How Chris Pratt Worked With His PT To Get Strong And Agile For Jurassic World

There’s a common denominator in Chris Pratt’s ascent from podgy funny man to power-packed superhero, and it’s not a set of weights. Well, it is in part, but more than that: the man spotting the 43-year-old star of Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World, is Simon Waterson.

A ‘name’ in his own right, the PT has excelled at getting his client back in shape this year for the release of Jurassic World Dominion, after Pratt, by his own admission, let things slip slightly following the birth of his girls Eloise and Lyla, with author Katherine Schwarzenegger.

Pratt, who can be proud of the fact he’s an actor pivotal to more than one billion-dollar franchise (add in Avengers and Thor), reveals to how he gets back in shape and what that means to him. Oh and he also reveals the workout that got him there…

RSNG How hard was it to get in shape this time round?

CHRIS PRATT, ACTOR “In many ways, the work taken to shed 80lbs in moving from comedies The Five Year Engagement and Delivery Man into the action genre for The Guardians of the Galaxy was actually easier than getting 10-20lbs off this time.

“Sometimes when you have the momentum of losing a lot of weight, it carries you through into a continual process of slimming or narrowing down; whereas when you start from a point of relative fitness and are needing to trim small percentages, that’s when a lot of the real effort comes in, and you may have days when you feel you are getting nowhere at all, or even running in reverse.”

RSNG Is it surreal to you, how different you look now compared to in the past?

CHRIS PRATT “When I look at older stuff I've done, like Parks And Rec, whatever, I do not recognise that guy. I can't see myself. It's really fucking surreal. It's like I've aged backwards, I've Benjamin Buttoned [laughs].

“I don't know who that guy is, and I don't want to go back there because I wasn't healthy, I wasn't eating right, I wasn't exercising like I should. I never felt it happening, I never felt bigger, it only hits me now when I look back.

“But actually, before I started acting, I looked great naked. I wasn't always out of shape. Some people actually wanted to see me naked, you know, not just for laughs.

“But, and this is a big but, yeah I lost some weight, got an ab or two, yet it's not the recipe for life happiness. I'm happy now but I was happy then, I just needed to lose weight for work and it's sort of stuck now.”

I think you have to be balanced and honest – it’s okay to say you like eating

RSNG What’s your relationship now with food?

CHRIS PRATT “I think you have to be balanced and honest. It’s ok to say you like eating. We seem to be obsessed, as a society, with the notion that food is an extreme or an evil, when in reality it’s an absolute necessity to us.

“I’m happy to admit I miss happy moments that I had with really great food that I don't now have. I even have sad moments now because I'm hungry and I don't like that. I don't like having to think, ‘now what will that do to my body?’. That's not fun.

“It can't and shouldn't ever be about how you look. How depressing would that be? It's about ‘sound body, sound mind’, keeping as healthy as you can, because we've only one body, that's it.

“Of course, personally, getting fit has been the key to getting better roles and also just feeling better in general. Once I started getting better scripts and I started playing in big films I just saw how important it was to stay in shape, go to the gym, eat healthy, and change my lifestyle.”

RSNG What’s different about the way that Simon Waterson works to get you in shape?

CHRIS PRATT “What sets Simon apart is not his work ethic, which is as strong as any trainer I’ve ever worked with, nor his innovative approach to fitness. What makes him particularly unforgettable to me is his lovability, his warmth… the personal moments we’ve shared over the years.

“He’s the kind of trainer that is a true partner, one who not only sets the appointment and counts the reps, but does the workout with you, motivating and challenging you, and engaging in the kind of conversations that leave you laughing and chatting for an hour after your session.”

RSNG Did you ever worry that you weren't going to get cast in roles other than the nerd or sidekick?

CHRIS PRATT “Somehow I always had this inner feeling that one day I was going to get to be able to play lead roles and be part of big films. I never gave up on myself and I always had faith that one way or another I was going to succeed at a higher level, even though I wasn't sure how I was going to get there.”

RSNG When you think about how your career has skyrocketed in the past few years, do you ever shake your head in disbelief?

CHRIS PRATT “I feel blessed every day. I have a beautiful wife and three amazing children [Chris’s son Jack is from his relationship with Anna Faris] and I'm getting the kinds of opportunities that I never could have expected earlier in my career. Getting to be part of film franchises is a pretty rarified space to be in and that's why I've been working so hard the last few years.”

RSNG Has being a father changed you in any significant ways?

CHRIS PRATT “It makes you more responsible. I take my role as a partner and father very seriously and I am very dedicated to seeing to it that my children grow up happily and in a loving and caring environment.”

RSNG** What’s your greatest challenge as a dad?**

CHRIS PRATT “Knowing when to switch off; when to let go; knowing that I want to turn down a script and do very simple, very normal things. To enjoy the long evenings at the farm, to spend time with my family without the phone ringing… basically to be a dad in the most invested way I can, not a movie star!

“And if there’s one thing my kids taught me, and should teach any dad out there, it’s to be healthy and to stay healthy, alive, active for them. If you can’t do it for them, who can you do it for?”

You see guys who are always consistently working because people like to work with them – it's everything

RSNG How do you not turn into an asshole, in an industry that breeds assholes?

CHRIS PRATT “I think honestly, it's as simple as, if you're an asshole, nobody's going to want to work with you. So don't be an asshole. When they say you're only as good as your next job, in acting that is really the truth because you're not contracted, you don't have tenure.

“You work on one job for two months, then you're waiting for the next one, you get it, it's four months, then you might be waiting again. You're constantly being hired, you're an actor for hire and if you're known for being an asshole, have a bad attitude, treat people like shit, cast, crew, whatever, you will not work anymore. And you see that happening all the time, which is how it should be.

“Even if you're working a hit franchise, a hit TV show, which hangs on your presence… you know, once that ends, and you're an asshole, you're done.

“Even if you're working… not on failures, but by the same stretch not huge successes, you see guys who are always consistently there because people like to work with them. It's everything. Be nice for fuck’s sake.”

RSNG Would you have been happy with being the ‘lovable schlub’ for another 10 years in your career?

CHRIS PRATT “Completely, yeah. I thought for a while that that would be my niche and I thought that there was nobody else really doing that – all of the vanity is taken out of it. Obviously this reality is better though!”

RSNG Did any of the auditions that didn’t pan out really affect you in any way?

CHRIS PRATT “I think that the one that really stuck with most was Star Trek. I remember that in the description this character has ‘it’. ‘We can’t put our finger on it, but it’s the ‘it’ factor’. When I walked into that room, I didn’t feel like I had that at all.

“Neither did they! I mean, I walked in and I was like: ‘Hi, I’m Chris’ and they were like: ‘Ok, hey.’ Not very upbeat or bothered that I was there. The cameras were rolling, and they never looked at me, the camera saw me and I’m sure that they probably never gave that tape to anybody. That did sting a little bit.

“Yet in the middle of voicing The Lego Movie, that two-year process, I got cast in Guardians of the Galaxy. I went through this body transformation, this career transformation and it was all very public.

“It was interesting to see how this ordinary, optimistic, lovable guy gets the opportunity to do something really great and is accepted as a hero. I felt like that’s what was happening in my life.”


Train Like Chris Pratt

Pratt’s typical lead-in schedule is three months, with 4-6 sessions per week. Here’s his weekly program (you will need to do these moves under supervision of a qualified PT if you are not familiar with them):

Monday: Back, Biceps and Abs

Warm-up: stretching and 10 minutes on the treadmill

Deadlift: 4 sets of 10, 8, 5, 3 reps

Pull-ups: 4 sets of 10 reps

Lateral pull downs: 4 sets of 10 reps

Hammer strength row: 4 sets of 12 reps

Heavy dumbbell row: 4 sets of 12 reps

a. Hammer curls: 3 sets of 12 reps

b. Barbell curls: 3 sets of 12 reps

Planks: 3 sets at 60 seconds

Hanging leg raises: 3 sets of 15 reps

Sit-ups: 3 sets of 25 reps

Tuesday: Chest and Triceps

Warm-up: stretching and 10 minutes on the treadmill

Bench press: 4 sets of 10, 8, 5, 3 reps

Incline bench: 4 sets of 12 reps

Cable flyes: 4 sets of 12 reps

Dips: 3 sets to failure

Tricep pushdown: 4 sets of 12 reps

Hammer strength bench: 4 sets of 12 reps

Cable kickbacks: 4 sets of 12 reps

Wednesday: Recovery Day

Walk and rest

Thursday: Leg Day

Warm-up: stretching and 10 minutes on the treadmill

Back squat: 4 sets of 10, 8, 5, 3 reps

Leg press: 4 sets of 12 reps

a. Weighted lunges: 3 sets of 12 reps

b. Kettlebell straight leg deadlift: 3 sets of 12 reps

Standing calf raises: 4 sets of 12 reps

Glute bridges: 3 sets of 10 reps

Friday: Shoulders and Traps

Warm-up: stretching and 10 minutes on the treadmill

Military press: 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 5 reps

Lateral raises: 4 sets of 12 reps

Rear delt flyes: 4 sets of 12 reps

Front cable raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Barbell shrugs: 4 sets of 10 reps


a. One-arm dumbbell snatch: 3 sets of 10 reps

b. Kettlebell swings: 3 sets of 10 reps

Dumbbell shrugs: 3 sets of 10 reps

Saturday/Sunday: Rest and Recover

Focus on getting good nutrition and sleep, and spending time genuinely resting during the day.

Photos: Shutterstock/ Moviestillsdb