To play the part of Batman’s nemesis, Bane, in Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy had to pack on some serious muscle. According to his trainer, Patrick Munro, the Brit star added 30 pounds of lean beef to play the part.
Hardy teamed up with Patrick Munro to put some fire into the workouts that he knew he needed to fill out as Bane. Munro is an unorthodox trainer who uses unconventional training methods to get maximum results. Tom was about to see for himself just what that meant.
The 4-a-Day Workout
Munro had a little over three months to get Hardy bulked out for his Batman role. To do it he decided to get Tom into the gym four times throughout the day. This may seem like massive over-training but, as Munro explains, there is a method in his madness . . .
Throughout the day, you need to send constant signals to your body, so that it adapts in the direction you point it in. It’s better to do 10 press-ups every hour than to do 100 in a single burst. If you do things often enough, your body adapts for the task you set it, and you evolve.
To fit the workouts in, Tom had to get up early. His first session started around six a.m. The next workout was around lunch time, with the third fitting in before his evening meal. The final sessions would take place in the evening.
Tom’s workouts were varied ranging from boxing training, to martial arts, plyometrics and traditional bodybuilding type weight training. The evening session was always the heavy weight training workout. 14 exercises were performed, split over two days and then constantly repeated, day after day.
Here’s the exact weight workout that Tom used to pile on thirty pounds of muscle in just 3 months to bulk up as Bane:
- Floor Clean and Push Press
- Wide Grip Upright Row
- Double Plate Raise
- Decline Bench Close-Grip Tricep Press
- Seated Barbell Curl
- Modified Arching pull Up
- Partial Deadlift
- Side-to-Side Pull-Up
- Floor Press with Dumbbells
- Full Range Squat
- 1.5 Rep Front Squat
- Modified Ham Raise
- Run-The -Rack Dumbbell Calf Raise
Just glancing over this workout confirms that Tom’s trainer Patrick Munro is an unorthodox coach. These are not the conventional run-of-the mill moves that most trainers would proscribe. In fact, some of them were knew to Tom, who is no stranger to the weight room. Let’s check a few of the less familiar moves:
Floor Clean and Push Pres
This power moves includes cleaning the bar from the floor, catching it with a palms forward grip at shoulder level . Then, starting with a slight eccentric load from the thighs, you push the bar overhead. It’s more of a combination clean and press than a standard clean and jerk.
Double Plate Raise
Grab a weight plate in each hand, holding it by it’s edge. Now lift both arms directly out in front of you. Hold for a set period of time or for as long as you can. This move will develop extra thick forearms as well as helping to pad out your shoulder width.
Seated Barbell Curl
Sit on a bench with a barbell in your lap. Simply curl the weight up to your chin and back to your lap. Don’t pause in the bottom position. Simply touch you thigh and move straight into the next rep.
1.5 Rep Front Squat
Position the bar across your sternum and front shoulders in readiness for a front squat. Go down for your first rep until you reach a full squat position. As you drive back up only come up half way and then go back down into the full squat. This time drive all the way back up to the start position. That is one rep. This is a killer exercise that will boost your anabolic drive so you can maximize your muscle gain.
Run-The-Rack Dumbbell Calf Raise
Start at the end of the dumbbell rack with the heaviest dumbbell you can handle. Perform one legged calf raises for each leg. Your toes need to be raised to allow for a full extension and contraction of the clan muscle. Immediately replace the weight and go to the next weight down on the rack. Continue until you have gone down the entire rack.
The Mass Eating Plan
In order to take full advantage of the heavy duty training he was doing, Tom new that he’d have to be eating big in order to get big. Munro and Hardy worked out a calorie goal of 3,500 per day. This was spread out over six meals. That meant that the actor would be consuming an average of 583 calories at each meal.
Tom’s protein requirement was calculated at 1 gram for every pound of bodyweight. That was based, not on his current weight, but on his final goal weight, which was 210 pounds. So, he’d be taking in 210 grams of protein each day. Spread out over the course of the day that equated to 35 grams of protein at each meal.
In choosing his protein sources, Tom consulted the protein bioavailability scale. The bioavailability scale is a rating of how much the body is able to make use of a protein food. Not all proteins, you see, are equal. The body absorbs some better than others. The foods with the best bioavailability ratings are the following:
- Whey protein isolate
- Whey concentrate
- Whole egg
- Cow’s milk
- Egg white
These foods formed the foundation of Tom’s meal plans. He consumed three whey protein drinks per day, along with a dozen eggs and 2 pounds of red meat.
Muscle Building Supplementation
In order to give himself that extra muscle building edge, Tom used a range of natural muscle building supplements designed to boost his body’s own production of testosterone and growth hormone. He also took a pre workout in order to get himself jacked for upcoming training sessions. The pre-workout was also high NO2 in order to provide a maximum pump effect.
Tom’s post workout supplements included a protein shake that was high in fast release carbs, whey protein, branch chain amino acids and glutamine. This provided the nutritional armor to shift his body from a muscle deleting catabolic state to a muscle building anabolic state.
When he stepped on screen as Bane in Dark Night Rises, Hardy was a totally convincing nemesis for Batman. His four a day workouts and huge diet/supplementation plan had paid off handsomely. The guy was huge and defined, making for the most daunting challenge to the caped crusader yet to appear on screen.
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