Tom Hardy, Bane
Movie: The Dark Knight Rises
The Hero—erm, Villain: Okay, Bane isn’t a superhero, but we’ll let it slide. Tom Hardy totally transformed the role of the physically dominant villain, becoming a goliath of muscle and strength to take on Batman (Christian Bale). Hardy has had other roles that required body transformations like Bronson and Warrior, but nothing was as demanding as this film. The character is a physical juggernaut who developed intense strength in a cave-like prison. It wasn’t enough for him to be jacked, either: Hardy is shorter than Bale, so Hardy needed to stack on absurd amounts of muscle to convincingly play a guy who could thrash the Dark Knight one-on-one.
How He Did It: Hardy’s trainer took an unconventional approach to the old-fashioned muscle confusion technique by splitting up Hardy’s workouts into brief, four-times-per-day sessions. The workouts typically fell first thing in the morning, at lunchtime, in the early evening, and before bedtime and lasted for approximately 20 minutes with a focus on strength training. Beginners should plan to start with just the morning and evening workouts before adding in the other two as you become more comfortable with the regimen.
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