So you want to know How To Get Built Like Bane?

Well, let me first just say that last Friday I went to the new Batman, The Dark Knight Rises and besides it being a superhero movie (I’m a nut for superhero’s and superhero movies) it was one of the best movie-movies I’ve ever seen.

The acting was good, the action was non-stop, and the overall story was highly entertaining and impressive.

The Dark Knight Rises was hands down the best Batman yet and of course, it keeps you on your toes at the end.  I won’t spoil anything though…

So, in this post I just wanted to follow up on a few questions I got over the weekend in regards to “How to Get Built Like Bane”.

I knew people would be asking about how Tom Hardy managed to gain 30 lbs for his role in the new Batman movie, so I’ll be outlining the main details below.

Personally, I don’t think Bane’s build was all that impressive in the movie.  He had more of a “thick” muscular build then a totally “jacked and shredded” build.  What was more impressive was the amount of muscle Tom Hardy gained (30 lbs) in order to look good for the role!

So with that, let’s start off by talking about what it takes to gain 30 lbs of muscle.


It’s a pretty simple cut plan.  Not much to it, but I will lay it out for ya…

***IMPORTANT NOTES – This is going to be focused mainly towards guys out there that are at about 10-12% bodyfat or lower.  If you’re higher then that, I would recommend you get leaner first before you try to start bulking up.  The main reason for this is that when you have a more lean frame, it makes it easier to gain QUALITY MASS vs. unwanted fatty mass***

***If you need to get lean rather quickly, I would look into adding some Hardcore Finishers to the end of ALL of your workouts and cutting way back on your starchy carbs (sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, oatmeal, processed carbs, sugars) and just focus in on eating the Regular Meals” I list below***

Your TOP Priority

Now, in order to gain a TON of muscle, the number one thing you must put your focus in on before anything else is your NUTRITION.

Most guys think that it’s all about the workouts and the supplements where those two aspects only make up about 20% of your overall results.  80% of your results are going to comes from your nutrition.

Before I go any further, keep in mind that what I’m outlining below is geared towards gaining a crap ton of muscle and not much else.  I currently utilize fasting into my lifestyle and if gaining muscle is your number one goal, fasting probably wouldn’t be your best option.  I just wanted to make this clear before I go any further.

So, when I talk about nutrition in this case, you’re number one focus for when you want to gain a sh*t ton of lean mass must be on increasing the amount of quality calories your taking in as well as the amount of starchy carbs your taking in.

I’m mainly for eating a Paleo Based Diet, so when I talk about increasing your starchy carbs, your BEST choices for starchy carbs would be sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, and pumpkin.

It’s important to note that there are a TON of different types of “Paleo” out there that don’t accept sweet potatoes, yams, and quinoa as full fledged Paleo.  For me, I accept those types of starchy carbs into my Paleo lifestyle and I think they are just fine.

If you want to get away from Paleo, you could add in other starchy carbs such as brown or white rice, oatmeal, legumes, lentils, and even beans.

I would highly recommend avoiding any type of pastas, breads, and other processed starchy carbs like those by all means.  Those are NOT high quality sources.

Lean Mass Gain and Nutrient Timing

The best time to take in the starches I mentioned above would be right after a training session.    One of my favorite ways to add in starchy carbs quick is through mixing it into your post workout shake.  I for one love adding in pumpkin to my shakes and have even done sweet potato (Don’t knock it until you to try it 😉 )

If that’s not your thing, you’ll want to make sure to have a bunch of quality starch carbs with your first meal after training which should be consumed within a least 2 hours after you finish your training session.

Now if you’re trying to really slap on the mass fast, an additional option that would be smart to add in would be to have a “post-post” workout meal.  This would basically be the same or very similar to your regular post workout meal and the reason for adding it in would be to increase your overall calories.

I’ve had some of my clients add in an extra “Lean Mass Shake” to their post workout nutrition which in short, easily adds in an additional meal to your day very quickly and easily.

Here’s a example of a solid “Lean Mass Shake”:

If you want to add in even more calories into your shake, consider adding in a few tbsp’s of Almond Butter.

Now, adding in more starchy carbs is only half the battle when it comes to mass gaining nutrition.  On top of that, you need to make sure you have a solid base of nutrition to add to it. This will make all the difference in KEEPING YOU LEAN as well as making sure that the mass that you are gaining is LEAN mass, not fat mass.

To show you what I mean, here’s a sample daily meal plan for a TRAINING DAY…

Pre-Workout (1-2 hours pre-workout)

  • 3 eggs OR 6 oz. of lean protein (chicken, fish)
  • large bowl of spinach and kale mix
  • 1-2 tbsp Udo’s Oil (just drink separately)
  • top with almonds, sunflower seeds, or walnuts

Post-Workout (SOLID MEAL – 30 mins to 2 hours post workout – If need to add in even more cals, have TWO of these a day AFTER your training session)

  • Lean Protein (chicken, eggs, fish)
  • Large mix of greens / veggies (kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Large sweet potato
  • 1-2 tbsp of Udo’s Oil
  • Pop a few capsules of some high quality Omega 3 Fish Oils

Post-Post Workout Meal / Shake (See above)

Regular Meal (x 3 more times during the day)

  • Lean Protein (Steak, Chicken, Fish)
  • Large mix of greens / veggies (kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Healthy Fat Source (nuts, seeds, nut butter, avocado)

It’s important to note here that the meals that are HIGH in starchy carbs should only be consumed AFTER workouts.  On days where you don’t train or REST, I would recommend just eating your “Regular Meal” option for ALL of your meals that day.

What About Supplements?

Ah Yes!  Everyone wants to know if there’s a special supplement out there that will magically make you look like Bane as well as take out most of the hard work you’ll have to put in in order to get to where you want to go, but the truth is, there’s NOT.

There are however supplements that will help “aid” in the muscle building process.  (I share the formula for overall SUCCESS below)

  1. High Quality BCAA – Help recover from workouts faster as well as help with soreness.  I recommend Athletic Greens Brand – BCAA’s
  2. High Quality Protein Powder – Besides being highly convenient for adding in protein and calories fast when you need it most, a high quality protein powder is essential for post workout nutrition.  I’ve jumped from various protein powder’s over the years and as of now, my favorite brand is Progenex.  If you’re looking to gain more mass, I would look into the “More Muscle” protein blend by Progenex.
  3. High Quality Fish Oil – Omega 3’s have an endless list of benefits including controlling blood sugar, improving heart health, skin, and hair, but the best benefit by far is the anti-inflammatory effect Omega 3’s have.  I feel that is there’s a supplement that’s a “must have” it’s a solid Omega 3. The brand I currently use is Athletic Greens Omega 3. 

How To TRAIN To Get BIG Like Bane

Now that we got the most important part out of the way, it’s time to talk about the meat which is How To Train To Get Big Bane.

The basic way I would have you train would be to do a 4 Day spread of 2 upper and 2 lower body days.  If we were talking about a 3 month time frame, the way I have my program Iron Muscle laid out would be the exact way I would have you train…

For the shake of this post, I’m going to keep the training section to just a sample week.

The main focuses of your training would be the following:

  • Focus on one BIG LIFT / MOVEMENT in each session (deadlifts, squats, press, weighted upper body pull)
  • Train for STRENGTH, POWER, and VOLUME (use sets of 3-5 reps and below for STRENGTH, FULL SPEED reps of 10 or below for POWER, sets of 6-20 for VOLUME)
  • Train like an Athlete!  Keep your movements functional for the most part – you can add in additional isolation “mirror-muscle” movements (curls, lateral raises, tricep extensions) in if need be or if you need to focus on a very weak and lacking area.
  • ALSO – Since Bane has a pretty jacked BACK,  for the upper body days, I added in additional back / trap focused work.

With these points in mind, here’s what a very simple and basic set up of what a week of training would look like:

Day 1 – Lower – Power / Strength

  • 1A) Deadlifts – heavy 5 x 3-5 reps
  • 1B) Broad Jumps – fast and explosive 5 x 5 reps
  • 2A) RDL’s – moderate 3 x 8-10 reps
  • 2B) Core Movement – bodyweight 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 3A) Glute Ham Raises – lightly weighted 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 3B) Kettlebell Swings – moderate 3 x 15 reps

Day 2 – Upper – Strength / Volume

  • 1A) Strict Military Press – heavy 5 x 3-5 reps
  • 2A) Pull Ups (Palms Facing) – moderate 4 x 5-8 reps
  • 2B) DB Bench – moderate 4 x 8-10 reps
  • 3A) DB Push Press (Palms Facing In) – moderate 3 x 8 reps
  • 3B) Bent Barbell Rows (Wide Grip) – moderate 3 x 6 – 10 reps
  • 4A) DB Muscle Clean – moderate 4 x 8-10 reps
  • 4B) Dips – bodyweight 4 x 10-15 reps

Day 3 – Lower – Strength / Volume

  • 1A) Zercher Squats – heavy 5 x 3-5 reps
  • 2A) Barbell Walking Lunges – moderate 4 x 6-10 reps / leg
  • 2B) Core Movement – bodyweight 4 x 10-15 reps
  • 3A) DB Goblet Squats – moderate 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 3B) Back Extensions – bodyweight 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 4A) Sled Drags OR Truck Push – Forward and Backwards – moderate 3 x 100 feet

Day 4 – Upper Power / Strength

  • 1A) Weighted Pull Ups – heavy 5 x 3-5 reps
  • 1B) Plyo / Clapping Push Ups – bodyweight 5 x 5 reps
  • 2A) Floor Press – moderate 4 x 6-10 reps
  • 2B) Med Ball Slams – moderate 4 x 10 reps
  • 3A) Power Hang Shrugs – heavy 4 x max reps
  • 3B) Band Pull Aparts – moderate 4 x 25-30 reps
  • 4A) Close Grip Push Ups – bodyweight 3 x max reps
  • 4B) Farmer Walks – heavy as possible 3 x max distance

Optional Day 5 – “Gun Show” Work

  • 1A) Barbell Cheat Curls – heavy as possible 3 x 5-8 reps
  • 2A) DB Rolling Tricep Extensions – heavy to moderate 3 x 8-10 reps
  • 2B) Towel OR Rope Curls – moderate 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 3A) Jungle Gym XT Suspended Skull Crushers – bodyweight 3 x sub max reps
  • 3B) Jungle Gym XT Suspended Recline Curls – bodyweight 3 x sub max reps

Additional Notes:

  • To stay athletic, I always add in at least one day of sprinting via hill sprints or just straight up 30-40 yard sprints, agility work, or some other sort of HIIT cardio.
  • The best day to add these HIIT cardio days in would be on one of the UPPER body focused days or you could throw them in BEFORE your LOWER body focused days.
  • I would strongly recommend NOT doing anything else but stretching and foam rolling on your off days, especially if you want to gain mass fast (most people try to do too much – the key is RECOVERY = NO recovery = no gains in lean mass)
  • Make sure to add in additional core work at the end of your sessions.  I typically throw in 3 additional core movements at the end of my workouts which is an easy way to add them in (hanging leg raises, wheel roll outs, plank variations)

Bottom Line, here’s how you will SUCCEED…


SOLID CONSISTENT NUTRITION + SMART TRAINING + HARD WORK + MORE CONSISTENCY = RESULTS (to increase results by as much as 10%, add in the High Quality Supplements I mentioned above)

So there you go!

This is how I would personally train Tom Hardy to Get Built Like Bane if I had the chance.  There would be a lot more to it then just this, but for the most part I would keep it pretty basic like I outlined above.

Either way, I hope this post helps those of you out that are looking to gain some serious mass.

If you’re looking to gain mass while also staying athletic, I’ve got a “hidden” program called Iron Muscle which is specifically geared towards building lean mass through athletic based bodybuilding. 


In my next post, I wanted to discuss a very interesting part taken from The Dark Knight Rises concerning FEAR and How YOU can use FEAR to become super SUCCESSFUL.

***If we can get over 30 comments on this post, I throw it up.  If not, I’ll keep that one to myself…

Live and Train Aggressive!