Workout Routines

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's ironclad 'Game of Thrones' workout plan

The Danish actor—you know him as Jaime Lannister in HBO's hit swords-and-steamy-sex series—uses a combination of classic lifting moves and calorie-slaying core exercises to forge a physique of (Valerian) steel.

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The Workout Plan That Keeps Nikolaj Coster-Waldau In 'Game Of Thrones' Shape
Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO
Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO
Duration 45
Exercises 6
Equipment Yes

“I don’t necessarily enjoy being at the gym,” says Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the star of HBO drama Game of Thrones. “It’s something I have to do, more than something I look forward to doing. But it does enable me to do fun things.”

Coster-Waldau lives outside Copenhagen, and he’s absurdly active. For him, “fun things” can mean running through a nearby forest, mountain biking, or cross country skiing. Indoor cardio is not on the fun list. “Still, to this day, I can’t run on the treadmill,” he says. “Why not just run outside? I never understood it.”

When he is in the gym, though, he lifts and trains his core (which helped him beat a chronic back injury). For his role in Thrones, both were crucial. “I needed to be physically ready,” he says. He adds: “I know it’s good to be healthy, but I stay fit because it makes sense. It’s a way of life.”

Directions

This is a sample from Coster-Waldau's typical lifting workout, which he does three times per week.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's 'Game of Thrones' workout Chest, shoulders, and core

Exercise Warmup 1:

Medicine Ball Rotational Throw You'll need: Medicine Ball How to
Man Throwing Medicine Ball thumbnail
1 sets
60 sec. reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise Warmup 2:

Plyo Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
Plyo Pushup thumbnail
1 sets
60 sec. reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise Warmup 3:

Burpee You'll need: No Equipment How to
Burpee thumbnail
1 sets
60 sec. reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 1.

Barbell Overhead Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Overhead Press thumbnail
5 sets
5-6 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Incline Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
5-6 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
5 sets
5-6 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

Decline Bench Press You'll need: Bench How to
How to do a Decline Bench Press thumbnail
5 sets
5-6 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 5.

Swiss Ball Crunch You'll need: Swiss Ball How to
Swiss Ball Crunch thumbnail
3 sets
To failure reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 6.

Swiss Ball Rollout You'll need: Swiss Ball How to
Swiss ball rollout  thumbnail
3 sets
To failure reps
2-3 min. rest
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