If you haven’t seen Warrior, you should. It’s awesome. Once you do see it, you’ll probably wonder how the star Tom Hardy got so ripped for his role.
Unlike many other actors who put on fake skins to achieve a muscular look for their roles, Tom Hardy actually built himself one fantastically ripped body for the movie Warrior.
His most significant features, the massive traps, are the result of some intense workouts.
He added around 30 pounds of lean mass in a relatively short period of time by training four times a day – when he woke up, at lunch, before dinner and before going to bed. And besides training hard, he managed to maintain an astonishingly low percentage of body fat.
TOM HARDY’S WARRIOR WORKOUT ROUTINE
How did he gain so much muscle so fast? His trainer Pnut has a technique he calls “signaling.” He says this to Men’s Health:
Throughout the day you need to send constant signals to your body, so that it adapts in the direction you point it in. It’s better to do 10 press-ups every hour than 100 in a single burst. If you do things often enough, your body adapts for the task you set it, and you evolve.
Pnut says to do the exercises four times a day: when you wake up, at lunch, when you get home from work and before bed. They should take about 20 minutes per session but you shouldn’t rush. Focusing on form is the most important thing. You should use light weights and move slowly.
He recommends starting two sessions at first — the morning and evening. You can add the later two in at a later period when you get comfortable. Gaining muscle quickly requires you to workout little, but often. He also says there are no shortcuts to getting ripped quickly.
TOM HARDY’S EXERCISES
Warning: This is tough. It will not be easy. It will be worth it. You’re going to have to perform the first three exercises back to back to back.
Your sets will be in reps of 10, then 7, then 5, then 3. No recovery time between each movement.
Your first set should see your hands shoulder length apart. You should form a diamond with your forefingers and thumbs for the second set. Your third set will require you to put your hands wider than shoulder-length. Your final set will see you balling your fist and doing the press-ups on your knuckles.
Stand with your feet shoulder-length apart and get 8 kg(about 17 lbs) dumb bells in each hand. With your palms facing forward raise your hands 180 degrees until they meet above your head (somewhat like a snow angel movement). Lower to start position and repeat. To up the difficulty use heavier weights or stand on one leg (good luck).
Grab a chair for this one. Sit on the ground, legs in front of you with the chair behind you. Grab the seat of the chair with your hands so that your fingers pointing towards your body. Keep your back straight and push up so your backside is off the floor until your arms are extended. Lower yourself until you’re ALMOST touching the floor and you’ve completed a rep.
This one is a monster. There are multiple stages and if you’re not comfortable you probably shouldn’t move on to the advanced ones as it could result in a neck injury. This exercise is going to give you back flexibility, a powerful neck and a lot of core strength.
Lie on a mat with your feet on the ground and knees bent. You’re gonna lift your hips off the mat — bring your hands to your ears with palms on floor and fingers pointing towards your feet as you do this. You’re gonna do the 10-7-5-3 rep routine for this two. At the top during the 7 reps count to 1 second at the top, at the top during the 5 reps count to 3 seconds and at the top during the 3 reps count to 5 seconds.
Here’s the next stage, if you’re comfortable with stage 1. Push to the top position from stage 1. But this time, push harder. Push through your hands, lift your shoulders off the ground and allow your head to tilt back so the top of it rests on the floor. Push from your heels to your toes as well. All your weight should rest on your hands and toes, not your head. Same rep count as Stage 1.
When you’re comfortable with Stage 2 (AND YOUR FLEXIBILITY IS GOOD) you’re going to do the same things but allow your head to carry some weight. Start by allowing your head to carry 10% and increase as your neck flexibility increases. Do not rush this. Take your time, go slowly. Increase pressure on your head as you feel comfortable. Be careful as this could lead to a possible SEVERE neck injury if you’re not careful.
When you’re comfortable with Stage 3 and your flexibility is up put all your pressure on your head in the bridge position. Be sure to keep your hands near your head in case you need support. Same rep count as the rest of the Bridges.
This is insane, so be warned that you should only do this when Stage 4 is like drinking water. Assume the extended bridge from Stage 3 but hold a light barbell or very small dumb bells in your hands and do 5 reps at the top with the weights. Increase weight as it gets easier.
This is gonna give you core strength and increase the size and power of your abs. Like the Bridge, start with Stage 1 and move on as you get comfortable.
Lie on a mat with your legs pressed together. With your hands clasped behind your head lift your head and shoulders and hold. Then tighten your abs and lift your legs. Lower to start position and repeat. 10 reps, then 7, then 5, then 3.
Perform Stage 1 then at the top of your position bend your knees and pull them in so they touch your elbows. Straighten your legs and lower to starting position. Same reps as Stage 1.
Do the same thing as Stage 1. At the top of the position pull your legs in to touch your elbows but DON’T bend your knees. Yeah, it’ll hurt. Lower legs back to start and repeat. Same reps as before.
Get a 8 kg kettlebell (about 17 lbs) and insert your left shoe in the handle. Wrap your right leg on top of your left leg and foot to hold it in place and do the Stage 1 exercise. Increase as needed.
When talking about upper body workouts, you can’t forget to mention the pull-up. It’s so important that people literally call it the upper body squat and there is no way anyone will take you seriously until you’ve mastered it. In comparison, the lat pull-down exercise isn’t even close in importance to the pull-up, even though it can add great variety to your workout. It’s supposed to be used on occasion but it’s nowhere as important as the pull-up, which is by far the most effective upper back developing exercise. It’s the best because it achieves the maximum possible neuromuscular activation, unlike all the other exercises which don’t have this effect on your back.
The pull-up is a test of your mettle, both physical and mental, but it’s mostly regarded as an exercise that can test exactly how much functional strength you have. This is because it measures strength to weight ratio in a better fashion than every single other exercise for your back. However, when you look at the numbers you will see that most people, men and women, can’t even do a single pull-up, since you can only do them if you’re strong. Sorry to say it, but if you can’t do pull-ups, you have a long way to go until you’re actually considered strong. If you want to build muscle mass on your upper body and boost your upper body strength as much as possible, you want to look at these five tips that you can use to achieve your goals.
1. RESISTANCE BANDS
Doing pull-ups is really basic when it comes to the level of strength you need to have to achieve them, so this means that women, heavier people of both sexes and physically weaker folks may not be able to do more than one rep, if any. While this doesn’t mean that I’m saying that you should use any assisted pull-up machines, I am saying that you should get some resistance bands. When you use assisted pull-up machines, they don’t make use of your upper back muscles which have a role to stabilize your body, but when you use resistance bands they help you recuperate, adding momentum to the upward movement of the pull-up (concentric part), which is the hardest.
Sometimes, that little momentum is all that you need to complete your pull-up. When buying resistance bands, know what you want – you can discern them by color, which indicates different tension. Yellow is the weakest, with least resistance, while blue, black and orange offer the most tensile strength. If you want something I between, go for red and green, but if you’re just starting now, make sure to pick one that will let you do at least five pull-ups. When you reach the ability to do 12 of them, get a lighter resistance band and start over until you can do them without bands.
2. FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH
If you want to be able to do a consistent number of reps, you will need to learn to do them on your own! This means that you actually have to become stronger instead of stagnate in one place. Building strength can only be come when you’re exercising at the very least at 80% of your maximum effort. Try some bent-over or inverted rows or some TRX rows to pump up your intensity and build more strength. You can also try some other varied exercises.
Eccentric pull-ups have also been observed to be a great path to building strength. To do them, lower yourself slowly until you straighten your arms, then jump up and do it again. Your muscles will always have more power when you’re going down so it shouldn’t be too hard. I suggest you start with three to six seconds of descending and increase that time as you continue your workouts. When you can do at least six eccentric pull-ups with decent control over your body, you should now be able to do a full pull-up by yourself!
3. GRIP VARIATION
Your back has a lot of muscles, and they are all differently activated. However, when you switch up your grip, you can activate as many of them as possible, and it will also help you prevent overuse injuries as well as burn out. There are a lot of grips to choose from and they all do something better than the others. The pronated grip has your palms facing away from you, but you can also use a supinated grip to do chin-ups, which will have your palms facing towards you. When using a supinated grip, the area on your upper back which has been targeted will be changed and the intensity will also transfer on the biceps brachii.
The supinated grip is also one of the best for activating the latissimus dorsi and upper arms, even if it is the most basic method of them all. Sometimes, you might get tired or your grip might get sloppy. To remedy this, get some chalk or some wrist straps. This is a favored method amongst trainees since it lets them lift more and finish their sets even if their forearms are becoming tired before their upper backs. If you’re doing a lot of exercising, using chalk or some wrist straps will help you get to your goals and even surpass them.
4. REP RANGE VARIATION
You need a lot of strength and endurance to do pull-ups, and both of these things are created with vastly different rep ranges. Strength requires low reps, whereas endurance needs high reps to be built. This means that you should be getting some dip belts, resistance bands and weighted vests to help out. To build strength, exercise for about four weeks with a dip belt, ranging from four to six reps per set. To build endurance, get some resistance bands and exercise with 10-15 reps per set. You will need the resistance bands, and a variety of them because using the different tensile strengths correctly, you can achieve results and increase your rep numbers with incredible speed.
5. TECHNIQUE AND FORM MATTER
Get your technique straight in order to make any progress, and this counts for any exercise. You should begin from a dead hang position, where your shoulders are close to your ears and with your arms completely straight, with retracted shoulder blades. When you start pulling, squeeze your abs, keep your eyes on the bar above you and push your chest up. Pull towards the bar and keep your chest in the driver’s seat, while your legs should be in a straight line with your torso as much as possible. If your chin passes the bar or your chest reaches it, stop and observe the contraction. Then, start lowering yourself with as much control as you can muster, until you reach the point that you started from, with your arms straight and you shoulders retracted. Finally, make sure that your shoulder blades are tight because if you try to do a pull-up with a loose shoulder girdle, you might get yourself a rotator cuff injury.
These five tips ought to help you do pull-ups as much as you want, like they’ve helped countless others before. Just make sure to train with consistency and you will be well on your way to doing some great pull-ups. Also, you might want to explore the possibility of taking some supplements to aid your recuperation and progress. There are a bunch of different combinations out there, but I’d suggest something which is a mix of high quality protein, creatine and amino acids. When combined, these three make a post-workout shake that refuels you as easy as you refuel your car at the gas station, and you will recover much more quickly, but you will also hurt less.