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20 Amazing Bodies of The Walking Dead Stars

Here's how they stay strong.

The dead are alive! Here we delve into the fitness and lifestyle secrets of the beloved cast from the iconic show. From Andrew Lincoln's stamina-focused training for his role as Rick Grimes to Norman Reedus's relaxed approach for Darryl Dixon, each star brings a unique perspective to maintaining their health under the demanding conditions of filming. Lauren Cohan champions exercise variety, while Danai Gurira emphasizes wellbeing through varied workouts. Jeffery Dean Morgan finds fitness in farm life, and Melissa McBride reflects on the show's impact.


Andrew Lincoln


Andrew Lincoln played Rick Grimes on the show. In a 2012 interview with Men's Health, he shared his approach for training for the series. Lincoln revealed that stamina is the main thing he values. "Of course, I want to be in good shape and be fit, but I want to have stamina. It's not an exercise in vanity. It's about being able to do stuff."


Norman Reedus


Norman Reedus plays fan-favorite character Darryl Dixon, which lead to him getting a spin-off. He shared his fitness secrets with Men's Journal. "I have a trainer in New York I use every so often when I'm getting ready to go back on the show. Nothing too specific. I just try to shed any holiday pounds and get my mind right. When I'm down there [in Atlanta], I have a gym in my house, so I try to work out when I can, but sometimes when you work so many hours all you can do is get home and fall on your face. I'm also running through the woods in 103° heat and my crossbow weighs a ton, and I'm always riding bikes and building things, so the pounds melt off."


Lauren Cohan


Lauren Cohan played Maggie Greene on the show. She shared her fitness routine with Shape Magazine. "I am the queen of exercise variety. This week I was in L.A. and I took a Pure Barre class, went to Burn 60 [an interval workout class] twice, ran the track at UCLA, made it to the gym, and took a yoga class. I also really love to dance. I dance through workouts that aren't even about dancing! At home, all my furniture is pushed to the edges of my living room so that I can dance around the room."


Danai Gurira


Danai Gurira played the fan-favorite character, Michonne, on the show. She shared her approach to fitness with Women's Health. "If I haven't worked out, if I haven't exercised and connected with my body in some way, it chips away at my feeling of well-being," she says. "It might be lifting weights, it might be boxing, it might be something a little less intense. There's no need to break records tomorrow. It's just about slowly finding what feels good and what feels rewarding."


Jeffery Dean Morgan

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Jeffery Dean Morgan played the villainous Negan on the show. He and his wife, Hilarie Burton, live on a farm. Morgan tells Men's Journal that he likes to chop wood. "I'm a little bit obsessed with it. I love an ax, but I recently got a log splitter, which has changed my life as I near 55."


Melissa McBride


Melissa McBride plays Carol Peletier on the show. She talked about the impact the show has had to "I think being a part of something that sort of just took over, it still has not quite settled in my mind. I understand how big the show is. I experienced how big it got and that's maybe why it's hard to fathom that I'm a part of it. It's bigger and more unexpected than I ever could have imagined, and I still have not quite grasped that I am indeed a part of this massive thing. I think one of these days, maybe even years from now, I will look back with a different perspective. You know, see the whole of it."


Jon Bernthal


Jon Bernthal plays Shane Walsh on the show. He also stars on The Punisher and shared his workout secrets for the show with Men's Journal. "Today we got up at 4 in the morning. Usually we'll start with a little strength work, whether it is taking on squats or the bench press, doing five sets of three at the maximum weight. There's a lot of supersetting, and bodybuilding weight practices. Then we work on a lot of MetCon [metabolic conditioning], doing as many rounds as we can, trying to get each movement just right. It will usually be about five or six full-body moves, like pull-ups or cleans. We'll do that for somewhere around 20 minutes or so. Then in the afternoon we'll do boxing or jiu jitsu workouts between scenes. I always want to box, but they really try to keep me working my whole body as much as possible. On top of that, learning the fights for the show or weapons training is almost a whole other workout on top of that. So it probably works out to three separate big, different workouts a day. It's pretty gnarly."


Christian Serratos


Christian Serratos plays Rosita Espinosa on the show. She shared some of her skincare secrets with The Cut. "I started double-cleansing probably around the time my daughter was born, because I noticed that when I would wipe my face dry on a towel after cleansing, I still had makeup around my hairline or the edges of my face. And I was mostly annoyed with the fact that the makeup was getting on my towels."


Michael Rooker


In addition to playing Merle Dixon on The Walking Dead, Michael Rooker also plays Yondu in the Guardians of The Galaxy franchise. He talked about doing his own stunts with Smashing Interviews. "I didn't do a lot of major action stuff in this one. I like doing physical stuff, but this was easy enough for me. I really didn't have many major fights. Yondu is just … you don't want to mess with this cat. His weapon of choice is pretty powerful, so you don't want to screw around with the guy. He's a tough old boy."


Alanna Masterson


Alanna Masterson plays Tara Chambler on the show. After having her daughter, Masterson was subjected to body-shaming. However, she hit back on Instagram. "Dear Instagram trolls, body shamers, and the men and woman who think it's ok to comment on my weight: I hope that you don't have children. And if you do, I hope you teach them about kindness and acceptance. I hope they learn that it isn't ok to make fun of people or call people names."


Khary Payton


Khary Payton played Ezekiel on the show. He shared how he stayed in shape on the show to Muscle and Fitness. "We film in Atlanta where it's hot and humid, and I lose weight if I'm not doing something. So I have this CrossFit-style regimen that's just 20 minutes. I do five pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 body-weight squats. I do as many rounds as I can in 20 minutes. By the time I get halfway through, I've got to cheat on the pullups. By the time I'm done, I'm in a pool of sweat on the floor. My best is nine rounds."


Austin Amelio


Austin Amelio played Dwight on the show. In an interview, he revealed that he has adopted a vegan diet. "I watched that documentary 'What the Health' ten days ago, and the next day I was like, 'I'm done.' It's been 10 days, completely vegan the whole entire time, and I feel better than I felt like in years."


Tom Payne


Tom Payne, who played Jesus, works with trainer Tom Fitzgerald on his diet and exercise. Fitzgerald told The Hollywood Reporter that Payne eats a lot of protein. "Most people would need a period of 'cutting in' after a program like this," Fitzgerald explains. "However, Tom has such a fast metabolism that just keeping up the calories is the main challenge; losing fat in order to show muscular definition happens almost automatically."


Lauren Ridloff


Lauren Ridloff played Connie on the show. She revealed to Shape that she is training to run the New York City Marathon, and shared her reasons for doing so. "It was more about meditation," she says. "It was about reentering myself and problem solving, troubleshooting, all of those things…You know, my mind just wanders [when I run]. I never know where it's gonna go, which is quite nice."


Steven Yuen


Steven Yuen played fan-favorite character, Glenn Rhee. He told The Guardian that he wants to represent the Asian community through his work. "Where I try and speak from as an actor is always feeling, I guess, isolated. I warred with that for a lot of my life – of feeling disconnected from a system, a majority, or a group. I deeply wanted to connect, so I would bend and twist and break myself to try and conform."

Anna Bechtel
Anna Bechtel is a freelance writer currently based in Hamden, CT. Read more
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