J.K. Simmons was motivated to get into shape after watching himself on “Oz.” Simmons told Business Insider in 2016 that his role as Vern, the neo-Nazi leader, pushed him to improve his health. Simmons said, “I was not in good shape at all. I was overweight and soft and here I am playing the head of the Aryan Brotherhood in this maximum-security prison in the first-ever HBO original drama and I was watching the first season when it came out and I just thought, ‘Wow, I don’t believe this guy at all. I have to get my a** to the gym and be a believable hard-a**.'”
After losing 40 pounds and getting back into shape for “Oz,” Simmons kept up his dedication to fitness. Simmons told Insider, “I pretty much decided that I was going to stay in decent shape for the rest of my life.” He wasn’t kidding!
Simmons broke the internet in 2016 after his trainer Aaron Williamson posted photos of the “Whiplash” star on Instagram with the caption, “Every time we train together, I forget he’s 61 years old. So much respect for this guy.” It was high praise coming from Williamson, the ex-Marine celebrity trainer behind the “Revenge Body” workout and Khloe Kardashian’s incredible transformation. According to Daily Mail, Williamson’s clients include Zac Efron, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sylvester Stallone, and Jamie Foxx. Men’s Health reported that Simmons calls the famous photos “shredded Santa” because he was sporting a gray beard while doing bicep curls (seen above).