Tom Hopper Walks Us Through an Intense Backyard Circuit Workout

Tom Hopper is in very good shape. The English actor, who you might recognize from Black Sails, Game of Thrones (as the unfortunately-named dragon kebab Dickon Tarley), and most recently, The Umbrella Academy, brings a particularly muscular heft to his roles.

One quick scroll through Hopper’s social media accounts shows you where that muscle comes from: Lots of sweat and hard work. The actor is constantly posting exercise and progress photos and videos documenting his training, showing a rare level of discipline even among the fittest stars.

Naturally, that feed has shifted due to the current conditions with the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Hopper’s workout posts come from his backyard (or garden, as the Englishman calls it), and often feature his kids playing in the background.

Hopper—and the rest of his family—took some time to film a home workout video for Men’s Health to give us an inside look at his favorite routines.

“It’s slightly different to what I normally do when we’re not in quarantine,” Hopper says. “I’d go to the gym and do some time under tension workouts, some circuit training—but since we’re here in isolation and I’ve got the kids running around, so I’m going to have to improvise a little bit.”

Joining the actor is his wife, Laura Hopper (an actress who also appeared on Black Sails) and their two children. If you have your own kids, you might have a laugh watching the pair work through the circuit workout while the two little ones do their best to get as swole as mom and dad.

“It’s pretty tricky with the kids around, as many parents know,” Hopper says. “But if you find the right time, 20 minutes, that’s all you need.”

Tom Hopper’s Garden Circuit Workout

The circuit takes a snaking format: Start with 5 reps of man makers, then the ball slams and battle ropes. For each additional round, cut 1 rep from the man makers (keeping the work the same for the other two exercises) until you’re doing just a single rep. But you’re not done just yet. Work your way back up the ladder adding a man maker rep for each round, until you get back up to 5.

Man Makers

Not familiar with man makers? They’re one of Hopper’s favorite moves. Let’s break it into its component parts:


DB Row (both sides)


Jump to Squat

Clean to Front Rack


Ball Slams

10 reps

Battle Ropes

Don’t just swing for 30 seconds straight. Hopper breaks it down into 3 distinct 10-second phases. If you don’t have ropes, check out the alternate exercises instead:

Alternating Waves (Fast-Feet Drills) – 10 seconds

Double-Rope Slams (Jump Lunges) – 10 seconds

Crossovers (Jumping Jacks) – 10 seconds

Want more celebrity workout routines? Check out all of our Train Like videos.

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