It’s in cinemas now and one of the stand-out performances, and perhaps the most hotly anticipated new X-Men to hit the screen, is Angel. I trained Ben Hardy for the role and because the part was very physical, with several impressive stunts, we needed to make sure he was strong, stable and able to fight.
I created a programme that included a good combination of resistance training, cardio, flexibility and physical therapy. We only had six weeks to turn this around so the intense training had to be supported by the therapy and stretching to avoid injury. All these things combined meant we were able to get him to a place at the end of the six weeks where he looked the part, but could also perform too.
It was important to get Ben looking athletic and able to fight so we trained about four times a week and the fact Ben had a good level of fitness before the movement really helped. Our sessions were about an hour long and we started seeing the changes immediately and the programme was specifically focused on building on his weaknesses and not his strengths. The focus in all the sessions was to work on his back muscles, core and extra attention on his posture.
Diet is a massive part of any programme I create and for Ben it had to be balanced and we had to make sure to hit all this macronutrient goals. We had a certain level of protein that we had to hit a day and then we changed the carbs and fat depending on the daily training and activity level. The aim, ultimately, was to make sure we always had enough fuel in his body to power him through his sessions.
I always advise a good quality source of protein at each meal, so eggs, chicken, turkey, fish and red meat. Ben would often have a protein shake post workout to make sure he was refuelled.
It’s important to have a balance at meal times and to incorporate good fats. Nuts and seeds weren’t only useful for snacking but added texture to meals too.