Dave Bautista Completely Rethought His Training Regimen for the ‘Avengers’ Movies

Marvel fans know Dave Bautista for his portrayal of Drax the Destroyer, but the Guardians of the Galaxy star had a career in professional wrestling before pursuing acting. With a history of bodybuilding, it makes sense the former WWE fighter would take his training regimen seriously — especially when bringing one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s heroes to life. However, Bautista admits there’s a difference between how he approached his previous projects and how he trained for the Avengers movies.

Dave Bautista plays Drax the Destroyer in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’

'Guardians of the Galaxy' star Dave Bautista at the premiere for 'Avengers: Infinity War,' a movie he trained differently for. He's wearing a white shirt and black jacket, and he's looking at the camera.
Dave Bautista | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Bautista made his MCU debut in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and he went on to reprise his role as Drax the Destroyer in the film’s sequel. The actor also plays a prominent part in Avengers: Infinity War, which sees all of the MCU’s characters uniting in an attempt to defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin). He later appears in Avengers: Endgame, when all of the heroes return from the Blip, though his involvement in that Avengers movie is far briefer.

Despite sharing the screen with so many other heroes in the recent Avengers installments, Bautista put a great deal of effort into preparing for the ensemble films. He no doubt understood the impact they’d have on the fanbase. After all, they did conclude 10 years of storytelling.

The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ star hired a personal trainer for the ‘Avengers’ movies

Being in an Avengers movie is a big deal, and it’s not something Bautista took lightly. The Guardians of the Galaxy star wanted to ensure he looked the part when Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame hit theaters — more so than ever before. During an interview with Men’s Health, he admitted he even hired a personal trainer to help him rework his fitness routine:

“Being in the Avengers got me to hire a personal trainer. Because literally for the first time in my film career, I was really concerned about looking better. I wanted to not only look big, but I wanted to look toned — I wanted to look like a superhero, that big figure, small waist look. We focused on making my muscles look more rounded, my waist more tapered, my back wider, and my thighs more developed. We went back towards a real bodybuilding style, but not with heavy weights — we focused more on power training.”

With the help of trainer Jon Bennett, Bautista took on a regimen that saw him splitting his exercise into types of days: Push Day, Legs Day, and Pull Day. That helped him bulk up and stay agile to play Drax. It also showed him what he’d been doing wrong before.

“I actually found out that everything I’d been doing all these years was wrong,” Bautista told Men’s Health.

He added, “I was squatting wrong. I was bench pressing wrong — my shoulders were in the wrong place — so we worked a lot on that.”

Will Dave Bautista appear in more Marvel movies in the future?

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After 10 years of hard work in the MCU, Bautista is looking forward to moving on to other projects — something he’s already started by landing roles in Army of the Dead, Dune, and Knives Out 2. However, before he officially bids farewell to the franchise, he has a couple more appearances, namely in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and the Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special.

The actor has hinted those outings will be his last as Drax, a reality he told The Hollywood Reporter is “bittersweet.” Bautista went on to say that he’s looking forward to finishing that chapter of his life, even if saying goodbye won’t be easy:

So I’m looking forward to this, man. My cast and obviously the director, James Gunn, they’re like family to me. This is kind of where my journey started. It’s come full circle and I’m looking forward to wrapping it up.”

Bidding farewell to Bautista will prove just as emotional for fans. However, it’ll be exciting to see what he brings to other franchises — and we’ve got two more appearances from Drax before Bautista’s time in the MCU is through.

The first two Guardians of the Galaxy films — and all of the Avengers movies — are available to stream on Disney+.