How to build a Hollywood hero physique

(Image credit: Unknown)

Dave Fletcher is the Founder of Odyssey Fitness and is one of London’s leading fat loss specialists. Fletcher’s clients include professional athletes, celebrities, stage performers and city execs. Here he explains how you get the body parts of five of the biggest action movie stars, without hunting them down and cutting them up like something from Silence Of The Lambs.
Traps like Tom Hardy
‘The single most effective traps move is the barbell upright row,’ says Fletcher. ‘Other exercises simply fall short in loading up these muscles effectively. Make sure your elbows are the highest point at the top of the lift and that you spend three seconds lowering the barbell on the way down to keep the muscles under tension for longer.’
Click here to see how to perform an upright row.

Pecs like Hugh Jackman
‘Your pecs are made up mainly of fast-twitch muscle fibres, which require explosion to stimulate growth. There aren't many moves as explosive as the power press-up. The downward phase is no different from any other press-up variation but on the upward phase you explode up, lifting your hands and feet off the floor before landing and repeating.’
Click here to see how to perform a power or jump press-up.

Biceps like Chris Hemsworth
‘Want the bulging arms of the man who plays the Norse god of thunder? Then hammer the curls. But not just one type – the trick is to change your grip during a workout. If you are doing four sets, do the first two sets using a supine grip, which means palms facing away from you at the bottom of the move, and do the last two with a hammer grip, so you rotate your hands 90˚ as you lift the dumb-bells so your palms are facing each other at the top of the move. This way you target the entire biceps, creating a rounded appearance.’
Click here to see how to perform hammer grip curls.
Abs like Jake Gyllenhaal
‘Abdominal exercises which include a crunching motion can cause postural problems so leave them well alone. The best way to get maximum definition around your midsection is to choose exercises that load your entire core, such as barbell rollouts. Just remember to keep your back straight as you perform the move and if you get any pain in your shoulders don't roll out any further.’
Click here to see how to perform a barbell rollout.

Shoulders like Jason Statham
‘To maximise definition around the shoulders, you need to go beyond basic shoulder presses and lateral raises. Instead try a seated shoulder turn and press. Set up a bench as if you're about to perform a normal shoulder press. Start with the dumb-bells tucked into your chest with your palms facing you. As you press up, turn the dumb-bells 180˚ so your palms finish facing away from you. The turn forces the shoulder girdle and deltoids to work extra hard to force the load up and around.’
Click here to see how to do a standard seated shoulder raise. Just add the 180˚ rotation as you lift the weights

Lats like Chris Evans
‘A chin-up is already a good exercise, but adding a knee raise to it makes it great. Complete a full chin-up but before you go for the next rep, raise your knees towards your chin and lower them again. Putting some extra load through your lats, as the chin up knee raise does, will give you the definition you are seeking and help you look a bit more like Captain America.’
Click here to see how to perform a chin-up and here to see how to do a knee raise. As Fletcher says, add the knee raise at the end of each rep.

Action star body circuit
‘The key to looking like one of our action stars is to perform the above exercises in a series of high-intensity circuits because this will force your muscles to work hard throughout a session,’ says Fletcher. ‘You also want to pair up the exercise to help you get a well-balanced look.’
Having completed one pair, rest for 45 seconds before repeating. Try to complete four sets of each pair before moving onto the next pair. Take a two-minute rest after completing all four sets of a circuit, then repeat the circuit a further three times. In all these moves the ‘concentric’ phase, ie the lift, is done quickly while the ‘eccentric’ or downward is completed slowly. This way you get maximum contraction from your muscles, generating greater gains.

Circuit A
1) Barbell upright row
- Reps 12
- 30-40 per cent of bodyweight
- Tempo 301 (1sec to lift, no pause, 3sec to lower)
2) Bodyweight power press-up
- Reps 12
- Tempo Explosive
Rest for 45 seconds, then repeat four times.
Circuit B
1) Dumb-bell hammer curl
- Reps 12
- 10-15 per cent of bodyweight
- Tempo 301

2) Bodyweight barbell rollout
- Reps 12 reps
- Tempo 201 (1sec to push, 2sec to draw back)
Rest for 45 seconds, then repeat four times.
Circuit C
1) Bodyweight chin-up with knee raise
- Reps 6
- Tempo 102/102
2) Dumb-bell shoulder turn and press
Reps 12
- 10-15 per cent of bodyweight
- Tempo 301
Rest for 45 seconds, then repeat four times.
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Health And Wellness Coach at DF Personal Training

Experienced Sports Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the recreational facilities and services industry. Skilled in Microsoft Word, Coaching, Fitness Training, Public Speaking, and Weight Training. Strong education professional graduated from Newport Free Grammar School, Newport, Essex.