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  • Bryan Krahn

Rocky in a Fat Suit

In 1997 Sylvester Stallone starred in the movie Copland.

It caused a stir as Stallone gained over 40 pounds to play an out-of-shape cop.

No one would've guessed an action movie star known for his physique would go, full Method actor, rather than just put on a fat suit.

Perhaps Stallone wanted to impress co-star Robert De Niro, who got super-fit and then fat for Raging Bull.

But Sly had a tough time becoming an overweight middle-aged guy. No matter how poorly he ate, the "gains" weren’t happening.

The problem was Stallone was still self-identifying as Rocky-Rambo. So, when he engaged with friends or fans, he'd start explaining himself.

"This is just for a movie. I'll lose it as soon as we wrap."

However, his defense affected his ability to assume the character. His movement, his mannerisms: a fit guy wearing a fat suit.

It wasn't until Stallone learned to let go of his image that the character began to emerge.

First, he stopped explaining away his condition. So, he let himself feel embarrassed and self-conscious, and as result more introverted.

It made Sly avoid Hollywood hot spots and soon going out altogether. He spent his time sitting around at home, alone, watching TV. And eating.

The result was the best performance of Stallone's career but also a great lesson for getting in shape.

At least in reverse.

If you're overweight and want to change, step one is NOT hopping on a new diet & exercise plan. Instead, be like a Method actor. Start deeper with things that serve as your internal compass, like your values and goals, then work your way outward.

How would being in shape improve your life and make you a better person?

Then address your environment, habits, and schedule. The company you keep and how you spend your time.

All this is a roundabout way of saying body transformation must start with deciding who you really are before you lace up your sneakers.

Are you out of shape and overweight and that's how it’s always gonna be? Or was that just a role you've been playing, and that movie has finally wrapped?

Your next role is the role of a lifetime, the one you were born to play.

You get to write the ending.


Note From Blog Master Bill: About six months ago, while mindlessly surfing the interwebs, I came across Bryan Krahn and immediately knew I had found someone who would become a guru for me on my weight loss and fitness journey. He certainly has the fitness credentials - a fine history of training athletes, and he is in great shape himself. He offers much of his knowledge for free on his several social media outlets.

I am excited to share Bryan with the WLS Community. There are many parallels between a person who undertakes the task of building muscles and developing their body, and a person who undertakes the task of losing excess weight and developing a healthy lifestyle. Bryan’s work has given me new tools… new ways of looking at my Journey to Fitness, that have made this Journey even more successful than it was before.

This article was my introduction to Bryan – I labeled it “Rocky in a Fat Suit,” and if you’ve heard me speak anytime this year, you know that I have incorporated this piece into my presentations. The lesson here is that in the long run, your actions will follow your values… 1) if being healthy and fit is one of your core values, then your actions will tend to support your value… and 2) you will never consistently act in a manner that is not in sync with your values.

Members of the WLS Community, meet Bryan Krahn.

Living in Calgary, Canada, Bryan is a professional coach and writer. He has been published in Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, and several other magazines. He is the creator of the Physique Mastery principles (see: He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA).

Favorite Quote: Muscle Solves Problems.

You can find Bryan on FaceBook - he has both a personal and a coaching FB page.


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