Lessons from 1 of the World’s 25 Fittest Men – Alex O’Loughlin – August 2011

Something a bit different today. We have read and heard in many interviews how Alex talks about the fitness trainer CBS offered him to get in “Cheese Farmer Shape” for ‘The Back-up Plan‘. We thought it would be interesting to see what Jeff (the trainer that he got) had to say about Alex and visa versa.

Jeff Blair Fitness Blog

16 August 2011

This summer Men’s Fitness magazine named Alex O’Loughlin one of the “World’s 25 Fittest Men”. Now, there are about 30,000,000 women throughout the world and 50 websites devoted to Alex right now saying “oh, we knew that years ago!

But since Alex is my client, let’s say it was gratifying to see it in print.

Having worked with Alex for two and a half years, I can say his success carries lessons for everyone, and it did not happen by accident.  Alex has developed several habits which push him to a higher level than most.

MF 4

Adopt the following habits of Alex, and your fitness results will dramatically increase.

1. He Brings It Every Time

In 2.5 years, I cannot think of more than a handful of times when Alex did not bring incredibly high energy to our sessions.

When he comes to the gym, he blocks out whatever else is going on.  He BRINGS energy to the session.   I can think of times when he came to the gym with little sleep due to his shooting schedule yet still found energy to make a great effort.

I do not think I have much to do with this trait.  Alex just has the ability to focus and go hard which is probably a big reason he is succeeding in his career.  It may not be possible for everyone to match this great quality, but everyone can learn from it and improve.

When you are in the gym, block out the background noise of life and just train.   Since training hard is great therapy, you will be better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you after a high-energy session.

Practical tip: Take a few minutes before your session and focus on what you want to achieve during the session.  Are you trying to get stronger? Leaner? By taking a second to focus yourself, you can improve your concentration and energy levels and get better results. 

2. He is much more interested in the “Why” than most. 

Alex is always asking questions about our training programs.

I have frequently overheard Alex explain training ideas he has just learned to other people.  In this way, he internalizes new concepts and learns new things faster than most.

He is mentally engaged or “present” in the session rather than counting down the minutes until the session ends.

Higher mental engagement=better physical outcome in my experience.

Practical Tip: Develop a curiosity about your training.  Ask questions, read informative training blogs and learn.  You do not have to know everything, but improving your knowledge base can bring your mind more into your training.

MF 1

3. He Mixes It Up. 

Alex really took to using non-linear periodization which is how I program almost all clients.  Non-linear periodization means we work on a different trait each session-maybe lower-body strength on Monday, upper-body power on Wednesday and lower-body hypertrophy on Thursday.

Mixing it up keeps the sessions interesting as no two sessions are exactly the same. 

If you are stuck in a rut, I highly recommend trying some non-linear periodization training for the psychological variety and physical gains.

Practical Tip: Find a trainer who understands non-linear periodization and how to design and apply NLP programs.

4. He does not get caught in the “3 sets of 12” trap.

Alex regularly uses higher weight, lower rep, (less than 4 reps) strength days and lower weight, high speed (power) training days. 

Alex avoids the trap of performing the “same old” routine of 3 sets of 12 repetitions on all exercises.  3 sets of 12 leaves most people stuck in long plateaus.

By training strength, power and hypertrophy, Alex is able to access more muscle fiber and achieve a stronger, more muscularly dense physique.

 Practical Tip:  Same as #4-Learn about periodization and/or train with someone who does.

Mens Fitness

5. He enjoys himself. 

Although highly focused during the sessions, he enjoys his time in the gym.  You can do both.  Having fun is another source of extra energy on those days when you are less than your best.

This does not mean Alex loves being in the gym every day.  Like most of us, I am sure there are days when he would rather be doing something else.

However, Alex is also very aware there are both physical and emotional benefits to being strong and fit.  Even on days when he might rather be doing something else, he appreciates that his life improves in multiple ways by following a planned exercise program.

Practical Tip:  Do not take for granted you are healthy enough to get to the gym. Rather than thinking about how difficult things are, become more aware that you are improving your mental, physical and emotional health by following a well-designed training program. The emotional benefits are at least equal to the physical benefits.

Okay, I cannot guarantee you will become one of the “World’s 25 Fittest Men” if you incorporate Alex’s 5 habits.  But you will progress much faster than if you follow the crowd at the gym.

In the end, improvement and progress should be the primary goal of any good training program.By focusing on continuous and steady improvement, your habits will improve and eventually your results will materialize. The results can eventually produce amazing change in your life. Try the practical tips listed above to get started and develop your own ideas as you go progress and learn. If you want to read more about Alex and his training, pick up the August copy of Men’s Fitness where Alex is the subject of a cover article.

Which habits have helped you progress most rapidly in the gym?


And Alex about Jeff….


I strongly recommend Jeff to anyone looking for a superior fitness professional. When I met Jeff, I was preparing for a starring movie role, and it was crucial that I be in optimal physical condition.

Exercise has always been an integral part of my life but over the years I developed a few physical issues.  I was concerned my intense training days were history. I am thrilled to report I was wrong. Jeff and I trained harder than I have since I was a teen-ager. Jeff helped me completely overhaul my nutrition which was a key factor in my dramatic body change.

I was beyond pleased with my results—I was ecstatic. Even after the movie ended, Jeff motivated me to continue challenging myself in new ways. If I hit a plateau, he would implement new training ideas which helped me get leaner and stronger. I am now in the best shape of my life.

Jeff’s commitment to fitness doesn’t end when he leaves the gym. Jeff studies the latest research, nutrition and training methods and passes on his knowledge to the students in his graduate exercise science program. Just as importantly, Jeff “walks the talk” and is 100% committed to a lifestyle that encompasses strength, health and fitness.

If you want the best, hire Jeff Blair.

Alex O’Loughlin
Actor –
 West Hollywood CA.

Alex as Stan in The Back-up Plan

Jeff’s Comments:

Alex is a great pleasure to work with.  He probably trains harder than anyone I have ever worked with.  He definitely has an “extra gear” in both training intensity, mental focus and his commitment to nutrition. Alex saw results very fast-probably faster than anyone I have ever worked with and certainly faster than most people can expect.  One of my thoughts training Alex is if a football team had 11 players with his commitment and intensity level, they might never lose a game!

By Jeff Blair

Men's Fitness USA - August 2011

My Thoughts

  • For me this says such a lot about Alex’s personality and who he is. Always giving his all and showing genuine interest in that which he is busy with.
  • It is always great to see what others say about him. Gives one more insight into the man, when others who actually meet and work with him talks about him.


Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, Interviews

6 responses to “Lessons from 1 of the World’s 25 Fittest Men – Alex O’Loughlin – August 2011

  1. Oh wow! Alex is not only physical but a mental and reflective person. He once said, that when he is into something he always does it with all his heart and does not know how to do it any other way.
    And now I am thinking about Alex’s lower body hypertrophy… 😳


    • Oh Leica, now i can’t stop Mcperving too. With your comment and Paula’s gifs with him swinging (to the left) at the golf course, i don’t know if i can focus in work now.


  2. <– … wrong smilie lol. [insert drooling smilie]


  3. I agree, it shows a man with strong character and that he gives his all to health, fitness, his acting, fans and his family. This just makes him the perfect man, but then again we already knew that. 😉


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