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Channing Tatum's 'Magic Mike 3' Diet & Exercise Routine, Revealed

Health hacks from the famous man that gets your heart throbbing.

There is something a bit mythical about Hollywood golden boy Channing Tatum. For decades now, his career has been both capturing the box office and making all of America swoon. From Step Up to The Lost City to the Magic Mike franchise that is releasing its third film in theaters today, Magic Mike's Last Dance, there is no shortage of physicality to the roles he plays. And, in signature Tatum style, he's often playing them shirtless. Heartthrobs aren't just born, though—they're made. Channing Tatum has been appearing on the silver screen for years, but his journey to physically embodying the characters he's played hasn't been an easy one at all. In fact, Tatum opened up last year about how unhealthy his diet and exercise routine had to be in order to achieve his chiseled Magic Mike physique.

In February 2022, Tatum went on the Kelly Clarkson Show to promote his new movie at the time, Dog. On the show, Tatum confirmed that Magic Mike 3 was in the works. However, he also revealed that he wasn't too stoked on having to do another film as Magic Mike's main character, Mike Lane. As a jacked, shirtless image of Tatum appeared on the show set, Clarkson expressed how she'd put that image everywhere if she worked out and looked like that.

"Trust me. That might be the reason I didn't want to do a third one is because I have to look like that," Tatum replied. "Even if you do workout, to be that kind of in shape is not natural," he continued.

When asked about whether or not he has to "eat well," the Magic Mike star referenced his diet and exercise routine for this film franchise.

"That's not even healthy—you have to starve yourself," Tatum candidly told Clarkson.

Tatum continued to make it very clear that he does not advocate for the steps it took to achieve his Mike Lane-ready body. "I don't know how people who work a 9-to-5 actually stay in shape because it's my full-time job and I can barely do it," said Tatum. "You work out twice a day. You have to eat completely right at a certain time."

This revealing interview with Kelly Clarkson uncovered a shocking (yet relatable) truth about this sculpted celeb: Though Tatum is highly attractive by conventional standards, he's a star who wasn't naturally blessed with good looks and a fit body. In fact, Tatum has had to sacrifice quite a bit in order to maintain his appearance.

It's clear that Tatum's dedication to healthy eating and fitness didn't just start at Magic Mike's Last Dance. And for all the diet and fitness success Tatum achieved over his career that has contributed to his healthy, dashing good looks—as well as the challenges he's encountered along the way—there are valuable takeaways we can all learn from. To better understand how Tatum's approach to diet and exercise has evolved over time, we took a closer look at at his eating habits and commitment to physical fitness throughout his career.

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Channing Tatum's dieting experiences

channing tatum
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According to a 2021 article published in Australian Men's Health, Tatum will often eat every two hours in order to have the fuel he needs for leaning out and building muscle.

"We swapped the unhealthy ingredients in the food Channing likes for healthy ones—we gave him lean turkey rather than beef, for example, and swapped takeaway pizzas for homemade whole wheat ones topped with organic veggies," William J. Harris, told Men's Health AU. "Processed and frozen foods, salt, sugar and alcohol were all no-nos."

Channing Tatum's strict diet expectations date back almost a decade to when he was preparing for the first Magic Mike film. As a 2012 article in People notes, the actor went completely dairy-free and gluten-free to prepare for the role of Mike Lane in the movie franchise's first installment. But his restrictions certainly didn't stop there.

For a December 2014 issue of Esquire, Tom Chiarella sat down for an intimate meal with Tatum to discuss his new movie at the time, Foxcatcher—a 2014 film in which Tatum plays an Olympic wrestler. The two dined at a Crab Shack in Georgia—but instead of ordering crab, Tatum went for a skinless chicken breast. He explained to Esquire that filming for Magic Mike XXL was to begin the following week, suggesting that this health-conscious order was to due to concerns over being physically ready to step into the role of Mike Lane yet again.

"I would like to join you," Tatum reportedly told Chiarella. "I would like a beer. I would like to have some crab. I love eating. But this is what I'm doing right now."

"And so, without comment or complaint, he begins to pick at the back of his chicken breast," Chiarella reported in the Esquire expose.

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On his rigorous workouts

channing tatum at magic mike premiere
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Tatum's strict dedication to his movie roles and gaining his noteworthy physique doesn't just involve his diet, though. The actor has also undergone excruciating exercise and fitness routines to prepare for his films, too. According to Tatum's longtime personal trainer Arin Babain, the workout routines needed for Tatum's films have been grueling at times. According to the aforementioned article in People, the actor would exercise around three hours a day after getting cast in the original Magic Mike.

"The training was probably the hardest we've ever done because it was wrestling training and also becoming this character who was somewhat of an ogre," Babain told Men's Health AU in reference to Tatum's fitness routine in preparation for his role Foxcatcher. "It was very emotionally draining."

Babain also discussed the multitude of injuries Tatum experienced amid this intense training with Men's Health AU journalists.

"Channing also had a lot of injuries that we'd been trying to resolve," said Babain. "Even on Magic Mike everyone was injured with back issues and things like that. We've changed our training completely to being safe and smart."

Tatum and Babain didn't limit themselves to working out at the gym. In fact, the two took on mountain biking while spending time at Tatum's home in Ojai, CA, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We were cycling about 2,000–2,500 ft. up the side of a mountain," Babaian explained to Men's Health AU. "It was only about 15 miles but it was uphill and it would not let you out until you were at the top. Everything is a competition between he and I so we would pretty much race to the top of this mountain."

Babain also praised his friend and client, telling Men'sHealth AU, "Channing is a full-on athlete. I have a lot of friends who are stunt performers and they have all said that he could definitely be a stuntman if that had been the profession he chose. He'll always attempt his stunts if he's allowed to."

It's impossible to deny that this hunky heartthrob is dedicated to the willpower, athleticism, and commitment that is required of him when it comes to every role he plays. And let's face it, we as an audience aren't complaining about the results of his hard work. If you're looking to celebrate Galentine's Day early with some shirtless hunks, sexy dance routines, and a steamy romance between Tatum and on-screen love interest Salma Hayek, you can catch Magic Mike's Last Dance, debuting in theaters everywhere Friday, February 10, 2023.

A previous version of this story was published on March 22, 2022. It has been updated to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, additional research, new media embeds, and updated contextual links.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha