Sometimes, fitness can get quite overwhelming. Today, our world is plagued by the need to distance ourselves from other people, and so there might be no one to guide us through our fitness journey.
Most of the time, to find some sense of routine and structure, we turn to subscription workouts and calendars. We look up to fitness experts and people who seem to know what they’re doing. Celebrities are one of those people.
Tom Hardy is an English actor best known for his roles in Warrior and The Dark Knight Rises. The two roles he played had very different diets and quite similar workout routines, but let’s stick with his more well-known role as Bane.
Although celebrities’ bodies in movies are proof that they worked very hard to get ripped, you have to understand that most of the time, their diets get quite extreme and their workouts intense.
Their movie diets and workouts tend to be done in a very short amount of time to prepare for the movie, so you’ll find that this might not be the most sustainable routine for everyday life.
In fact, you can hear Tom Hardy say these exact words when asked about his diet:
“It was rubbish… It was horrible, unnecessary.”
Know that you don’t have to adapt Tom Hardy’s exact routine and that he did this for work, not leisure. Now that that’s settled, read on to know about his workout and diet!
Tom Hardy's Diet
The first thing to know about Tom Hardy’s role in The Dark Knight Rises is that his character is meant to be a big man. In fact, To Hardy had to gain 30 pounds to play Bane. This makes bulking up absolutely important for the role.
Expect, then, that this diet must require much more calories than you normally intake.
The first thing you will notice about his diet is that he eats 6 meals a day. In fact, his meals and diet are replicated by YouTubers Aseel Soueid. You can watch his video at the link below:
These meals for Bane are full of carbs and protein shakes to increase mass. Aseel Souied lists some of the kinds of food that you would find in Tom Hardy’s diet:
You can find eggs in any fitness enthusiast’s diet! They are usually in the form of hard-boiled eggs, as they can easily satisfy your appetite. Not only that, eggs can give you the protein that your body needs. We already know that proteins are the main building blocks of our bodies.
If you’re concerned with muscle building like Tom was, then you’ll want to take in more protein. Muscles are made primarily of protein!
Although there are a lot of protein supplements that you can take, getting protein from real food can benefit you much more. Eggs, or any kind of animal source, are called “complete proteins” because they provide all the essential amino acids.
2. Gluten-free bread
Although it isn’t clear exactly why Tom went with gluten-free bread, I can only guess it is so as not to go overboard with processed carbohydrates.
Gluten-free foods tend to help you elevate your performance, especially as an athlete. This is because digestion can be improved by switching to a gluten-free diet. When your digestion is improved, you can maximize the absorption of nutrients from different foods.
Carbohydrates are absolutely important, especially for athletes. This is because carbs tend to give you the energy you need to do the workouts and improve your performance. Carbs are, after all, the body’s fuel.
Mayonnaise is something that is silently deadly. Even though it seems like a simple condiment, you might want to take notice of the amount of mayonnaise you place on your plate.
Tom was rumoured to spread mayo on anything fried or sandwiched during bulking especially for the Batman series. Mayonnaise is made of mainly oil and egg yolks. This makes mayonnaise high in fat, and although this might be good in moderation, you don’t want to go above your daily fat intake.
Broccoli has several benefits. Although these are not specifically for bulking up, they provide great benefits that can improve your health in the long run! Tom Hardy’s diet included this as it is a great source of fiber to reduce all the cholesterol, cause, hey, you need to bulk up not get coronary.
It also boosts your immunity, especially against cancer. Other benefits include improving your heart and bone health.
Broccolis are not only full of fiber, they are a great carb that can give you a lot of energy to help you improve your performance. This also helps you maintain low blood sugar and possibly help in weight loss!
5. Brown rice and white rice
Rice is a very obvious choice when you want to bulk up. However, Tom Hardy seems to switch between brown rice and white rice. Which one is the best kind of rice, then, especially for your needs?
Healthline tries to compare the nutritional benefits of brown rice versus white rice. First, you’ll find that brown rice has more calories than white rice! This surprised me a lot since I used to believe brown rice would provide fewer calories, helping you lose weight.
You’ll also find that brown rice will provide a bit more fiber, which will help with digestion. We also know that this will help maintain low blood sugar and boost your immunity.
Manganese is also found in brown rice, which can help provide more energy for your workouts. White rice does not have this. More carbs can be found in brown rice than white rice, which also provides energy.
6. Mixed fruit
Some fruits are better for your pre-workout meals, while some are best eaten in the morning with your breakfast. Tom was very fond of these as his snack.
In the morning, fruits are very important. While you are sleeping, you are basically fasting, so your body tries to take up a lot of the glycogen in your body. Glycogen is simply the stored glucose you usually get from carbs, which is the source of your energy.
Your glycogen levels drop, and once you wake up, your body usually needs to restore these glycogen stores. If they don’t, your body turns to your muscles.
To prevent losing muscle mass, eat fruit first thing in the morning! The fructose will help provide energy. The recommended fruits are pineapples, honeydew, oranges, and bananas. Apples, pears, watermelons, and grapes are great for pre-workout snacks.
Blueberries are always called a superfood, but do they live up to the hype? Tom Hardy seems to think so!
The low calories that blueberries have might not be the best choice if you’re trying to bulk up, but the nutrients they provide make up for that. For example, it is known to be high in fiber, vitamin C, and manganese!
They are also high in antioxidants to help prevent aging and certain diseases. Blueberries can reduce cholesterol, too.
Blueberries are, indeed, very healthy. Although they are not the top choice for bodybuilders out there, I think it’s a smart choice by Tom Hardy to include this in his diet!
8. Chicken breast, steak and tuna
You’ll find that most bodybuilders have either chicken breast with broccoli, steak, or tuna on their plates, and Tom wasn’t an exemption.
These foods are known for their high amounts of protein! Protein is able to keep you full for longer.
More importantly, though, these types of foods can help promote muscle building. Protein is the main building block of our bodies and our muscles.
Animal sources of protein tend to be called “complete proteins” because they provide all the essential amino acids.
9. Peanut butter
Peanut butter is a favorite dessert for most people trying to get into shape! This is another thing that Tom was rumored to indulge in during bulking.
When buying peanut butter, make sure to look at the ingredients. The commercial peanut butter will tend to do more harm than good by providing you with more sugar than the important macronutrients.
Read the ingredient list and look out for sugar or hydrogenated oils. A good thing to note on ingredient lists is that the earlier you see an ingredient on the list, the more of it is in the product.
10. Protein powder
Protein powder is a great way to increase your protein intake. Protein is known to aid in the building and regeneration of muscles. In fact, muscles are mostly made of protein!
The common myth about protein powder or shakes is that these can replace a meal. These do absolutely not meal replacements and should be taken alongside your regular meals.
Protein powders also tend to lessen your appetite, which might not be the effect you want to happen while bulking up. This can, however, help you prevent any binge-eating episodes, especially late at night.
Healthline also says that consuming protein that is around 25 to 30 percent of your daily calories will increase your metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day! And if you want to learn more about real food vs protein, check out our post on it here.
Tom Hardy's Workout Routine
Tom Hardy followed a routine designed by physical therapist Patrick Monroe. You’ll find that in the film The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy really focused on his upper body. His traps were raised, his shoulders and arms jacked.
Men’s Journal explains that Patrick Monroe developed a strategy to keep the muscles on their toes, or what they call the “muscle confusion technique.” These are small bursts of training 4 times a day, usually 20 minutes each.
Tom exercises 4 to 5 days a week, with weekends as his rest days. This is important to let muscles heal themselves, forming muscle tissue and helping develop your muscles.
The focus of his workouts is also mainly on strength training. You’ll find he’ll be doing a lot of bodyweight exercises and weight training.
Here are some sample exercises you can incorporate into your workout routine:
1. Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
This is a simple exercise that can help develop your shoulders and your triceps. It’s one of the basic moves in weight training!
What you need are a dumbbell (or a barbell) and a bench. Start with an incline bench, lying flat with your feet flat on the floor.
As you lay down, bring the dumbbells near your chest with the sides pointing towards you. Then, once you’re flat on the bench, open your shoulders, making a 90-degree angle with your elbows.
With your dumbbells facing upwards aligned with your shoulders, engage your shoulders and lift. Breath deeply as you lift.
Bring the weights down after a beat, letting the weight settle with control. Repeat.
2. The Square and The Rectangle
As described by Men’s Health, these are simply variations of the push-up that can target different muscles in your upper body.
The Square, for example, requires you to keep your hands square with your shoulders. Start with a full plank position, your palms right under your shoulders.
Keeping your elbows tucked in, lower your body so that you keep your spine in a straight line. Lower until your elbows are higher than your spine, exercising your triceps.
The Rectangle is a bit easier, exercising mostly your chest and your biceps. Start in a full plank with your hands wide apart.
Then, lower your body until your elbows are at the same level as your shoulders, forming a rectangle!
3. Dumbbell Rows
Dumbbell rows can have different variations, but to help you focus more on each muscle, one-arm dumbbell rows are a great starting point.
Start in a standing position gripping your dumbbell in one hand. Hinge forward at the hips so that your torso is almost parallel to the floor.
Lift the dumbbell by bending at the elbow until it is at the midline. Lower with control to the starting position. Repeat.
4. Barbell Deadlift
Barbell deadlifts are a staple of weightlifting exercises! Although this is probably a move you already know about, let’s review, shall we?
Start with the bar above the middle of your foot, standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, push your hips back so that your torso is almost parallel to the floor.
With your arms shoulder-width apart, grip the barbell. Then, pull up on the bar and push yourself off with your legs. It can help to imagine that you’re doing leg presses instead of pulls.
Push your hips forward as you stand up straight with the bar still in your hands. Lock the hips in this position.
To set the bar down, imagine reversing the motion by pushing your hips out again with your torso almost parallel to the floor, setting down the bar to the floor.
Tom Hardy proves to be a badass, both in discipline and in strength. You can train like him too, but be sure to check with your trainer and doctor first.
Don’t dive into any kind of workout routine headfirst; you must assess where you are in your fitness journey and see how you can incorporate a celebrity’s routine into yours. Remember, also, that Tom Hardy didn’t afford to slack off. He was on a schedule to shoot the movie, and so his routine is supposed to be intense.
You don’t have to do this by the book! Look at what works for you and what doesn’t. After all, it’s your body!
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.