Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Indiana Jones workout

I recently saw the new Indiana Jones movie and while it felt a bit old fashioned, it was still good fun and great to have Harrison Ford back as Indy. You’ve got to admit the guy still has it; rugged good looks, a sense humor and the ability to get himself and others out of a jam.

If you were wondering how Harrison is able to look so good at 65 then read on. My good friend Jamie Milnes is one of Hollywood’s premier personal trainers and Harrison’s long time trainer. So I had to ask him how Harrison does it, and of course share the inside scoop with you. Be sure to watch the video of a sample Harrison Ford workout and try it for yourself!

Behind the Scenes:
With Jamie Milnes

Personal Trainer to Indiana Jones star, Harrison Ford

Jamie, tell us a little about your background and how you came to train Harrison Ford?

I’m originally from Manchester, England. I came to the States almost 15 years ago and established my training career in New York City. After a few years I moved to LA, primarily for the lifestyle. I love mountain biking, snowboarding and kayaking, which isn’t very easy to do when you’re living in New York City. I was introduced to Harrison through another client of mine who I have worked with for a number of years. He started training with me in preparation of his role in Hollywood Homicide, and we’ve been working together ever since. For me, word of mouth has been the best way to build a clientele.

Harrison has been an action hero for many years. How is it that he can still kick the bad guy’s butt and look good doing it, regardless of his age?

Very good stunt men! Just kidding. Joking aside, Harrison moves extremely well…especially for someone in his mid sixties. He's a living testament to the fact that you can maintain a high level of athleticism if you continue to work at it. He leads an active lifestyle which doesn't just mean he just goes to the gym to workout. He still skis and plays tennis, among other things, which has also allowed him the ability to “keep kicking the bad guy’s butt.” Working in the gym will definitely help you maintain your health and fitness, but I think playing outside gives you that extra edge. I also think it gives you extra incentive to workout if you know ski season is around the corner for example, rather than just "I'm going to the gym because it's good for my health".

I see you and Harrison in the gym regularly and his workouts look tough and ever changing. Is there a method to the madness?

Yes there is. For Harrison, and many of my clients, time is an issue so we don’t necessarily work to the hour. I have set work for Harrison to do each session and when it’s done he leaves, whether it’s 20, 30 or 50 minutes. We put the emphasis on movements that integrate the whole body in multiple planes of motion with high athletic demand. This gives us the most bang for the buck, especially when he is pressed for time. This type of training, does however, require a high level of fitness.

It has been written that Harrison is quite the adventure seeker. He flies helicopters, does most of his own stunts yet he seems to be quietly living his life on his own terms. Do you think diet and exercise plays a part in this?

Undoubtedly. You can't be as physical as he has been for so long without taking care of yourself. He has definitely taken his fare share of knocks over the years but still managers to do a lot of his own stunts and lead a very active lifestyle. You can be a daredevil and an adventure seeker, and never workout a day in your life…but only for so long. You must stay strong and healthy if you intend to keep it up year after year. If you have passion for adventure you can experience a lot more, and keep on doing it for much longer if you take good care of yourself. But you’ve got to have the passion…and either you have it or you don’t. Harrison has it.

There is no question that Harrison Ford is always in great shape. Does he diet before a movie role or is he pretty consistent year round?

He keeps active all year round, whether it’s in the gym with his workouts, playing tennis or skiing in the winter. You have to be consistent throughout the year. I don't mean you have to train hard all year round. Professional athletes don't even do that. I think the best philosophy is to always maintain a base level of fitness and then when you have something coming up, such as ski season, take it up a few notches. Harrison, like all smart athletes, treats a movie the same way and just shifts into a higher gear for a few weeks before he needs to be ready.

I know they change regularly but can you share a sample Harrison Ford workout?

Circuit 1
Single Arm Dumbell Snatch---- Do 8-10 reps, then switch arms
Hanging Knee Tucks ---- Do 12-15 reps
Hamstring Curls on Valslide ---- Do 12-15 reps
Repeat circuit 3 times.

Circuit 2
Standing Single Arm Pulley Row ---- Do 10-15 reps, then switch leg/arm
Push Ups on Stability Ball ---- Do 10-15 reps
Crunch with Single Arm Press on Stability Ball ---- Do 12-15 reps, then switch arms
Repeat circuit 3 times.

view video here:

Any final tips or quotes you can share if we want to keep kicking butt when we’re 65?

Find something that you enjoy doing or something that excites you. That may be mountain biking, hiking, or surfing. Then think about how you can improve your ability to enjoy that activity. The more fit you are the better you are able to handle the work required for any particular activity. And when you can handle that work, you can start to hike steeper hills, or bike more mountainous terrain or surf bigger waves. In other words…get fit and go play! Keep working at it and keep exploring new activities. Don't settle for quick blasts of activity followed by long stretches of inactivity. Always maintain at least a base level of fitness because you never know when you may need it. Stay ready.

To learn more about Jamie visit


Kelly O said...

That was awesome! I put the video on my blog too...and wow, more great uses for the amazing Val Slides....I cannot tell you how DIFFERENT they are for everything....I have no doubt that my butt will be smokin real soon thanks to RCR! Yea!!


Anonymous said...

I think that Harrison Ford workout and tri it for yourselt during all his life, I think that Ford needs some generic viagra to does the same things the he did when he was young..

Anonymous said...

it's easy being fit if you are a movie star as big a mr ford, he can afford to pay anyone and everyone he needs to pay in order to help him get through the tedious work outs... we ovie watchers don't have made that easy, look at me, I've tried all sorts of work out programs and i keep having to take pills and kamagra and all other sort of stuff to pump me up enough to keep fit... is it fair? heck no but then again such is life.