Posted by: 4pack | November 11, 2008

“Ideal Shape” Profile: Harrison Ford Stays Fit And Svelte

FOUR PACKS IS ADDING HARRISON FORD TO THE OGGIE HALL OF FAME…AT 66 HE IS A “SENIOR HIGH PROFILE OGGIE” AND DESERVING OF A PROFILE AND CONTINUED COVERAGE…HIS PERSONAL TRAINER, JAMIE MILNES, ELABORATES ON KEY FITNESS REGIMENS AND STRESSES THAT WORKING OUT A GYM SHOULD BE OGGIES LAST RESORT….READ INTERVIEW BELOW AND GET MOTIVATED… 

harrisonford

“…he’s been active all his life… he’ll never become a doddery old fart.”

“…Having lost a few pounds in the run-up to filming, Ford was put through six weeks of circuit training designed by Milne to increase his muscle bulk. From push-ups and pull-ups to squats with overhead presses and crunches with a medicine ball, the workouts exercised several muscle groups at the same time…”

“If you’re not exercising at all and are over 40 it’s time to get a grip. And if you’ve always been a jogger, remember you could well be wearing out your joints by the time you hit 50. Make sure you mix your exercise up a bit.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/celebritynews/3415509/Harrison-Ford-Not-bad-in-a-fight-at-66.html 

At 66, Harrison Ford cuts a dash as a daring old-age pensioner. Two decades since his last outing as the adventuring archaeologist Indiana Jones, his reprise in the role in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull makes anyone only pushing 50 wonder how he looks so svelte. With greying temples and a few creases in his face but no apparent nips, lifts, tucks or even hair dye he remains a hugely convincing action hero. How does he pull it off?

Ford’s personal trainer, Jamie Milnes, has a fair idea. “He’s never let himself become a lost cause,” says Milnes, 46, who, when I call him, is about to park his car and run along a beach in the Californian sunshine.

Milnes is originally from Manchester but lives in LA where he has been helping the film star with his fitness for five years. “Although getting your kit off on camera is a real motivator, he’s been active all his life… he’ll never become a doddery old fart.” This is a sentiment shared by his co-star, Shia LaBeouf, who plays Mutt Williams, the long-lost son of Indy in the latest film. After a punishing fight scene Mutt says to him: “For an old man you’re not bad in a fight.”

In real life LeBeouf is also full of praise for the actor. “I watched him get beat up, bruised and battered, and never once did he complain or ask for the medic. He never took a break, because the minute Harrison rests, it sets the tone for the entire crew. It really was amazing to see,” he told the Sunday Herald.

Ford did most of his own stunts, including gruelling fight scenes using brawn — and his infamous whip.

Jamie Milnes was training Ford for three months in New Mexico, Connecticut and Hawaii during the making of the latest Indiana Jones, which is released on DVD on November 10. “The problem I had was reining him in,” says Milnes, who put the actor through his paces in an air-conditioned trailer-gym on the set. “I hung out with the crew and grabbed him once a day for half-an-hour between scenes.”

Ford, it would seem, is the archetypal man’s man with an industrial work ethic.

“He’s hardcore and very strong,” says Milnes. “Off-duty he flies his own plane and helicopter and he insists on doing as many of his own stunts as possible. It’s him riding the bikes and throwing the punches — he doesn’t palm it off to a stunt man.”

The actor’s fitness training was geared to get him in shape for the role, but he had a good baseline to work from. Having lost a few pounds in the run-up to filming, Ford was put through six weeks of circuit training designed by Milne to increase his muscle bulk. From push-ups and pull-ups to squats with overhead presses and crunches with a medicine ball, the workouts exercised several muscle groups at the same time.

But this is a man with a world-weary body. With limbs that have been through the mill over the years, Ford carries “war wounds” from previous action sequences. “But he’s as tough as teak,” confirms his trainer. “It was hellish hot in Hawaii and the fight scenes in the jungle took hours to film but he never flagged.”

The actor put himself on a high protein diet. “Plenty of older American men are over-weight but if you interrogate most will be able to tell you what they should and shouldn’t be eating,” says Milnes. “The fact is there is no silver bullet. Being fit for your age is a combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle.”

Milnes sounds inspiring. A mechanical engineering graduate, he found his first career so dull that, 20 years ago, he qualified as a fitness instructor in Britain and took himself off to New York. Soon in demand with celebrities, he moved to LA where, besides, Ford, he has trained numerous stars, including Cindy Crawford, Liv Tyler and Martin Sheen.

So, given Ford looks like a man half his age in his tatty hat, khaki shirt and trousers and easily makes it into the list of the World’s Sexiest Men over 50, his trainer comes highly recommended. What regime, you might ask, does he suggest that the rest of us embark on?

“To become Indiana Jones, you just need to find an exercise that motivates you because, let’s face it, working out can be a pain. Whatever you do will tend to hurt so you need a regime that’s also fun,” he says.

“Be creative and think beyond a gym. To be honest I can’t stand them — the only people that love them are body-builders — so why not go cycling and running or play tennis or soccer with your mates. I prefer walking up a hill or running next to the ocean, but you don’t have to exercise alone.”

He issues some warnings. “If you’re not exercising at all and are over 40 it’s time to get a grip. And if you’ve always been a jogger, remember you could well be wearing out your joints by the time you hit 50. Make sure you mix your exercise up a bit.”

But with rumours rife that producer George Lucas is already dreaming up a fifth Indiana Jones instalment it seems likely that Milnes could continue helping the aged for a while yet. “I’m looking forward to it,” he says.

Getting definition, building strength, avoiding injury

• Start the warm-up with some cardiovascular exercise – jogging or cycling for about 10-15 minutes.

• Then prepare your body for weight-lifting by “mobilising” – going through your planned routine, such as squats through to bench presses, but without using any weights.

• Always start with small weights and build from there, eg 15 reps on a low weight. Begin with no more than half the weight you intend on building up to.

• To build up strength, use heavier weights on 6-8 reps for 2-3 sets of bicep and tricep curls, lunges and bench presses.

• If you feel a twinge your body is telling you something, so either stop, change the weights or do them at a slower pace. Do not rush your exercises.

• To judge the right level and weight for you, the last two reps should really tire and challenge you.

• Consider doing a split routine, where you concentrate on one area of your body one day, and another the next.

• Post work-out, it is vital to stretch out each muscle used. If you have strained anything, even slightly, apply an ice pack and leave exercising for a couple of days.

Tony Gallagher, Life fitness adviser

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