There have been some iconic movies where our heroes display awesome physiques.  Check out these clips and read about the key lessons we can learn from the stars of the big screen.


As Rocky prepares to face the might of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) the film displays two very contrasting forms of preparation.  The ultra modern (it was 1985) science based approach of Drago, versus the old school approach of Rocky, who disappears to snow covered isolation, using the natural environment as his ally to up the intensity.


  1. Overload – both men train seriously hard. There are no training comforts zones here.  They demonstrate that if you want to push performance, you must up the intensity in training.  Check out our article on overloading your training.
  2. You may not have access to state of the art facilities or even access to a gym. But Rocky shows us there is no excuse.  You can find ways of adding resistance to your training – snow, logs and hills to name but a few.  You can train just about anywhere!

Ideas for training Rocky style!

  • Run up a hill.
  • Sprint up some steps.
  • Sprint in the dry sand or snow.
  • Find a low wall big enough for you to land on top of – 200m sprint, squat jump ups, raised leg press ups, burpee wall jumps, raised leg pike shoulder press and lateral step ups. 10 reps per exercise, perform as circuit, repeat 3 to 5 times.


Having managed to outrun and stay one step ahead of the US Government in the Bourne Identity, he realises that it may only be a matter of time until some very dangerous people track him down.  He is a crack shot and a master of close combat, but it is his training scene on the beach in India that we absolutely love.  High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a favourite of the Fitness Gazette and Damon shows us why.  Just like Rocky, he is pushing his limits with this beach lung buster.  Not only does his training regimen keep him one step ahead of some very bad people, it results in a quite awesome lean, athletic and muscular physique.  This scene makes us want to go out and run!


  1. Overload – again there are no comfort zones here.
  2. HIIT training is the way to go. Big results in relatively short periods of time.  It is a challenge but it is fun!  The monotony of long slow training sessions are a thing of the past.

Try out our Max Speed Interval session to get a taste of how Jason Bourne trains.


My favourite James Bond, and there is without doubt some tough competition.  He allegedly did quite a few of his own stunts because of the shape he got himself in for the movie.  Search the web and you can find quite a bit of information one exactly what he did.  Men’s Health Elite Muscle Manual has some good information as does  As you would expect the diet for someone achieving this level of conditioning is pretty clean – cue the old saying that “You can’t out train a poor diet!”  But he also uses an advanced form of training coupling moderate to heavy lifting, using compound exercises to work huge areas of muscle mass, in a circuit form to really challenge the body and stimulate physical change.  Placing such major lifts in a circuit like this will also give your lungs a pretty decent workout.


  1. Yet again impressive shape requires a tough workout routine. A common theme of overloading training is chiming again.
  2. Use the big lifts to work the greatest surface area of muscle, fire up that metabolism, stimulate physical adaptation and muscle growth.
  3. Diet – reading about stars in great shape and cover models, training programmes vary quite a bit, but every single one of them has a very clean diet.

Here are three alternative hypertrophy circuits for you to try:

Hypertrophy Circuits

Instructions: ​​ This is an advanced training session. ​​ Complete a full warm up and cool down before this session. ​​ 10 minutes of pulse raising cardio and dynamic stretching pre-workout. ​​ A full body stretch post workout is advisable.

Complete 3 Circuits, 10 Reps per exercise, choose a challenging weight but always ensure you maintain sound technique. ​​ Technique is likely to suffer when you get tired so be prepared to lower the weight or stop if necessary.

Circuit 1

Circuit 2

Circuit 3

Back Squat


Overhead Lunge

DB Incline Bench

DB Fly

Clap Press Up

BB Bent Over Row

Lat Pulldown

WG Pull Up (Weighted if required)

BB Cross Over Lunge

Weighted Jump Squat

Broad Jump

Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press

BB High Pull

DB Shoulder Press


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Cover photo from