Edward Norton Gets Cut Like “Stone”
Edward Norton isn’t the biggest guy in Hollywood — far from it. However, he has a way of working what he’s got to his advantage. If you remember him in American History X or Fight Club, you know that he can get cut even if he isn’t big.
Chiseling muscles became Norton’s calling-card in Hollywood. He’s starred in The Italian Job, 25th Hour, and The Score, and each movie has given him a chance to show off the results of his workout routine.
He’s able to use that calling-card again in Stone, which premieres October 8th, as he tangles with Robert DeNiro. You wouldn’t fight the older DeNiro, but you need to have some muscles to bring to the table when DeNiro tells you you’re going down.
I know that many of you are looking to be much, much bigger than Norton, but his routine might help you chisel and harden your body in a way you couldn’t imagine. Just think about how tough a skinny guy like Norton looks and ask yourself, “What does he know that I don’t?”
Focus on Your Arms, Shoulders, and Back
The big difference between a smaller guy and a bigger guy is girth. A big dude has a huge chest, huge legs, huge arms, huge everything. However, a dude that big is already built for that.
A smaller guy like Norton has to find a place to focus so he can make himself seem bigger than he really is. This could work to your advantage, even if you’re in the process of getting big.
If you’re smaller, focusing on your back, arms, and shoulders will make your upper body seem much bigger than your frame. With a strong back your posture is improved and you will present yourself as taller than you normally are. This is especially helpful for shorter guys who are bodybuilding.
If your shoulders are “well built” then your entire body will seem broader than it really is. Broad shoulders appear to be much more masculine and much stronger than they may actually be. Plus, it makes your whole body seem wider. If you look like you take up more space then you seem more brooding than you would otherwise.
Of course, your arms are obvious. If you are really working on your arms you can show off some guns and make your body seem more cut than it may actually be. Plus, if your arms are stronger you’re going to have easier time doing more advanced exercises since pretty much everything you do in the gym involves your arms.
Work the Front
Norton hits a few exercises in the front that really help. It’s not like people aren’t doing them, but his focus on these few exercises really makes a difference in his appearance.
Don’t forget that he’s taking a smaller frame and trying to make it appear bigger.
Whether you’re on a chest press machine or lying on a bench, you can vary this exercise and get some good work for your arms and shoulders. Don’t just lay down and use a barbell. Try using a machine at the gym so you can focus on your arms.
Lay down on the bench and try the press with dumbbells to work your shoulders and chest. If you’re feeling brave then you can hit the standard bench press with a heavy barbell.
Sometimes focusing on specific muscle areas helps you work them more. Don’t be afraid to focus on specific muscles when you’re doing the variations of this exercise: Arms for the machine or dumbbells and chest for the bench press.
Turn it into a mini-circuit and complete 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each.
The military press keeps coming back for every workout. Why? The military press can easily work your back, but you want to focus on working your arms and shoulders this time around.
If you’re using a barbell make sure to hold the bar at your chin and push the bar straight up in the air. You’ll feel the burn in your shoulders. If you’re using dumbbells hold them at head-level and push them straight up, but because they are loose you’ll find that you are really working your arms.
Do the barbell and dumbbells back-to-back by completing 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each.
Work the Back
Focusing on your back and the shape of your back will improve your posture and the appearance of your upper body. Back exercises usually involve your arms and legs as well, but if you’re really focusing on your back your help your posture immensely.
Some of these exercises seem like exercises for other parts of your body, but focus can turn them into back exercises really quickly. Pumping up the volume for your back muscles can really provide some astounding results.
I know, I know, pull-ups seem like an “arms only” exercise, but remember that you can change your grip. The underhand grip really makes your biceps work. So, if you’re still “working the front” like we did earlier, then use the underhand grip.
If you want to call your back muscles into action, then you need to use the overhand grip. Whether you’re using a machine or just going commando and doing the pull-ups on a jungle gym the overhand grip will really work your back hard.
Complete 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each.
Back hyperextensions will work the muscles around your spine and give your body a firm foundation to stand on. Talk about improved posture!
You can use a machine at the gym, or you can just find an inclined surface to lay on. Lay down on your stomach with your hands under chin and position your waist at the edge of the machine of the plank you’re lying on. You’ll bend at the wait down towards the floor and then lift yourself up using your back muscles. Make sure you are focusing almost exclusively on your back and make sure to keep your head up. Complete 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each.
At the end of the day you can work the front and the back to make your body seem bigger than it really is. If you’re already big this might be a great addition to your workouts that will make you look even bigger.
I think Ed Norton’s lesson to us is simple — don’t count out the little guy.