Christian Bale’s Workout In American Psycho Is Now Trending On TikTok - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Christian Bale’s Workout In American Psycho Is Now Trending On TikTok

As the incredibly vain and self-absorbed Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, Christian Bale fulfilled a fitness regime that was as ridiculous as the character himself. Now, that routine has gone viral on TikTok.

22 years ago, Christian Bale stunned audiences with his portrayal of the deeply narcissistic, unhinged, yet comically self-absorbed Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. The film has become something of a cult classic in recent years, and though Bateman’s character is certainly reprehensible in a myriad of ways, his body continues to be hailed as an aspirational goal for anyone looking to get in shape or take their gym training to the next level. 

For those familiar with the film, it’s not hard to see why. It opens with Bateman’s morning fitness routine, expressed via monologue in which he tells audiences how he can do 1,000 crunches at once, before moving onto the importance of his skincare routine. He peels a face-mask off his face that has the youthful visage of a newborn covered in vaseline: all shine, plumpness and moisture. He might have no empathy or express any human emotion, but hey – he has abs, broad shoulders, and that ever elusive v-taper back that so many strive for and never achieve. By all accounts, Bateman is an Italian renaissance sculpture brought to life on film. 

In a rather disturbing turn of events though (which is, come to think of it, almost in keeping with the tone of the film), this fitness routine has now started trending on TikTok, with people all looking to take it on and, hopefully, get shredded like Bateman. Where TikTok used to be a platform giving us an endless stream of viral dance-move videos and pranks, it’s since morphed into something of a health and wellness informational hub. 

The key caveat though, is that like all things on the Internet, it doesn’t take much for anyone to share their opinion, regardless of scientific or registered wisdom behind it. And so, the spread of misinformation is rife. You might think anyone could take a discerning eye to a video of a pre-teen dry-scooping pre-workout and understand that such a thing definitely isn’t conducive to optimal health, but it seems others are falling into the trap of believing what they see to be fact. 

Now, with Patrick Bateman’s ludicrous and unsustainable workout trending, it’s safe to assume that those taking it on are probably doing their body more harm than good. Bateman’s character was symbolic of many things, but none more so than the incessant and all-consuming hustle culture that has taken over so much of the world, ensuring we no longer have a clear distinction between work and home life anymore, but instead feel constantly plugged in and always on. 

As Farren Morgan, founder of The Tactical Athlete training method explains in an interview with GQ, to achieve Bateman’s body you would need to put your body under an extremely restrictive diet and intense exercise regimen. “You will need to undergo a highly restrictive no-cheat diet and an intensive four-day strength training workout plan to obtain his highly defined abs, thick biceps, broad shoulders, and sculpted v-taper that he shows in the movie,” he says. 

@patrick_batemansigma1 it gives me motivation #patrickbateman #workout #sigmagrindset #sigmamindset #sigmamale #meme #3am #sigma #americanphysco #sigmarule #sigmamindset???? #christanbale #foryoupage #xyzbca #fypシ #viral #fyp ♬ The Perfect Girl – Mareux

Where it gets dangerous is that for many people, achieving such a look isn’t done through hard work but rather by cutting corners. As Chris Antoni, founder of Tailor Made Fitness tells GQ, “Many youngsters these days do not want to put in the effort or have the discipline to achieve this look through hard work,” adding, “They cut corners and take things like anabolic steroids then promote themselves on social media trying to sell workouts or fitness advice.”

So, how does one go about getting such a Bateman body the right way? Rather than putting yourself through hours and hours of crunches, trainers all recommend focusing on compound movements that target multiple body parts, like squats and deadlifts. These build muscle mass and also burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time. While also strengthening these larger muscle groups, consider focusing on individual muscles to reduce injury and incorporate exercises like hamstring curls and tricep pushdowns. 

And, most importantly, get some cardio in. To get those abs, you need to do some HIIT workouts or cardio sessions like skipping, running or cycling. Core work with planks and various crunches are also great to build strength and define the core muscles. Remember, rather than restrict yourself, fuel yourself to work hard in the gym. You can never out-train a bad diet, so eat clean and eat nutritious foods with good fats, low carbs and high amounts of protein. And take it slow: all change takes time to see results. 

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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