Channing Tatum - Fighting (2009)
The Movie: Sports drama in which street hustler Sean MacArthur (Channing Tatum) becomes an underground fighter.
The Punishing Regime : Trainer William J. Harris put Tatum through sessions that lasted for roughly 30-45 minute at a time - that's all the body needs, he says.
Still, that's an intense three quarters of an hour, with Tatum's workouts including rope jumping, military presses, burpies and walking lunges.
The Result: A lean physique that really does make Tatum look like a fighter. Handy, that.
Jennifer Lawrence - The Hunger Games (2011)
The Movie: Lawrence plays future heroine Katniss Everdeen, who is pitched headfirst into the terrifying Hunger Games - an annual competition in which there can be only one victor.
The Punishing Regime: Lawrence hooked up with famous trainer Dr Joe Horrigan for an intense six weeks of training before the cameras rolled.
"We had warm-ups, track drills, agility drills, medicine ball workouts, sprints," says Horrigan. "And then, we had stationary bike rides. We had people train her to climb trees, climb rocks, she even had archery workouts."
The Result: Lawrence has often stated that in Hollywood's eyes, she's considered fat, despite her slender frame, and she all-but silenced naysayers with Hunger Games. She looks every bit the female fighter.
Mark Wahlberg - Pain & Gain (2013)
The Movie: Michael Bay's action flick starring Wahlberg as convict Daniel Lugo.
The Punishing Regime: Wahlberg ate 12 meals a day to up his calorie intake and was in bed by 9pm every night (hard life).
Then he'd wake up at 4.30am every morning, eat a big breakfast and hit the heavy weights.
The Result: Wahlberg's first of two entries on this list, but when he's consistently working his body hard for the movies, that's sort of justified, right?
Wahlberg packed on the muscle and is bigger than he's ever been here (not a bad thing). Considering he still looks muscular when he's standing next to The Rock, he's obviously doing something right…
Gwyneth Paltrow - Iron Man (2008)
The Movie: Marvel's biggest gamble pre-Avengers, introducing us to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and his no-nonsense colleague Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).
The Punishing Regime: Trainer Tracy Anderson had Paltrow doing one hour of cardio every single day, plus an hour of toning six days a week.
Which is pretty hardcore, if you ask us.
The Result: Paltrow looks svelte and toned without going the overly-muscular route.
Vin Diesel - Pitch Black (2000)
The Movie: An Alien-esque sci-fi in which deadly prisoner Riddick (Vin Diesel) crash lands on an alien planet infested with deadly monsters.
The Punishing Regime: Diesel works out three days a week - the other three days involve yoga and resting.
Those three days of working out involve working on chest, back, biceps and legs on different days, with eight to 12 reps of each exercise.
The Result: A sculpted body that hasn't changed much in the past two decades - which is no bad thing by any means.
Robert Downey Jr. - Iron Man (2008)
The Movie: One of Marvel's lesser-known heroes blasts onto the big screen and becomes one of the studio's most popular as Robert Downey Jr becomes the titular Iron Man.
The Punishing Regime: Downey Jr gained 20lbs in order to give Iron Man more of a muscular look than the actor usually boasts.
Downey trained with Brad Bose and emphasis was placed on strength rather than size. He weight trained five days a week on top of a martial arts regime.
The Result: A toned, honed physique that stopped short of becoming overly beefy - just right for the businessman who has more important things to do than pump (ahem) iron all day long.
Sam Claflin - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
The Movie: First follow-up to The Hunger Games , in which Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is put through the annual slaughter-show again. This time, she has hunky Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) as an ally.
The Punishing Regime: Claflin basically gave up having a life for three months as he spent five hours a day hitting the gym and knocking back the protein shakes.
“I wasn’t socialising much, I wasn’t drinking,” he says, “which for me as an Englishman was very tough.”
The Result: SHOULDERS. Claflin was svelte and lean in Snow White & The Huntsman , but by the time he swaggers on-screen in Catching Fire, he's built like a brick shithouse - and then some.
Rachel Nichols - G.I. Joe - The Rise Of Cobra (2009)
The Movie: Loud, silly adaptation of the GI Joe toy franchise, directed by blockbuster behemoth Stephen Sommers. Nichols plays GI Joe team member Scarlett.
The Punishing Regime: Trainer Valerie Waters branded Nichols' workout 'Action Hero Babe'.
It involved workout circuits that consisted of 4-5 exercises that were specifically designed to "add a little more muscle than usual", according to Waters. "We wanted her to look believable pulling off the action, but still stay super sexy."
The Result: Nichols pulled off sexy AND action hero babe - even in that unforgiving superhero catsuit.
Edward Norton - American History X (1998)
The Movie: Hard-hitting drama about one-time neo-Nazi Derek (Edward Norton), who discovers his younger brother (Edward Furlong) is following in his misguided footsteps.
The Punishing Regime: Working with trainer Anthony Cortés, Norton did low-repetition but heavy weight training, gaining 35lbs of solid muscle.
His workouts included bench presses, deadlifts, squats and lat pulls, all of which contributed to building Norton's shoulders and chest and giving the impression that he was bigger than he really was.
The Result: Lean and defined, Norton looks completely different to how we're used to seeing him.
Anthony Mackie - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
The Movie: Second Captain America movie. This time, Caps (Chris Evans) gains a new ally in Falcon (Mackie) as he goes up against the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
The Punishing Regime: Coming off Pain & Gain , Mackie spent five months training before the cameras rolled, hitting the gym twice a day to match Evans in the muscle stakes.
"I wanted Falcon to be really lean," says Mackie. "I worked so hard to get my body in shape that I wanted to show it off. So I told Marvel I just wanted to be in spandex.
"But they decided that they wanted Falcon to be more of a military character, which I'm not complaining about, because my gear looks dope and I get to kick a lot of ass."
The Result: Mackie looks like a real superhero. If you ever believed a man could fly, you'd believe THIS man could.
Jason Momoa - Conan The Barbarian (2011)
The Movie: A remake of the Arnie flick, based on the sword and sorcery novels by Robert E. Howard. Jason Momoa plays the hulking brute.
The Punishing Regime: Though he was already pretty buff before he started training (see Game Of Thrones ), Momoa and trainer Eric Laciste concentrated on building strength and getting lean. That meant gaining 9kb of muscle and working out six hours a day.
"It was pretty intense," Momoa recalls. "I’d never trained at that level before, but it was really cool to transform my body."
The Result: You really believe this guy's a barbarian who could rip the arms off his enemies.
Liam Hemsworth - The Expendables 2 (2012)
The Movie: The titular mercenaries return, headed up again by Sylvester Stallone, only now they've got a young new recruit in the form of Liam Hemsworth.
The Punishing Regime: He'd already surfed for five years, so Hemsworth knew discipline - which helped in his intense Expendables regime.
Where he'd lost weight for The Hunger Games , Hemsworth concentrated on putting on muscle for Expendables , which meant eating lots, gymming hard and boxing like a maniac.
The Result: Hemsworth holds his own against the other meat-heads - and looks darn good doing it.
Anne Hathaway - The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Movie: The final entry in Chris Nolan's Batman saga, with Batman (Christian Bale) this time teaming up with Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) against Bane (Tom Hardy).
The Punishing Regime: Stunt training five days a week plus dancing for an hour and a half every day (if you think that sounds easy, just try it yourself).
Hathaway also practiced yoga, martial arts and lifted weights. "I've always thought that skinny was the goal, but with this job, I also have to be strong," she said at the time.
The Result: Hathaway pulls off both the catsuit AND the Catwoman, and everybody breathes a sigh of relief that this wasn't a repeat of 2004's Catwoman travesty.
Jason Statham - War (2007)
The Movie: Action flick in which Jason Statham goes up against Jet Li - the former's an FBI agent, the latter an assassin.
The Punishing Regime: "That's 17 pounds in 6 weeks," he told Men's Health, flashing his washboard abs after undergoing a punishing workout regime.
"And that's working out 6 days a week for, at most, about 35 minutes a day. I've never, ever gotten results like this before."
The Result: The Stath is ripped - and fit to go up against the ridiculously fit Jet Li…
Jessica Biel - Blade Trinity (2004)
The Movie: Third and final Blade movie, with Wesley Snipes returning as the titular vampire, this time aided by vampire slayers Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds.
The Punishing Regime: An intense workout plan that consisted of six weeks' worth of tough gym work.
It helps that Biel's already a trained gymnast, but her Blade training pushed her body to its limits as trainer Jason Walsh had her doing circuit workouts.
The Result: Though she's gorgeous and really skinny, Biel made killing vamps look easy and elegant in Blade Trinity.
Ryan Reynolds - Green Lantern (2011)
The Movie: Somewhat disappointing DC adaptation, with Ryan Reynolds playing the human who's transformed into a guardian-protecting 'Lantern'.
The Punishing Regime: Body weight and circuit training exercises were the name of the game as Reynolds hit the gym every day of the week for 90 minutes a pop.
Working with trainer Bobby Strom, he concentrated on core exercises that built both strength and stability.
The Result: Reynolds wore a mo-cap suit as the Lantern, and it shows - his superhero suit was plastered onto his actual body and there's no denying he's ripped.
Kate Beckinsale - Underworld: Awakening (2012)
The Movie: Fourth entry in the supernatural series, with Beckinsale returning as deadly vampire Selene.
The Punishing Regime: Trainer Ramona Braganza put Beckinsale on her patented 3-2-1 regime, which uses cardio, circuits and core work.
Strength training lasted for up to an hour, with Beckinsale starting session with yoga stretches and finishing with cardio of her choice.
The Result: We totally believe that Beckinsale is the superhuman vampire warrior that she plays in the films.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Don Jon (2013)
The Movie: Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut about the titular Don Jon, who can't seem to have a functioning relationship with a lady thanks to his obsession with internet pornography.
The Punishing Regime: Trainer Arin Babaian transformed JGL from lean every-guy into muscle man in just months. JGL trained at the infamous Golds gym for what Babaian calls "old-school bodybuilding".
"We had to make sure he was eating non-stop," the trainer says. JGL also spent two hours in the gym five days a week - and on his days off, he played basketball.
The Result: JGL looks like an entirely different person - beefy and proud, and a million miles way from his geeky younger image.
Taylor Lautner - Twilight: New Moon (2009)
The Movie: First follow-up to Twilight , in which human Bella (Kristen Stewart) again pines over sparkly vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). This time, somebody's pining over HER, though, in the fuzzy form of Taylor Lautner's werepup.
The Punishing Regime: Lautner gained 30lbs of muscle in just 12 months, working with trainer Jordan Yuam to go from "scrawny to brawny".
What did he do? He worked out five days a week, focussing on arms, legs, abs (naturally) and back with an emphasis on dumbbells.
The Result: A sixpack to make a million teenage girls (and boys) swoon.
Originally, Lautner was going to be recast with a more muscular actor - here, he proved he could handle the hard work it took to become a convincing werepup.
Aaron Eckhart - Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
The Movie: Alien invasion flick starring Aaron Eckhart as a hardened mercenary who attempts to stomp out the evil ETs as they take over LA.
The Punishing Regime: Basically, intense military training. Eckhart spent almost eight months training for the film.
“Every day at noon in the summer I did exhaustive training on soft sand,” he told Men's Health . “I had to get my heart working at 160bpm all the time – really burning fat. I was skipping, doing short sprints, long sprints, weight training and boxing.
"I was doing all sorts of basic military fitness stuff: push-ups, sit-ups, climbing ropes, parallel bars, running up and down stairs. This happened every day. It got me in the best shape of my life.”
The Result: Eckhart totally looks the part as Marine Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz. If aliens ever really did invade LA, he's the guy you'd call first.
Thomas Jane - The Punisher (2004)
The Movie: Vigilante thriller based on the Marvel comic. Thomas Jane stars as Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, who goes up against evil money launderer Howard Saint (John Travolta).
The Punishing Regime: Over six months, Jane worked out with California cop and personal trainer Mike Mello, doing two hours of weights and cardio every day - sometimes even twice a day.
"At the top of my game, I bench-pressed 275," Jane recalls. "They wanted me to do 300. I said, ‘Hey, I’m just 510! That’s plenty!"
The Result: The movie's titled proved prophetic, but boy did it pay off.
Sandra Bullock - Gravity (2013)
The Movie: Oscar-winning, space-set drama in which Dr Ryan Stone (Bullock) becomes lost in space when debris destroys the Space Shuttle Explorer.
The Punishing Regime: "I pushed my body to the extreme," Bullock says. "Strength-wise, I had to know I could do anything [ the director ] asked of me at any given point, so not a day went by that we didn’t train."
To get into shape, Bullock did dance training with Simone de la Rue which helped her tone and build strength.
The Result: Though Bullock spends most of the film in a space suit, she does strip down to a vest and pants in one scene, showing off a svelte bod that would make any astronaut jealous.
Will Smith - Ali (2001)
The Movie: Michael Mann's boxing biopic following boxer Muhammad Ali (Smith) as he becomes heavyweight champion and beyond.
The Punishing Regime: Smith trained for six hours a day, five days a week, but he had already been hitting the gym hard a year before shooting.
He added almost 30lbs of muscle by bench pressing and boxing.
The Result: We look back at images of Will Smith as the Fresh Prince and realise he was impossibly skinny back then. Here, he looks totally the part as Ali.
Tobey Maguire - Spider-Man (2002)
The Movie: Everybody's favourite neighbourhood web-slinger swings into cinemas. Sam Raimi directs and Tobey Maguire stars as the nerd who becomes a hero.
The Punishing Regime: Maguire worked out twice a day, six days a week in order to shred his lanky bod into something worthy of a superhero.
His workouts included gymnastics, yoga, cardio, martial arts and weight training. He had just six months to attain his goals.
The Result: Everybody rubs their eyes and stares, sure that Maguire's new frame is CGI. It's not.
Sigourney Weaver - Aliens (1986)
The Movie: Ripley (Weaver) gets tougher still after having survived the killer xenomorphs in the first Alien . This time, it's war…
The Punishing Regime: War it is. Having to lug around 70lb guns for the shoot, Weaver concentrated on increasing her strength through pilates and weight training.
She used compound exercises in the form of resistance training, which included chest presses, squats and shoulder presses, all of which helped her prepare for the film's intense four month shooting schedule.
The Result: Though she's nowhere near as muscular as the likes of Vasquez, that's in keeping with the character of Ripley, who's not a Marine, but sure knows how to look after herself.
Chris Pine - Star Trek (2009)
The Movie: JJ Abrams gives the Star Trek franchise a new lease of life by going the reboot route, casting Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock.
The Punishing Regime: Pine was put through his paces by trainer Paul Vincent, who not only got the actor to cross-train and do yoga, but also complete in excess of 500 reps on strength circuits.
The Result: Pine's unobtrusively buff - muscular enough to look good in a Starfleet uniform, but not so huge that he makes the rest of us geeks feel totally pathetic.
Zac Efron - The Lucky One (2012)
The Movie: Romantic drama based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. US Marine Logan Thibault (Efron) falls for Beth (Taylor Schilling) after returning from Iraq.
The Punishing Regime: Efron stepped up his usual 3-2-1 workout with trainer Ramona Braganza for this role, also working out with former Navy Seal Logan Hood.
"Zac was already in shape before," says Braganza, "but we did a lot of old fashioned weight training to bulk him up."
The Result: A noticeably more manly-looking Efron who looks the part as a Marine.
Scarlett Johansson - Iron Man 2 (2010)
The Movie: Iron Man returns, and this time he's got a new secretary in the form of Natasha (Johansson), who could have a few tricks up her sleeve.
The Punishing Regime: Johansson spent five months working with trainer Bobby Strom to get in shape for the film.
"When I met Bobby, the first thing I said was, 'I have to wear a Lycra catsuit!'" Johansson recalls. "He was, like, 'Calm down - and walk on this treadmill.'"
The Result: Johansson sets hearts racing by squeezing into Black Widow's signature catsuit - and looks darn good doing that flippy knock-out move.
Russell Crowe - Gladiator (2000)
The Movie: Epic historical drama from director Ridley Scott. When Roman general Maximus (Crowe) is betrayed, he becomes a fighter in a gladiatorial arena.
The Punishing Regime: In order to shed 35lbs, Crowe underwent an extreme training regime that involved fighting drills, cardio, boxing and weight-lifting.
It would be good practice for when he had to re-enter training to play Jor-El in last year's Man Of Steel.
The Result: Crowe convincingly handles 40lb swords and looks the part as a general who's forced to fight for his life.
Michelle Pfeiffer - Batman Returns (1992)
The Movie: Tim Burton's second Batman movie, with Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.
The Punishing Regime: On top of doing yoga, weight-lifting, kickboxing and karate to prepare for the role, Pfeiffer also spent a month training with a 12-ft bullwhip, which she'd use in the film.
Small wonder Pfeiffer still refers to it as her most "challenging role".
The Result: Our best on-screen Catwoman by a million miles. Pfeiffer looks every bit the female anti-hero - and that shiny PVC catsuit went down in cinematic history.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson - Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
The Movie: Sequel to the surprise 2010 smash, again following DIY hero Kick-Ass (Taylor-Johnson), who this time goes up against the Motherfucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
The Punishing Regime: Taylor-Johnson had to get fit fast - in just six weeks, to be precise - with a little help from trainer Rikki Toth.
He endured a mixture of kettlebell circuits, German volume training and early morning runs twice a day, six days a week.
The Result: Though he wasn't exactly unfit on the first Kick-Ass, Taylor-Johnson's noticeably more built in the sequel - which fits the character's evolution perfectly.
Matt Damon - Elysium (2013)
The Movie: Futuristic sci-fi set in the year 2154, where the rich live aboard the titular, luxurious space station, while the poor are stranded on a resources-depleted Earth.
The Punishing Regime: "I had to just literally go to the gym for, like, four hours a day," says Damon of the regime that bulked him up for the film.
"Which was kind of fun in its own way at my age, to be given an excuse to do that, because it’s not something you’d ever really do otherwise!”
The Result: Damon's almost unrecognisable as a factory worker turned hero - and totally believable as he kicks Sharlto Copley's ass.
Angelina Jolie - Tomb Raider (2001)
The Movie: Action fantasy flick based on the video game series. Jolie plays Lara Croft, the tomb raider of the title.
The Punishing Regime: Jolie spent an exhausting 10 weeks training before she shot a single frame of film, doing kickboxing, bungee ballet, diving and fighting drills to get into shape.
On top of that, she did yoga for flexibility and strength sports like rowing to build up her endurance. Then there was sword fighting training, plus aerobatic fat burning exercises. This girl doesn't do anything by halves…
The Result: A video game character come to life! Jolie looks like the video game spat her out fully formed.
The Rock - Hercules: The Thracian Wars (2014)
The Movie: Brett Ratner returns the legendary hero to the big screen, this time played by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
The Punishing Regime: The Rock is no stranger to hard gym work, but he seems to have been going to particularly extreme lengths to play his dream role of Hercules.
Though the specifics of his workout plan haven't been revealed yet, it's clear that The Rock's been working HARD over the course of six months of weight training, conditioning and cardio.
The Result: From what we've seen on Instagram and Twitter, Johnson's pushing his body even further than he ever has before - and it seems to be paying off.
Sylvester Stallone - Rambo: First Blood II (1985)
The Movie: Vietnam vet John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is released from prison in order to find out if there are prisoners of war still being kept in 'nam.
The Punishing Regime: Stallone started hitting the gym just six weeks before he started filming Rambo II, so he hired two-time Olympia champion Franco Columbu to help him get in shape fast.
Taking on an intense six-day workout, he was doing 1,000 ab reps at a time and three to four different exercises per body part.
The Result: Stallone's even more muscular than he was in the first Rambo film.
Ryan Gosling - Drive (2011)
The Movie: Pitch black drama following Driver (Ryan Gosling), a stuntman who's also a wheels-for-hire getaway driver who gets caught up in some seriously shady dealings.
The Punishing Regime: Gosling used a technique known as the 'shrink wrap', which sounds messy, but doesn't actually require the use of cling film.
What does it involve? Well, lots of heavy lifting in order to build dense muscle quickly.
The Result: Gosling became - and continues to be - the hunk of the moment. Though he was skinny and nerdy in previous films, Drive turned him into an unconventional action hero.
Mark Wahlberg - The Fighter (2010)
The Movie: David O. Russell's Oscar-winning boxing biopic, with Mark Wahlberg starring as pugilist Micky Ward, who's trained by half-bro Dicky (Christian Bale).
The Punishing Regime: Wahlberg spent four years preparing for the film, getting up three hours before work every day to spend three hours in the gym with a personal trainer.
"I would bring the trainers with me on every movie that I did, at every junket, and all the European trips I did I just continued to train for that movie," he said, "because I was obsessed with getting it done and I was obsessed with being as good a boxer and realistic a fighter as I possibly could."
The Result: Wahlberg looks like he was born to be a boxer. In fact, he was so tough by this point that he even took real hits, refusing a stunt double.
Daniel Craig - Casino Royale (2006)
The Movie: Bond gets a reboot - and goes blond - as Daniel Craig steps into the suit for a tougher, grittier take on the double-o agent.
The Punishing Regime: Craig was paired with trainer Simon Waterson, who also previously trained Pierce Brosnan.
The regime involved "pushing [ Craig ] to his limits and beyond" says Waterson, who put the actor through his paces doing power lifting and compound exercises.
"Even now, I still can't believe the physical changes he achieved. It just shows that with will power and dedication you can achieve anything."
The Result: A Bond for the modern age, replete with enviable pecks and shoulders to die for. He's arguably the beefiest Bond ever, but that's not a bad thing - in fact, it adds plausibility to the craziness Bond gets up to.
Jake Gyllenhaal - Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010)
The Movie: Video game adaptation headed up by Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Prince Dastan, a long-haired sword-wielder who comes across a dagger that can turn back time.
The Punishing Regime: With the aid of personal trainer Simon Waterson, Gyllenhaal sculpted rock-hard abs and impressive shoulders.
"We did a lot of core work to build the stability Jake needed to wield a sword," says Waterson. "This involved a high number of reps to help build muscular strength and endurance."
The Result: Gyllenhaal went from gawky Donnie Darko teen to muscle-clan man. Though the film was a letdown, Gyllenhaal certainly impressed.
Tom Hardy - Warrior (2011)
The Movie: Before he bulked up to become Bane in The Dark Knight Rises , Tom Hardy hit the gym to turn into MMA big-hitter Tommy Riordan.
The Punishing Regime: Hardy's trainer, Pnut, used a philosophy he calls 'signalling', which involved doing 10 sit-ups every hour rather than 100 in one go.
"If you do things often enough, your body adapts for the task you set and you evolve," the trainer explains. Hardy ended up putting on 30lbs of muscle by doing four strength workouts every day as well as cardio, jiu-jitsu and boxing sessions.
The Result: One formidable fighter - there's no way we'd want to get in the ring with this guy. Not unless we had a death wish.
Chris Evans - Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
The Movie: The patriotic superhero hits the big screen as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is enlisted to become a super-soldier, and transforms into Captain America.
The Punishing Regime: "We did two hours a day, and it was brutal," Evans told PopSugar of his regime. "I usually like working out. Going in sucks, but walking out, you're like, 'I'm glad I did that!'
"This was different. I'd walk out and I'd be like, 'I need to vomit. I hate this trainer. I hate this movie. I want to go to sleep for a week.' It was just relentless. I've got a fast metabolism and I lose weight very quickly, so for me to get big, it was just eat a lot."
The Result: A hero we can believe in. Though Caps has his own body armour, director Joe Johnston makes sure Evans gets his own 'topless shot' to show off that killer bod.
Sullivan Stapleton - 300: Rise Of An Empire (2014)
The Movie: The washboard abs are back in this side-quel to 300 , in which Sullivan Stapleton's Themistocles goes up against formidable warrior princess Artemisia (Eva Green).
The Punishing Regime: The infamous 'Spartan workout' only worse. Stapleton refers the worst move as the 'Man Makers', which involved doing push-ups while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
On top of that, there was a lot of 'functional training' - which emphasises strength and flexibility. Perfect for fighting.
The Result: Six-packs! Stapleton has admitted at first he thought he didn't have the "right body" to get a six-pack - but after all that hard work, he finally attained one. And it's splashed all over the film's posters - rightly so.
Chris Hemsworth - Thor (2011)
The Movie: Marvel comic-book adaptation directed by Kenneth Branagh. We follow temperamental Asgardian Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as he's banished to Earth, where he must earn his powers back.
The Punishing Regime: Hemsworth packed on 20lbs of muscles to play Thor, mostly by eating like a horse and lifting weights for "a heavy combination of cardio and weightlifting". That involved a lot of kettlebell training for 90 minutes five times a week.
"I feel as if I've been busy, but all I've been doing is eating all day," he told Men's Health at the time. "Eating when you're not hungry and taking in that amount of food is exhausting."
The Result: Though Tom Hiddleston also went for the role, it was Hemsworth who really looked the part - he's sculpted to such a degree that you really believe he's come in from Asgard.
Brad Pitt - Fight Club (1999)
The Movie: Mindfuckery runs rampant in David Fincher's cult classic. The Narrator (Edward Norton) joins, yes, a fight club run by Brad Pitt's enigmatic Tyler Durden, but is there more to him than meets the eye?
The Punishing Regime: Both Pitt and Norton trained to the max, taking up boxing, taekwondo, grappling and soapmaking.
In other words, they put their bodies through hell - and it shows.
The Result: A thousand hearts hammer at the sight of a shirtless Mr Pitt. Everybody else in the world feels massively inadequate.
Gal Gadot - Batman Vs Superman (2015)
The Movie: The sequel to Man Of Steel, which will again star Henry Cavill as Superman, who'll be joined by Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
The Punishing Regime : Even as you read this, it's likely Gadot's in the gym burning calories in her quest to become Wonder Woman.
Though she's yet to reveal the specifics of her Amazonian workout regime, you can bet it's hardcore, considering Batman Vs Superman is set to shoot in February 2015.
The Result: Gadot's still training, so we've yet to see the final result, but the images she's posted on Twitter of her ever-changing physique are definitely impressive.
Henry Cavill - Man Of Steel (2013)
The Movie: Zack Snyder reboots the big screen adventures of the Blue Boy Scout as he comes to Earth as a baby, then has to fight invading alien Zod (Michael Shannon).
The Punishing Regime : 300 man Mark Twight helped Brit star Cavill sculpt himself into a mountain of muscle. The real challenge was helping Cavill achieve the look he wanted - and then staying that way during six months of shooting.
Cavill first went through a conditioning phase, then hypertrophy before stripping away excess fat for the lean phase.
The Result: The beefiest Superman yet - just compare Cavill to Reeves to check out the difference.
It works for Snyder's far more muscular blockbuster, though, and Cavill really does look like a super-humanoid.
Linda Hamilton - Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Movie: James Cameron's superior sequel. Consigned to a mental institution, Sarah Connor (Hamilton) has been whittled into a lean fighting machine - which is good, because she's soon forced to face another fighting machine in the formidable form of the T-1000 (Robert Patrick).
The Punishing Regime: Hamilton teamed up with trainer Anthony Cortés, losing 12lbs of fat and taking part in a programme that involved running, swimming, free weights, trampoline drills, abs work and biking.
Even more impressive? She had given birth less than 20 months before…
The Result: A movie heroine who still stands as one of the best big-screen heroines ever.
With her chiselled form, she's miles away from how she looked in the first film, which is perfect for how her character has changed between movies.
Gerard Butler - 300 (2006)
The Movie: Blood-soaked adaptation of Frank Miller's history-skewing comic, in which 300 Spartans - led by King Leonidas (Butler) - go up against the Persians.
The Punishing Regime: Training over a packed 12 weeks, Butler took part in the now infamous 'Spartan workout', a punishing regime that included 25 pull-ups, 50 deadlifts of 135lbs, 50 push-ups and 50 box-jumps.
"Zack [ Snyder ] wanted the Spartans to appear as though they had been fighting together since they were children," says regime mastermind Mark Twight.
The Result: One of the most iconic movie bodies ever sculpted. In short: a body fit for a (Spartan) king.
Hugh Jackman - The Wolverine (2013)
The Movie: Jackman's sixth time playing grumpy mutant Wolverine, and the clawed-one's second solo outing. This time he heads to Japan and (briefly) becomes mortal.
The Punishing Regime: The Aussie hunk scoffed 6,000 calories and lifted heavy weights every single day for three hours in order to build his most physically imposing Wolverine yet.
"Sometimes I would to have wake up in the middle of the night to eat," he recalls. "All the science shows that you burn fat at night, and by fasting you build lean muscle.
"There is a lot of science behind intermittent fasting or having a period of each day when you are not eating. So you eat for an eight-hour window and then don’t eat for 16 hours."
The Result: The biggest, most ripped Wolverine yet - compare Jackman's physique in this film with the first X-Men , and he looks positively puny in his first go-around as Wolvie.
Chris Pratt - Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
The Movie: Marvel's space opera, in which outcast Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) heads up the guardians of the galaxy - a ragtag bunch of fighters that include a tree and a talking raccoon.
The Punishing Regime: Though he got into shape first for Zero Dark Thirty , Pratt's taken his workout to a whole new level with Guardians .
He spent six months in the gym and attributes his dramatic transformation to going without beer for the entire time he trained. He also did intense weight-lifting and cardio workouts.
The Result: A mind-blowing transformation that's turned Pratt from lovably doughy couch potato (see Parks & Rec ) to bona fide space hero.