‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson on How Testosterone Therapy Helped Him Get Season 2 Ready

In author Lee Child’s original Jack Reacher novels, the character is described as ‘extremely tall’ and ‘extremely broad.’ That’s easily written, but not so easily built. The man entrusted with the task, Alan Ritchson, has been speaking to Men’s Health UK about getting into shape to play the hulking titular hero and why he decided to take a different approach, using testosterone, ahead of the show’s second season.

Before filming season one of the hit Prime Video series, Reacher, the now 41-year-old actor was given the unenviable task of putting on 30lbs of heft in just eight months. He’s explained in previous interviews how he built a gym in his house and got the work done, but, as he’s now sharing with Men’s Health UK, it wasn’t without consequences.

“I ravaged my body,” says Ritchson. “I mean, I had a broken AC (acromioclavicular) joint in my shoulder, [which] I had to have repaired. There was a huge imbalance in hormones in my body. I was falling apart. So while I made it happen, it’s probably true that it shouldn’t happen that fast, that way.”

To look at the impressive, shirtless selfies Ritchson posts on Instagram, you’d be hard-pressed to tell there was anything wrong with his body. The actor is the proud owner of a torso that could make Greek statues blush. But with his enviable physique comes the obvious insinuations that his massive muscles and glazed abs have been obtained through illegitimate means.


Speaking to MH, the actor stresses that – despite what’s said about him on the internet – his physique going into season one of Reacher was crafted entirely through hard work. But the stress and fatigue that followed – consequences of building that physique – meant his body wasn’t the same afterwards, and he needed some help if he was going to continue playing Reacher for years to come.

That was the challenge he faced ahead of the second season, and it’s one of the reasons why Ritchson has become an advocate for men exploring testosterone therapy as they enter middle age.

“Getting on testosterone was huge for me,” says Ritchson. “I had none by the time I was done with season one, due to the stress and the fatigue and what I had done to my body. For me, it’s a long game. I want to do Reacher for 15 years… I don’t want to have to have surgery after every season, and testosterone helps.”

He goes on to add: “I’m a big advocate of it, especially for people in their forties or above. [Men aren’t] aware that it’s out there, but it could be really life changing. It could be a mood stabilizer for people… it can do a lot more than just help you be buff, but it certainly helped in my journey.”

That being said, Ritchson still works his ‘ass off’ in the gym in order to build and maintain the muscle needed for Reacher.

‘[With] a clinical dose that’s very low, you won’t really notice much more than those systems working well If you increase it a little bit, which I have, you can start to put on muscle mass. I’ve never taken, like, 600 milligrams a week. I don’t know if I can handle that. [But] it definitely helps with muscle growth. If you take a little bit and then you work your ass off in the gym like you normally would, you’re going to see huge results.”

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