Last week, my fellow Den of Geek columnist James Clayton made a remark about Tom Hardy’s outrageous fitness regime, which saw the actor gain 30 pounds of muscle. If you follow me or James on Twitter, you’ll be aware that we have something of a fierce rivalry. In an effort to outdo James as columnist, but without having to resort to actually trying to be a better writer, I decided that I would follow the Tom Hardy Warrior fitness regime.
I find nothing drives me through a work out like trying to aggressively make a point to someone on the Internet. I read some of the comments on articles from this site and I imagine that many of you must be incredibly well-muscled.
I also think it would be nice for me to be in better shape. When my partner looks at me, she does so with a certain amount of disdain.
Of course, I earn a considerable amount of that disdain through my behaviour, which could fairly be described as testing and legally described as “I’m adding ten years to your sentence because you’re such a dick”. But a version of me with 30 pounds more muscle? “Okay, make it an five extra years, but only because I like watching you flex.”
The idea, I decided, was to pack on 30 pounds of muscle in a week, like Tom Hardy did, and then take my new physique down to the local multiplex to watch the film. Friends tried to convince me that it wasn’t possible to do it in a week – that Tom Hardy had taken much longer to do it and that he had professional help. I’ll tell you now what I told them then: “Either sell me some steroids or get out of my goddamn way.” So I looked up Tom Hardy’s fitness regime and I implemented it last Friday. Here’s how the experiment went.
After reading a few articles on exactly what Tom Hardy is doing, it’s become apparent that I’m going to need to make changes. I have a full time job, and it isn’t centred on Muay Thai training or Jiu jitsu practice. However, so long as I can integrate MMA into my daily routine, I think I should be alright. The easiest way for me to do that was to pick up an MMA magazine and read it on the way to work. I’ve also watched some fights on YouTube during my lunch break.
So, while none of the information suggested that Tom Hardy had specifically done any of this, I’m pretty sure he did. Everyone watches YouTube, guys. Even famous people. I’m already feeling energised by all of this. Normally I would walk to work and hit the gym on my lunch break, which leaves me feeling drained.
Today I feel like I could do anything, like I’ve expended no energy at all. This is going to allow me to do more later. Another major part of Hardy’s training plan was sets of push-ups, sit-ups and other similar exercises that you can do in your living room. I had a go at the push-ups and was pleasantly surprised that I managed to complete about 85 per cent of it. By it, I mean one push up. I got nearly all the way up.
After a 45 minute breather, I had another go, but I was still shattered from the previous session. Not to worry, though. This is only the start of the programme, and by the end of the week I’d no doubt be breezing through all the sets. So, off to a good start. I don’t seem to have gained any weight, but it’s only the first day.
So long as I can put on five pounds of muscle every day for the rest of the week, I’ll make the target. It’s actually much easier than it looks. I had a more difficult time when I took on the Mr Nanny/Hulk Hogan moustache growing program.
Honestly, I’m not going to be in the film, I’m just watching it. As such, I can probably do away with all of the push-ups and sit-ups and that. I seem to have something of a stalemate with them, anyway. While I thought the first go was a strong start on the road to improvement, it was actually the start of what turned out to be an evening out process, and I evened out at zero. I soon followed this up with an evening out at the pub process. No push-ups, then, but a fun time.
Another factor I’ve considered is drinking alcohol. I like a few beers as much as the next guy, but I didn’t want booze to interfere with my goal. That’s why I switched to Guinness, which is apparently full of iron. By this point I must have had more iron in me than Pepper Potts.
I’ve decided to lean my training towards skills that will help me add on that important muscle mass, but will also prove useful in the multiplex. I seem to be excelling at aggressively shushing mobile phone users. I practise at home for ten minutes every morning and then on public transport every chance I get.
Sometimes I even do it to people who aren’t on the phone. I can tell I’m getting good because three people have tried to stab me and only once was it because they took offence at my face. Two things that frequently ruin my trips to the cinema are frustration at not being able to finish my popcorn, and crippling stomach pains due to eating too much popcorn. To combat this, I’ve been drilling popcorn scoffs every 30 minutes.
This involves stopping whatever I’m doing every half hour to eat as much popcorn as I can manage in three minutes. This is helping me stretch my stomach (Tom Hardy’s routine involved a lot of stretching). I have to lift the popcorn up to my mouth, which is exercise, and I’m having to carry around several suitcases full of popcorn.
Such is life, though. Every solution comes with its own set of problems. Thanks to what has essentially been an all-popcorn diet for the last three and a half days, I’ve been cracking on with chair-shift fart-concealment reps. I’ll usually try to do at least 25 of these every hour, although I rarely get to choose. I strongly recommend this as the most intense ab workout a man can put himself through.
It has made me rather unpopular at work, but I put that down to jealousy over my greatly improving physique (seriously, I’m starting to look like one of those things they keep on that program Jersey Shore. I think it’s called a Snooki?) and hatred because of my awful personality. The great feeling of energy I had on the first day of the program has gone entirely. In its place is a great tiredness. I do seem to be gaining plenty of weight, but the muscle definition is a bit vague at the moment.
I’ve never felt weaker, but this is likely because of the exhausting workout routine I’ve described above. I’ll bet Tom Hardy was cream crackered every day he was doing it, as well.
I’ve weighed myself. The experiment hasn’t been entirely successful – I have only gained 22 pounds. The muscle hasn’t defined itself quite how I expected it to. My arms and legs look thinner, and my gut looks huge. That being said, I’m no expert on muscle gain. It could be that this is normal for such a sudden gain of muscle. I read somewhere that your body stores up muscle in the stomach before distributing it to the limbs, so it’s probably that.
I have to say, this new healthy lifestyle really agrees with me. I can’t say that I’ll maintain it indefinitely. Have you ever got to the point where you feel like if you even see another pint of Guinness you’re going to sick out your liver and it’s going to kick you in the balls? Of course you have.
My skin is absolutely glowing now, which is an unexpected positive. Well, I say glowing, it’s actually reflecting light because it’s gotten so pale. It’s also leaking a sort of oily substance that smells like success. I’m shimmering, guys! I look like a vampire from Twilight, but without the brooding and picking up girls more than a hundred years younger than me. So, after completing the Tom Hardy Warrior workout for a full week, I’ve come to the conclusion that Tom Hardy is full of shit.
There’s no way he gained 30 pounds of muscle doing no exercise, stuffing his face full of popcorn and shouting at people on the bus. I can’t help but suspect that this whole thing was a set up.
You win this round, Clayton, but I’ll be back.