Train like an Action Movie Star: 6 Hollywood Fitness Workouts


Portraying a fictional character is not an easy task. Hollywood’s biggest action movie stars have to put in a lot of work to get a look of a fearsome hero, or villain.

From zero to hero: Gain muscle like Hollywood action movie stars

From Khal Drogo to Wolverine and Bane, if you want an action star body,  you will have to pack on some serious muscle and get lean at the same time.

Check out how the following actors, and an actress, do it.
  1. Train like Khal Drogo

Jason Momoa has one of the hottest looking Hollywood physiques. Momoa is best known for portraying Khal Drogo, a warlord of the tribe Dohtraki from the hit series Game of Thrones.

The rumour has it, his body is so hot, it sets of a smoke alarm. Jokes aide, beside Khal Drogo, Momoa is also famous for playing other fictional heroes such as Aquaman and Conan.

Khal Drogo and the workouts that keep him muscled in game of thrones

He stays in great shape all year round. His training includes a mix of barbell and bodyweight work. The rest in between sets is kept to minimum. 

Here’s one example of his regular fitness routine:
  • Squats
  • Shoulder Press
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Cable Cross
  • Weighted Pull-Up

Take one exercise, let’s say squats. Perform 7 reps. Take a 7-second break. Repeat this 7 times.

Rest for a half of minute and then go back to squatting. This time do 6 reps with a 6-second break. Perform 6 sets. Take another 30-second pause and repeat the set in a 5-rep (sec, sets) scheme.

Your total number of the squats should be 110.

Repeat the same thing with two other exercises.

  1. The Bane

Bane is by far one of the creepiest super villains ever. Agree?

You know Bane, but do you know the real guy behind the mask?

Tom Hardy is a famous English actor admired for his roles in The Revenant, Taboo and many other movies and series. But his most memorable role so far has to be the mighty villain from The Dark Knight Rises – the Bane.

Tom Hardy is Bane, the muscled villain of "The Dark Knight Rises"

Bane is not ripped, but he does have some serious muscle mass. To transform his body, Hardy used the old-school bodybuilding approach – the 4-day split training.

  • Day 1: Back and traps
  • Day 2: Chest
  • Day 3: Arms
  • Day 4: Legs and shoulders

Here’s a sample of the back and traps routine:

Day One, two sessions: Back and Traps

Session One:
  • Lateral pulldowns 3×10
  • Barbell shrugs 3×10
  • Dumbbell rows 3×10
  • Wide Grip Barbell Shrugs 3×10
Hollywood fitness workouts - Vrope - Mitchell Adams
Session Two:
  • Dumbbell shrugs 3×10
  • Cable rows 3×10
  • Wide grip pull-ups 3×10
  • Deadlifts 10, 8, 5, 5, 3, max reps set.
  1. The Wonder Woman fitness routine

You might thought this article will be all about men. Wrong. Female action heroines have been in the Hollywood business for decades.

Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman and has worked hard to play her role

Wonder Woman has to be one of the most influential figures among female fictional characters.  Portrayed by Gal Gadot, an Israeli actress and model, Wonder Woman is also one of the most awaited movies of the spring 2017.

Gal Gadot likes to spice up things by doing various sport activities rather than just sticking to her standard fitness routine.

Reach for the top! 💪 #flashback #weekend #fun

A post shared by Gal Gadot (@gal_gadot) on

She goes to the gym three days a week. Her training includes everything from rowing to different animal crawls and upper body exercises such as pull-ups and push-ups.

Full body workout, 1 min rest between exercises.
  • Rowing: 5 min easy pace + 5 min of 10-second sprint and 50-second easy pace.
  • Bear crawl: 30 meters
  • Burpee with a broad jump: 30 meters
  • Crab walk: 30 meters
  • Pull-ups: 7 sets of 3 reps
  • Ring push-up: 5 sets of 3 reps
  1. Thor’s bodybuilding workout

Chris Hemsworth is one of those Hollywood actors who had to pack on quite a lot of muscle for his role in Thor.

Thor built 20 pounds of muscle for this role with his workout routine

His coach, a former Navy Seal, planned a classic old-school bodybuilding routine which, besides appropriate nutrition of course, helped Hemsworth built 20 pounds of muscle.

Below is an example of the upper body workout:
  • Pull up: 20, 15, 12, 10, 10 reps
  • Push up: 5×20
  • Hammer; two arm row: 4×12
  • Dumbbell row: 4×12
  • Swiss ball hyperextension: 25, 20, 15, 15 reps
  • Bench press: 12, 10, 10, 8, 8, 4, 4, 4 reps
  • Incline dumbbell bench press: 4×12
  • Weighted dip: 4×10
  • Cable fly: 4×12

His abs routine is a circuit of the following exercises:

  • Plank: 60 sec
  • Hanging leg raise: 12 reps
  • Side plank: 60 sec
  • Toes to bar: 12 reps
  1. The 300 workout

Among all Hollywood fitness workouts, the 300 routine has to be the most famous one.

Gerard Butler and his crew had to build powerful physiques for their roles of the Spartan warriors. There are even rumours they had to work out for 3+ hours, 7 days a week.

Gerard Butler and 300 have inspired many fitness followers

The movie inspired thousands of fitness enthusiasts all over the World and in no time, the internet was flooded with “The 300 workouts”.

Here’s the most popular one:

  • Pullups: 25 reps
  • Deadlifts with 60 kg: 50 reps
  • Push ups: 50 reps
  • Box Jumps: 50 reps
  • Floor Wipers: 50 reps
  • Single-Arm Clean-and-Press with 16 kg Kettlebell: 50 reps
  • Pull-ups: 25 reps
  1. Lift like Wolverine

Logan, better known by his nickname Wolverine, is a fictional character from the X-Men, portrayed by Hugh Jackman.

Hugh Jackman spent 5 days a week in the gym to play Lobezno

Jackman’s plan was not only to look good, but to actually develop a certain level of strength and athleticism. He spent five days a week in the gym, doing split style training.

Try his leg day routine:

  • Back squat 4×4
  • Front squat 4×4
  • Single leg press: 4×10
  • Standing calf raise: 4×12
  • Hanging leg raise: 4×12
  • Ab-wheel roll-out: 4×10

So who’s your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

Hollywood fitness workout - Vrope Fire

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Polona Fonda

Written by Polona Fonda Polona has been working in sports media for almost a decade. She is a former editor of the biggest European online magazine on functional fitness with expertise in graphic and interactive communication. Business aside, Polona is also a former competitive alpine skier with a passion for weightlifting, crossfit and outdoor sports.


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