Stranger Things star David Harbour who plays the role of Jim Hopper spoke about his body transformation between seasons three and four of the popular Netflix series.
As his character was held captive by Russians at a labor camp, he needed to reflect the hardships with significant weight loss and did so by working with a personal trainer for a huge transformation.
The actor posted on Instagram, “my trainer David Higgins worked with me for eight months to make the transformation and then another year to keep it through the pandemic. All told it was a difficult and exciting ride, changing diet and exercise plans (or lack thereof).”
All in all, Harbour’s weight dropped from between 265 and 270 pounds in Season 3 to 190 pounds in Season 4.
“I am struggling to fight back down towards a good weight for wherever Hopper ends up in Season 5. All this up and down is not good for the body and I’ll have to give it up soon, but it is such a fun part of the job to live in a different version of your skin for a while,” he wrote.
Still the question remains, how did he shed a whopping 75 pounds? According to his trainer Higgins, Harbour started by doing simple Pilates exercises to address injuries and imbalances in the body.
“Those little Pilates movements were so vital, and they fixed my knees, my toe and my ankle, my hip and everything so I could move,” said Harbour. He revealed that he had a reformer Pilates machine on set and he did an hour-long session five days a week.”
“It’s basically like, just being hungry,” Harbour said. Higgins revealed that he star did intermittent fasting to lose 40 to 50 pounds in the four months before filming for Stranger Things 4 began. “How I usually approach it is, are you a breakfast person or a dinner person,” said Higgins. “You start with whatever is the most important meal of the day to you and you work within an eight to 10 hour window of that.”
In order to get that boxer’s physique for one scene. Harbour said he did 24-hour fasts to shed extra pounds. When he did eat on set it was a small meal, consisting of mainly salad and Greek yoghurt.
Cardio for anxiety during Covid
Harbour said that he would do “very steady state cardio” running for an hour to keep his heart rate at 65%. “It really regulated my breathing and helped me to relax because I was going through some bad anxiety. I was worried we would never do plays again. I was worried we would never have film productions again, it was really terrifying,” he said.
Kettlebell workouts in lockdown on Zoom
He also did kettlebell workouts in addition to running and 1,000 crunches to build his abs. Harbour said he did this in sets of 200 five times.
Harbour also said that they had a gym in the Lithuanian hotel where they were staying where they would go at five in the morning. “We would sit there with resistance bands and kettlebells at five in the morning before I’d go to set, then I’d go to set and I wouldn’t eat all day except little stands of salad. It was particularly brutal.”