While Chris­t­ian Bale was sweat­ing on machines to add pounds of mus­cle, Tom Hardy was eat­ing piz­za and doing a set of exer­cis­es that made him look big­ger.

“I thought you were big­ger in real life” instead of “Hi Tom, how are you?” is a com­mon thing for Tom Hardy, who played Batman’s main ene­my in the film “The Dark Knight Ris­es.” The film was released in 2012, but Tom still remem­bers his tech­nique, which helped Hardy become visu­al­ly more pow­er­ful and larg­er than he real­ly is.

Tom Hardy can­not be called dys­troph­ic: for exam­ple, for the film “War­rior” the actor had to “dry out” to improve his mus­cle def­i­n­i­tion. The actor trained 4 times a week for 6 gru­el­ing hours and main­tained a calo­rie deficit. But prepa­ra­tion for “The Dark Knight” was not lim­it­ed to stan­dard train­ing and nutri­tion pro­gram. Tom Hardy admit­ted that piz­za helped him become more pow­er­ful.

Tom Hardy and Christian Bale

Lots of fast carbohydrates and fats

“Let’s face it, I was a fat guy. I was over­weight, I was heav­ier than usu­al,” Tom states. But the actor notes that he had to eat piz­za, which pro­vid­ed the nec­es­sary car­bo­hy­drate boost and con­tributed to weight gain — not the most healthy method, but very fast and def­i­nite­ly work­ing.

Tom Hardy as Bane

Load on the heart

Hardy lived in this mode for 3 or 4 months. The actor admits that while prepar­ing for the role, he had to for­get about his own health — after all, the fats in piz­za affect not only the fig­ure, but also the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem. “My main goal was to become as big as pos­si­ble,” Hardy said.

Uneven load distribution

Tom the Chameleon gained 13 kilo­grams, becom­ing the 90-kilo­gram vil­lain Bale. And in order to stay in shape, Hardy per­formed a spe­cial set of exer­cis­es — main­ly only on the mus­cles of the tor­so and arms. The dream of any jock who hates leg day. “I had very skin­ny legs, and my stunt­man liked to ask every time: “Why did Tom come rid­ing an emu?”’ ” Hardy recalls.

Arm, back and shoulder workout from Tom Hardy’s program

Deep push-ups

  • Place your palms so that they stand direct­ly under your shoul­der joints;
  • Go down as low as you can — your elbows should point straight up;
  • Force­ful­ly push your body up and repeat with the “lad­der”: 10, 7, 5 and 3 times.

Rectangular push-ups

  • Place your arms wider than your shoul­ders, turn your hands slight­ly to the side;
  • Low­er your­self until your elbows form a 90-degree angle;
  • Force­ful­ly push your body up and repeat with the “lad­der”: 10, 7, 5 and 3 times.


  • Take the start­ing posi­tion for push-ups, clench­ing your hands into fists;
  • Place your fists shoul­der-width apart;
  • Low­er your chest to the floor, mov­ing your elbows back;
  • Force­ful­ly push your body up and repeat with the “lad­der”: 10, 7, 5 and 3 times.

Diamond push-ups

  • Place your thumbs and index fin­gers togeth­er in a dia­mond shape;
  • Low­er your chest, almost touch­ing your hands;
  • Force­ful­ly push your body up and repeat with the “lad­der”: 10, 7, 5 and 3 times.

It is rec­om­mend­ed to use this work­out only in com­bi­na­tion with anoth­er set that will bal­ance the load on the body. And if you are used to watch­ing your fig­ure out­side the gym, then Tom has a cou­ple of oth­er work­outs in his arse­nal that can be per­formed on the street, at home, or in the desert.