Jai Courtney

Jai-Courtney web

Aaron Williamson is a health advisor and fitness trainer to the film industry. He has helped craft the physical transformations of Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained, Zac Efron in Neighbors and Josh Brolin in Oldboy. He recently finished molding Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke into legendary action heroine Sarah Connor for Terminator: Genisys. Find out more at aaronwilliamson.net.

The character of Kyle Reese was portrayed by Michael Biehn in James Cameron’s classic film The Terminator, which came out in the early 80s. What’s in your mind when you think about crafting the physical look of the new Kyle Reese portrayed by Jai Courtney in Terminator: Genisys?
Jai is a genetic freak. He’s probably the most genetically gifted person I’ve ever worked with and I’m very jealous of that! He can naturally be a big guy but for the character of Kyle Reese, he doesn’t need to be a big guy. So the goal is to bring him down in weight and lean him out so he doesn’t look like a Terminator. We needed to soften the look a bit so it looks more realistic. Someone who trains, but trains like he’s in the field training, where your workout might be pushups or pull-ups and crunches, or just carrying about heavy stuff all day.

Yeah, Kyle Reese is this guy from a future where they don’t exactly have gyms to join.
A lot of his physique comes from weapons handling and constantly running from point A to point B. It’s that kind of functional stuff that we try to emulate in the training. Traditional weight training was completely out of the question because if he touched the weight, he just got big. We had to be very careful about that. His diet was very strict, very low carb, lots of vegetables, lots of avocados and nuts, good fats. He was eating anywhere from five to six meals a day. He actually started leaning out before he even came to New Orleans. He was set up on a program back in L.A. to get him prepped to come in because he was bigger coming off of his last film. Every morning, he’d get up and hit the treadmill right out of bed for an hour and he was taking some simple supplements – beet powder, l-carnitine, CoQ10 – just things that were good for the heart, good for the immune system and help with recovery and fat burning. He got here a little bit later than Emilia, so we had about two weeks of training before production began. We focused primarily on plyometric work, a lot of bodyweight training and TRX work. Anything that had weight and resistance, we had to be very careful about.

Usually you’re trying to bulk them up, so this must have been unusual.
Yeah. The goal was trying to bring him down to a weight that would resemble the Kyle Reese that everyone knows. And we definitely pulled it off. I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to him because he looks good, but he doesn’t look like he’s spent all day, everyday in a gym. It just looks real.

Once filming started, he’s doing very physical work on set. How did that affect training?
There were probably a few weeks where he would literally be running around barefoot. And if you’re running around on concrete or some type of hard floor barefoot take after take, it’ll beat the hell out of your lower back, your legs and knees. That was just one obstacle we had to work through. This production was very mentally and physically taxing on the actors. I’m pretty sure there were days where the last thing he wanted to do was see me in the gym! Haha.

It’s a real physical challenge on these action films. When you see someone running in a movie, that may have required the actor to run for hours a day for weeks on end at full speed. And being barefoot doesn’t help!
No, it doesn’t. Jai and Emilia both did a lot of deep tissue massage work to keep their body in check. It was a very stunt heavy film. Jai did some wire work where he’s strapped into the wire getting yanked around, so there were days when he’d come in just sore everywhere. I might have a plan, but that would have to go out the window and I would have to say, “We’re going do this instead.” Just being able to adapt was important so that we didn’t hurt him. In many cases we would incorporate the Concept 2 rower, the Stepmill and battle ropes into the training routine for the day. All very heart rate centric exercising.

What was the schedule like during shooting?
We started off five days a week, spending about an hour at a time. As filming went on, we dropped down to four. He was dedicated to staying in there, and occasionally we’d makeup sessions on the weekend, sometimes twice per day.

Did you work with him on set at all?
We would do a little bit here and there if we needed to, mostly some pump up work. But there wasn’t a real need to even do it. I just can’t even express how genetically gifted he is. It blows my mind. It’s almost like training a natural athlete. They just have it. Plus, he just knows his body. He did a lot of training for Spartacus, which was very physical, so he’s very familiar with what he can and can’t do.

Let’s talk diet.
He was dedicated. Egg whites in the morning, maybe an egg white omelet with some veggies. Lots of chicken and fish. Lots of mixed nuts. And Catering was excellent: they were good about getting his meals every few hours and just loading up the lean proteins for him, which he needed.

What else stands out in your mind from working with Jai?
Just the fact that he’s a solid guy and cares about everyone around him. It was fun to watch him work and it was fun to train with him. I can’t wait to see the film.

For more health and fitness tips, read the Health Scene online at health.sceneent.com and visit Aaron’s website at aaronwilliamson.net.




Age of Adaline

The beautiful Blake Lively stars as Adaline, a woman who never ages. After years of a solitary life, she meets a man who might be worth losing her immortality. 110 min. Rated PG-13.

Little Boy

A little boy uses faith and determination to bring his father home from WWII. Kevin James and Michael Rapaport star in this inspiring war drama. 100 min. Rated PG-13.

The Water Diviner

This period piece is set in the early 1900s after the Battle of Gallipoli. An Australian man travels to Turkey to find his three sons. Russell Crowe and Jai Courtney star. 111 min. Rated R.


PHOTOS: ‘Terminator: Genisys’

by Jordan McGuire on March 24, 2015


Earlier Scene mentioned the return of Schwarzenegger for the Terminator: Genisys sequel, now Empire has given us a glimpse into the war torn world of Skynet. Before these photos, Terminator: Genisys had released cast photos, a movie poster, a trailer and a Super Bowl spot. This will be the first time we can over analyze Oscar-winner JK Simmons’ character in the upcoming film. Simmons plays a detective named O’Brien who has formerly been penned as “a weary and alcoholic detective who has followed a bizarre case involving Sarah Connor and robots.”

In the photos below we are shown various elements of the storyline including a young and distressed Sarah Connor being rescued by a T-800. We quickly transition to see Emilia Clarke as the older Sarah Connor wielding a gun, the robotic form of a T-800 driving a truck, a graying Arnie who still looks as jacked as ever and as mentioned before, JK Simmons observantly ogling Arnold as a T-800.

Alan Taylor will direct and Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney will also star.  Terminator: Genisys opens this summer July 1. Watch the trailer here. And visit the film’s official website. Source: /Film.

Young-Sarah-Connor-webYoung Sarah Connor

Terminator-Genisys-Empire-robot-webTerminator Exoskeleton

JK-Simmons-Terminator-webJK Simmons

Jacked-Arnie-webJacked Arnie


Aaron Williamson Demystifies Functional Fitness

by Arthur Vandelay on March 12, 2015


What is functional training?
That’s a great question. I get it all the time. Functional training is essentially exercise that mimics real life movements and activities. Most training is based around core strength, which is really important for what I do with my clients. It teaches the muscles how to work together. You are doing full body movements that work more than one body part. For instance, doing a burpee or a jumping jack, you are using your arms and your legs and your chest. The muscle groups in your body are working together.

Why has functional training become so popular?
There’s been so much hype about it. The first reason is just for the fun factor alone. Not having to go from machine to machine at the gym, or be stuck to a dumbbell or a barbell. You truly have to be into another style of training to enjoy that on a daily basis. But for the normal person, when you can go into a functional training facility or a room that has battle ropes and kettle bells and monkey bars and stability balls, you can do so many different exercises. It changes the monotony of the gym. It’s a different feeling of going in there and being depressed because you’re gonna have to get under heavy weight and do ten reps, four different times. In addition, it helps keep your body injury free. If you’re doing it right, your muscles are going to be a lot stronger and you’re going to be more conditioned, which gives you that more lean, toned look people seek, and film actors especially want.

Even when you’re doing a functional training exercise that might be targeted at your legs, you’re still using your back and your arms and other muscles in lesser ways?
Absolutely. These exercises are typically always based around your core stability, so if you’re turning from side to side or you’re jumping down on the floor and then getting back up every time, you transition from one position to another and your core is indirectly engaged. You really don’t think about it engaging, it’s just naturally happening which is such a great way to train.

How does this type of training differ from traditional weight training?
Traditional weight training is exactly how it sounds. It’s your normal gym feel. You go into the gym and you have a specific body part you want to work out. Something very common is for people to come in and train chest and triceps or back and biceps. You’re going in, doing specific exercises for a certain number of sets and a certain number of reps, and you’re targeting a certain body part. But it’s not all working together like it would if you were going into a functional training room and doing a cardio circuit or a plyometrics circuit, where you’re going to engage everything at one time. You’re going to work your whole body through one workout but you can come in again the next day and do another workout, but you’re not going to be overly sore.

It sounds like it reflects real world activities. If I’m going to outside and stack wood, I’m not isolating my biceps. It’s a full body exercise to do that.
Some of the people I train, even non-film people, are folks I’m just trying to get back in shape. And they actually noticed a difference even driving in their car. Turning a corner, they can feel their abs engage and it’s something they’ve never felt before. There’s a connection there now. Even for the average person, it’s a great way to get back into the gym and get into physical fitness because it can be low-impact or high-impact. It can be whatever you make of it. There’s just so much room to be flexible with the training.

Do you recommend one style of training over the other?
It really depends on the goals. If I’m training a film client, it depends on what their character needs to look like. I like both styles and I incorporate both of them into my training. I actually do a lot of functional fitness for my cardio, but I’m a meathead at heart. I love to just get in their with dumbbells and lift heavy stuff all the time but that’s just me. I know it’s not for everybody. There’s more!



The summer blockbuster Terminator: Genisys hasn’t even come out yet and Arnold Schwarzenegger has already said “I’ll be back” for the film’s sequel in 2016. This will also be the eleven millionth time that phrase has been used regarding the Terminator franchise.

Since the release of the first trailer, the idea of a new trilogy has been an afterthought for fans, who are just generally excited to watch this year’s film. The star studded cast has gotten some gravitas since the 87th Oscars. JK Simmons won an Oscar for his performance in Whiplash. In Genisys, he’ll be joined by Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke and Jason Clarke.

/Film has made observations regarding Schwarzenegger’s possible death in the new film. If he dies, and is to return for a sequel, the sixty-seven year old must’ve dodged death again. That, or the sequel will again go back in time. We learned the news of Arnold’s return while the Governor of California was in Budapest. TheArnoldFans asked Schwarzenegger if he would return for the sixth Terminator movie, Arnold answered, “Yes, of course. Next year.”

Terminator: Genisys part two and three are already scheduled to be released in May 2017 and June 2018 respectively. Visit the official website and watch the trailer below.

Source: /Film


Trailer: New Orleans-Shot ‘Terminator: Genisys’

by Jordan McGuire

Yesterday we finally got our first glimpse of Terminator: Genisys. The New Orleans-shot film began production in April of 2014. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back, and we finally get some idea of how the sixty-seven year old actor will reprise a role he created when he was only thirty-six. As an audience, we also get an understanding of […]

‘Terminator’ Star Jai Courtney Returns to New Orleans for ‘Man Down’

by Michelle Preau

Terminator: Genisys star Jai Courtney has signed on for Dito Montiel’s psychological thriller Man Down. Courtney will star alongside Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Kate Mara and Toby Kebbell in the film that focuses on Gabriel Drummer. Gabriel is an Afghanistan war veteran trying to accept his past while searching for his family in a post-apocalyptic […]

Arnold Reveals The Official Title of T5: ‘Terminator: Genisys’

by Michelle Preau

The fifth Terminator film just wrapped up filming in New Orleans and the movie now has officially been given a title. After Arnold Schwarzenegger posted the above image on Instagram, Paramount Pictures confirmed that the movie title is indeed Terminator: Genisys. During filming, the working title has been “Terminator: Genesis” so the actioner’s official title isn’t much of […]