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The man who made bane

 

Unless you are dead, you are sure to have seen The Dark Knight Rises by now. And you obviously couldn’t have missed Bane’s 200 pounds or so of pure muscle inside that parka. In becoming the ‘man who broke the Bat’, Tom Hardy got ample help from the one he calls P-Nut. Meet Patrick Monroe
ISHAN RAYCHAUDHURI | Issue Dated: July 28, 2012, New Delhi
Tags : Patrick P-NuT |
 

Patrick ‘P-NuT’ Monroe is Tom Hardy’s longtime friend and personal trainer. In addition to being a bellwether for the fitness-oriented, P-NuT has been a US Marine, a rabbi, and has worked in the music industry. He trained Tom Hardy for his roles in Bronson, The Warrior and The Dark Knight Rises. “Full of humanity and humour”, as Hardy described him in an interview, P-Nut is a gentle giant – all 100 kgs of him. Between his rigorous training methods – which in fact made Tom Hardy call him “nuts” – and his zen-like approach to life, you can begin to see the essentials of a fit body and mind.

Who is P-Nut?
My real name is Patrick Victor Monroe and I was born in the South Bronx, New York City, USA.

What does physical fitness and training mean to you?
To me, fitness means increased freedom. Most of us know how it feels to be ill or in pain. And when we are ill or in pain, we know how debilitating these states can be. Improving our fitness and health is about creating as much distance from illness as possible.

Why does peak physical condition seem so elusive and is it really so?
Good question. I think the problem is the word peak. Since we are constantly evolving, what our “peak” is relative to the states we’re comparing it to. I look at all physical fitness from a therapeutic point of view. This means that no matter how strong or fit we are, there is a process we can undergo to make us stronger and fitter. I would stay away from using the term “peak” and focus more on my evolution. The journey is infinite and no one has reached the “peak” of human fitness yet. This is a good thing because it keeps us striving to get better and better. I mean what is life really about if not to improve.

What prompted you to get into the world of physical training?
I started learning martial arts when I was four, and when you're that young you’re discovering the world. For me, using my body to discover the world was a natural progression. How fast can you punch or kick or run? How high can you jump or leap or dive? What were my limits and how could I improve them? Physical training means little without it being accompanied by emotional, intellectual and spiritual evolution. If we're going to be in the world and learn from it, we should make sure we are fit for the journey.

How did you get into celeb training and coaching?
It all started with my friendship with Tom Hardy. We've known each other for almost six years now but we didn't start training together until Bronson. Since then, we've trained for Warrior and The Dark Knight Rises. I've trained briefly with other actors, I don’t have permission to mention, for a brief period, but my main work has been focused on Tom until now.

How does one achieve mental peace and how did you get so good at it?
Even the way you posed the question is kind. Thank you, but peace is something that we must constantly strive for. It is fleeting by design for a reason. It must fade so that we are constantly in pursuit of it. Otherwise being in a state of perpetual peace could make us complacent. And then there is a temptation to disengage with the world. The achievement of peace must be amidst the criteria by which we judge success in our lives.

How did you start?
I'm not sure. I remember noticing a great deal of pretense in the adults around me when I was a kid. I remember saying to myself, if you work on being, you don't have to pretend to be. So I got to work, on being.

How did you get your nickname?
My real name is Patrick Monroe. I got the name P-Nut from Tom Hardy when we were training for the film Bronson. He thought I was crazy because of what I asked him to do in physical preparation for the role. He used to call me ‘P’ for short, he just added the 'Nut' because he thought I was, well, nuts!

What is your own fitness mantra?
Actually, it’s my general mantra: “In order to earn my breath I must be better today than yesterday, and better tomorrow than today.”
If someone wants to gain muscle in the shortest amount of time, how can one go about it?
Evolution gives us everything we need to achieve our fitness goals. Our results will always vary because our bodies vary. To me, the most important thing to remember about muscle is that it is utilitarian. The development of muscle is directly related to the purpose behind its use. If you give your muscles purpose they'll respond. For instance, if the world flooded and we needed to swing from newly sprung trees, over time our bodies would change to accomplish the task of swinging efficiently.

Your word on diets and supplements: How good are the Atkins’s and other low carb diets?
I try not to be too dogmatic about diet. This is because most of us eat emotionally and the issues surrounding eating are more often psychological rather than simply physical. I have a few rules that I think will change most lives looking to lose weight. As a matter of fact, if you follow these rules, you could actually lose weight in your sleep.
Firstly, make sure that you eat healthy carbohydrates for breakfast. We all need fuel at the beginning of the day, so fuel up. Secondly, make sure that you only eat protein for the rest of the day. Third, kill all wheat products. It does to the stomach what a slice of bread does to water in a glass full of the stuff. It absorbs and retains it.
Whatever you do, remember to enjoy your life. Don’t stress so much about your weight that you forget to enjoy your life.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017