Press: Getting Fit to Fit The Part

Press: Getting Fit to Fit The Part

Bat Boy Begins Body Work Year In Advance

There’s nothing like standing naked in front of 200 people to get you to the gym. It was all actor Michael Ingersoll needed to get motivated to work out.

Ingersoll, 24, got serious about working out about a year ago when he started his internship with Playhouse on the Square. He knew at the end of his internship the company would be performing Bat Boy: The Musical, a campy rock opera along the same vein as the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and he wanted a chance at playing the lead.

“The character spoke to me and it sounded like a hell of a lot of fun and a great excuse to get in shape,” Ingersoll says. So last June soon after Ingersoll moved here with his fiancee, he started out at the Inside Out Life Gym.

“I gained 25 pounds in college on a steady diet of pizza and beer. I knew that if I had any shot  at getting this role I would have to take voice lessons and hit the gym,” Ingersoll says. “I went from paying no attention to my diet and exercise to working out at the gym five days a week.”

Ingersoll’s internship requires that he works 12 hours a day. He gets two one-hour breaks, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. He spends one of those breaks every day at the gym.

“People say they don’t have time to work out, but I find that even with the tightest of schedules you can still make time to work out if you truly want to see results.” Ingersoll says. “You just have to make up your mind and prioritize.”

For the first six months of his training, Ingersoll didn’t even know whether or not he would get the coveted part. He was working out just so he could be considered for the role. “I knew I was right for this one. I was not going to let my body get in the way of at least being considered for it.”

Once he was cast, he stuck with the same exercise program and his body composition continued to change. Ingersoll, 5’8”, started his training at about 164 lbs. He got down to about 148 and then went back up to 155, adding more muscle to his frame.

Though he does a little bit of cardio at the gym a couple times a week, Ingersoll concentrates on strength training. He works a different body part each day. “In order to lose weight, weight training is the way to go. When you weigh train you change your entire metabolism.”

With his demanding role, he says he gets his real cardio workout on stage every night. “The show is basically a two and a half hour cardio workout,” he says. “In one of the opening scenes I’m in this huge cage, crawling all over it, pulling up my body weight, and hanging upside down.”

Between acts, Ingersoll is drinking water, doing pushups, bicep curls and “a ridiculous number of crunches” to keep the blood flowing and his muscles loose for his performance. Ingersoll started changing his diet last year as well. He began on the Atkins diet end then moved to “Sort of a hybrid plan” that allows for more complex carbohydrates. He also takes creatine and drinks Myoplex protein shakes.

“I think my body is more prepared to work in this field now than it was a year ago,” Ingersoll says. “I don’t think I realized how much I may have been limiting myself before.”

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