Guest Post by Bill Oberst Jr.
So Trevor Juenger asked me to do a post on how I am preparing physically for the role of BILL in COYOTE. This request came in the form of a text from Trevor that read “You need to record your workout routine for the blog. That shit is intense.”
Yes, that shit is intense. The character of BILL in COYOTE ( who shares my name, along with so many internal and external traits of mine that when I read the script I thought Juenger must be some kind of warlock or psychic) is an insomniac. BILL’s mind won’t rest, so he gets up. He does push-ups and runs around the yard and builds things and punches things and generally drives himself deeper into exhaustion and closer to the edge of that dark black pit that has been waiting for him all along.
The audience needs to see that in BILL, and if can’t see it when I look in the mirror they won’t see it in me and the characterization will fail. So I am creating a super-lean “living cadaver” look for him. It can’t be just emaciated because he is compulsively exercising. It can’t be just buff because he is too exhausted to build much muscle.
The goal is this:
Both of those are from last year when I was leaned up for a role in a horror short that is embroiled in a production company legal dispute and will likely never be seen.
COYOTE will be seen. I’m sure of that. BILL is as important a character to me as I have ever played. He
has to be perfect.
So below is my recipe for creating the visual representation of a compulsively-exercising, increasingly-delusional insomniac. I didn’t go into instructional detail on the exercises because I am too surly and short-tempered from preparing for this role to be chatty. There’s no video or pictures of me demonstrating them because I work out naked and it ain’t pretty. You can find them all on the web done by beautiful, smiling people. I am neither. I growl a lot and I
feel like hitting something most of the time.
Finally, if you’re asking “Why would you go to all this trouble for a micro-budget art-house horror movie?” I answer you thusly: You haven’t read this script. You don’t know this director’s talent. I committed to COYOTE because I believe it can be something special. I believe in Juenger. Acting is not only my living, it is my passion. I believe that if I do a thing with half a heart I’m doing it dead. I’d rather live.
You can do all the below at home, by the way. You need leg weights and some dumbbells. Without further gab…
The Official COYOTE Living Cadaver Workout Routine:
“Sleep is the enemy. So is inertia.”
6 sets of 40 a day. Feet elevated on a chair. Cuss if you need to. I do. Do it in front of mirror and watch the form. It’s OK to cry.
Crab-Walk (with 10 pound leg weights):
5 minutes at a time 5 times a day. Hands on top of head, squat down and walk like a crab across the room. It hurts. You’ll live.
3 sets of 40 a day. Flat on your back, knees up, hands by side of head, watch your breathing and don’t cheat – no bouncing.
Leg Lifts (with 20 pound leg weights:)
3 sets of 40 a day. Flat on back, hands by side, palms-down. Press palms onto floor, heels together and lift legs slowly. It burns like a bitch.
3 sets of 40 a day. Flat on back, arms straight behind you, arms and legs up at same time and touch ankles. Exhaling on the move helps.
Chair Leg Extensions:
3 sets of 40 a day: Sit, hands on chair, extend legs straight and draw them back in. Belly fat hates this one and will tell you to stop. Scream “hell no!”
Side Bends (with 5 pound weight):
3 sets of 50 on each side a day, full bends, follow immediately by 100 jumping jacks or jump rope. Burns love handles.
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback: as many as you can a day with as much weight as you can.
Bicep Dumbbell Curls (regular & hammer:) Ditto .
And the list goes on and on. I haven’t even mentioned the leg routine – walking an hour a day uphill with the weights blah blah blah. You get the idea. Diet? Low sugar. Low carb. High protein (take in as much daily protein in grams as you weigh in pounds.) Small meals every 3 hours. Spinach, broccoli, whole wheat pasta, grilled chicken.
Before you start saying this is not a bodybuilder’s routine and it doesn’t give the body enough chance to rest to build muscle, I know! That’s the point. It is designed to create a character look for a movie. Although if you are pudgy you might try it. The idea is to strip away fat and reveal whatever muscle structure you have, then to define it just little so you look like a walking anatomy lab specimen. You want every ridge and indentation to show. From there you can bulk up if you want. Or you can get fat again. But at least you know what you got to work with if you decide to stay ripped up. Good luck. I’ll see you in the movies.
“what the hell are you looking at?”