"They called me in a couple of weeks before filming started, so it was a bit of a rush job," he said. "Colin wanted to meet a target in a short time so we had to work incredibly hard. We blitzed his whole body. He is one of the most hard-working clients I've had."
The star is so impressed with his athletic new look he has vowed to stick to the strict fitness routine. He said: "I definitely needed to get in shape for the film. In this day and age you need to be in trim if you are going to be a top actor. But I wanted to get in shape regardless of the film, and this is going to be a lifelong commitment. To get fit for the role was a bonus, but I intend to stay in shape for life now."
Cornel put Firth through his paces in a daily hour-and-a-half workout aimed at turning flab into an impressive layer of muscle. The routine, at the actor's north London home, started with a 15-minute warm-up jog followed by aerobics.
Firth built a muscular physique with an intensive weight-training programme and press-ups, and developed a six-pack stomach with 400 sit-ups a day. He lost a stone in weight with a diet of pasta, poultry, fish, cereal, rice, milk and water.
Cornel, 30, added: "Colin has done exceptionally well. There's a distinct difference and I don't think his female fans are going to be disappointed. Now he is in really good shape. He is a lot leaner than he was as Mr Darcy, when he was fairly podgy. He has lost a lot of weight and it shows. He has made a complete lifestyle change.
"The first thing I told him was to cut out alcohol. He wasn't a massive drinker before, but he did not drink at all for two-and-a-half months and now he drinks a lot less than he used to."
Cornel went on: "He has also changed his diet and is going to keep exercising. He wants to see me at least once a fortnight to keep a check on him. He's such a genuine person I believe him."
Cornel, from Bromley, Kent, was a little-known gym instructor when he landed the job of improving DiCaprio's physique for The Beach. The young star had allowed a party lifestyle and the perks of fame to take their toll on his looks, and Cornel helped him shed nearly 2st in two weeks with a two-hour exercise programme twice a day.
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