The Villain in Netflix's 'Luke Cage' Is a Totally Ripped Vegan

For season 2 of Netflix's Luke Cage, Marvel wanted a villain that could stack up to the bulky-bicep'd body of its star, Mike Colter.

Enter Mustafa Shakir as John "Bushmaster" Byrne, a Jamaican gang leader who stakes his claim to Harlem and, well, immediately kicks Luke Cage's ass.

"A character like Bushmaster, he's real complex," Shakir told MensHealth.com. "He’s not just a monolithic version of what we’ve come to know villains to be."

Which is true on an emotional level, but he certainly looks like he's carved from stone. Shakir ramped up his already-intense training from daily to two-a-day workouts to prepare to enter the Marvel Universe. For leanness, he incorporated hot yoga to his schedule; for Bushmaster's martial arts mastery, Shakir endured formal Capoeira training.

"The character, he moves squirrelly," the actor said. "I ended up dropping about 15 pounds."

Before stepping into a fight with the hero of Harlem, Shakir's frequent gym partner was a B.O.B. Body Opponent Bag.

"I got a lot of work outs in on that," he said. "That pretty much prepared me to go to the fight choreography, so I could follow along and do the majority of my own stunts."

Shakir follows a completely Vegan diet — "I'm very strict," he said. (Thinking about going vegan? Here are 6 things to know before you make the leap to a plant-based diet.)

His diet primarily consists of whole fruits and vegetables, raw foods, beans, and nuts; on top of it all, he's also cut out alcohol and caffeine. (Here are 8 things that happen to your body when you stop drinking booze.)

Despite his rigorous nutrition regimen, any man's body — even one as bulletproof as Bushmaster's — has its limits.

Shakir admits to following his diet "about 85 percent" of the time — "Because sometimes I just got to eat the french fries."

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