Interviews

The Stuntman: Chris Brewster

Putting his body on the line every day, this dedicated stunt performer makes his training and nutrition a top priority.

Name: Christopher Brewster
Occupation: Professional Stuntman 
Age: 34

For most people, being a superhero is a childhood dream. For Chris, it’s the job he gets to do every day. Maintaining a level of extreme peak physical fitness fuels his ability to perform high-intensity and often dangerous stunts for some of Hollywood’s biggest action movies. But it's his passion that gives him the adrenaline to push further again and again. We caught up with Chris to find out a little bit more about the physical demands of his tough job, and how he keeps his body in peak condition for optimal performance. 

M&F: Tell us briefly about your job and how long have you been doing it.

CB: I’m a professional stuntman and have been doing it since 2003. My job is to stunt perform and stunt double in tv, film, commercials and everything in between.

What got you interested in the profession?

I grew up doing martial arts and from there I kind of fell into doing stunt work. I traveled the world circuit and began competing in martial arts for about 15 years. I won 13 world titles and really got to experience the martial arts competition world. That opened the door for martial arts performance where I started doing shows for sporting events. It combined martial arts techniques with acrobatics and gymnastics. It all opened a lot of doors into the stunt world. Once I realized what the stunt world was all about that’s when I realized I was meant to do it.

What physical demands does your job entail?

Every job has completely different physical demands. I have to do a lot of running. For McGyver I was responsible to chase an airplane on foot. And then there are other days when I have to pick up a human body and carry them for some distance. Literally every stunt job has different physical demands. In fight scenes you not only have to control your body but another human body as well. And when you need to lift an actor and swing them around before dropping them on their head, you need to control their body weight fully so you can perform a move that looks real without putting anyone in danger.

Why is it important you be physically fit for your job?

For me the most direct physical application in the stunt world is that your body takes a lot of abuse. We look at muscles as body armor, and the more you can condition your muscles and the stronger you can make your body, the more punishment it can take. So I look at strength training as literally building my armor.

How do you train to stay in shape for your job duties.

I lift weights roughly six days a week. I switch between Olympic lifting and High Intensity Interval Training (CrossFit style workouts with weights). I will do 3 days a week of heavy Olympic lifting. Clean and Jerk and Snatch and Military Press day I go heavy with longer breaks because I’m going more for strength than cardio. The I do 3 days a week with bodyweight training combined with other elements for heart-pumping HIIT workout.

What’s your diet like?

Since I burn a lot of calories, it’s hard for me to maintain size with all the calories and energy I exert performing stunts up to 15 hours a day. So in order to maintain my size and strength, I aim for about 6000 calories a day. I have a large breakfast that is usually compromised of eggs and oatmeal. Then I have 2 lunches and two dinners and between all the meals, I make sure to drink a protein shake. I usually have 2 or 3 shakes a day that’s comprised of almond milk, bananas, all kinds of fruit, kale, spinach and of course a big scoop of Isopure protein.


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