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.