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Jon Bernthal Punisher Workout Plan

Jon Bernthal Punisher Workout Plan

Edward Fontaine
7 minute read

“The main thing is busting your ass and being disciplined: that’s always the key with training.”

- Jon Bernthal


“Mr. Castle.” You look up to see Fisk staring down at you from a barred mezzanine, his massive frame draped in an orange jumpsuit. “Thank you. I couldn’t have done it without you.” You turn around and see inmates filing out of the open cells, one by one, angry and frothing. Once they see what you have done they start coming towards you, a herd of murderers charging down the corridor like some twisted running of the bulls. The catch? There’s nowhere to run. The gate behind you is locked. There’s no exit point. The guards on the other side salivate at the spectacle: gladiator games commence! Your chest rattles like the hood of a muscle car. There’s only one option for survival: floor the damn thing.  


To be fair, most of us will never find ourselves in a scenario bearing even a thread of resemblance to this (hopefully) and most of us will never have our entire family killed in front us and become consumed with vengeance as a result (again, hopefully). However, isn’t it a good idea to be prepared just in case? If not for those extremes, maybe for something on the other end of the spectrum, e.g., the ability to protect yourself or others, de-escalation, or just simply knowing that you’re more badass than 9 out of 10 people you encounter on a daily basis. The old cliche will forever ring true: it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

 

So, how can you train to become a badass yourself? How can you be prepared for (almost) anything? To start, you can train how Jon Bernthal trained to prepare for the role of arguably the most badass character in comic book history: the Punisher.

Jon Bernthal Workout Routine

Jon Bernthal utilized a variety of training methods to prepare for his role as Frank Castle. This came in the form of weight lifting, metabolic conditioning, martial arts, and even training with actual military guys (a must if you’re portraying a veteran). 

 

Here are two quotes from Bernthal himself taken from an interview with Men’s Journal. I have also highlighted a few key points I found particularly salient: 

 

It’s important to mix it up. We’re constantly bringing new people in, whether it is martial artists or military guys. We want to be able to do a number of different techniques. There is always something to be learning.

 

On what a day of training looks like:

 

“Today we got up at 4 in the morning. Usually we’ll start with a little strength work, whether it is taking on squats or the bench press, doing five sets of three at the maximum weight. There’s a lot of supersetting, and bodybuilding weight practices. Then we work on a lot of MetCon [metabolic conditioning], doing as many rounds as we can, trying to get each movement just right. It will usually be about five or six full-body moves, like pull-ups or cleans. We’ll do that for somewhere around 20 minutes or so. Then in the afternoon we’ll do boxing or jiu jitsu workouts between scenes. I always want to box, but they really try to keep me working my whole body as much as possible. On top of that, learning the fights for the show or weapons training is almost a whole other workout on top of that. So it probably works out to three separate big, different workouts a day. It’s pretty gnarly.”



Now, most of us don’t have the time to train three times a day and incorporating all these different methods is difficult to do. However, we have devised a workout routine that strings together a lot of the components and can be done in a single session or broken up into two. 



Our Jon Bernthal Punisher Workout Routine

 

       Day 1: Chest & Conditioning

 

Warm Up: 

We all know Castle’s famous harp: “One batch. Two batch. Penny and a dime.” For this warm up we’ve come up with our own rendition: “One batch. Two batch. Nickel and a dime.”

 

  • 5 pull-ups followed by 10 push-ups

* EMOM ( repeat every minute on the minute) for 5 minutes total or 5 rounds. 

 

Strength & Muscle Building Workout: 

*take 2 minutes of rest between each set

  1. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 8 heavy reps
  2. Flat Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets 3 heavy reps
  3. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 8 superset with Dumbbell Flys
  4. EZ Bar Skull Crushers: 5x8 superset with Tricep Pull Downs. 

 

Conditioning & Endurance Workout:

 

       MetCon: Complete 5 Rounds of the following circuit with only 1 minute rest between rounds

  • 10 Bodyweight Dips 

  • 10 Lying Leg raises

  • 60 Seconds Heavy Bag, Jump Rope or Shadow Box



    Day 2: Back & Conditioning

 

       Warm Up: 

“One batch. Two batch. Nickel and a dime.”

  • EMOM: 5 pull-ups followed by 10 push-ups 



       Strength & Muscle Building Workout: 

*Take 2 minutes of rest in between each set

  1. Barbell Deadlifts: 5 sets of 8 reps
  2. Barbell Deadlifts: 2 sets 3 heavy reps
  3. Single Arm Dumbbell Row: 5 sets 8 reps each arm
  4. Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 5 heavy reps



Conditioning & Endurance Workout       

MetCon: Repeat the following exercises back to back without rest for 1 round, complete 5 rounds total

 

  • 10 Sit Ups

  • 60 Seconds Plank

  • 10 Burpees

  • 60 Seconds Heavy Bag, Jump Rope or Shadow Boxing

        

 

Day 3: Legs

 

        Warm Up:

 “One batch. Two batch. Nickel and a dime.”

  •  EMOM: 5 pull-ups followed by 10 push-ups for 5 minutes (5 rounds)

 

Strength & Muscle Building Workout: 

*take 2 minutes of rest between each exercise

 

  1. Barbell Back Squats: 5 sets of 8 reps
  2. Barbell Back Squat: 3 sets of 3 heavy reps
  3. Leg Press: 3 sets of 12 heavy reps (Drop Set Each)
  4. Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 sets of 8 reps each leg

 

 Conditioning Workout

 *MetCon: Perform each exercise back to back without rest for 1 round. Complete 5 rounds total with 1 minute rest between each round

 

  • 10 Jumping Lunges 

  • 10 Lying Leg Raises

  • 10 Box Jumps

  • 60 Seconds Heavy Bag, Jump Rope or Shadow Box



  Day 4: Shoulders & Conditioning

 

 Warm Up:

   “One batch. Two batch. Nickel and a dime.”

 

  •  EMOM: 5 pull-ups followed by 10 push-ups

 

Strength & Muscle Building Workout: 

*take 2 minutes of rest between each set

 

  1. Seated Military Barbell Shoulder Press: 5 sets of 8 reps
  2. Seated Military Barbell Shoulder Press 3 sets of 3 heavy reps 
  3. Standing Arnold Dumbbell Press: 5 sets of 10 reps
  4. Barbell Upright Rows: 3 sets of 10 reps

 

 Conditioning 

  • Perform 30 minutes of boxing, martial arts or run 3 miles

 

GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT

Bernthal trained 4-5 days a week so you can add a fifth workout to this if you’re up for it! I recommend a cardio routine or some form of active rest day or you can even repeat one of the workouts listed above. If you can’t complete the entire workout in one go you can break it up into two separate workouts, hit the weight portion at the gym and then the MetCon later at home with adjusted exercises. I do encourage doing your best to complete each workout as a whole with limited rest. Challenge yourself. Push beyond your limits. Surprise yourself. And have fun with it! 

 

“We’re just going to do the absolute best that we can and every day is a fight for that.” --- Jon Bernthal

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/how-jon-bernthal-got-into-punisher-shape-w449038/

 

https://www.trainmag.com/fitness/punisher-jon-bernthals-punishing-workout-regime/

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