If you google pictures of Tom Hardy, you’ll see him in various physique stages in his career. Hardy has gone from a modest, athletic build to a bigger, jacked version of himself for a variety of roles.
In his breakthrough role in Warrior, Hardy played Tommy Riordan, a man trained by his father to fight in a mixed martial arts tournament against his brother and for that movie, Hardy had to look like an MMA fighter… completely ripped.
How Did Tom Hardy Bulk Up for Warrior?
In order to get into Warrior shape, he had to focus on a strict diet and workout regimen. And because he doesn’t have a naturally big frame, Tom Hardy’s transformation involved bulking up quickly.
Tom Hardy’s trainer Patrick “Pnut” Monroe calls the Tom Hardy Warrior workout process ‘signaling’. He would send constant signals to Tom’s body so that it would adapt in the direction he pointed it in.
This is a pretty different approach compared to Ben Affleck’s training for Batman or Chris Evans’ workout to play Captain America even though these actors all had similar mass-gaining goals.
One example of signaling would be to do 10 press ups every hour rather than 100 in a single burst. This allowed his body to adapt to each set as an individual challenge without completely burning him out.
He exercised in 20 minute bursts in the morning, mid day and then again later in the evening.
Tom Hardy MMA Training
Does Tom Hardy do MMA? Sort of, but not really.
Even though Hardy played the role of a bad-ass fighter in Warrior, he never really competed or fought anyone for real.
That doesn’t mean he wasn’t seriously prepared. He included hard boxing workouts that would get him in fighting shape. His MMA training helped him grow bigger while also burning calories to shed body fat.
Plus, Men’s Journal revealed that Hardy brushed up his MMA skills when preparing for his role as Eddie Brock in Venom.
The MMA training also helped build up his endurance, power, and total body strength while toning his arms and core that would actually help during filming.
Warrior Workout Routine and Training Philosophy
There’s no official Tom Hardy Warrior workout with details of the exercises sets and reps. All we got from Tom and his trainer was insight into their “signaling” training philosophy.
So we prepared this sample workout routine for anyone looking to develop a physique like Tom Hardy in Warrior:
Day 1: Chest & Triceps
- Incline Bench or Dumbbell Press: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Cable Flys: 4 sets x 12-15 reps
- Decline Skull Crusher: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
- Dips: 4 sets x 8-10 reps (with weights if possible)
Day 2: Legs
- Squats: 5 sets x 5 reps
- Barbell Deadlift: 5 sets x 5 reps
- Dumbbell Step Ups: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Lunge: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Hamstring Curls: 3 sets 8-12 reps
- Leg Press: 3 sets x 8-15 reps
Day 3: Traps & Shoulders
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 5 sets x 8-12 reps
- Barbell Shrug: 5 sets x 5 reps
- Barbell Row: 5 sets x 5 reps
- Seated Dumbbell Shrug: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
Day 4: Back & Biceps
- Pullups: 5 sets x 5-10 reps (with weights if possible)
- Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
- Barbell Curl: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Palms Up Curl: 3 sets x 12-15 reps
Day 5: Upper Body
- Barbell rows: 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell bench press: 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps
- Wide-grip pull-ups 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps
- Military push-ups 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps
- Plank 3-5 sets of 30-60 secs seconds
Tom Hardy Warrior Diet Plan
As far as Tom Hardy’s diet and nutrition plan for Warrior is concerned, he typically ate 5-6 meals daily that contained complex carbohydrates like oats and lean protein with a stronger amino acid profile like chicken and fish. This is pretty different from what he did to bulk up for his role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
Tom Hardy’s weight fluctuates considerably depending on the movie role he’s preparing for.
With roles like Warrior, where he had to focus on getting bigger (but staying lean), he relied on seven small meals consisting of protein and low fat carbs.
Here’s what a typical diet would look like for one day:
- 6 – 8 egg whites and a cup of oatmeal
- Lean red meat, mixed veggies, cottage cheese
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, brown rice, veggies
- Brown rice, tuna, a little mayo, green veggies
- A protein shake
- Grilled chicken breast and green beans
- A casein protein shake
How Do I Get a Body Like Tom Hardy?
Now this “signaling” approach is a very interesting one, and even though it had impressive results for Tom Hardy, it’s not something I’d recommend for the average person.
The main reason is because most people work a typical 8-5 workday and often only get one shot per day to hit the gym for a workout.
So if you’re looking to get that lean and muscular look like Tom, here are the top things I’d recommend:
Eat in a Surplus
A caloric surplus is when your body receives more calories than it needs to maintain its current weight.
When this happens, your body is going to take those extra calories and turn them into new tissues, and make you bigger.
Because Hardy really needed to pack on bulk, he had to eat a caloric surplus diet to reach his goals. If you’re in a similar situation, where you want to go from skinny to buff, you’ll need to do the same.
I suggest multiplying your current bodyweight by 17-19 calories and eating on a daily basis.
So for someone who weighs 170 lbs, you would eat roughly 3,060 calories per day (170 x 18).
Now the secret to making sure the extra weight is stored as muscle is to consume enough protein.
You’ll want to keep your daily protein intake to around 1 g per 1 lb of body weight.
Do Exercises That Will Help You Build a Wider Frame
Tom Hardy has a very wide back, and if you want a chance at even coming close to his frame, you need to tailor your workout routine for the same look.
Here’s a solid list of exercises you should focus on if you want to build a bigger body similar to Tom Hardy in Warrior:
A press-up is actually just a push-up with your hands in varying positions, but are great for building your chest (pectorals), shoulders (deltoids), and triceps.
Hardy performed these exercises in a circuit with these 4 variations back-to-back in sets of 10, 7, and 5 reps with no rest time in between.
- Press-up #1 – Hands shoulder width apart
- Press-up #2 – Make a diamond with your hands at your chest
- Press-up #3 – Hands wider than shoulder width
- Press-up #4 – Rest on your knuckles
Shoulder flyes are like side lateral raises except your arms are raised 180 degrees from the bottom position until they’re completely extended over your head. And the primary muscle group worked by this exercise is your deltoids.
He would do a few sets of these with a weight in each hand and might even increase the difficulty by standing on one leg.
This is good for building bigger triceps, but it also works your deltoids, pectorals, rhomboids, and lats as well, so it’s a strong compound movement. It’s easy to increase the resistance on this one by placing a few weights on your lap while you complete your reps. I imagine Hardy could do this with multiple 45 lbs plates stacked on his thighs.
Sit on the ground with legs straight and a bench behind you. Use the bench to lift yourself off the ground until arms are straight and then lower yourself back to until your shoulders are in line with your elbows.
Bridges are great for working your glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals, but with even more advanced variations, you can really work your upper body muscle groups, too.
Lie on a mat with your feet on the ground, knees bent. Your hands will be twisted behind you, at your shoulders, palms down, elbows bent. Straighten arms to lift your hips off the floor.
Then, place your hands next to your head and push your upper back and head off the floor.
He used leg lifts to create that very dense six pack that you see in the movie promo materials.
These are sometimes referred to as reverse crunches since some variations involve raising your legs from the floor as close to your face as possible.
For added resistance, Hardy would hold a weight in between his feet.
Train Muscle Groups Twice Per Week
According to a 2016 meta-analysis by Brad Schoenfeld, training a muscle 2-3x per week saw more muscle growth than training only 1x.
That’s why for major muscle groups like the chest, shoulders, and back, you want to train them at least twice per week since they typically recover after ~2 rest days.
How Realistic is it to Get Jacked Like Tom Hardy in Warrior?
It’s not realistic to expect to get as jacked as Tom Hardy in the movie Warrior without:
- Access to top trainers
- Access to top nutritionists
- Potentially using performance enhancing drugs
While Tom’s physique may seem impressive, it’s important to keep in mind the advantages he had in terms of resources and support.
For yourself, you should focus on finding a sustainable workout routine and diet plan that works for your needs and circumstances. And yes, you may not get a body just like Hardy, but you can still build the best physique for your genetics.
How Long Will It Take Take to Get Jacked Like Tom Hardy in Warrior?
You can’t expect to get the same level of “jacked” as Tom Hardy, but here are some general things to consider…
If you’re skinny with barely any muscle on your frame, it will probably take up to 24 months to get a chiseled warrior physique, but you’ll see significant noob gains in your first 12 months.
For someone with decent muscle mass and excess body fat, 6-12 months is a realistic timeframe to burn fat and still get that defined look.
Tom Hardy didn’t reveal the exact workout routine he used to get jacked for his role in Warrior. But he did give some details about his diet and training as well as an interesting concept called muscle signaling.
You can use his advice to adapt your own warrior workout routine or follow an entirely different workout routine. Either way, the goal is to drop your body fat to 10-12% as you build a bigger back and upper body muscles without leaving your legs behind.
Tom Hardy Warrior Workout FAQ
How did Tom Hardy workout for Warrior?
Tom Hardy’s warrior workout routine followed his trainer’s philosophy called “signaling”, where he was constantly signaling his body throughout the day by performing short reps every hour. Pnut (Tom’s trainer says it’s better to do 10 press-ups every hour than to do 100 in a single session. Apparently, his training involved calisthenics, weight training, boxing, and MMA.
How long did Tom Hardy train for Warrior?
It took Tom Hardy about three months to build is Warrior physique. What’s interesting about Tom Hardy’s training is that he didn’t need to just look like an MMA fighter, he needed to move and react like one too. Because of this, he took it seriously and trained sometimes 8 hours a day for 7 straight days.
How heavy was Tom Hardy in Warrior?
Tom Hardy weighed about 181lbs when filming Warrior back in 2011. This is pretty impressive considering he had to gain over 40lbs to get bigger and prepare for this role.
Did Tom Hardy take any supplements to fuel his Warrior workouts?
According to Jacked Gorilla, Hardy took Trembolex Ultra, Vigor Muscle Nitro, and various BCAAs during his bulking phase. After doing basic research, Trembolex Ultra could be a scam and Vigor Muscle Nitro appears to have a lot of fake reviews. However, if you’re looking for a BCAA recommendation, Optimum Nutrition typically produces high-quality products that you can trust.
Is there a workout to get a back like Tom Hardy?
If you want to get bigger, wider back muscles similar to Tom Hardy, you need to include some key compound lifts in your routine like pull-ups and rows. Plus, you’ll need some isolation moves like rear delt flies and shrugs to really make your lats and traps pop.
Here’s a sample back workout using some of these exercises.
- Deadlifts: 3 x 6-8 reps (Rest 2-5 min between sets)
- Weighted Pull-ups: 3 x 8-10 reps (Rest 2-5 min between sets)
- Chest-supported dumbbell rows: 3 x 10-12 reps (Rest 90 sec between sets)
- Lat pulldowns: 3 x 10-12 reps (Rest 60-90 sec between sets)