Strangely whether you are a badass biker or a amazing medieval swordsman, you need to be in top physical shape. One man who embodied both of those fierce physiques is British actor Charlie Hunnam.
The 37 year old actor came to prominence on American TV screens as the star of the FX biker drama Sons of Anarchy. This past Friday, May 12, he came out as the medieval hero King Arthur. While the opening weekend failed to meet expectations to the huge budget, the star’s physique did not flop.
So how did the already fit Hunnam get in King Shape? Let’s look at some of his training and how you can adapt a King’s approach to your workout.
King Arthur Fit
Charlie Hunnam embodies a classic lean physique unlike mass monsters we are used to seeing on screen (Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel). The smaller frame is no less impressive though. In fact, it is his physique that enables Hunnam to do many of the more athletic physical feats that this role called for such as sword fighting. To add more function to his form he has been training in Brazilian jiu-jitu for the past year.
King Arthur Fit to Fight
Fight training starts with a thirty-minute warm up of running, knee raises and jumping jacks. This is followed by a series of bodyweight exercises like push-ups and leg raises.
Training like a fighter is in fact a very effective approach to a role such as King Arthur. It calls for athletic and explosive movements. Furthermore, to look effective (swinging a massive razor shape steel blade) you’ll want to optimize your range of motion.
And what would a fighter workout, or a King Arthur Workout be without some heavy endurance training? Well, Charlie Hunnam doesn’t slack off on cardio. His workout routine includes running up to five miles a day and doing pushups and pullups in the 300 to 100 range respectively.
For Hunnam, function is the most important aspect of his training so he utilizes a variety of complex endurance training methods such as running, swimming, jumping rope, and martial arts.
The goal for the King Arthur training was to pack on as much lean mass while still maintaining functionality. Hunnam put on twenty pounds of muscle for the role through classic strength training routines and accented this with sessions of sword fighting and boxing.
You can see some of Hunnam’s intense training in this video.
King Arthur Fit Feast
What is a King Arthur style workout without a king style feast? When training as intense as anyone would for a role like this, you need to replenish with the right nutrients. Without a balanced meal plan you could end up burned out or injured.
The King Arthur nutrition called for adequate intake of clean and lean protein sources like chicken breast, fish, and eggs.
Complex carbs such as oats and sweet potato combined with low carb vegetables are vital to keep muscles fueled. Surly, some form of carb cycling is utilized to retain a lean physique.
The most important thing is to avoid too many processed foods.
The Fit for A King Workout
Maybe you won’t be trying to reclaim your midlevel birthright, however you can still train that way. Here is a sample functional workout.
Monday– Traditional strength training exercises of large muscle groups (chest/back) in the 10-12 rep range. Aim to complete at least four sets per muscle group or single and multi-joint exercises such as bench press and dumbbell flies. For maximum results superset opposing muscle groups.
Tuesday– Endurance training. Start off with a one mile run at a moderate pace to achieve about a 10-minute mile. After an adequate rest of about ten minutes then complete the following circuit.
Burpees – 10 reps
Jumping jacks – 10 reps
Pushups – 10 reps
Crunches – 10 reps
Start off with two complete circuits and try to add one to two more each week.
Wednesday – Traditional strength training of arms and shoulders. Follow the same rep range as above.
Include exercises such as, alternating dumbbell curls, triceps extensions, and dumbbell presses.
Thursday – Follow the same routine as Tuesday. Feel free to substitute 100 meter sprints for the mile run.
Friday – Traditional strength training leg workout. Follow the same rep ranges. Utilize classic strength moves such as deadlifts and squats to begin the workout. Finish it off with leg extensions and calf raises. Always do the heaviest work first.
Saturday – Active rest. Go for a bike ride or play basketball.
Sunday – Full rest day.
Perform the Charlie Hunnam workout routine for 3-6 weeks to see true results. Then, report back to us and tell us how you did!