How Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Stays in 'Game of Thrones' Shape

Playing Jaime Lannister in one of the most popular TV shows on the planet means you have to be in good condition.
Nikolaj Coster Waldau

NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU
Age: 44
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 194 lbs
Body of Work: Game of Thrones, Kingdom of Heaven, Black Hawk Down

“I don’t necessarily enjoy being at the gym,” says Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the 44-year-old 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, 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.”

His Workout Three days a week, he sucks it up and lifts in the gym. Here’s a sample from his typical workout.

Warm-up: A mix of explosive medicine ball throws, plyometric pushups, and burpees.

Exercises: Standing Barbell Press * SETS: 4-5 REPS: 5-6 

Incline Barbell Bench Press * SETS: 4-5 REPS: 5-6

Flat Bench * SETS: 4-5 REPS: 5-6

Decline Bench Press * SETS: 4-5 REPS: 5-6

Swiss Ball Situps SETS: 2-3 REPS: to failure

Swiss Ball Rollouts SETS: 2-3 REPS: to failure *Rest: 2 to 3 minutes after each set.

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