How To Get One of the Best Physiques in Hollywood
How old do you think Tom Hardy is? Like just based on his physique and his looks? 29? 30? Wrong, Tom Hardy was born in 1977. That means in 2 years Tom Hardy will be 40 years old and will most likely still look better than you.
It’s crazy isn’t it? Someone can looked so jacked AND so young simultaneously. It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise though, scientists have known for a long time that working out helps keep us young.
It’s funny how actors and athletes are perceived as being worlds apart when in reality an actor goes through the same training cycles as most professional athletes and bodybuilders.
Christian Bale is a great example of transforming your physique in record time, but take a look at Band of Brothers style Hardy in 2001 and the 3rd Batman film Hardy. Bane Tom Hardy looks like he ate Band of Brothers Tom Hardy!
So how does he do it? What are his training and diet secrets? And how can you learn from, or even emulate him?
The Magic Formula: Hardcore Training & Diet
Tom Hardy’s training and diet regimen is not a constant thing, he has used his regimen to create completely different body shapes over the years. Compare his physique in Bronson to his physique in Warrior and on the surface they look very similar, but in reality he had completely different results in mind.
For Bronson he had to bulk up ridiculously fast, and try to emulate the physique of a British Prisoner who had a reputation for massive arms/shoulders, a barrel chest, large gut, and relatively tiny legs.
As a result his training was based around compound lifts for the upper body (Bench press, Shoulder press etc …) and lifting his rather large looking trainer over his shoulders in a fireman’s lift. Apparently his trainer weighs 16 stone and is known as “Pnut” for reasons that are not made immediately clear.
He appears to have been following a high-volume approach which he claims were to “send messages to his muscles”. It’s not obvious what he means by this, but either his trainers advice got a bit lost in translation or his trainer is a tad crazy.
You don’t need volume training to send your muscle messages, you need to send messages to your muscles to perform any movement. Odd.
His diet at the time seemed to consist of pretty much everything, the goal was to increase his bodyweight by 7lbs a week for 5 weeks. Chicken and Rice was his main meal choice, with pizza, ice cream and Coca-Cola added on top.
Regarding his bulking diet for Bronson Hardy said:
“For Bronson, I put on about 7lbs a week — with no steroids. In the end I’d put on about 2 and a half stone by eating chicken and rice, which was my staple diet throughout the day. Then I’d have a pizza, Häagen-Dazs and Coca-Cola: So not good stuff, butI had to put weight on”
“I did very non-specific exercises such as press ups, push ups, abs work and resistance training … “
In Warrior he was playing a mixed martial artist with very low body fat, who had spent his life in the ring. Tom Hardy had not. This meant that not only did Tom need to train like crazy so that he could look the part of a mixed-martial artist, he had to train as a mixed martial artist. This required up to 8 hours training per day for up to 7 days a week, for 10 weeks.
All that hard work though paid off, as he looked straight up ripped when it counted most.
If you want to build yourself up so that you look like Britain’s most notorious prisoner (Bronson) then you can do that too, and it’s a great excuse to build a huge upper body with tiny legs.
The point is that, not only was Tom training to transform his physique he was training for a ridiculously specific look for each of his films. You don’t need to do that, you have the luxury of deciding what you want to achieve and following a plan to do so.
Another lesson that you can gain from Tom Hardy is that high protein diets are a good idea for bulking, and that several smaller meals might be more appropriate than three big meals. If you can’t get all your protein in with whole foods, a solid protein powder, like Betancourts Prime Beef, might be a logical solution.
This is not because smaller meals boost metabolism or anything like that, it would just be easier to consume the amount of calories required across six meals rather than three.
When eating for bulking Tom constantly struggled to keep body fat increases to a minimum and this could well be an issue for you too. Remember that guessing calories is the fastest way to get fat and that a calorie tracking app could make all the difference.
Tom Hardy’s approach to fitness and nutrition can be summed up in the following way:
1. Eat lots to remain in a calorie surplus
2. Exercise at a high intensity for as long as you can per day
3. Use compound movements
4. Don’t avoid bodyweight movements either
Whether you’ve been lifting for years and just want to focus on Hardy-like muscle development (traps anyone?) or you are a beginner bodybuilder and you want to start out with a proven regimen and diet that will help you build muscle quickly (even if you have a high metabolism), Tom is a perfect role model to emulate.