Harrison Ford’s Rules to Building an Action Hero Body

Harrison Ford wearing a jacket and open collar 2007

Harrison Ford 2007

Action heroes are all the rage once again, but whereas during the 1980’s and 1990’s action heroes were restricted to bodybuilders like Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, today’s action heroes come in all forms, often well established actors that buff up to get into character. Daniel Craig as James Bond, Brad Pitt as Troy and Tyler Duncan, James McAvoy in Wanted, and Christian Bale as Batman, are great examples of this.

The most surprising recent addition to the action hero wall of fame, is Harrison Ford. For Indiana Jones and the Kingdon of The Cyrstal Skull, Ford had to work out hard, in what has been described as a brutal regime, to get himself in shape. Ford is now 66 years old (born July 13, 1942). He is proof that it is never too late to get buffed up for the cameras! We have covered in recent articles how to get fit, and how to build muscle, so lets look at how to stay motivated to get into such great shape.

Workout Rules for an Action Hero Physique:


Never Train for Vanity: People that start working out with just one goal, to look good, generally lose motivation first, and fail in their mission to attain the perfect body. Train for a goal with a greater purpose, such as to prolong life, be a better ball player, to be more active with kids, to be a better boxer.

Remain Focused on the Task: Having a detailed workout routine is essential. People that perform ad hoc exercises and do not plan their workouts fail to make the gains in improvements required to reach their goals. Having a gym buddy or personal instructor can help you stay focussed.

No Pain No Gain: If you just want to lose weight and get fitter, then this rule does not apply. However, if you want to develop a ripped, lean super fit body, then you have to work hard. Intensive workouts can be cruel, but they are essential.

Manage Your Expectations: Never aim too high too soon, as you will be more likely to lose heart, and then fail completely. Set achievable goals. Your fitness goals should be managed in the same way as business goals, with short, medium and long term goals. Short term could include to lose 5 pounds and bench press 5 more kilos. Medium term could be to complete 2 full circuits of your own circuit training routine. Long term could be to have 8% body fat and a six pack!

Exercise Restraint: Once you are past your mid-twenties, understand that your body takes longer to recover from just about all activities. So if you go out partying, then do not expect to be able to perform the required training to following day. Be sensible. Adapt your lifestyle to allow you to change your body!

Diversity is the Spice of Life: Exercise the whole body, and perform as many different exercises as possible. Many people make the mistake of focussing on abs or biceps, which will never work. Look at compound weight training, core training, full bodyweight training as well as isolation exercises (bicep curls, crunches).

Never Overtrain: Overtraining is one of the biggest mistakes. People think that if they workout more, they gain more. However, this is not true. Your body only has a finite supply of glycogen and protein, and these are depleted when training. If you do not allow adequate recovery time, your muscles will actually go in to decline, and you are much more likely to carry injuries.

Read the workouts of our favourite action heroes:

Photo of Harrison Ford by Gavatron

More like this in the Celebrities section

  3 comments for “Harrison Ford’s Rules to Building an Action Hero Body

  1. MotleyHealth
    December 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Just been watching Star Wars, a New Hope, with my son. Fantastic. Han Solo, so cool!

  2. Kandace
    February 23, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Considering all these, it is easy to notice that taking balanced diet,
    exercising properly under an able guide and sleeping at perfect
    time and getting up early in the morning can make one’s health and body fit and active and free
    from all sorts of diseases. The h – CG diet was developed
    in Italy in the 1930s and 1940s by the late Dr A. For me, Sparkpeople
    provided the kick in the rear I needed to get
    moving and get active. He or she should continue
    using any medication that have been prescribed by their doctor.
    The controversial HCG Diet consists of participants taking HCG,
    a supplement, in combination with a specific very low calorie diet to supposedly lose
    upwards of 20 to 30 lbs in about a month.

  3. MotleyHealth
    February 23, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Hi Kandace, if you have some evidence that the HCG diet works, please post it. The so called diet relies on a eating few calories, the actual drug seems to make difference, according to the research I have seen.

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