Miles Teller admits that preparing for Top Gun: Maverick was the most intense experience of his career. To play the son of Anthony Edwards' beloved character, Goose, in the sequel to the popular classic, he had to learn how to fly fighter jets. He also had to remodel his body, straightening and then shredding, in preparation for a shirtless beach football game that has now become an internet sensation. The scene pays homage to the iconic volleyball game from the original, with Tom Cruise's character Maverick challenging his new recruits to improve their game. To get in top form, Teller improved his routine with the help of Rise Nation trainer Jason Walsh.
Miles Teller's Top Gun: Maverick Meal Plan
Walsh worked with Ornella Sofitchouk, his nutritionist at Rise Nation, to create a mass-building eating plan. With training taken to extremes, Teller needed high protein, energizing carbohydrates, healthy fats, and nutrient-dense vegetables.
A sample day for eating:
- breakfast: 1 egg, 5 egg whites, 1.5 cups spinach and half an avocado
- After training: protein shake
- Lunch 1: 5 ounces chicken breasts, half a sweet potato, kale, lemon and olive oil
- Lunch 2: 5 ounces chicken breasts, half a sweet potato, kale, lemon and olive oil
- Dinner: 20 ounces of fish or steak, brown rice and grilled peppers
These amounts were reduced as Teller reached his goal and moved into the shredding phase.
This eating plan, combined with Walsh's exercise regimen, took Teller from his usual weight of 185 pounds to 210 pounds at 9 percent body fat. Before filming the beach football scene, they cut calories and increased cardio to bring him back down to 185 pounds and 7 percent body fat. Recreation was also a big focus, as the actor headed to a nearby facility for ice baths, infrared saunas, and visits to the hyperbolic chamber. That might seem like a lot, but given the intensity of the workouts, it was absolutely necessary.
Miles Teller's Top Gun: Maverick Workout
For Walsh, the focus was on physically preparing Teller for the intensive flight training program he was required to undergo prior to beginning production.
"I've worked with Miles for years, and he's someone who has always taken preparation very seriously," says Walsh. The pair had previously worked together preparing plates for films such as Bleed For This and Thank You For Your Service, but this project was an opportunity to push past boundaries.
"Miles told me he was doing surface survival training and would pull a lot of Gs during filming," says Walsh. As such, the protocol for Top Gun: Maverick called for a large lifting component as well as rigorous core work to help Teller manage the multiplied G-forces. During the underwater escapes necessary to pass the survival course, great emphasis was placed on full-body mobility. By the end of the 10-week program, the actor had all the muscles he needed for boot camp and beach football. "The way he looks aesthetically in this scene is a result of the hard work that he put in," says Walsh.
Here's a look at a single day of programming into Teller's workout as Walsh attempted to maintain the muscle mass he'd gained while beginning to lean.
Start with 20 minutes on cardio equipment - ideally a VersaClimber - to warm up the body. Then continue with the following EMOM superset workout (every minute to the minute), which means you alternate between the two exercises at the beginning of each minute (1:00, 2:00, etc.). Use the rest of this minute to rest before moving on to your next rep set. Editor's note: Keep in mind that this is an intentionally exhaustive session, and newcomers to this type of training should cut back to 5 sets for each superset, or even stick to just one of the three supersets rather than all (especially if you don't have more than) . an hour at the gym). "It's the biggest thing we've ever seen in the gym," says Walsh. "Miles has put a lot of work into being in a place to complete these."
Do 4 reps of 1A and then 4 reps of 1B at the beginning of the next minute. Repeat this alternating sequence until you've done a total of 10 sets (scale this up according to your fitness level). You ended up working 20 minutes. Choose weights that are approximately 75 percent of your maximum capacity to allow for intense but controlled effort. Teller, for example, got heavy at his training peak and used 95-pound dumbbells for the rear-elevated split squat.)
EMOM Superset 1: 10 x 4 reps
1A Trap bar deadlift
How it goes: Once the correct weight is loaded onto the trapeze bar, stand on the center with your feet hip-width apart. Grasp the handles and hinges at your hips and keep your gaze forward and your chest up. Maintain a flat back and straighten your feet to stand up. Squeeze your glutes at the top, then pause briefly before returning to the starting position.
1B. Dumbbell Bench Press
How it goes: Sit on the end of a flat bench with dumbbells on your knees. "Kick" your knees up for some momentum and sit back as you slide the dumbbells across your chest, palms outward. Lower the weights onto your chest and rotate your hands so your palms are facing each other. Push the weights up, straighten your arms until they're straight, rotate your palms outward, and keep your core engaged.
EMOM Superset 2: 10 x 4 repetitions
2A Romanian deadlift
How it goes: Hold a barbell with a shoulder-width grip and stand hip-width apart. Bend your hips back as far as possible. Bend your knees as needed as you lower the bar close to your shins until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Keep your lower back in its natural arched position throughout the exercise.
2 B. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
How it goes: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells next to your shoulders with your palms facing forward. Elbows should be at your sides and bent at a 90 degree angle. From your starting position, push the dumbbells up and straighten them through your elbows until your arms are straight. Go up as far as you can without touching the dumbbells. Slowly bring the dumbbells back to the original position.
EMOM Superset 3: 10 x 4 repetitions
3A Rear foot elevated split squat
How it goes: Stand in front of a flat bench with dumbbells in each hand. Step into a forward lunge with one foot raised on the bench behind you (the laces of your shoe should be against the bench). Keep your core engaged and your upper body straight throughout the movement. Lower your body until your working leg is roughly parallel to the floor. Pause for a moment, then drive back up through the heel of the forefoot. Complete half of the reps on one leg before switching to the other side.
3B. Bentover Barbell Row
How it goes: Squat down with your lower back in its natural arch and grasp the bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Then extend your hips and knees to stand up (like deadlifting). Bend your knees until your torso is about 45 degrees to the floor. Let your arms hang straight down and focus your eyes on the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades and row the weight up until it touches your sternum. Lower the bar and repeat the process.
Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters now, Jason Walsh's Rise Nation has locations around the world.
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