Dave Bautista prides himself on his acting abilities, which are obvious to anyone who has seen any of his movies like Guardians of the Galaxy or even Blade Runner 2049. But his career in showbiz began as a pro wrestler—and that can come with some baggage.
While he’s not actively trying to distance himself from his WWE past, he is pursuing more serious roles than other wrestler-turned-actors rather than leaning into his already established persona. Still, the public’s perception of who he is and what he’s about might be a bit more skewed than for other actors, who often come to the screen without nearly two decades of context in a different milieu.
One of the most challenging things for Bautista to shed is how people perceive his hulking 6’4” frame. While he has a different relationship to training than he did when muscle and performance was his top priority, he’s still very active at 52 years old (just check out his typical on-set workout). But his past doesn’t define who he is—or even how he exercises.
“I think a lot of people think I’m just a meathead and that I live my life lifting weights,” he told Men’s Health in his recent cover story interview. “And I actually don’t. I do live my life training, but I think people think that I train because I want to look like a bodybuilder or a big musclehead. And it’s not at all the case.”
Instead, his physical training is more focused on his mental health and having a good time. He called his fitness routine therapeutic, and an opportunity to try new things.
“Me looking the wayI do is really just kind of a by-product of that,” he said. “I’m not consumed about like, ‘Oh I can bench, like, 500 pounds; I can deadlift 800 pounds.’ I’m not that guy at all. I’d rather watch someone else deadlift than do it myself. I’d rather be boxing or doing some type of interesting cardio like cycling. I’d rather be working with a trainer and keeping it fresh.”
Want to branch out in your own fitness plan? Check out this boxing workout, or add in some interval sprints on a bike to your routine.
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