Written by Jack Boardman
Exercises For Fassbender’s Assassin’s Creed Body
Gamers and film fanatics have been awaiting the arrival of the Assassin’s Creed movie, set for release in 2017. Fans of the video game will be scrutinising how true the blockbuster is to the game and its protagonist, portrayed by Michael Fassbender. Promo pics and the sneak preview of the film’s teaser trailer suggest Fassbender has gone to great lengths in the gym to achieve the lean, mean physique of the role, but how has he done it and what exercises and diet can you follow to gain the physical attributes of the assassin?
As part of the Brotherhood there is a serious amount of cardio involved to keep your body fat down and achieve that slender frame beneath the assassin’s cloak. Keep cardio in mind throughout your workout week. Shed body fat while maintaining your strength. To keep things authentic – short of freebase running – a combination of high intensity sprints and long distance light jogging.
Meanwhile, Fassbender’s physique is closer to that of a swimmer or gymnast than a muscle-bound sprinter or long distance runner. Work a swimming session into your week and yoga so that you retain your dexterity. High intensity yoga or pilates are great ways of staying limber while strengthening.
Box jumps, jump squats and burpees could be used as a warm-up and also to finish off your workout with 3 sets of ten.
When it comes to strengthening and muscle-building exercises, core-work and using your natural body weight comes first. This is true of the assassin, too. Players of the video game know well how the assassin is constantly climbing, pulling himself up and balancing.
Press-up. Build your upper body by varying the arch of your back, the position of your hands and angle of your descent with press-ups.
Pull-up. The assassin is constantly pulling up his own body weight. When you’re able to achieve a high number of reps, add weight to your belt.
Plank. Work front and side planks, holding for 60 seconds each time. Want to go a step further, when in side plank slowly lower your hip to the floor, slowly lift again like a bridge. Hold.
Dips. As with pull-ups, when you’re able to do a high number of reps with ease, throw in a weighted set. Better yet, finish your set by working to muscle failure.
Ab-roller. The assassin’s core is like steel but highly-dexterous. Use an ab-roller and hold at the end of each stretch. Go for a high number of reps when comfortable.
Sit-ups. Think creatively here; while making the most of yoga and planks, throw in a set of high rep sit-ups, working different angles and ranges of movement to isolate the muscles.
The assassin is constantly running, lunging and leaping with explosive power. In terms of physique, Fassbender cuts a V-figure with legs as strong as his upper body, whilst staying slender. For this you must abide by leg day and go for that explosive power with the following:
Squats. Go for a mixture of fewer reps and heavier weight or higher reps of a comfortable weight, depending on what you need. Heavier weight will build volume and strength while the higher reps will tone, keep you lean and add to your cardo. Using the Smith machine is advisable for an increase in weight, but to channel your core through balance, use the bar bell.
Leg press. Keep working those glutes. To achieve the explosive power of the assassin, set the seat closer on the leg press machine. Go for high reps and increase your weight.
Barbell lunges and step-ups. With a comfortable weight, hold the barbell across your shoulders, step up one foot at a time and lower with the same foot first. Go for higher reps. Same goes for lunges; go for a lower comfortable weight and higher reps.
Deadlift. This old classic is your number one stop for channelling the glutes and shoulders, building an all-over core strength. Here you’ll want to avoid becoming too rigid, so go for a comfortable weight with sets of higher reps to strengthen and tone without building too much volume.
Agility and endurance are key to the way of the assassin. Michael Fassbender has a naturally lean and athletic build, which is the result of lifestyle adjustments that compliment gym routines.
When it comes to ‘diet’, think fuel. By no means cut down to achieve this body type – Fassbender is hardly skinny as the character, with definite muscle definition. To build this kind of body you need to stock up on your protein while getting the carbs you need in the morning, pre-workout for energy and post-workout for recovery.
The best protein shake for lean muscle and low body fat is a whey protein isolate or hydrolysate, which are low in carbs and are quickly absorbed for recovering after your high intensity training.