How to train like a movie star


A large portion of the health and fitness world is very commercial, unfortunately.

This is the world of companies that manufacture supplements, fitness websites and magazines that are looking for more advertisements and other random people trying to invent the next "fitness revolution."

For them, anything that excites people about fitness equals greater revenues, so they are always on the lookout for new crazes, trends and marketing gimmicks. The newest addition to this list is the recent craze about celebrity-styled workouts. 

The reason behind the popularity of celebrity workouts is pretty simple: almost everyone wants to look like a celebrity.

The rational is pretty simple too — you should train like a celebrity in order to look like one. Sportsmen, movie stars and even pop musicians are all jumping on the bandwagon of creating their own patented fitness regimes.

But not everything commercial is always evil. If it benefits everyone involved, who am I to complain? The celebs themselves get some free publicity, the websites and magazines get more subscribers and the users have a new motivation to get fit. From the way I look at it, it's a win-win situation.

So whether you want to workout like Brad Pitt for "Fight Club," or train like Angelina Jolie for "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," the workouts and fitness mantras are just a Google search away.

Here are my two favorites: 

The Garrett Hedlund Workout for the movie "Tron: Legacy"

This workout, which I found on Men's Health Magazine's website, is my personal favorite because it incorporates most of the staple Olympic lifts that work on basic strength and conditioning. All the movements in this workout are multi-joint exercises that work on several muscle groups at the same time. The workout is relatively short and provides a great way of working most major muscles, while providing a great overall cardiovascular challenge.

The suggested warm-up before this workout comprises of two parts – 10 minutes of rowing at a steady pace, followed by 3-4 sets of the Bag Sprawl. For this exercise, select an obstacle such as a bench, box or heavy bag, jump over it and then immediately perform a push up. Get back up and repeat in the opposite direction. Try to do this for 2-3 sets of 40 seconds with 20-second rests in between. This exercise will get your heart rate up in no time.

The main workout comprises of the following seven movements, done consecutively without dropping the barbell until the entire circuit is complete.

1. Deadlift 2. Bent-over Row 3. Hang clean 4. Front squat 5. Push press 6. Good morning 7. Back squat

Choose a weight that you can do 2-3 reps per exercise and try to complete the entire circuit 3-4 times. Hedlund completed 7 reps of each exercise before moving on each circuit (that's a total of 49 reps per set).

If you have no idea what a "hang clean" or a "push press" is, you can easily look up how to do each exercise on the Internet or ask an experienced friend to help you out. 

Actress Malin Akerman's workout for the movie "Watchmen"

Logan Hood, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, created this workout to get the actress into superhero shape for her upcoming role. He said the trick was to keep the body guessing and suggests that you can increase the weight and lower reps on one day or lower weights and increase sets on another. Here is the workout, which I found on Women's Health Magazine's website: 

1. The Get Up 2. Alternate Dumbbell Push-Press 3. Medicine Ball Slam 4. Dumbbell Side Lunge 5. Burpee + Pushup 

Complete 10 reps of each exercise while maintaining good speed. Rest for 40-70 seconds and then repeat the entire circuit 2-4 times.  

There are numerous other plans, including Gerard Butler's "300" workout, Drew Brees' "Super Bowl MVP," Tony Horton's "P90X," Rain's "Ninja Assassin" training and Beyoncé's fitness secrets.  

The proponents of this school of fitness claim that adding a name or face to an exercise routine tends to excite users, giving them a constant sense of direction, and adding motivation, enjoyment and accountability to workouts.  While I don't agree completely, I don't think that switching up your traditional workouts with these once in a while can do any harm. Plus, they're a lot of fun and a great way to break out of your mundane treadmill runs.

— Chatterjee is a sophomore from Kolkata, India, majoring in economics.