MH Meets Sexy BH in NYC

Men’s Health : August Special 

Lee Byung Hun, the action kid who charmed Hollywood
Character dies, but actor doesn’t

Source: e-MensHealth

Our thanks to Angel70 for the highlight, Barbara for highlighting the NYC photo-shoot near the UN headquarters, Manhattan and mistymorning especially for the article’s cool gist ❤

Translation by mistymorning at LBH soompi

‘Storm Shadow’ came to New York to attend ‘Met ball’. Men’s Health didn’t miss the opportunity and was able to catch him, who is a big star in Asia and the new hot star in Hollywood. After the ‘Storm Shadow’, this 42 year old man became the cold killer ‘Han’ in the new movie ‘Red: The Legend’. Let’s hear his secret of body and mind training. We may find the real actor Lee ByungHun.


When I train to become a character in the movie, I am on different mindset. To analyze a character is my livelihood so I focus more.” “What I meant is that, there’s difference between the mindset for who wants to look good for the coming summer, and the mindset for actor who needs to create a perfect muscle for character” “Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe is a hero but a cartoon character. Fans expect the actor to be perfect like cartoon character. They’ll be disappointed with Storm Shadow in bad shape.” Red 2 may have been less burden on that issue, but in reality it wasn’t easy either. Because in the movie there’s whole body check-up scene.

“The script only had one line for that. ‘All nude, he has a perfect body’. For that one line, I trained for 2 months to build my body. For the character with perfect body, only way is to train hard. No need to build body for characters that doesn’t need to look that way. If body looks too good for the character, viewers will just look at the body, as a result the cohesion of the movie will be broken. The reason actors training to make a muscle is not to look good. Depends on characters I can be fat, thin, or in perfect shape. Of course such extreme change will not be good for the health.” If he has enough time, Lee ByungHun has 3 months to prepare before the beginning of the shooting. “Just enough time to make a body. Well, of course you have to have good foundation before that” He had a personal trainer for G.I. Joe 1 and 2.



But for RED 2, he trained by himself, remembering what he learned from previous trainer. He said it was difficult to train without trainer. “Trainers are not just teaching new way to exercise, but push you to continue. He supports to keep training and training harder. Without a trainer I got easily distracted with thoughts like ‘Maybe skip just for today’ or ‘Is it enough for today?’. Lee Byunghun focused on outside motivation to continue training. People, especially fans and those who support him and the expectation they have on his name ‘Lee ByungHun’. “Of course I have all the international fans and Korean fans on my mind, and didn’t want to show them, esp. Korean fans myself losing focus. So I ran with that thought on mind when I needed motivation”

The growing pain of the actor Lee ByungHun is still in progress.


This type of fast cramming has issues, just like overnight cramming for the exam. Lee ByungHun knows that you can’t keep the shape after the movie production. So it’s bad to the body to make body in short amount of time. So the thing he considers important is the proper meal. He used strict training and diet plan for G.I. Joe and Red 2. “For someone who exercises hard every day, because of the muscle mess, doesn’t need strict diet. But for the regular person like me, it’s different.“ There’s nothing special in his diet plan. Just like for everybody, he kept on no natrium, no sugar, lots of vegetables, and heavy protein less fat foods.

But recently he concluded that the variety of food is more important than diet on limited foods. “One food diet can make you deficient on necessary nutrition.” The most difficult thing on his diet was not the craving for sweet food or desert. “I missed Koran foods. Korean food can make you addicted to it. The best for me is the spicy pork.” There’s another important thing. Water. To prepare for G.I.Joe, Lee ByungHun drank 6 litter of water every day. “To drink water that much was really painful. The training was only for 1 hour per day. It’s difficult but it’ll pass. But you have to drink water for whole day, so it makes you wake up during the night several times and had to go loo. But the interesting this is, human body will adapt in the end. After a month of that, I felt thirsty all the time.


Drinking water will pass natrium from your body. So, my sweats during the training weren’t salty. It was just water.” Storm Shadow who almost died in G.I. Joe 1 came back in G.I. Joe 2 , stronger and bigger. That was by the request from Lee ByungHun. “When I saw the story line that he’ll be back in 2 alive, when he almost died in #1, I want for that to be with some surprises.” To achieve that he worked with the trainer to build body more and changed the diet plan significantly. Whether it would be successful or not depended on the amount of intake and increasing weight. He added protein powder to the diet plan from G.I.Joe 1.

“In #2, I didn’t take muscle building protein powder or supplements. Only foods. I had 6 meals a day, once every 2 hours and the amount of each meal was big. The first month was really difficult. Early step, I focused on building more muscle and ate chicken breasts without salt. I felt that my stomach was extending real. Once in a week, I ate meats with a bit of fat. And changed the diet gradually. In the middle stage, gradually reduced beef and had more fish. Final step I only ate fish. 2 fish per meal, 12 every day. Also drank plenty of water.”

Trainer increased the amount of workout as well as diet. The time spent on workout increased to 1hour and 40 minutes from 1 hour. “Because meal intake was that big, trying to reduce fat. 40 min of low impact workout and 1 hour of weight training. Or some mix of that sometimes. ” But this is a change that comes with a burden. “It may be different for person to person, for me it’s difficult to increase muscle mess. I thought it would be easy increasing it, but actually it was more difficult than making shape of the body.”


He’s not Storm Shadow, he is Lee ByungHun

In weight room Lee ByungHun focuses on the back exercise. “I do pull-up most. There are a lot of back exercise, but I think pull up is among the best. Everyone has some part of the body more developed than others, for me it’s back. Some times during the intensive training, I got surprised seeing my back.” At the peak of the training, he was able to do pull up 20 times easily. But he’s not good with chest exercise. “Regardless of the weight I do, my chest muscle doesn’t develop that well. So I tried to make it shaped with visual impact. ” Lower body workout is a challenge too because he never did leg training continuously.

“If I do leg training too much, I have muscle pain for a week and walking becomes difficult. Squirt is the most difficult and annoying. But I have strong thigh so I can do more weight doing leg curl.” Not just training to build body, he needed to work on fitness for the movie. “The martial art training was essential because it was an action movie. The base of the martial art I used in G.I.Joe and RED2 is TaeKwonDo. Usually, Korean men around my age learned TaeKwonDo when they were young. Even if they didn’t, there’s another chance. Because it’s the basic martial art you’ll learn during your mandatory military service.” He started going TaeKwonDo class from the age of 6 and relearned it during middle school.



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