Henry Cavill Explains His ‘Witcher’ Arm and Leg Workout | Train Like a Celebrity | Men’s Health

(upbeat rock music) – Hi everyone, I’m Henry Cavill and I play Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher. I’m here today to talk
about some of my training and how it has differed over the years, especially from movies
like Immortals and Superman up until now in The Witcher. I am going to show you some of
my movements with my trainer that apply to my weights regime. Every morning, I started
with fasted cardio and then I did a weight training regime which happened whenever I could fit the workout in with my schedule. And I am going to show you
some of those movements now.

(upbeat pop music) – This is my trainer Dave Rienzi and he has guided me through,
a couple years now, of various programs. And for The Witcher in particular we had to focus on things
which would support the level of stunt work that I was doing. – Absolutely, and really with
all the stunt work he’s doing the key foundation movement
we’re going to incorporate is the Romanian deadlift to strengthen the posterior chain.

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He’s doing a four second
negative with this and then a two second pause at the bottom and then coming back up
and contracting the glutes. And the whole key here is just maximizing time under tension so he’s able to fatigue the muscles more but not overstress his nervous system and his adrenals. – Yeah, which helps
because the days are long and it’s important for me as an actor to go through all of this,
whether it be in the morning or the evening and still have the ability to come to set and perform as an actor to the highest level. To have the endurance to do all the stunts without getting injured and to have the neurological capacity to be a great partner to my show owner. – [Dave] He’s doing a four
second negative with this and then a two second pause at the bottom and then coming back up
and contracting the glutes. What we do with this technique here is I have him utilize a hip
circle above his knees. So basically with incorporating that, he’s activating his glute medius and really keeping the glutes activated and fired the whole time.

(light techno music) – [Dave] So the next
exercise we utilize in here is the hyperextension. We’re actually doing this
on a glute ham machine which is going to be more challenging than a traditional hyperextension machine. And what we are focusing
on here is isolation, really contracting the glutes at the top, holding each repetition for two seconds. You’re really continuing the conversation of making sure the posterior chain is as strong as possible. – When it comes to the posterior chain and the kind of stunts I have to do, especially when it’s
pirouettes with swords, anything which is based
upon one leg movement where a knee can have a bad injury if you don’t have that
good mediales engaged or the posterior chain,
this stuff is what saves me.

(upbeat rock music) – [Dave] And the focus here is again on isolating the posterior
chain, really activating the glutes and the lower back. He’s preforming the repetitions by pausing at the top for two seconds and really squeezing and engaging those glutes. And then his hands are behind his head which actually makes the movement a little bit more challenging,
engaging a little bit more of the erectors as well.

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(bright rock music) – Another key to Henry’s training here is really focusing on core strengths. So this movement we are doing here is on oblique static hold. And what he’s doing here,
he is extending his arms, he is holding in his core tight and basically what this
is allowing us to do is activate the transverse abdominals and the obliques at the same time. He’s also keeping his glutes engaged.

By extending his arms out and then inward, he is making the movement
even more challenging. So typically what we’ll do is, he’ll hold it out here
for about 30 seconds and then he’ll go into extensions. – And with this especially,
this helps with, one, endurance when I
have to do a fight scene over and over and over again with sword, if I’m using a real sword,
real weighted sword. It’s very heavy and
requires lots of endurance to do the moves safely
and perfectly each time. And also allows for
nice explosive movement which is, which is very
typical for The Witcher.

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(intense rock music) (upbeat rock music) – For this role, Henry needed
to do a lot of sword fighting. So with the sword fighting,
the key for the training was to really focus on the shoulders, making sure the shoulders were strong and then also that muscular endurance is there for the shoulders. This movement here is a variation of side laterals and front raises. So each repetition is
actually three repetitions. He’s starting out in the
traditional side lateral for the first rep and
then he’s coming a little further forward for the next one and then doing a traditional
front raise for the next one. So this allows us to
target the medial deltoid and the anterior deltoid in one movement. – As Dave said, this really helps with the sword fighting aspect. Swords are typically very very heavy and when you’re using them all day long over and over and over again everyday it really does help to
have the muscular endurance in the shoulders and the strength to be able to move in explosive movements.

And also control because
when you’re film fighting, you are not going
through for kill strikes. You’re pulling the blow at the last second but you have to keep that speed up, between the striking moment
and the stopping moment to make it look realistic. And so the extra strength and endurance in the shoulders really helps with that. – [Dave] He’s starting out in
the traditional side lateral for the first rep, then he’s coming a little further forward for the next one and then doing a traditional
front raise for the next one. (upbeat rock music) – So this exercise we are preforming here is going to be a dumbbell curl alternating from a static hold.

– Yeah for the sword work in particular, again it’s, what this really
helps with is my forearms. That constant time under pressure, when you’re holding a sword,
the first few takes are fine but when you’re into take 16 of the day and you’re doing very complex
movements with your wrists, your, your forearm does start to die and then you’ll end up throwing swords across the room rather
than making a swing. And so it does make a
big difference to have that muscular endurance
in the forearm especially. With horse riding also,
this can make a difference because if you have a
particularly powerful horse, whether it be a stallion or anything else, which is really really going for it, to have that necessary
heave back on the bit, it does help, it does help
to have extra strength there.

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– [Dave] What’s unique about this exercise is it allows us to keep
the biceps under tension for a longer period of time. It allows us to get more
activation out of the formarms and then also continue working
on that muscular endurance that is so important for his role. (light rock music) – Right everyone, well that’s it and what we’ve shown you today has been a selection of moves that is
not a workout in particular but those are moves which
we put into workouts depending on which muscle
group, or muscle groups, we are working for that particular day.

The most important thing to
remember is that you are you. Everyone has a different genetic makeup, everyone is at a different
stage of fitness or training or even has a different
amount of calories going in. So you do you and just
make sure each workout is the hardest that you can do it. Don’t look at the person next to you, just work out whether you worked as hard as you could for that workout. (upbeat drum music).

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Anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. Which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure?


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