Can You Be As Big As Tom Hardy Without Steroids? Is it possible to acquire the muscle mass of the actor naturally?

On a couple of occasions the British actor Edward Thomas Hardy better known as Tom Hardy has displayed a well developed physique.

In the movies “Bronson”, “Warrior” and “The Dark Knight Rises” Tom Hardy played the role of very strong and muscular characters. His physique was used by many to promote a variety of training protocols claiming that you can build such muscle fast and easy.

This leads us to the classic question – can you be as big as Tom Hardy naturally without using anabolic steroids?

How big is Tom Hardy?


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Unless you’re an insider it’s really hard to find accurate information regarding Tom Hardy’s weight during his “muscle movies”. That’s why we are forced to work with generic overall numbers.

According to online sources Tom Hardy has the following body stats:

Height: 5’9″ – 175 cm;
Weight: 181 lbs – 82 kg;
Arms: 16 inches – 40 cm;
Waist: 34 inches;

The above numbers reveal that Tom Hardy fits our guide for natural bodybuilders which lits a 5’9″ man at 163 lbs – 74 kg maximum bodyweight. Hardy fits the bill since the weights in the guide are for people who are 5% BF and water depleted before a bodybuilding contest.

Tom Hardy may be 181 lbs but he is not 5% BF nor water depleted. He seems to about 12-16% BF for the most part. In order to get to 5% BF at least 10-12 lbs will have to be lost. When you add the muscle and water loss, Hardy’s bodyweight will get close to 163 lbs.

Tom Hardy Is Lean But Not Shredded

While Tom Hardy has a solid physique he isn’t that ripped according to modern aesthetic standards. This is quite significant since the hardest part about natural bodybuilding is to be truly shredded and muscular at the same time. Preserving muscle mass while on a cut is the hardest task for naturals. Most people are able to hold more muscle mass at higher body fat levels.

Related article: Body Fat Levels – Underestimated By Natural Bodybuilders

The Classic Hollywood Transformation

Image via:;

Image via:;

It seems that Hollywood actors such as Christian Bale, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hardy just love to blow up for their roles. If you observe the career of most muscle actors, you will see that they are only big when they have to play specific roles. We have the same situation with Tom Hardy. He was big for three movies but a quick online search reveals that his body looks normal/average most of the time. Logically, this leads us to the question – could Tom Hardy be one of those guys who bulk with the use of muscle elixirs just for the roles?

In general, naturals don’t like large body shifts and prefer to remain in shape all the time because they know very well how hard it is to get back to where you were after a long period of unhealthy living.

Many people have been rightfully accused of using anabolic steroids for their transformation. Since it’s almost impossible to prove it without random and extensive blood and urine tests, we are only left with speculation. However, it’s worth noting that actors do make a lot of money to play fictitious characters in movies and Tom Hardy does not make an exception. According to the official information Tom Hardy was paid over 2 millions for his role in the movie “The Dark Knight Rises”.

99.9% of the population on the planet will never be able to make this much money and there are people out there willing to do almost anything to get that much banknotes in their hands. Taking steroids would be considered almost a noble behavior compared to everything else humanoids do for cash.

A couple of testosterone shots? That’s as innocent as kissing a little kitten…

DAMN! Those traps are so HUGE!


So, we are supposed to believe that those traps can be built by doing push-ups?

Tom Hardy’s traps {trapezius muscles} are without a doubt his best feature. They are big from top to bottom and make the rest of his physique appear much smaller and less impressive. For those of you who don’t know the trapezius muscle and the deltoids are the first to grow when one starts using steroids. The official cause of this phenomenon is higher concentration of androgen receptors in the area.

What makes the issue even more suspicious are Tom Hardy’s workouts which do not hit the traps that much. Web-sites have revealed that for the movie “Warrior” Tom Hardy did a routine consisting of: push-ups, shoulder flyes, dips, bridges and abs exercises.

This makes us wonder: How can you get such traps by not training them? Quite frankly there are only two options – either the online info is inaccurate or PED helped a ton.

So, what’s the truth?

The truth is that some people may be able to achieve the muscular development of Tom Hardy completely naturally. Similar transformation will require a lot of work and won’t occur just as a side result of  doing push-ups and chair dips. You will have to be pulling heavy weight off the ground, otherwise you will never see similar traps in the mirror {unless there’s someone behind you}.

Whether Tom Hardy used steroids is hard to tell with certainty since we don’t have concrete proof. Of course, we wouldn’t be surprised one bit if he used PED to prepare for the movies. It’s not like Hollywood actors are known for being the biggest fan of drugless living.

Whatever the case – never trust the mainstream ideas as far as anything, unless you want to be doing push-ups for your traps until the end of time.


  1. Justin

    Its very clear his is 10% at most. You can see his oblique’s for gods sake. How are you even writing these, with a blindfold on ha

    1. realitybites

      I can see my obliques at 15% BF, despite storing most of my fat in the abdominal region. If big enough they can be seen at even higher BF percentages with some flexing and solid lighting.

      Hardy hasn’t ever cut to single digit body fat for his movies.

      Also, everybody can get back in shape pretty quickly – it only takes a long time the first time you do it. Losing fat generally doesn’t get easier but the muscle comes back fast.

  2. Doug

    Definately on PEDs. The transformation above would have taken 5 years of hard work and diet, if he even had the genetics for it, which is debatable. You dont get in that kind of condition in a few months.

  3. stan

    Without steroids you don’t get in that shape – period.
    Its so wrong when people in the public eye say they have done it naturally.
    I personally have nothing against it – but at the least it gives people false hopes and dreams, and at the extreme end of the scale it’s just taking the pi** like with Dana Linn Bailey.

    1. realitybites

      ‘You’ is a generalization.

      I see more developed people at my local gym all the time. It would be ludicrous to think they ALL owe their physique to abuse of PEDs.

      Hardy didn’t look like much of anything before – neither did many would-be pro bodybuilders. Take ten skinny-fat blokes, have them train for 6 months and you’ll notice some have improved more than others. Take a hundred and be surprised. Take a thousand and be blown away. It’s just natural genetic variation and statistics.

    2. Joe

      Wrong. I started working out (4-5 times a week) in April of this year (2016). I was 180lbs, 19% BF, 39″ Chest. I have only relied on diet, protein shakes, BCAAs, and Creatine.

      I’m now 195lbs, 15% BF, 43″ chest. No steroids and getting damn close to how Hardy looked in the movie Warrior.

  4. Mike

    His physique has never struck me as a steroid physique. Not ripped enough or developed all round as much as his traps to be that. I’d say his personal trainer made him hammer his traps a shit load. A lot o volume, a lot of frequency.

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