Tom Hardy supposedly gained 30 pounds of muscle in 4 months to play Bane. Granted, if my job for 4 months was just to eat, sleep, workout, and try to get huge I imagine I could also bulk up quite a bit. However, a gain this large in a such a short amount of time seems insane. The human body can only gain so much muscle in a month (naturally) even if all conditions are optimal. I heard gaining 2 pounds of muscle a month is very good for someone, like myself, who has been weight training for years.
I did a quick Google search and found a pretty good article.
To sum it up, it is unclear whether or not Tom Hardy really did gain 30 pounds of muscle in 4 months. He also never admitted to taking any PEDs (who would?). Although the article states, "It is physically possible to put on 30 pounds of muscle in 4 months. Not easy by any means, but possible." I have to disagree unless the person was taking some kind of PED.
Even 15 pounds of muscle would be a very impressive gain. From what I know, this could probably only be achieved naturally by a beginner who has never really done any weight training before. This beginner would also need an excellent weight training and nutrition program (like the one I'm sure Hardy followed).
After the jump I’ve posted some pictures of Hardy. It is clear he was already pretty jacked before taking on the role of Bane. See for yourself, the guy is not weight training novice.
MMA fans may know Tom Hardy from his role as Tommy Conlon in Warrior.
He also played Charles Bronson in the lesser known movie Bronson (you can watch it on Netflix, it’s also based on a true story).
Hopefully by now you have seen him in The Dark Knight Rises as Bane (If you haven’t get your ass down to the cinema and see it!)
Here he is at another point earlier in his career:
The article I referenced also states that on set "Hardy appeared bloated with quite a bit of acne on his back." Obviously, this isn’t conclusive proof that he was using but is common for men with elevated testosterone levels. Of course, (as mentioned in any Rory McDonald article comment section) there are plenty of people with bacne who don’t use steroids.
From what I know about Bane's backstory, he is on a drug called Venom that gives him super strength. However, this drug is highly addictive and extreme withdrawl symptons occur if the user stops taking it. Venom is essentially a steroid.. (for lack of a better analogy) on steroids. Perhaps if Hardy did take some type of steroids it actually helped him get in touch with Bane's character a little better. I’ve heard of actors doing all kinds of bizarre stuff to get into character. According to Wikipedia, Heath Ledger locked himself in a hotel room for a month to help become The Joker.
So to sum it all up here are my personal thoughts:
1. Hardy obviously trains hard for his roles. He definitely has a serious weight training and nutrition program (that I would love to try)
2. The 30 pounds in 4 months is probably an exaggeration. If there is a way to do that naturally, please somebody tell me how I can be 220 pounds of pure muscle by November. I’ll take some time off from work.
3. I think it is common for many Hollywood actors to take PEDs in order to fit the many physically demanding roles we are seeing more frequently in movies. When you think about it, actors are actually competing with one another for these roles. Being completely jacked could give you a leg up on your competition.
4. If Hardy or any other actor is using PEDs; I don’t really have a problem with it. It’s their body and they can do what they want to it as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. It’s not like he’s getting in the cage and breaking the spine of another human being. The only drawback, I see, is when an actor becomes huge so quickly it might set unrealistic expectations for the average guy trying to get ripped without PEDs.