Why You Should Be More Like Gaston From Beauty and the Beast

(Image credit: Unknown)

It’s OK to admit that you’re as excited about the upcoming live-action version of Beauty & The Beast as we are. Sir Ian McKellen as a talking clock! Emma Watson as Belle! Tish from Doctor Who as a saucy feather duster! The teaser trailer’s been one of the most popular things on the internet in the past couple of weeks – and if there's one thing everyone agrees on, it’s that it needed much, much more Gaston.

Played in this version by Fast & Furious 6 star Luke Evans, the hard-drinking, overbearing, antler-decorating villain is kind of the best thing in the Disney original, and even though Gaston’s a terrible human being (he, um, thinks that women shouldn’t read books), there are undeniably lessons to learn from the giant oaf. He’s in great shape, the townspeople sing songs about him, and in his multiple Disneyland incarnations he’s a lady-charming, dude-besting mess of stallion-haired majesty. Also, no-one’s neck is as incredibly thick as Gaston’s. Here’s how to be more like him.

Start doing one-armed press-ups

What do you bench, bro? Realistically, nobody cares. After all, a bench-off needs a bench, but a press-up contest can be done anywhere, any time, with anyone. Going one-armed halfway through is the press-ups equivalent of side-spinning in ping-pong: it’s hard for your opponent to come back from and it announces your dominance so thoroughly that nobody will want to play any more. Once you can do 20 normal press-ups, start practising the harder version with your feet wide, keeping your pressing hand raised on a table, chair or sofa until you’re ready to progress to the floor. Bonus emasculation-points if your challenger is wearing an Iron Man shirt.

Eat more eggs

Disney via GIPHY

You’ll recall that Gaston, as per his entrance song, eats five dozen a day. You don’t need to eat that many, but eggs are the the full nutritional package, containing 7g of protein per oeuf, a decent hit of vitamins B12 and A, and the full complement of amino acids necessary for building muscle. There’s also evidence that they improve cholesterol and they’re high on the satiety index, meaning that they’ll help stop you snacking on biscuits. Wait, maybe Gaston only eats eggs?

Start power posing

Disney via GIPHY

Yes, really. Pulling out a double biceps spread to impress the ladies might seem uncouth compared with, say, boasting about your commitment to a vegan lifestyle or your classic vinyl collection, but it’s better for your health and wellbeing. As social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains in this TED talk, adopting power poses – imagine sitting or standing like Superman would – appears to lower your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol while jacking up your confidence-boosting testosterone. Act more like Gaston and you’ll feel more like Gaston – which, as we’ve already established, is good.

Get better at arm wrestling

Is anything more manly? It’s unclear whether Disney includes the ability to toproll a dude while trash-talking him in front of a crowd on its cast member job description, but there are enough web videos of Gastons doing exactly that to suggest that it’s at least a consideration. To get better in short order, you need to train your muscles to work as a unit and build up some isometric (static) strength – the Frenchie move does both. Do a pull-up, hold for three seconds at the top, then start to lower, pause for three seconds at the halfway point and another three near the bottom. Do a couple of reps, rest and repeat.

Always go big

Disney via GIPHY

Perhaps Gaston’s biggest strength is his willingness to go all-out in whatever he’s doing – be it bar-fighting the locals, rallying a dangerous mob or being the best dancer in Disneyland’s daily parade of scoundrels. Sometimes, enthusiasm is all you need. Remember: Gaston is the best, and the rest are the pits. Gastooooon!

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.