If you don't know who Norman Reedus
is then you're probably not a fan of "The Walking Dead", Reedus plays Daryl Dixon and is probably the show’s most famous character. Norman is so popular that in a show where main characters are killed off at a frighteningly fast rate, fans have made it clear "If Daryl dies, we riot!".
Part of his appeal is how excellently he portrays his character, and how well written the script is. But another part is that the guy is sexy as hell. This is a guy who is 47 years old, but has the body of a 25-year-old fitness model, and he has attained this physique without doing anything that you yourself couldn't manage.
This article will look into what he has done to get the body he has, and give you advice on how to do it yourself. Just remember, Reedus is a famous actor who has modelled for Prada so don't expect quite the same amount of women throwing themselves at you as he gets!
Lesson One: Be Active
Norman is an actor in an action-packed show, his character is constantly running around in the woods so that means that Norman spends a lot of time running around too! He has to carry a big heavy crossbow around with him too. The actor himself trains for this by exercising constantly, but even if he didn't have an active job like that, the exercise is still a huge bonus.
"That's all well and good for him, but I work at a desk all day," you say, fair point but you can still make yourself more active. Download a step counting app onto your phone and try to increase your daily steps. A good target is 10,000 per day, if you are currently walking less than 4,000 steps per day then this increase will really boost your fitness.
It will also contribute to something called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), this is the total calories you burn performing everyday actions such as cleaning, walking, standing, doing the laundry, cutting the lawn, and even fidgeting with the remote while watching The Walking Dead. Studies have shown that people who have higher NEAT levels tend to be leaner and that the more weight you put on, the lower your NEAT becomes.
So start trying to increase your activities throughout the day, little things like walking to work rather than driving. Doing the washing up more (your partner will love that one), or taking the dog for a slightly longer stroll. It really is the little things like this that over time improve your physique the most.
Lesson Two: Do Your Cardio
You can watch Norman Reedus on the Walking Dead
and see for yourself that he has an active job where he has to run around a lot. But even with all of that he still goes for runs, swims every morning, and jumps rope. The lesson here is an obvious one, do your cardio and don't make excuses!
It doesn't have to be long runs through the Georgian woods, it can be short 10 minute sessions of High-Intensity Interval Training performed on a treadmill. Alternatively, you could perform a TABATA session, this is where you pick a couple of bodyweights (or light weight) exercises such as squats or press ups and then perform the exercises for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest, repeated eight times. This is a great way to burn calories in a very short period of time.
Long runs, hikes, or bike rides are also excellent cardio choices. You can take a leaf out of Norman's book here and go explore outside, find a nice park and go for a bike ride or explore a new part of your city by going for a run. Being adventurous won't burn any extra calories, but it will certainly make the task more enjoyable. Plus, running is good practice for when the walkers rise!
Lesson Four: Workout When You Can
Norman Reedus has stated that when he is on a shoot he will sometimes perform sit ups, push ups and free weight workouts in his trailer. This is pretty standard advice but performing resistance exercises and bodyweight exercises will obviously increase muscle and burn fat. So far, so normal.
What you can learn from this is that Norman has a pretty high level of activity anyway, so when he's in a situation where he isn't expected to exercise it would be seen by many as an opportunity to relax.
But what sets Norman Reedus apart (remember the guy is 47 years old) is that he finds a way to perform a workout even when time and space are in short supply. Imagine if next time you cancelled the gym because you realised it was your turn to look after the kids, or you had to wait in for a repairman, instead of using it as an excuse to lie down you knocked out a high-intensity bodyweight workout.
For example, the Crazy 55 workout: Pick two exercises - in this example we'll use push-ups and squats. Start off by performing 1 push up and then immediately perform 10 squats, then go straight into 2 push ups and 9 squats. Until eventually managing 10 push ups and 1 squat. High Intensity, builds strength and works both the upper and lower body.
Reedus also rides motorcycles
, much like his on-screen alter ego. Riding can be a workout in itself while engaging your core, strengthening arms muscles, etc.
Lesson Five: Diet
This is the first lesson where we are going to disagree slightly with Norman's advice. He believes in 'clean eating' which means eating foods that he believes are organic, non-processed, and avoiding any junk food.
While this is a fine way to eat, the whole 'clean eating' belief is a little off, who decides which foods are clean? And which foods are not? Is honey clean? What about soup? Why is bread bad for you but pitta is fine?
It's all so arbitrary. and restrictive. But there are many positives as well, and it clearly is working for him. Eating organic vegetables is good, avoiding junk food, alcohol, and high-calorie ready meals is also a pretty decent way to live. Prioritising protein, and eating smaller portion sizes are also strategies he uses.
At the end of the day, Norman Reedus has done fantastically. He's incredibly fit, looks great, and has stayed very lean at an age where most guys are struggling to lose weight. Remember, though, he has worked hard for what he's got and been patient. Do the same and you'll be ready to take on anything .... Even zombies.