Idris Elba is a Renaissance man—a ripped, shredded Renaissance man.
He’s an actor, DJ, musician, rally-car enthusiast, fashion designer, and—oh yeah—a kickboxer too.
Elba’s played some fantastically badass characters over the years—Stringer Bell in The Wire, John Luther on Luther, and Stacker Pentecost in Pacific Rim—but his most badass role might be the one he plays every day: himself. In 2016 the actor started filming Idris Elba: Fighter, a documentary series that followed Elba as he trained and became a professional kickboxer. (The show aired on Discovery Channel earlier in 2017.)
The sport has been part of Elba’s training routine for years, but as he once told Men’s Fitness, most film producers think kickboxing is “too dangerous” for him to do while on a job. So instead, he made it one of his actual jobs—and the results were pretty great.
Elba won his first pro fight and got in some strong shots on his opponent:
But while he's undoubtedly a kickboxing fan, Elba keeps himself in shape using a wide range of exercises: swimming, jogging in the morning, and bodyweight exercises like pushups and situps—100 each at a time, naturally.
Elba usually does three-minute rounds of kickboxing training, working on high kicks and low kicks before doing combo work, light sparring, and leg raises, which he swears by: "That's ab work like you've never had it," Elba said. "It's rough."
And much like other badass actors Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Vin Diesel, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Dolph Lundgren—plus these 20 other jacked celebrity dudes—Elba enjoys showing off his workouts on social media.
Here are Elba’s 9 most kickass moments from Instagram:
9. Elba shows off his chiseled upper body while fighting in the ring:
Test who you really are and what really hurts you. Test those around you, see who sticks around when it gets uncomfortable or trying. Peel back your skin and reveal who you are to those that claim they know you. See what happens if you fail. Everybody loves a winner. Do something outside of your confidence zone. Be. @discovery_uk
8. Elba gets his hands wrapped before a fight:
7. Elba didn't mess around in his training—his biceps and pecs got huge:
6. Elba worked in some major muscle definition on his chest:
5. Elba gets his kickboxing work in during a training session:
4. Stringer Bell has a pretty quick uppercut-right punch combo:
3. Did we mention that Elba is pretty jacked?
2. Elba didn't mess around while training for his kickboxing series:
1. While training for Bastille Day, Elba blasts his core with a barbell ab rollout: