Kellan Lutz of ‘New Moon’ on how he works up a sweat (in the gym)

By Hayley Kaufman
Globe Staff / November 19, 2009

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Actor Kellan Lutz is a big guy: tall, brawny, muscular. Of course, if you’re a fan of the “Twilight’’ films - the second of which, “New Moon,’’ opens tomorrow - you know that already. For the rest of you (that is, the men reading this), Lutz plays the towering and protective Emmett Cullen, a vampire who can knock some heads and throw a serious fastball.

Except for the vampire part, that sounds a bit like Lutz. A born athlete, the North Dakota native counts swimming, tennis, boxing, and a handful of other sports among his favorites. During the seven months he was in Africa filming the HBO Films miniseries “Generation Kill,’’ he spent his downtime eating - and lifting some serious weight.

“All you could do was lift rocks,’’ Lutz said, smiling, during recent visit to Boston. “So I got big: 200 [pounds]-plus of raw muscle.’’

It works for him, and for a few million female admirers out there. But what advice does this 24-year-old sports connoisseur have for the average Boston male, the one who’s already dreaming of turkey, stuffing, and beers on Thanksgiving?

A few things, actually. So read on.

1. “The hard thing for me is when movies ask me not to work out,’’ Lutz said. “When I don’t do it, I lose my energy.’’ Bottom line: Whatever kind of workout you chose, guys, do it safely and consistently. Stopping and starting an exercise program won’t do your beer gut - or your heart - much good.

2. Music makes everything better, even exercise. Lutz loves to swim. But the truth is, unless you’re Michael Phelps going for a world record, it can get a little repetitive, right? The actor’s got that covered. “I just bought speakers for underwater,’’ Lutz said. Staying on dry land? Load up the iPod, dude.

3. Keep things interesting. Lutz brings a pack of cards when he goes to the gym. No, it’s not for a quick game of poker with his buddies. He turns his workout into a game of chance. First, he guesses at what color a card will be. If he guesses red and the card comes up red, he does the number of push-ups or dips or squats on the card. If he guesses red and it’s black, he has to do double the number on the card. “I make games out of everything,’’ Lutz admits.

So, after all that working out - not to mention the stunt work Lutz finally convinced the studio to let him do for “Eclipse,’’ which hits theaters in June - what about the clothes? Does he just throw on Dockers and go? Hardly.

“I’m not a shopaholic,’’ Lutz said. “I love John Varvatos, James Perse is amazing. Michael Kors. Burberry. Calvin Klein. I know what I like and feeling comfortable. And that exudes confidence.’’

Spoken like a true vampire.

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