Tom Hardy will be returning to the small screen this January in his new joint venture with producer Sir Ridley Scott, which is a mini-series entitled Taboo. The dark and dramatic narrative was penned by Hardy and his father, and features the Mad Max: Fury Road star in the lead role of James Delaney. Delaney returns home to 19th century London after being presumed dead while exploring Africa, much to the shock of the people of his hometown. Carrying with him stolen diamonds and a thirst for revenge, the mini-series promises many twists and turns and heaps of drama. The show’s official Instagram page posted a short, eerie trailer in September, featuring the buff actor standing shirtless in a lake.
Hardy seems to have bulked up and added muscle mass to ensure his character looks as menacing as he sounds; so how did the actor go about this weight gain?
Tom Hardy’s Fitness
Hardy is no stranger to adjusting his workout and diet plan in order to better prepare for a role. He changed his body shape dramatically for the 2008 film Bronson, the 2011 film Warrior, and again for the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises, in which he played the infamous DC Comics villain, Bane.
For Bronson, the title character was known for having huge arms and a thick barrel-like chest. To achieve this look, Hardy focused on chest and upper body exercises, as well as adding in an abs workout. He performed bench presses and shoulder presses to pack on muscle while eating a surplus of calories, as his goal at the time was to put on seven pounds every week.
Warrior had him change his shape once again, this time into a leaner physique. The role required him to transform his body into that of a mixed martial artist with very little body fat. To accomplish this, Hardy trained using mixed martial arts such as boxing, Muay Thai, and choreography to help with his footwork. During this time he was training for up to eight hours per day, seven days a week, and eating six small, low-carb meals per day. This allowed him to put on weight without adding fat, adding a whopping 28 pounds of solid muscle in just ten weeks.
Finally, to achieve the huge and intimidating figure of Bane for The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy combined these previous training methods. He built up his arms, chest, and shoulders while keeping his body fat low by utilizing a 5×5 lifting routine. He would perform five sets of five repetitions of different kinds of weightlifting three times per week. These moves included squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses, with the weight being increased by 5-10lbs each week.
Tom Hardy is definitely not afraid to transform his body to suit a particular role, and considering the lengths he’s gone to in the past; it would come as no surprise if he’d been preparing for his part as Delaney by bulking up again. One thing is for sure; his hulking, tattooed form certainly nails the intimidating and strange atmosphere of Taboo.
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Rach, J., “(Peeping) Tom! Tattooed Hardy strips completely naked and shows off his rippling muscles as he returns from the dead in dramatic new series Taboo,” Daily Mail web site, December 25, 2016; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4064798/Tom-Hardy-strips-completely-naked-shows-rippling-muscles-returns-dead-dramatic-new-series-Taboo.html, last accessed December 29, 2016.
Philip, T., “Tom Hardy Will Get Very, Very Weird In ‘Taboo’,” GQ web site, December 27, 2016; http://www.gq.com/story/tom-hardy-taboo, last accessed December 29, 2016.