“From Diet Coke guy to Juiceman” sums up Andrew Cooper’s health trajectory. The male model, who’s signed to the Unsigned Group, alongside Helena Christensen, was all out early in his career: “I’d do shots until 6am, but always make it into the gym.” Today, he’s the face of his own brand of cold-pressed juices and has swapped the late nights for early starts. But he still trains just as hard.
No one-trick show pony, the entrepreneurial clotheshorse used the proceeds from that soft-porn soft drink ad to buy the machine that precipitated his cold-press empire, which recently expanded to include a book of recipes. Now the shots he does are more likely to be recovery ones containing turmeric, ginger and lemon. (Simon Cowell is a fan.)
When not shirtless, Cooper models for top fashion brands – he’s the face of, among other, Dunhill’s superb Icon fragrance – sometimes flying over 200 times a year. (The juice brand came about partly to bolster his jet lagged immune system.) You’d presume that the down-to-earth Mancunian caught the wellness bug in LA or New York.
In fact, he grew up growing his own veg: “We understood where the ingredients came from for everything we ate.” FashionBeans pressed him for tips on staying professionally buff – even when squeezed for time.
I’d just bought a fruit farm in Cheshire when I got the call about the Diet Coke ad. At the audition, they said, “You need to be a gardener.” And I was like, “Well, actually I was gardening yesterday…” But there was a big debate about how big the guy needed to be.
At the time, I was all about bodyweight, TRX and Muay Thai, so I was leaner. I turned around and said I’d put on 10 kilos in six weeks. Which was never going to happen.
The Diet Coke ad which made Cooper a household name
I cut the cardio, upped the carbs and protein and trained like a beast. It was a lot of Olympic lifts – cleans, deadlifts. A lot of kettlebells. And a lot of weighted dips and chin-ups. I’d strap on 30-35kg and do 3-5 reps, but about 10 sets.
I like to do a lot of pull-ups. If I’m feeling good, I’ll do 10 every minute and then rest for however long is left until the next minute. I’m also a big fan of pull-up and push-up sets: do a pull-up, come down and do a press-up. I’ll work in a pyramid: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and back down to 2 again.
Full, proper pull-ups. You’ve really got to hang.
I don’t really eat on planes. I pack some healthy snacks and just drink water. Then I’ll try and do a workout when I arrive: something very light, like a stretch or a 20-minute jog.
I went raw – fully raw. It wasn’t for me. I ended up so skinny. Or I felt I was so skinny. And I just didn’t have the energy.
Modelling for Dunhill’s spring/summer 2016 campaign
My missus and I have no electronics in the bedroom. No phones, no TV. I feel the energy, man. When I used to live in London, I didn’t rest properly, whereas now I live right by 500 acres of woodland. You might get the odd fight between an owl and a bat or whatever but that’s about as crazy as it gets.
There’s a formula for a good juice. Typically, 70 per cent veg, 30 per cent fruit is a good place to be. Plus a bit of citrus for vitamin C, and to create a PH so that has a shelf life. The expensive stuff is the greens. With cold-pressed juices, you get a sediment at the bottom, which is the fibre. And leafy greens have got a lot more fibre than fruit. So if you buy a juice that’s got very little sediment, that means it’s pumped full of apple juice.
I don’t sleep well on big meals. So typically we’ll end the day on a salad, soup or smoothie. But for me, breakfast starts at 7am and finishes at 11am, and I’ll do three or four different things. There’s chia pots, then porridge, then eggs and kale…
I box once a week. I do one long run – not massive, 10-15K, anything from 40 minutes to an hour – and then one sprint session. I do yoga once or twice – at night-time, before bed, so I’ll try and do my run in the morning. Then I do one strength session and one TRX – it sounds like a lot now – then tennis. And maybe a bit of climbing.
Modelling for Olzen’s spring/summer 2016 campaign
I probably have no ‘rest days’. Because the ‘rest day’ might be tennis or yoga. And some weeks, if I’m working, then I might miss two days. Plan to train more than you want to: if you plan to train five days, something will always come up one day, so you’ll end up only training four. If you plan to train three days, you’ll end up only doing two.
Hiking is so big in California. All that kind of stuff. There’s a lot of social exercise, which is what I try to do here.
I do this mobility exercise called the ‘mini-man’. You basically walk but in a squat position, head under waist height. I’ve always suffered with tight hips, so It’s really good.
For travelling, the TRX with door adaptor is genius. I remember 12 years ago staying in Milan and having to buy the big 3-litre bottles of water to try and do some exercise with in my room, treating them like a medicine ball, doing squats and different things.
You are what you eat. Or drink.