Actor Charlie Hunnam is better known for his role in ‘Sons of Anarchy’ as Jackson ‘Jax’ Teller and King Arthur. His first role wasn’t exactly ‘action-star’ so to speak, but did require him to stay fit. King Arthur, on the other hand, really demanded much more.
We’ll take a look at how Charlie prepared for both of these roles here, each unique in its own right but helped him to adapt to these roles and the grueling action scenes to come. So what exactly does Charlie Hunnam do? He normally does some works on the abs and four other types of exercises.
For this role, Charlie was supposed to be a tall, lean motorcycle obsessed rider. So, he didn’t have to bulk up and look bigger but mostly had to get a thin and well-cut, chiseled body for all those leather vests, shirtless scenes, of which there were plenty of in SOA. For this, he relied on a good diet and lots of abdomen work.
His routine might’ve been basic, but is by no means easy! It will get your endorphins running should you try it out. We’d suggest something that looks like this.
Charlie Hunnam Workout Split to Build Muscle
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Monday & Tuesday: Divide as per your capability
- Three sets of pull-ups with 25 reps each
- Three sets of dips with 25 reps each
- Six sets of squats with 25 reps each
- Six sets of push-ups with 25 reps each
- 20 minutes on the abs using a spin or upright cycle and alternate between different tummy exercises.
To make sure you really feel the burn, do what Charlie does and go through all of these exercises hard and fast, and at least four times a week. It took Hunnam about an hour to go through a similar routine and he emphasized in an interview, that abs were the main thing. As expected, he didn’t just stick with one routine for his tummy. He would do leg lifts, side crunches, and forward crunches.
He also said that he loved the mental boost that this routine gave him, and that healthy, energetic feeling as well.
Things to know
- Charlie says that Brad Pitt in Fight Club really set the bar for shirtless scenes for all actors to compete with when it comes to their shirtless roles.
- He had backed out of the ‘Christian Grey’ role in 50 Shades of Grey as he couldn’t handle the physical upgrade. He was wrapping SOA at the time and halfway through another role where he played a criminal and found it impossible to shoot on both sets, maintain the SOA workout and buff up again for 50 shades!
Thursday and Friday: Workout Split – Use your preferable sets & reps split
Charlie sets aside time for each role he takes up, so he can really get into the character he has to portray. Besides going through the script, he works out as it helps him to focus. Before and while shooting for this role, he had sessions in which he used parallel and push up bars. It was what you would call a calisthenics workout – one where you use as little equipment as possible and use your entire body weight.
The reason he liked it so much and still goes with it is that it gives him room to freestyle and get creative.
The approach, while he was on set, was a fast, rough workout as you only get so little time before the cameras get rolling and he also has to coordinate with the martial arts experts hired by producers for special action scenes. Still, he managed to get fifteen hours in the gym as SOA began wrapping up so he could easily transition into the King Arthur role and those tough action scenes.
He started with two circuits and then moved onto more of these circuits as he got better at them. In this circuit method, you take thirty seconds to a one-minute breather after each exercise. When you are done with thisentire exercise routine, take a longer five minute breather again.
- For bodyweight do 10 squats (1-minute breather)
- 10 pull-ups getting wider every time (1-minute breather)
- 10 pushups (1-minute breather)
- 10 inverted rows (1-minute breather)
- 10 parallel bar dips (1minute breather)
- 10 hanging knee raises (1-minute breather)
- 60 seconds planks (1-minute breather)
- 1-minute wall sit (1-minute breather)
- 5-minute breather and begin again
Depending on your grip you can go mid, wide, crossed and closed. Remember that you don’t have to do each of these exercises in this exact same pattern. You can begin with the pushups and then move onto the knee raises and so on.
Saturday and Sunday: Rest Day or Low Intensity Cardiovascular activity.
The SOA Diet
The diet he followed here remains unknown; we know that he wanted to lose weight fast and keep all of the lean muscle in. So we’re assuming that he ate a lot of fish, chicken or beef. As for what he ate regularly, he prefers a clean diet filled with wholesome, natural foods and avoids artificial, junk and over-processed foods.
The King Arthur Diet
Here’s another interesting thing about Charlie Hunnam– he has an organic garden and honestly, we think that this is the best way to eat! He even does his own cooking instead of hiring chefs – no pressure there! The proof lies in his physique that he managed to get for King Arthur, he didn’t take any supplements, whey powders, stimulants, just nature’s goodness at its best.
The video below shows how Charlie Hunnam prepared for ‘King Arthur’.
Director Guy Ritchie insisted that he looked as imposing as he possibly could. This was a challenge as Charlie had lost a lot of weight for SOA. He needed 20 pounds of muscle and actually was heavier than what was required, but it was a constant struggle to maintain this muscly figure.
He had a lot of natural, lean proteins, organic fruits, and veggies. And when on the road promoting his new film, he started each day with an egg salad sandwich and snacked on fruits, salads and kept hydrating with plenty of water.
It might not be possible, easy to replicate everything you just read here. You can try alternating these diets and workouts as Charlie kept it simple, intensive, but still simple. One good thing to note is that you can do both workouts at home and can add or remove anything you don’t like.