Trainer Jason Walsh Shares How He Got Matt Damon Action Movie Ready


Turns out, it takes a lot to get Matt Damon action-flick fit. Jason Walsh, a Los Angeles trainer who's helped a wide range of stars physically prepare for movie roles, just shared exactly how he got the Cambridge-raised actor ready to shoot the 2013 sci-fi film "Elysium" and more.

"I got Matt Damon from 'The Informant,' which was a Matt Damon with a high body fat percent which was for his role at the time," Walsh said in a new video for Vanity Fair. "So the challenge was there."

"The good news was the studio gave me enough time and we had approximately four months before 'Elysium' started shooting in Vancouver," he added.

The fitness expert explained that for the first month, he and Damon focused on physical therapy to resolve a couple of ailments that had been plaguing the actor. The trainee had apparently been suffering from a shoulder injury and back pain at the time, which, without rehabilitation, would have inevitably prohibited him from pushing his body to where it needed to be. Only then could they start strength work and eventually add a lot of conditioning in the final stretch of his program.

"One of the things we had to take into consideration -- one of the variables for Matt Damon in 'Elysium' -- was that eventually, he became a cyborg and had to wear an exoskeleton," Walsh said. "So we needed to get him to a point where he was very comfortable moving with that exoskeleton so nothing bad happened."

"We spent an hour and a half in the morning doing our strength training, in the afternoon we'd come back and do a lot of our conditioning -- whether that's going for a run, or sprints, or swim or Grouse Grind, which is this hellish mountain in Vancouver."

In addition to going hard with conditioning, Walsh said he also had to adjust Damon's diet as they drew closer to filming, cutting carbohydrates and increasing protein.

Obviously, the lean, mean and quite literal machine that we all saw Damon play on screen was proof enough that Walsh's protocol whipped the star into shape. And with Damon's raised base level of fitness, they were apparently able to maintain the momentum for a number of movies to follow.

"Within a matter of months, we took Matt Damon, who was pretty much broken ... and we were able to transition him into somebody who was lean, who was 10 percent body fat, who had no pain, clean bills of movement, strength, resiliency. And we were able to carry that through '(Behind) the Candelabra,' 'The Martian,' into Jason Bourne, who was like MMA fighter-esque shape."

This article is written by Olivia Vanni from Boston Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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