Hilary Swank trained intensely for her role as female boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby.
Reportedly Swank’s training included 2.5 hours of boxing and 1.5-2 hours lifting weights every day, six days a week for three months. Training was under the supervision of Hector Roca at Gleason’s Gym in New York. Producers asked for a 10-pound muscle gain. Swank gained 19 pounds of muscle (110 and went to 129) by working out and eating 210 grams of protein a day and 4000 kcal of total food consumption per day. Eating was scheduled every hour-and-a-half. She drank egg whites (hopefully not raw) because she couldn’t eat 8 to 12 egg whites in one sitting. Sources close to Swank said she drank flax oil and that flax is a really important oil for your brain and that it also keeps everything moving when eating that much protein.
She even had to wake up in the middle of her nightly nine-hour sleeps and drink protein shakes to keep the protein process from running empty. She needed nine hours sleep in order for her muscles to rest, Hilary claims that was the only way they could build.
“I couldn’t exactly eat my favorite foods,” she recalled with a wry smile. “There was a point where I could only eat 50 grams of carbs a day. Just to give you an example of that, an 8-ounce glass of apple juice has 30 grams of carbs in it.
Swank: “It was weird,” she continued. “It’s not like I really changed sizes, but none of my jackets fit my shoulders. My shoulders got too broad, my arms got too big for my shirts, my jeans were really tight on my thighs. I lost a breast size because I lost body fat — it was just muscle I was gaining. But it was great because you realize that your body is a machine. It can adapt to whatever you need it to.”
Swank, “But the actual changes I went through physically were so interesting because I learned so much about my body and my mind.”
Boston Globe Boston.com 1/2/2005
LA Times 1/3/2005
Philadelphia Daily News (Philly.com) 1/7/2005
San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com) 1/2/2005