Robin Hood: Taron Egerton Workout
Taron Egerton might not be the biggest name in Hollywood, but his recent lead in the Kingsman films and his latest portrayal of Robin Hood are certain to make him a much more recognisable face in the world of film.
In the second Kingsman film, many people were surprised to see Egerton’s very impressive physique. Although not seen as a ‘stacked’ action hero – and looking far from muscle bound when fully clothed – it just goes to show you should never judge a book by its cover and you don’t necessarily need to be built like the hulk to have a balanced and aesthetic look.
Because his training is geared towards a balanced and functional physique, as opposed to raw muscle size, his type of look is very attainable for most people. All you need is a little dedication to training and attention to diet.
WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING DID TARON DO?
Information on Taron’s training and nutrition for Robin Hood is ‘limited’ and so are pictures of his physique. But if his last few films are anything to go by, it’s likely he used a variety of different training methods – not only to develop his physique but to enable him to meet the demands of filming action movies.
You can build muscle without the use of resistance training but weights are definitely the quickest way to build lean muscle tissue. Focusing on multi-joint movements like squats, presses, deadlifts and rows are not only going to build muscle but also, if performed correctly through a full range of motion, allow your body to develop strength and joint stability.
You can make quick progress using resistance training with just 2-3 full body workouts per week. Or you can use a more advanced ‘push, pull, legs’ routine. Aim for 4-6 exercises per workout and 2-3 sets per exercise. Include a majority of heavy multi-joint exercises (6-10 reps) with the addition of lighter ‘isolation’, single joint exercises (10-20 reps).
This can also include old ‘classic’ bodyweight exercises like pull-up and press-up variations. So even if you can’t hit the gym you can still use these types of exercises to great effect as part of a home or outdoor workout, or if time is scarce combining them as part of a conditioning style workout.
Broadly speaking, conditioning is all about improving your general fitness. It often combines cardiovascular and resistance training, usually in a high intensity interval training (HIIT) method, to create a solid base of strength and endurance.
HIIT is a popular way to train because it burns a lot of calories in a short period of time. HIIT uses different forms of resistance too, like free weights, kettlebells, sledges and body weight movements, which adds plenty of variety and stops training boredom.
HIIT/Conditioning workouts should be short, sharp and tough, with short work intervals of 20-60 seconds and short rest periods in between. These are normally at a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 depending on the length of the interval. For example, a 30 second maximum intensity interval might have 60 seconds rest (1:2), whereas a one-minute interval might only require one minute (or less) rest depending on how hard you push yourself for the duration of the interval.
For a ‘real’ perspective of true HIIT, a maximum intensity interval of 30s on a bike going full tilt can take several minutes to recover from. Thirty seconds may not seem long, but when performed at maximum intensity from start to finish, it will feel like a very, very long time indeed.
If using more ‘functional’ equipment like sledges, hammers or kettlebells, we tend not to be at maximum for the entire interval. This means you can go for a bit longer and need a little bit less rest than in exercises where you can go 100% from ‘whistle to whistle’.
Not only are martial arts a great way to promote fitness and mobility, but it also adds in a little extra variety into your training to stop you getting bored. This can be tied in with some of the conditioning work above, throwing in a few rounds on the heavy bag or hitting the pads if you have a partner.
It’s unlikely you’ll be filming any fight scenes soon, so don’t worry about trying to become a complete martial artist! Learn the basics of boxing/kickboxing, go to a boxing ‘style’ class and use these as a great way to stay in shape and relieve some stress in the process.
RECOVERY AND DIET
This is an obvious one that so many people miss. In order to train hard, recover and develop an athletic physique we need to pay attention to both getting enough sleep (aim for at least 7 hours per night) and eating well.
Focus on a diet that contains the appropriate number of calories for your goals. To lose body fat keep them 200-300kcal lower than your estimated ‘maintenance’, or if muscle gain is your goal then increase them by a similar amount to build some muscle. Monitor your progress and your intake using an app like My Fitness Pal and then use this to adjust your diet depending on how things are going.
Aim for a diet with lots of lean proteins, such as poultry, fish and lean red meat, with some dairy and a diet rich in whole grains, fruit and vegetables. But don’t worry, you can have the occasional treat as long as it is in line with your daily energy intake needs.