The Assassin's Creed Workout From Michael Fassbender's Trainer
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2017
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If you admired Michael Fassbender’s rippled physique in “Assassin’s Creed” or Jennifer Lawrence’s out-of-this-world curves in “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” you were admiring the work of United Kingdom-based personal trainer David Kingsbury. Muscle magician to the stars, Kingsbury helps celebrities shape their bodies for the big screen. Not an A-lister? No matter. Kingsbury’s going to let you in on a celebrity secret with his “50 Club” total-body workout. When paired with a healthy diet, this routine can help you gain muscle, build muscular endurance and lose weight, says Kingsbury. Prepare to sweat.
HOW IT WORKS
For each exercise, you’ll complete 50 total reps and will rest 35 seconds between each set. But the number of reps per set depends on you. For the first set, you’ll do 12 reps. As you become more fatigued, your sets may get smaller, even as few as three or four reps. Do your maximum number of reps in each set. Finish all 50 reps of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEIGHTS
For each move, pick a challenging weight that you can lift exactly 12 times for one set. Use the first set of the exercise as your guide. If you get more than 12 reps in the first set, you should choose a heavier weight for subsequent sets. If you get fewer than 12 in your first set, choose a lighter weight.
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KETTLEBELL FRONT SQUATS
Hold a kettlebell by the handle with both hands at your upper chest. (You can also perform the exercise with a kettlebell in each hand, as pictured.) Sit your hips back and down into a squat, as if you're sitting down onto a chair. Keep your torso upright. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then push back up to standing.
Grab a pullup bar with an overhanded grip. Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull your chin over the bar, then lower yourself until your arms are almost straight, but not locked out. MODIFY IT: Wrap a sturdy exercise band over the bar and use it as a stirrup for one foot. Wrap the other ankle around the ankle of the stirruped foot. Use a resistance band that provides enough support to allow you to pull your chin above the bar.
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Get into a pushup position with your shoulders over your wrists. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Lower your body — without letting your hips sag or pike up — until your chest almost touches the floor. Press back up. MODIFY IT: Do a pushup with your knees on the floor. Keep your torso in line with your hips and thighs.
Position a barbell in a squat rack about 2 or 3 feet off the floor. Lie on your back with your chest underneath the bar. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip, with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe, pull your chest up to the bar. Lower down until your arms are almost straight. That’s one rep. You can also use a TRX Suspension Trainer, as pictured. MODIFY IT: Make it easier by walking your feet in so your knees are bent.
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DUMBBELL CLEAN AND PRESS
This is a two-part exercise. PART ONE: Hold two dumbbells at your sides. Squat down so the dumbbells are nearly touching the floor. Press through your feet to straighten your legs and stand up explosively. Use the momentum to hoist up the dumbbells to shoulder height. PART TWO: Immediately dip down a few inches into a slight squat. Then thrust up explosively, using the momentum to press the dumbbells straight overhead (pictured). Lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders, then down to the floor.
AB WHEEL ROLLOUT
Start on your hands and knees. Grasp the handles of an ab roller and, always maintaining control, roll it out in front of you. Extend as far as you can without letting your body collapse to the floor. Roll back to the starting position. You can also use a loaded barbell instead of an ab roller.
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