Squirrels Lift Weights in Clever Viral Photo Setup: Find Out How They Did It

Weightlifting squirrels
Ready, set, lift! A squirrel lifts weights in a clever photograph by Max Ellis. MAX ELLIS/CATERS NEWS

London's Max Ellis is ready to help provide some fit-spiraton to head to the gym just in time for bikini season. The Teddington, South London shutterbug creates cleverly posed photographs with squirrels in the family's garden to entertain his son — and his latest set is pretty darn cute.

In the photo series, the 52-year-old inspires Us all to hit the gym a little harder by snapping his squirrel friends lifting dumbbell weights. Well, sort of.

squirrel lifting weights
A squirrel appears to be lifting a weight MAX ELLIS/CATERS NEWS

Enticing the squirrels using treats, Ellis hung the nearly five-pound weights (2.2kg) with fishing wire, and captured the squirrels in positions that emulated an upright row and single arm shoulder press. In one of the photos, one squirrel appears to be spotting another.

two squirrels lifting weights
Two squirrels appear to be lifting a weight MAX ELLIS/CATERS NEWS

"The squirrels in these images live in the big trees behind my garden," Ellis, who named two of the squirrels Squirrelisimo and Chopper, told Mashable. "They come every day to see what's new and investigate it. Photoshop is only sometimes used minimally to clean up the images, (I've used fishing line in some cases) but everything you see here actually happened."

Sometimes, though, Ellis' photo subjects aren’t feeling photogenic. "It takes them a while to get used to the props," Ellis said.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!