Top Gun: Maverick Star Glen Powell Built His Impressive Physique for The Film’s Beach Scene in Just Seven Weeks

Glen Powell, Top Gun: Maverick star plays ‘Hangman’ in the long-awaited sequel, starring alongside Hollywood legend Tom Cruise, and whipped himself into big screen worthy shape in record time.

Shooting for the film began in 2018, and Glen had just seven weeks to hone his physique for a sequence in which he is seen shirtless playing American football– a homage to the iconic volleyball scene in the original film. 

Glen wanted to reduce his body fat, build broader shoulders, a muscular chest, and sport a chiselled six-pack for the sequence. To achieve this, he enlisted the expertise of U.P., the world’s leading personal training business.

“We analysed what the ‘money shot’ would be to make Glen Powell pop on camera. So, we concentrated on his ‘mirror muscles’ – chest, shoulders, traps, and abs.”

To ensure he was in absolute peak condition, Glen partnered with U.P. founder and Global CEO Nick Mitchell. Yorkshire-born Nick, stepped out of the boardroom and back into the gym to personally train Glen at U.P.’s Los Angeles facility and under his watchful eye, Glen saw astonishing progress. 

Nick said: “The brief was to get Glen to look as good, and as lean, as possible in a very short space of time. We analysed what the ‘money shot’ would be to make Glen pop on camera. So, we concentrated on his ‘mirror muscles’ – chest, shoulders, traps, and abs. 

“We couldn’t build massive muscles in just seven weeks. But what we could do, was make Glen look leaner, sharper, crisper, and give him the look of strength and power. We didn’t do any kind of body building-style leg training. Instead, we focused on strongman-type exercises, such as pushing a sled, pushing a prowler and farmer’s walks to ramp up his metabolism and burn calories. 

“You will always get people saying: ‘It’s easy for a pampered celebrity to get in shape.’ But don’t be stupid. Glen was part of an ensemble cast in one of the biggest Hollywood films in decades, starring alongside Tom Cruise, the biggest movie star in the world. His life wasn’t his own. 

“Glen is a very dopamine-driven guy that loves high energy, hard, all-out exercise. And that speaks to my soul.”

“It was down to Glen to get up at 5 am and lift weights. He didn’t have a personal chef, so he had to prepare and eat the right foods, fit his training around a manic schedule of filming late into the night, reshoots, looking at scripts, learning how to fly, and so on. 

“And so, were always rushed. We only had three or four hours a week a week to train. But Glen is a very dopamine-driven guy that loves high energy, hard, all-out exercise. And that speaks to my soul. He went all-in, and he achieved tremendous results.

“It really was genuinely great fun, and a genuine pleasure, to train Glen Powell. It was uplifting to be on the gym floor with him. He is the most upbeat, positive person you’d ever wish to meet.”

Glen Powell’s Top Gun Diet 

Glen’s diet was kept very simple. His busy and hectic schedule, with long days on set filming and often unpredictable changes to his daily routine, meant that micromanaging his food was not the optimal approach for him. Instead, he was given a calorie and protein target with a focus on the core principle of “eating from the land.”  

This meant Glen principally stuck to the types of food that you can kill, pick, or pluck. When you have a very finite and short amount of time, finding a plan you can stick to and follow consistently is key. 

Glen aimed for 2800 calories, eating three-four times per day, with an emphasis on protein, targeting 200g. His carbohydrates and fats, however, were kept flexible so long as he stayed within his calorie target. He avoided any dairy products due to gut health issues.  

2800 Calories: 200g Protein/ 300g Carbs/ 88g Fats 

Morning  U.P. Estro Support (on an empty stomach) 


Meal 1  3oz smoked Salmon  

2 eggs  

Handful of spinach  

3.5oz oats  

3.5oz fresh berries  

Meal 2  7oz chicken breast (uncooked)   

3.5oz avocado   

140g basmati rice (uncooked)  

1 serving of broccoli  

Intra-workout U.P. Amplify 
Post-workout Protein shake: 2 scoops U.P. Vegan Protein  



1 banana   

Meal 3   7oz sirloin steak (uncooked)  

14oz sweet potato (uncooked)  

1 serving of green beans 



One day a week his calories would be dropped to roughly 2000 with a focus on animal protein sources, such as chicken breast, aiming for less than 100g of carbohydrates, with the rest of his calories coming from good quality fat sources. 

During his transformation, Glen only used a handful of supplements to support his progress and help to give him an edge.   

Glen Powell’s Top Gun Workout 

With his filming commitments, Glen had limited time in the gym (1 hour, 3-4 times a week), so his program was largely based on bringing out the mirror muscles for maximum screen impact.

The Training Split:

  • Chest / back / traps / abs
  • Arms/shoulders 

When time allowed, additional strongman and abs focused sessions were added. Due to time limitations, Glen didn’t train legs whatsoever to necessitate frequency of stimulus on the upper body and encourage maximum recuperation.

Chest / back / traps / abs

Order  Exercise  Reps Sets  Tempo Rest 
A1 Incline bench press  8 4 4010 45s  
A2 Semi-supinated pull ups 4 4 3111 60s 
B1 Dips  

(chin on chest, leaning forward to emphasis pec stimulus)  

8 4 3010 60s 
B2  Seated low pulley rows 

(supinated grip) 

10 4 3010 60s  
C1 Hanging leg raises  AMRAP* 3 3010 No rest 
C2 Swiss ball plank  

(maintain control while ball is moving) 


Hold as long as possible 3 Hold  No rest 
C3 Single-arm cable shrugs 15 3 2011 45s 

*As Many Reps As Possible 

Ultimate Performance (U.P.) was founded in 2009 in London by world-leading personal trainer Nick Mitchell. They have forged a reputation as the world’s foremost body transformation experts delivering exceptional client results under the mantra ‘maximum results, minimum time’.

Ultimate Performance

Can’t get enough? Top Gun: Maverick Superstar Personal Trainer Discusses The Methodology Behind Getting Glen ‘Hangman’ Powell Topless Scene Ready.

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