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Richard Armitage in Strike Back – John Porter fitness regime

Richard Armitage, 2012

Richard Armitage, 2012

This week a new series starts on Sky1 HD, Strike Back. It stars British action-thrill actor Richard Armitage who has also played roles in Spooks and Robin Hood.

Update: Richard Armitage is Thorin Oakenshield in the Hobbit!

In Strike Back he plays John Porter, the SAS operative. He explains a bit about the role and how they filmed it to ensure that it remained as close to reality as possible:

“But we were working with SAS operatives who were consultants, monitoring what we’re doing, making sure it was truthful. Even though we’re making fiction, there still has to be an element of realism to it. But at the same time you’re sometimes asked to do something because it looks good for camera, but we were all over it.”

Richard Armitage is a lean guy. To keep in shape he most likely performs regular cardio workouts with some weight training to keep his muscles defined. However, for the role in Strike Back he had to follow a very intensive fitness regime as the filming had some very demanding scenes. An article on a fansite explains that the fitness training he did with an ex-military instructor was so intense that he nearly passed out after the first 10 minutes.

He would have done various military training drills that would include circuit training, military running training and military strength training workouts. The emphasis in military fitness training is on muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Soldiers need to be able to keep going for long periods without rest and also need to have the explosive strength required to sprint over short distances.


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Training will focus on compound weight training movements such as squats, deadlifts, bench press and military presses, plus exercises such as burpees, push ups and crunches and plenty of outdoor cardio workouts such as hill running and training on assault courses. All true action hero stuff.

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