Here you will find the kind of training Tom did for his roles in Warrior and The Dark Knight Rises.
Perform these 3 exercises back-to-back, in sets of 10 reps, then 7 reps, then 5 reps, then 3 reps, each with no recovery time between each movement.
Perform the first set with your hands shoulder-width apart. For the next set, do it with your forefingers and thumbs forming a ‘diamond’ shape below your chest. For the third set, have your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. And for the final set, ball your fists and rest on your knuckles.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding an 8kg kettlebell (or dumb bell) in each hand, palms forward. Raise your arms through 180 degrees, maintaining your palm position, until your fists meet above your head. Lower to the start position. To increase difficulty, up the weight or stand on one leg.
Sit on the ground, legs straight in front of you, and grab the seat of a chair with your hands behind you (fingers pointing towards your body). Keep your back straight and push down on the chair to raise your backside off the floor until your arms are extended. Lower yourself until you are almost touching the floor. That’s one rep.
Gain back flexibility, a powerful neck and massive core strength. Only move on to the next level when you are confident of your strength, or you risk a neck injury.
Lie on a mat, with your feet on the ground, knees bent. Lift your hips off the mat. As you do this bring your hands to your ears, palms on the floor, fingers pointing to your feet. Do 10 reps, then 7 reps (counting 1 at the top), then 5 reps (counting to 3 at the top), then 3 reps (counting to 5 at the top).
Push to the extended position from stage 1. Press through your hands, lift your shoulders off and allow your head to tilt back so the top of it rests on the floor. Push from your heels onto your toes. ALL your weight should go through your toes and hands, NOT your head. Follow the rep count as before.
As your flexibility increases, rest 90% of your body-weight on your hands, and allow your head to carry 10%. Slowly increase this session by session until you can carry more weight on your head than your hands. Rep count as before. Warning: do not rush or you risk damaging your neck.
When you are able to carry all your bodyweight through your head, raise into the bridge position without using your hands for support. Keep them close to the side of your head in case they are needed for stability, and perform the same set/ rep count as before.
To be performed ONLY when stage 4 is easy. Assume the extended bridge from stage 3, holding a light barbell across your chest, or a 2kg dumbbell in each hand. Perform 5 bench-press movements (or 5 chest flies with the dumb-bells). As it gets easier, increase the weight.
This develops core strength and the size and power of your abs from the top to the bottom. Again, start with stage one and increase the difficulty as you get stronger.
Lie on a mat, with your legs together, hands clasped behind your head. Lift your head and shoulders and hold. Then, tighten your abs and lift your legs. Lower to the start position. Do sets of 10 reps, then 7, then 5, then 3.
Perform the movement from stage 1, then, at the top of the position, bend your knees and pull them in to touch your elbows. Then straighten your legs and lower back to the starting position, flat on the mat. Do set/reps as before.
Perform the movement from stage 1, then, at the top, pull your knees in to touch your elbows – but, don’t bend your legs. Much harder, right? Move your legs back to the start, then lower everything back to the mat. Do sets/reps as before.
Take an 8kg kettlebell and push the tip of your left shoe through the handle. Wrap your right foot around to hold it in place, then perform the movement from stage 1 with the kettlebell weighing your legs down. Do sets/reps as before.
Floor clean and push press: This move will get your hormones surging for sure! Used primarily as a shoulder strength and power builder, it will pack on serious mass all over. Simply clean the bar from the floor using hips, legs and shoulder rotation to catch the bar on your shoulders. From this position use a slight bump with your legs to press the bar overhead with your deltoids, arms and traps. This isn’t a clean and jerk per se, but more of a clean and shoulder press.
Wide-grip upright row: Simply take a grip 8-12 inches wider than shoulder width and pull up with your elbows. This will hit the middle deltoids more than a standard close-grip upright row.
Double plate raise: Want to challenge your grip and look like a beast? Try the standard front plate raise with two smaller plates instead of one that can comfortably fit in your grip. If you can do a 45 pound plate, try two 25s. Your forearms will be screaming for more!
Decline bench close-grip triceps press: You’ve done plenty of close-grip benches in your day, right? Try it on a decline bench for a better mechanical advantage and shoulder relief.
Seated barbell curl: As the name implies, the seated barbell curl will jack up your strength in no time. Sit with the barbell in your lap and curl up only the upper half of the move. On the way down don’t rest the bar, just touch and go.
Modified arching pull-up: Perform a regular, shoulder width pull-up with an underhand grip and instead of bringing your chest to the bar, try bringing your stomach to the bar.
Partial deadlift: I couldn’t help but add this one in. Start with the bar just below your knees. You can crank these out off of the end of a bench or set in a Smith machine.
Side-to-side pull-up: An old favorite of Arnold, take a close, parallel grip and alternate each side of your head up to the bar.
Floor press with dumbbells: This will hit that sweet spot for a bigger bench. Simply lay down on the floor with two dumbbells and press them up on the last half of the movement. Be sure not to rest your upper arms on the floor, just touch and go.
Feet-elevated three-point push-up: Prop your feet on a bench and hands on the floor in the push-up position. Put one foot on top of the other so only the single foot is touching the bench.
Full-range squat: You may be scratching your head as to why this one’s on the list. There is good reason: I can count on one hand in my over twenty years lifting that I have seen someone do a full-range free weight squat. If you are one of the unlucky ones, swallow your pride, cut your weight in half and get to work.
1 ½ rep front squat: If you are like many, you may have a bit of difficulty holding heavy weight on your shoulders during a front squat. Try 1 ½ rep sets. Descend with the bar and only go halfway up, descend again and then complete a full range of motion rep. That is one rep. This technique will make light weight feel like a ton!
Modified ham raise: If you find your gym without a true horizontal bench to perform glute/ham raises, but you are able to use an angled hyperextension bench then this move will be a welcomed addition. Keeping your knees on the bench, extend your body out staying horizontal to the floor. Curl yourself back in (like a leg curl) keeping that horizontal position.
Run-the-rack dumbbell calf raise: Choose a heavy dumbbell, don’t think about it too much, just do it! Perform one-legged calf raises off of the floor for each leg. Once you are finished with both legs, choose the next lighter weight and repeat. Run the entire rack before stopping.
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