Yes, working out and exercising from your home is now the new normal. But that doesn’t mean you should restrict your workouts and healthy habits. Far from it, actually—some of the most popular workouts and strength complexes can involve little more than your bodyweight or one or two weights.
One of which was that of Hollywood actor Tom Hardy who, as you’ll know (unless you’ve been self-isolating under a rock) transformed his body for his role as Charles Bronson in 2009’s Bronson and then, again, as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
His method was simple: by utilizing his own bodyweight, he was able to wreak devastation on his body and pack on muscle in a short amount of time. Here, we’re going to teach you how to achieve both for yourself.
For his role as the eponymous Bronson—a bare knuckle boxer who has, during his incarceration, attacked over 20 guards and fellow prisoners and managed to take 11 hostages in a 40-year sentence—Hardy used a one-two punch of a high-calorie diet and simple, bodyweight moves to achieve his hulking physique. Simply put, a mix of pushups, ab work, and simple resistance training. Often, these would add up to 1000 reps.
“To ‘become’ Charlie Bronson I had to quickly put a lot of weight on my forearms, chest and neck. By the time I’d finished, my legs looked like those of a stork in comparison to the top half of my body,” Hardy told AskMen.
At this point, it’s worth remembering that, in Hardy’s words, his transformation for Bronson was “a race against the clock: We didn’t have any time to waste, so I started eating and my arse very quickly got very fat. For Bronson, I put on about 7 pounds a week—with no steroids. In the end I’d put on about two 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, but I had to put weight on. I needed to put a layer of fat on my body, because Bronson when he was younger was a big guy, a brawler. My diet was lenient as we weren’t going for the Bruce Lee look and we weren’t looking for the cut.” [Editor’s note: We do not recommend following Hardy’s “Bronson” diet as part of an effective strength training plan.]
For his role as ‘Bane’ in 2012’s The Dark Knight rises, Hardy followed a relatively similar—and, frankly, more achievable—format for his workouts to pack muscle onto his chest, arms, and shoulders. Using a descending ‘ladder’ format, Hardy would hit a four-round circuit, going from 10 reps in the first round, to 7 to 5 and to 3. One caveat: While Hardy relied on a ‘diamond’ pushup style—which we’ve included here for accuracy—we recommend going with a slightly safer and more accessible close-grip pushup to blow up your arms and achieve a killer bodyweight pump.
Here’s a closer look at Hardy’s plan:
Position your palms so they’re ‘square’ with your shoulders. Keep your elbows tucked in, moving alongside your torso to detonate your triceps.
Set your hands wide apart, so that when you lower your chest to the floor your arms, chest and the floor form a rectangle.
Start in the same position as above, but this time spread your fingers as you lower and turn them outwards. Take the pain.
Assume a press-up position on your knuckles, your arms at shoulder-width. Lower your chest to the floor, letting your elbows bend back like a grasshopper’s legs. This is a final killer on your shoulders.
Place your thumbs and index fingers together in a diamond shape. Lower your chest to the centre of the diamond, then push back up again. Breathe raggedly.
From: Men’s Health UK
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