We’ve got a special treat for you guys today. During my travels of the interwebs, I ran into quite an interesting gentleman by the name of Nick McKinless. Nick runs a blog called Beyond Strong which features various weight-lifting and training tips. What impresses me most, though, is his day job.
Nick is a stuntman- the guy you are usually watching during the most exciting parts of the movie when the high-paid actors can’t risk their necks. Not only does he do stunts, he also coordinates and trains actors for the stunts that they opt to do. Let’s just name a few of the films he’s worked on, shall we?
- Bourne Ultimatum
- Dark Knight
- Clash of the Titans
- Kick Ass (which releases today!)
Nick was recently interviewed by Bare Essentials magazine, see the excerpt below.
1. How did you go about designing a training routine for the Titans?
I knew most of the guys on the stunt team and although already in shape many of them were detrained from working so much and not being able to find the time to train. We work long hours and often itʼs sleep and relaxation that takes emphasis over training, especially when you consider the physicality of our job already. This job was no different so the workouts had to be short but effective. We were often training at 6am or squeezing something in between lunch.
2. What are the key concepts to your program?
It is always about a combination of functionality, athleticism, strength and conditioning. Usually if you combine that with a good diet then you will look good too. Training to look good has never made any sense to me if you can’t perform well physically. Most of the guys ate really well and managed to get under 10% body fat. That’s a TRUE 10% which is much more difficult than people think.
3. How do you address the different disciplines (conditioning, strength, agility etc.)?
I challenged the guys with exercises I have used for many years that I knew would produce the best results. Usually a workout would have an element of strength followed by some repetition work, some speed or agility work like knee jumps or rope climbs and then we’d end with something unusual like the wheelbarrow ab wheel or carrying a heavy sack for distance or planks with someone kicking you.
4. What about equipment what is essential?
We were pretty limited but you can always make do! We had a chin and dip station, dumbbells up to 85lbs, one adjustable bench, an Olympic barbell and about 300lbs of weights plus I brought in things like strength bands, a climbing rope, the power wheel, a sack, grip equipment and a core blaster. The guys would usually hit the pads 2-3 times a week as well.
5. What did your Titans struggle with the most (most wicked workout)?
You know these guys are real athletes. Most of us have won National or World titles at some point over the years. I had various stunt doubles from Bond to Batman to Brad Pitt on the team so we weren’t short of talent! With that in mind you really have to push yourself otherwise these guys are going to just think you’re a pushover.
Anytime you put the body into oxygen debt you are going to have a tough time. However, you have to be careful not to do this too often as it will lead to overtraining and results will suffer. Once a week we would have a tough one. It might be a H.I.T style workout moving from one exercise to the other without rest and me screaming at you or it might be high sets of chins and dips followed by partner resisted band sprints.
Taken from the March/April 2010 issue of Bare Essentials Magazine