'Young Rock' Actor Brett Azar Reveals How He Got Jacked to Play The Iron Sheik
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Playing the role of legendary WWE wrestler The Iron Sheik on NBC's Young Rock was a major turning point in Brett Azar's acting career.
By then, Azar, 34, was best known as Arnold Schwarzenegger's body double in the later Terminator films. (Spoiler: It's Azar's body, not Arnold's, you see from the neck down in those iconic shirtless moments.)
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While Young Rock gave Azar a chance to prove he could do hard work as an actor, too, he still had to maintain something close to the sheikh's supposedly 6'0,260-pound body - no small feat, especially considering that Azar had to start exercising while quarantined in an Australian hotel room.
"They put a 300-pound weight set in my room, just the 300-pound bar," says Azar. "I'm surprised I didn't get a fine for breaking the hotel furniture, taking two chairs and using them as a bench," he says. “I put the bar on the bench and I would get off the floor. Then I shrugged, deadlifting.
Somehow, this makeshift training in the hotel room resulted in Azar reaching the most shredded body of his career. As many viewers pointed out, Azar looked even slimmer and stronger than the sheik in his prime. "When I got out of quarantine, I was 15 pounds lighter and in tatters, with wings that went through my stomach and everything. The other [actors] said," Dude, what the ...? " "We're going to the gym with you." We'd all work out together. "
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Diet also played an important role, of course, with Azar paying attention to his carbohydrate intake and increasing his protein content. "I eat low-carb, high-protein, and moderate-fat all day, and then at night I have all the carbohydrates I crave and go to bed happy."
Much like the TV show's namesake, these cheat meals are serious business and occasionally approach the stuff of legend. Azar's favorite dish is cinnamon and raisin bread with butter and jelly. “I usually toast about four slices and spread some butter and a little grape jelly on top, and that's my solution,” he says.
Meanwhile, on Sundays he goes all-in: “I would sit down and eat a meal. I eat until I have to go to the bathroom and then I go to bed. Pizza, pasta, cookies, french fries ... When I got to the ice cream, I usually ran to the bathroom and then I was done. "
It is a program that Azar still adheres to today. “I will eat some carbohydrates before bed most days, but then one night - like on leg day or the day I hit it really hard - I just blow out a meal and pass out a food coma "he says." I feel less guilty if I did it on a day I knew I crushed it. I would feel guilty if I didn't do anything all day. You have to have this meal You have to crush them - and then you can get your loot. "
Read the rest of our exclusive interview with Azar, including what his Terminator training was like, as well as the viral campaign he is taking on the role of Dave Bautista as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy.
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In this article:
The Iron Sheikh
Iranian wrestler and actor
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