To play a first-class fighter, Teller cut back on partying, hit the ring four hours a day (and took boxing lessons at Hollywood's Wild Card Boxing Club), weight lifted for two hours a day, and saw a physical therapist most afternoons. As for his diet, Teller eliminated bread and alcohol entirely. “Breakfast was protein powder, ice, water, a splash of almond milk, and some frozen fruit—like, maybe, 10 blueberries,” he says. His other meals consisted mainly of chicken, avocado, spinach, and tomatoes, and he even consulted with a nutritionist and had a doctor perform blood work to ensure his caloric intake and fat-to-protein ratios were ideal for dropping weight and building muscle.
His regimen didn't falter when he went abroad to promote Whiplash at the time, either. Despite jet lag, he was up at 3 a.m. hitting the gym. “Anytime I had two hours, I worked out,” he says. “It would have been embarrassing to be on-screen as a five-time world champion and not look the part.” Fast-forward to a month before filming began and Teller started working with boxing trainer Darrell Foster—the man who helped Will Smith become Muhammad Ali for 2001’s Ali.
And on that first day of filming? Teller weighed 168 pounds and had just 6 percent body fat. “We did this test: Without any fat, my body would weigh 155 pounds—just my muscle and bones,” he says. “That means I was carrying only 13 extra pounds. I felt superlight. I felt incredible,” he adds.
Boxing Moves to Punch Like a Boxer >>>