Tom Hardy is a versatile actor who can successfully play both a romantic gentleman and a dangerous alien-bearing baddie. Many of the actor’s roles demand impressive physical training to be in the right shape. What exactly does Hardy’s workout look like, and how does anybody reach his physique?
Physically overpowering villains are the recent forte of Tom Hardy. He knows a few things about building muscles for such roles as Tom Conlon in Warrior, Bronson, Bane, and Venom. Granted, the letter is a huge CGI creation, but there is no doubt that Bane comes relatively close to the bulky Venom. So what is Hardy’s secret? What training regime does the actor choose?
Tom Hardy claimed to have trained four times a day, packing on more and more weights while training for Bane and mainly focusing on bodyweight exercises for his more athletic roles. His training for Bane was heavily focused on the upper body, specifically pecs, shoulders, and traps. However, the more athletic part of Bronson demanded full-body compound exercises such as pull-ups, squats, pushups, and ab workouts.
Which approach would you choose? Tom Hardy’s workout style depends on his goals.
What is Tom Hardy’s Workout for Bronson?
Tom Hardy has chosen a professional approach to build the character of Bronson. Considering that the actor was playing a convict, he adopted similar ways of training that would be available to the character. While you are in prison, you have little to nothing when it comes to working out. No weights, no space, no timers, no anything! This is why Tom Hardy used the only equipment that would be available to Bronson – his body and mind.
In his interviews, Hardy mentions focusing on the general bodyweight exercises, basically sticking to only calisthenics. The following exercises were in his regime at the time:
- Pushups (10×10)
- Pull-ups (10×5)
- Chin-ups (10×5)
- Squats (20×10)
- Burpees (20×5)
- Crunches (20×5)
- Russian Twist (20×5)
This is the basic plan of the common calisthenics exercises. If you’d like to be more creative with your workout plan, be sure to add variety!
What is Tom Hardy’s Workout for Bane?
For the role of Bane, Hardy has to drastically change his approach and add lots and lots of weights to isolate particular shoulder, chest, and arm muscles. He practically had to build his from muscle by muscle. And despite his “villainy” status, the training is rather similar to Henry Cavill’s workout regime for Superman I’ve researched before!
In his interview with The Daily Beast, Tom Hardy mentions that he had to undergo a damaging transformation due to his “respectable” age. Unfortunately, such an intense training regime did come with negative consequences.
“I think you pay the price with any drastic physical changes. It was alright when I was younger… but I think as you get into your 40s, you have to be more mindful of the rapid training, packing on a lot of weight, and getting physical.”
Thus, I will not recommend you sticking to Hardy’s exact Bane regime that included FOUR training sessions a day. That will leave you with troubling joints surely. Instead, incorporate training gradually – just one or two times a day, up to 5 days a week to give your muscle efficient rest time.
The basic rule of gaining mass is “low reps, heavyweights.” Thus, you strain your muscles (but not to the point of failure) and should give them time to rebuild and grow.
When preparing for Bane, Hardy emphasizes his back and traps. As we know from the movie, it worked magically!
According to a Men’s Health interview with Hardy, the following “descending ladder” routine was adopted to build Bane’s incredible upper body.
Upper Body Plan
- The Square. Pushup position: palms right below shoulders, elbows tucked in during the exercise. Targets triceps.
- The Rectangle. Pushup position: palms wide apart, fingers looking straight; as you lower, elbows are pushed to the sides, thus forming a rectangle.
- The Eagle. Pushup position: repeat the rectangle form, but move your palms/fingers to be directed outwards.
- The Kong. Pushup position: arms at shoulder-width on your knuckles. As you lower, keep your elbows tuck in close to the torso.
- The Diamond. Pushup position: press your thumbs and index fingers close to the opposite hand below the middle of your chest, lower it to the “diamond”—elbows at around 45%.
The routine was done in a four-round circuit of 10/7/5/3, meaning that Hardy would do ten reps in the first round, all down to three reps in the fourth round.
What is Tom Hardy’s Workout for Venom?
When training for the role of enigmatic anti-hero Venom, Tom Hardy took a 180-degree turn and trained primarily on martial arts! This workout routine may be the hardest to follow for you, reader, but it is the most exciting and fun.
But you’ll have to cover the following fields:
Before the filming, Hardy trained for five days a week. His “work” days included training sessions with a professional MMA fighter Dan Edwards known as “Vill.” Before Venom, Hardy had already adopted martial arts and boxing in preparation for his role in Warrior. At the time, he was boxing for two hours almost every day. I suspect that the “fighting-heavy” Venom preparation phase included the same amount of boxing plus professional MMA.
As for the Jiu-Jitsu training, Hardy paired with Mark Mene and with the Royal Marines Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association.
Just check the Instagram picture above to get an approximate representation of their training.
What Is Tom Hardy’s Diet?
Just as with training, Hardy’s diet was tailored specifically for each role. As I’ve begun the article with Bronson, I’ll cover this particular diet first.
In several interviews, Hardy has mentioned a lack of time before Bronson filming. That is why we see so many reps for each exercise. Hardy was running out of time and had to make muscles work. However, Bronson was never meant to be skinny. Thus, Hardy started eating; and eating a lot. And considering that he’s paid little attention to training the lower part of his body, according to the actor, his “arse very quickly got very fat.”
Here’s a summary of Hardy’s diet for Bronson.
“For Bronson, I put on about 7lbs 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.”
After all, chicken and rice are a delicious combination! But that was only the base. After all, to add extra pounds, the actor also included “a pizza, Häagen-Dazs and Coca-Cola” on occasion.
When training for Bane, Hardy left junk food behind. Yes, the character is massive, but that is mostly muscle, not fat.
To maintain the bulky build, Hardy included lots of carbs for mass and weight lifting energy, protein-rich foods and supplements to grow muscles, milk, veggies, and so on. But that was a relatively “relaxed” diet after the strict “lean chicken and broccoli” to be leaner for Warrior.
Unfortunately, not much is known about the specifics of Hardy’s diet plan for Venom and, currently, for Venom 2.
If you are interested in building a physique similar to Tom Hardy’s, take it easy and tailor the abovementioned routines to suit your fitness level.