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Mission Impossible Fallout: Tom Cruise Workout

When it comes to film stars who’re in their 50s and still in great shape, Tom Cruise is an example of one of the very best. And not just because of his amazing physique. Cruise is widely respected for doing many of his own stunts – testament to his agility, fitness and the fact he doesn’t just train to look good, but trains to function like and athlete. Or, in the case of Mission Impossible, a ‘super spy’ trained by secret government organisations to be an elite physical specimen.

Most people forget Tom Cruise is now 56 years old, but that doesn’t stop him from flinging himself off buildings, jumping out of helicopters and other physical ‘wizardry’ he performs as part of his day job.

Cruise’s training must be pretty diverse – a mixture of strength, power and agility work, combined with mobility and gymnastic training and a good dose of cardiovascular activity to build up the stamina needed to do take after take during his physically demanding shoots.

BASIC LEVEL OF FITNESS

To keep in shape, stay mobile and in good health, you need to be active. This means doing things like taking the stairs instead of the lift, riding a bike to work instead of getting the bus and taking part in physical activities you enjoy. All of this builds up a basic level of fitness and keeps your body in good working order.

Activities outside the gym are the perfect way to keep activity high and create a fun exercising environment. This leads to an approach to fitness that’s focussed around a sustainable, active lifestyle, which keeps body weight in check and encourages overall physical and mental well-being.

Apparently Cruise is a fan of both hiking and rock climbing, which makes sense considering how comfortable he looks hanging off the side of things in his Mission Impossible films!

This kind of ‘non-exercise’ activity is important as it helps keep energy output high and goes a long way – more than many people realise – in helping maintain or reach a lean physique. So, even if you aren’t able to work out in the gym as often as you’d like, make an effort to move a bit more and increase your expenditure in ways you enjoy.

MUSCLE SIZE AND STRENGTH

Although Ethan Hunt isn’t the most ‘jacked’ film character, there’s a certain level of muscularity to his physique, which is built through a combination of basic bodybuilding and strength exercises, body weight movements and ‘functional’ activities.

This means muscle size isn’t the main focus of his training and it doesn’t need to be to gain Cruise’s physique. However, some strength and muscle thickness in the right areas, combined with full-body exercises, will develop a pretty impressive physique while maintaining a good level athleticism.

The ‘big three’ movements – squat, bench press and deadlift – are likely to be the foundation of his weight training routine, with a few different variations thrown in for good measure, like overhead pressing, bent over rows and front squats.

More challenging bodyweight exercises like pull-ups and press-ups will also be a big part of his training routines. And to put the icing on the cake, some box jumps, jumping lunges and other explosive movements will develop extra explosive power and athletic ability.

CONDITIONING

In terms of athletic conditioning, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and high intensity functional training (HIFT) play important roles in any workout routine designed to make you fitter and stronger at the same time.

HIIT comprises maximal bouts of cardiovascular effort, such as sprinting, rowing or cycling, with periods of recovery. The high intensity interval typically lasts between 20-40 seconds, as this is the amount of time most people can sustain maximum effort.

The longer the duration of the interval, the longer the rest period needs to be. Very, very fit people can work in work:rest intervals of around 1:1 (e.g. 30 seconds intervals with 30 seconds rest) for only a few rounds before they exhaust themselves.

This means if you’re a beginner or new to HIIT style exercise then work:rest intervals of 1:4 would be a good place to start. For example, 30 seconds maximum work with 2 minutes recovery, for around 4-5 rounds.

HIFT uses a similar principle, except instead of using ‘classic’ cardio equipment, HIFT uses more whole body movements and other ‘functional’ equipment. This includes things like burpees, squats/jump squats, mountain climbers, battle ropes, sledge pushes/pulls, tyre flips, sandbag carries and sledge hammers, to name but a few.

This kind of activity isn’t as ‘full-on’ as HIIT intervals performed maximally on cardio equipment, which means it can be sustained for longer periods. 45-60 seconds is a good length of time.

This means because the overall intensity is typically lower that rest periods can be proportionally a little shorter. Even for beginners a work:rest ratio of 1:1 would be tolerable for many of these exercises and sustainable over several rounds.

TOM CRUISE WORKOUT

Here we have put together a 3 day workout split, which covers all the bases we’ve outlined in this post. The other time you have outside the gym could be used to perform more leisurely activity, such as walking, hiking, cycling or anything else you enjoy that helps you stay fit and healthy.

SESSION 1

EXERCISE, REPS/WORK, SETS/ROUNDS, REST

Deadlift: 5, 4, 120s
Pull-ups: 10, 3, 120s
Bent Over Row: 15, 2, 90s
Bike Intervals: 30s, 5, 90s
Mountain Climbers: 45s, 5, 45s

SESSION 2

EXERCISE, REPS/WORK, SETS/ROUNDS, REST

Bench Press: 5, 4, 120s
Machine Shoulder Press: 10, 3, 120s
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 15, 2, 90s
Rowing Sprints: 30s, 5, 90s
Press Up Intervals: 30s, 5, 45s

SESSION 3

EXERCISE, REPS/WORK, SETS/ROUNDS, REST

Back Squat: 5, 4, 120s
Leg Press: 10, 3, 120s
Goblet Squat: 15, 2, 90s
Box Jumps: 5, 3, 60s
Treadmill Sprints: 30s, 5, 90s
Goblet Squats: 45s, 5, 45s


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