The Covert Affairs Workout
Christopher Gorham, the star of Covert Affairs shares his fitness secretsBy: J. Rentilly with additional reporting by Adina Steiman and Laura Roberson
Train Like a TV Government Agent
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Auggie Anderson is a man of action, a wrestler, an athlete, an Eagle Scout, Special Ops, a government agent and, uh, completely blind.
Christopher Gorham, the 37-year old actor who brings Anderson to life on USA Network’s white-knuckle spy thriller Covert Affairs (Search: When is Covert Affairs on?), had virtually nothing in common with Auggie when the show launched in 2010.
“When I got the job, I’d just done a film where the director forbade me from going to the gym for months because he wanted me skinny and a little pudgy,” says Gorham. “But Auggie’s one of the best, most highly-trained soldiers our military has to offer. He has to be fit, man. So I dove into it—even though I hate running, hate cardio, and love carbs. Sometimes you have to suffer for your art.” (Want to try a cutting-edge fitness system that will melt your fat, torch your calories, and sculpt every single muscle in your body? Try Speed Shred, the new follow-along DVD series from Men’s Health.)
Working with a trainer who had previously whipped Hollywood actors into Spartan shape for the gladiator flick 300, Gorham turned his lump of clay into a well-chiseled physique in just six weeks, landing on several “sexiest men on TV” lists. “That’s ridiculous,” he says, “but nice.” In his own words, here’s how Gorham became the indestructible Anderson, a lethal weapon in and of himself.
Video: 5 Moves to Sculpt and Tone
The Protein“I started pounding protein every day. For breakfast, I ate a big omelet with spinach and chicken and avocado. And I had three protein shakes a day: two fast-acting shakes (one right after the workout and one as a snack), and then at night, a slower-acting shake, so I’ve got it happening all night long.”
The MH tip: Want to figure out how much protein you need? Step on the scale. According to Mark Tarnopolsky, M.D., Ph.D., who studies exercise and nutrition at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, men who work out 5 or more days a week for an hour or longer need 0.55 grams of daily protein per pound of body weight. And men who work out 3 to 5 days a week for 45 minutes to an hour need 0.45 grams per pound. So a 180-pound guy who works out regularly needs about 80 grams of protein a day. As for when to eat it and what kind you need? Discover The Truth about Protein.
The Cardio“You’ve got to work up a good sweat and really get your heart going. I go 12 to 25 minutes, six days a week—maybe it’s on the treadmill, cycling, stairs, or running.” (Track your runs with this free 12-week training log)
The MH tip: Concentrate on cardio workouts that minimize microtrauma—the small tears to muscle fibers that are part of the process of building new muscle. Running on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete can be traumatic to muscles and joints. Jumping rope can cause similar problems. Here are five other Exercises That Make Trainers Cringe.
The Abs“I do abs every day: regular, weighted crunches and sit-ups every other day, then my obliques and my sides on the alternating day. So I’m working my core every day.” (Related: 6 Workouts for Six-Pack Abs)
The MH tip: Don’t do crunches on your back. Instead, target your obliques with the medicine-ball slam. Hold a medicine ball overhead, with your knees slightly bent. Reach back, and then slam the ball to the floor in front of you without rounding your lower back. Complete 3 sets of 15 repetitions. (Need a challenge? Click here for The Best New Ab Exercise You Must Try.)
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