How Idris Elba Stays Lean and Shredded

Idris Elba on red carpet
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Idris Elba has played a tough guy (The Wire), a corporate suit (The Office), even a bank robber (Takers). But what’s remained over the years is his rock-hard physique.

Even at 44, Elba is shredded, proving it’s absolutely possible to build muscle when you’re over 40. (Give it a shot with these 5 muscle-building workouts).

“I try to fit in workouts whenever I can,” Elba told Men’s Fitness. That might mean 45 minutes of running in the morning, blasting out 100 pushups, or swimming, to which he says “works every muscle in your body.”

Though Elba certainly puts time aside to get some tough workouts in the gym. These 9 kickass Instagram workouts are proof.

Elba also kickboxes. He has for six years. “I’m not really allowed to do it while I’m working because it’s considered too dangerous,” he says. “Film producers get very nervous.”

But when he can, he hits the dojo two or three times a week.

“I’m not really fussy,” he says. “I just need a couple of speed bags.” Elba focuses on drills broken down into three-minute rounds where he works through high and low kicks, combos, and light sparring.

As for staying lean and cut? There are a few secrets Elba has for that, too.

  1. Eat a good breakfast. 
  2. Maintain your weight. Elba never gains more than a few pounds at a time. “When I was younger, I could never put weight on, and now that I’m a little older, there’s a natural sort of chubbiness coming,” he says. “But honestly, if I work out for a week, it drops off in no time.”
  3. Don’t give up on sports. In school, Elba played basketball, soccer, and rugby. He also joined a Sunday soccer league after he graduated. “I was always a real athletic kid,” says Elba. “Then when I got older, I just figured it was part of life to keep training.”It’s a great way to stay active and burn hundreds of calories without even realizing it.

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