How Will Poulter Became the Jacked, Super-Human Adam Warlock

MCU fans were shocked by Poulter's Warlock-bod. Here's what the actor did to achieve these gains.
By Lauren Vinopal
December 5, 2022

There are plenty of stunning things about the newly released trailer for the third and final chapter of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. But nothing was quite as attention-grabbing as the brief appearance of a shockingly shredded Will Poulter playing the superhuman Adam Warlock around the 1:27 minute mark.

After making a name for himself in more modest-bodied roles like Kenny in We’re the Millers, a frontiersman in The Revenant and a slimy oxycontin salesman in the award-winning Hulu miniseries Dopesick, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were taken aback by how jacked the 29-year-old British actor has become.

So how did Poulter transform into a creature who Marvel describes as “genetically engineered by scientists to be the perfect being”? Anyone looking for a shortcut is not going to like his answer. It took a lot of time, discipline, and professional help. Basically, he had to make his body the center of his universe. 

“The whole social side of your life has to take a back seat,” Poulter told The Independent. “I’m in a routine that is so rigid that being able to go out for dinner with friends is not something I’ve been able to do.”

But if you insist on pursuing a similarly superhuman stature, here are some other ways Poulter got his new physique.

A young Will Poulter poses for the camera at The Championships, Wimbledon With Stella Artois
Will Poulter in 2018, long before his Marvel days. (Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Stella Artois)


Eating Everything or Eat Nothing​

In the same conversation with The Independent, Poulter admitted to following a “very, very specific diet,” which he goes on to say was “not particularly civilized at times.” More specifically, trainers would instruct him to eat “quantities of food you wouldn’t necessarily want to ingest. And other times not enough food.”

It’s a world of extremes, but fortunately, he eventually reached the “maintenance phase, which is quite nice,” he said. “I’m not eating copious amounts of food to bulk, and I’m not cutting. I’m just maintaining my weight. I’ve gone through periods of looking at food and feeling like I can’t face it, and then you blink and the next minute you’re ready to eat furniture because you’re so hungry.”

Less Booze, More Protein

Along with not having a social life, Poulter admitted to abstaining from alcohol as well. In the interview, which took place in April 2022, he said the last time he drank was on New Year’s eve. However, after some speculation about his glow-up on Twitter, GQ asked him exactly how many protein shakes he drinks per day. Declining to give an exact number, he said that it was more or less than five. 

Treating His Body Like a Full-Time Job

It’s important to note that while Poulter was only able to prepare for the Warlock gig by making it his ultimate priority. “It was actually my job to just to kind of train and eat,” the actor told Variety. Consequently, he doesn’t suggest that anyone tries this at home.

“The most important thing is that your mental and physical health has to be number one, and the aesthetic goals have to be secondary,” he warned. “Otherwise you end up promoting something that is unhealthy and unrealistic if you don’t have the financial backing of a studio paying for your meals and training. I’m in a very privileged position in that respect, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone do what I did to get ready for that job.”