape, the actor eats several small, high-protein meals a day and works out six days a week with an emphasis on staying cut and lean. “Some actors have to gain muscle that they’ve never had before,” he told MF. “For me it was about becoming more defined and cutting up the mass I already had.” [pagebreak] BRADLEY COOPER The Leading Man, 36

● Following the massive success of The Hangover, Bradley Cooper got absolutely shredded for The A-Team. Celeb trainer Ramona Braganza crafted Cooper a regimen that combined strength training, cardio, and core-building exercises in an hour-long workout. Cooper also adhered to a strict diet. No salt, no sugar, and a ton of boiled chicken. The strenuous regimen allowed him to get jacked and stay that way for roles in Valentine’s Day, Limitless, and this summer’s The Hangover Part II.

 

GREG HILL The Adventurer, 35

● Last year, Greg Hill set a record that we expect to stand for a very long time—he skied 2 million feet in a single season. “I really like figuring out my personal limits,” says the Canadian pro skier. To set his record, Hill averaged more than 7,500 feet of skiing over 266 days, climbing 71 different summits and making a total of 1,039 runs. Despite the obvious physical challenge, he says it’s his mental fitness that made it all possible. “You gotta have complete faith. You can be the fittest person in the world, but if you don’t believe you can do it, it’s not gonna happen.” [pagebreak] CHRIS PINE The Captain, 30

●“I enjoy working out, boxing, playing basketball—and, of course, athletic sitting and competitive television watching,” Chris Pine says. All jokes aside, Pine needs to stay fit to keep up with his career, which has been moving at the speed of light since his star-making turn as a brash ’n’ buff Captain Kirk. After reviving the Star Trek franchise—an action-packed prequel even non-Trekkies enjoyed— Pine’s been tapped to be the new Jack Ryan in the latest Tom Clancy caper.

 

DR. DRE The Hip-Hop Pioneer, 46

● When he first came straight out of Compton in 1988, the good doc’s physique was (admittedly) just average. Not anymore. The man born Andre Young has spent the past few years hitting the weights as hard as his beats. Dre’s incredible physical transformation is to be lauded—and the will to pull it off at an age when most men are looking at their best years in the rearview mirror is nothing short of inspirational. When his long-awaited album Detox (his first in more than a decade) drops later this year, Dre can finally boast that he now looks as intimidating as he sounds on the mic. [pagebreak] CHIP WADE The Carpenter, 28

● As contractor on two HGTV shows (Curb Appeal: The Block and Designed to Sell) and owner of his own design firm, Chip is always on the move. “I have trial memberships with gyms around the country,” he says. Fortunately, he makes use of them, training five to six days a week, sometimes twice a day. When he’s on the road, Wade always packs his protein powder and a shaker cup as well as assorted bars, multivitamin packs, and heavy bands. “I always find time to get in my resistance training,” he says. Most mornings, Wade gets up at 5:30 a.m. to fit in his two-hour workout. He’ll try to do something active at night, preferably outdoors. “I really think it helps my psyche to be outside a little bit each day,” he says.

 

CLAY MATTHEWS The QB Killer, 25

● Once a skinny walk-on at USC, Clay Matthews has since packed 55 pounds of muscle onto his 6'3" frame, thanks to MMA-style training with Randy Couture. Matthews brought that fighter intensity to Super Bowl XLV. The Green Bay linebacker laid a big hit on Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, who fumbled the ball that led to a touchdown. It was the Packers’ first Lombardi trophy in 15 years. [pagebreak] JASON MOMOA The Barbarian, 31

● Rebooting one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most beloved franchises is a challenge, so props to the man charged with filling those legendary, fur-cuffed boots to become the new Conan the Barbarian. An athletic 6'4", 215 pounds, Momoa says he packed on 10 pounds of muscle for the role, spending six hours daily in martial arts and swordplay training. ”Having this as my first lead was heavy,” Momoa recently told Variety. “I was working nonstop. It was exhausting—and fun.”

 

LEBRON JAMES The MVP, 26

● During his first season with the Miami Heat, LeBron delivered MVP-caliber stats. As of press time, he was averaging 26 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists per game. The 6'8", 250-pound baller is nearly unguardable, capable of playing point guard or down low on the block (and possibly in the NFL). And unlike most other NBA pros, the older this all-star gets, the more man strength he gains. LeBron’s a beast in the gym, and Heat strength coach Bill Foran knows that it’s important for certain players to set an example for the younger guys. “Having veterans with a good work ethic is huge,” he says. “It makes all the difference.” [pagebreak] KELLAN LUTZ The Greek God, 26

● “I love competition,” says the former football player. “I thrive on it.” While filming the HBO miniseries Generation Kill, Lutz would challenge his co-stars to pushup and situp contests (he bulked up to 200 pounds of pure muscle during his seven-month stint in the African desert). For his role as a bulky, brooding bloodsucker in the Twilight flicks, Lutz endured six weeks of jiu-jitsu, kung fu, and boxing. This fall, he’ll be showing off his godlike physique as Poseidon in Immortals. Lutz relies on body-weight circuits, hiking, swimming, and eating small meals throughout the day to maintain his hard core.

 

TIM KENNEDY The Warrior, 31

● It would be hard to count the number of ways Tim Kennedy could destroy you. He’s a Green Beret, Army Ranger, sniper, and veteran of more than 200 firefights. He’s also a professional mixed martial artist with a 13-3 record in Strikeforce’s ultra-competitive 185-pound weight class. That’s a lot of badass hats for one man to wear. But the 31-year-old Kennedy wasn’t always so disciplined. Before the events of 9/11 inspired him to enlist, he characterized himself as a “selfish little prick” with trivial concerns. The Army changed all that and channeled Kennedy’s boundless energy. Based out of Austin, TX, Kennedy now trains three times a day, eats superclean, and stays ripped year-round. In the ring, that ferocity is something few opponents can match. After all, Kennedy doesn’t really train to fight. He trains because his life depends on it. [pagebreak] DEREK POUNDSTONE The Strongman, 29

● Derek Poundstone isn’t just one of our fittest guys. He’s also the strongest man in the U.S., with two Arnold Strongman Classic wins to show for it (as of press time, he was gunning for his third). Depending on how far out from a competition he is, Poundstone weighs in anywhere between 320 and 340—and yet unlike most strongmen, his abs are always on display. As for his title, the former police officer thinks he can do better. “My life will not be complete until I win World’s Strongest Man,” he says, adding that he plans to retire within a few years. “Then again, I say the same thing every year.”

 

NICK FERRONI The Educator, 32

● Every year, we reserve a spot on our MF 25 for one of our readers. This year, New Jersey history teacher Nick Ferroni landed the coveted slot. “I’m honored,” Ferroni says. “It’s good to see nice guys finish first for once!” A former actor, Ferroni gave up dreams of the spotlight to follow his other passion: becoming a teacher. Today, Ferroni uses everything from rap to historical references in South Park to get his students to crack open their books. But his influence extends beyond the classroom. “I try to lead by example,” says Ferroni, who gets up at 5 a.m. every day to do high-intensity cardio, abs, and lifting. After school, he trains a handful of students at a local gym. “When they’re there every day, at the same time, it teaches them commitment,” he says. “It’s a way of life.” [pagebreak] CHRIS EVANS The Action Hero, 30

● Comic-book fanboys were pissed when word got out that Chris Evans would be playing Captain America. To let the actor who had previously played Johnny Storm in both Fantastic Four films also grab Captain America’s fabled shield, they charged, was blasphemy. Settle down, guys. Evans took the role seriously—working with a personal trainer to build bigger biceps and tone his abs—and completely transformed his body, morphing from the leanness of the Human Torch to the jacked frame of Marvel Comics’ super soldier.

 

JEREMY RENNER The Contender, 40

● The California native flexed his acting muscle in The Hurt Locker and The Town (the one-two punch earned him back-to-back Academy Award nominations). Next he’ll be busting out the big guns in the upcoming Mission: Impossible sequel, Ghost Protocol. To prep for the role, Renner trained hard in the gym while developing a lethal arsenal of fighting techniques. “I’m doing hand-to-hand combat, Muay Thai, and kung fu and learning how to take someone out quickly,” he says. “I need to look like I know what I’m doing!” [pagebreak] DAVID BECKHAM The Fit Footballer, 36

● The soccer superstar is practically mythical on the pitch. Last year, Beckham tore his Achilles tendon. But now he’s back to training as usual. “David’s workouts focus on his core and hips,” says Ben Yauss, L.A. Galaxy strength and conditioning coach. “He does a lot of resisted movement, band work, and single leg stability exercises.” Adding an MLS Cup to his resume (during the final season of his five-year deal with the Galaxy) would be a great capper to a phenomenal football career.