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Tom Hardy Workout: Get a Body Like a Warrior

tom hardy warrior training routine

Tom Hardy is an actor renowned for having a well built and functional physique – from the round-shouldered, thick-chested look in his roles as Charles Bronson and Bane, to his more athletic appearance in the film Warrior. Though his physique varies slightly from film to film, one thing that stands across Hardy’s entire filmography are his thick trapezius muscles (the muscles that span the neck to the shoulders and upper back), muscle density and the powerful look of his back and shoulders in general.

Tom Hardy’s physique is most likely built on a combination of explosive and heavy strength training – whole body compound movements that require a strong core and excellent mobility, with good levels of muscular endurance so he can move well and meet the demands of the action roles he plays.

Below are some exercises you can use to help build a ‘Hardyesque’ physique – all of which focus on the development of strength, endurance, and athleticism.

DEADLIFTS

The deadlift is a great all-round strength and mass builder for your body’s entire posterior ‘chain’. It hits the stabilising muscles that span your back and lats to give density and width. But most importantly, deadlifts hit the trapezius muscles, which give Hardy’s neck a distinctive thickness. Being a full body movement, the deadlift will also build exceptionally strong glutes and hamstrings. To get the best from deadlifts, train a combination of strength and power work, moving both heavy loads (3-5 reps), right through to very explosive lighter loads, with higher volume deadlifts hitting 10+ repetitions.

ROWS

Take your pick – bent over row, t-bar row, seated row, dumbbell row… All rowing variations are going to build a big back – with particular focus on the middle upper back muscles – giving that rounded, dense look Tom Hardy is famed for. With rows we want a more controlled movement, focusing on controlling the weight and squeezing the muscles hard at the top of the row. We still want to go heavy, but not so heavy we lose good form. Hitting the 4-8 rep range gives you the benefits of building muscle and strength at the same time. Work through different pulling angles to make sure you hit the entire back.

SHRUGS

What better way to build thick ‘traps’ and a thick neck than isolating the muscles directly? Slow controlled shrugs, performed correctly, with a hard squeeze at the top of the movement will isolate the traps like no other exercise. Hit these to finish off your pulling movements at a higher rep range of 15-20 reps. Really concentrate on the slow and controlled eccentric (lowering/negative) part of the movement and the explosive concentric (lifting/positive) part of the movement.

PUSH (SHOULDER) PRESS

This is another great mass and power builder for your shoulders. Like deadlifts, this exercise is an opportunity to develop strength and athletic power. Work with heavier loads in the 5-8 rep range combined with lighter, more explosive sets. Always remember to control the eccentric, negative part of the movement to help protect the shoulder and build good shoulder stability.

PRESSES

Machine, barbell or dumbbell incline, decline, flat, close grip and shoulder presses; hit these in more focused muscle building rep ranges of 8-15 and combine three or four different exercises with different angles to hit all the muscles of the chest and shoulders.

SQUATS

Combine various types of squats to make sure you develop a balanced physique with lower body strength and function. Hit heavier back squats in the 5-8 rep range to develop strength and power – combine these with lighter, higher volume front squats in the 15-20 rep range to really focus on developing your quadriceps and glutes. Remember to perform these movements with good control and proper squat depth, with the thighs at least parallel with the floor.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Many of these exercises are compound multipoint exercises that require a level of experience and basic strength. They need good mobility, stability, and proper technique. When performed with a heavy load – or even dynamically and explosively for more repetitions – they carry a high risk of injury if you do not have proper form. If you are unsure about any of these exercises, please seek help from one of our experienced trainers in the gym.

CONDITIONING

Sledge pushes, bag carries, rowing/cycling intervals, battle ropes, kettlebells and farmer’s walks; these exercises are taxing on both the muscles and cardiovascular system. They’re a great way to add variety to your training while also helping to keep your body in good condition, moving in a more athletic manner and adding a huge calorie burn to help produce a lean physique.

Focus on performing these in a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) style; performing each exercise with work-rest intervals of around 1:1 (or 1:2 for beginners). For example, 30 seconds kettlebell swings with 30 seconds rest, then repeat for a certain number of ‘rounds’. You can stick with one exercise or work in a circuit to add in extra variety and shift between muscle groups to keep the muscle burn at manageable levels!

So what would a Tom Hardy ‘Warrior Workout’ look like? Here’s a workout programme idea that would fit nicely into most people’s schedules, taking up just three sessions per week.

TOM HARDY WORKOUT ROUTINE

Workout 1: Pull Day

DEADLIFTS
3-5 Reps
3 Sets
180s Rest

Workout 1: Pull Day

SPEED DEADLIFT (50% OF ABOVE LOAD)
10-15 Reps
2 Sets
120s Rest

Workout 1: Pull Day

BENT OVER ROWS
15-20 Reps
2 Sets
120s Rest

Workout 1: Pull Day

SHRUGS
15-20 Reps
2 Sets
120s Rest

WORKOUT 1: PULL DAY – CONDITIONING CIRCUIT

BATTLE ROPES – PROWLER/SLEDGES PUSH – KETTLEBELL SWINGS – BURPEES
30s Exercise/ 30s Rest
5 Sets
60-90s Rest

Workout 2: Push Day

PUSH PRESS
3-5 Reps
3 Sets
180s Rest

Workout 2: Push Day

INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS
10-15 Reps
2 Sets
120s Rest

Workout 2: Push Day

MACHINE SHOULDER PRESS
15-20 Reps
2 Sets
120s Rest

Workout 2: Push Day

MACHINE CHEST PRESS
15-20 Reps
2 Sets
120s Rest

Workout 2: Push day – CONDITIONING CIRCUIT

ROWING MACHINE
30s Work
30s Rest
10 Intervals

Rowing Machine

Workout 3: Legs

BACK SQUATS
3-5 Reps
3 Sets
180s Rest

Workout 3: Legs

FRONT SQUATS
10-15 Reps
2 Sets
120 Rest

Workout 3: Legs

LUNGES
15-20 Reps
2 Sets
120s Rest

Workout 3: Legs

HIP THRUSTERS
15-20 Reps
2 Sets
120s Rest

Workout 3: Legs - conditioning circuit

Cycle Sprints
30s Work
30s Rest

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