Tom Holland made his debut as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, then appeared as the webslinger in Spider-Man: Homecoming the following year.
…It’s fair to say the 21 year old has taken the world by storm.
Some Marvel fans believe Tom Holland’s already the best Spidey we’ve ever seen, following on from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Tom seems to perfect the whole high-school-loser/Peter Parker thing, whilst simultaneously playing a pretty cool/charismatic Spider-Man.
Now you’re probably thinking –
“Erny, are you mad? Why are we discussing whether a man weighing 141lbs is taking steroids or not”.
Okay I get it, Tom’s no Dwayne Johnson…
However not every steroid-user looks like The Rock.
Some guys who don’t have incredible genetics can take steroids and have no one suspect otherwise…like Toby Maguire when he first played the role of Peter Parker. He weighed just 71kg, but later admitted to taking steroids to help beef him up for the role.
It’s true that if you saw Tom Holland in a t-shirt you’d probably think – ‘Do you even lift, brah?’.
But seeing him in several topless scenes in Spider-Man: Homecoming (no homo), it’s clear that he’s in good shape; proving that you can look lean and muscular without being BIG.
So, has Tom Holland taken steroids to get in good shape or is his athletic body simply the result of hard work in the gym?
First of all, let’s have a look at his transformation…
The before picture is of Tom in 2012 shooting The Impossible (age 16) and the after picture is around the time of shooting Spider-Man in 2017 (age 21).
Boys tend to reach full adult muscularity by the age of 18, so it’s clear that Tom would still be naturally gaining muscle 2 years after that before picture. To the naked eye, it looks like Tom’s gained approximately 40lbs of muscle during these 5 years.
Note: 40lbs is a typical amount of weight a person will gain if they were to take steroids.
It’s likely that Tom wasn’t lifting weights when filming The Impossible, so we have to leave room for newbie gains, which’ll account for approximately 20lbs of muscle.
However, there’s another good 20lbs of muscle which goes unexplained.
This gives us 1 of 2 possibilities.
- He’s taken steroids.
- He’s a late bloomer and gained a significant amount of natural muscle mass from the ages of 16-21.
Usually by the age of 16, you have a very good idea of how muscly a boy is going to be as a man.
We can see this from looking at photos of certain bodybuilders (such as Mike O’Hearn and Jeremy Buendia) who from early ages were already destined to be JACKED.
Looking at Tom Holland when he was 16, we see an incredibly skinny looking kid who looked borderline anorexic…yet in Spider-Man: Homecoming we see a ripped kid who looks pretty muscular with his top off.
If you look at Tom, not many people would think he’s on steroids as it’s very possible to achieve a body like his without drugs (and without good genetics). However, when we see what he looked like in previous years; we see a dramatic change in muscle hypertrophy which causes people like me to ask questions.
If we have a look at how Tom’s body grew from just 16-17 (below), we see that he’s had a growth spurt in regards to his muscle size in How I Live Now.
This is quite evidently natural muscle growth as he would’ve had no motivation to take steroids to play the role of Isaac – a skinny boy.
Tom Holland also says he ate a truck load of food in preparation for playing the role of Peter Parker…to the point where he felt like spewing. When an extreme ectomorph combines big eating with lifting weights for the first time, they’re going to gain A LOT of muscle compared to the average person. Looking at his extremely lightweight frame, Tom would’ve under-eaten for quite a big portion of his life.
When someone undereats like this for years and doesn’t do any serious weight training (during his earlier years), the human body has no motivation to hang onto muscle, because your body doesn’t lift weights and so it decides you doesn’t need this extra muscle mass.
So naturally he would’ve lost quite a lot of muscle over the years which could’ve been gained back for Spider-Man Homecoming if he were to overeat (which he implied he did by gorging himself).
This overeating principle of regaining muscle is how Christian Bale got hench so quickly from the Machinist to Batman Begins.
Despite gaining A LOT of muscle mass since he was 16, I believe Tom Holland is natural.
But we all knew that anyway, didn’t we?
It’s important to understand that when someone’s an extreme ectomorph, like Tom, AND they don’t lift weights… they have more potential to build muscle compared to others. This is because if they suddenly start pumping iron and eat a truck load of food, they’ll build a lot of muscle because they’ve lost so much muscle in the first place due to previous eating habits.
Also Tom has no symptoms of steroid-use, so for me to have a steroid verdict there’s got to be at least one or two pieces of compelling evidence.
It’s only fair if I end this article with a video of Tom’s epic transformation, evolving from a
Charmander into a Charizard a boy into a man.