Want abs like Anthony Bridgerton? How Jonathan Bailey got in shape

a photo of actor Jonathan Bailey holding a paddleboard
(Image credit: Instagram/Jonathan Bailey)

If you haven’t caught up on Bridgerton season 2 yet, where have you been? Forget the Duke, Antony Bridgerton is the hero of the series, as we watch the Viscount attempt to find a bride (and untangle that love triangle with the Sharma sisters). If you have watched it, then you'll have seen Jonathan Bailey emerge from the lake in that white shirt, and you might be wondering what he did to build those abs. 

To find out more, I took a deep dive into Bailey’s fitness routine (just call me Lady Whistledown). Read on to find out exactly what the actor did to get in shape for the role. Looking for more workout inspiration? Here’s how Alan Ritchson packed on 30 pounds to play Reacher, the best ab workouts on YouTube, and how Taron Egerton built his impressive physique.  

a photo of actor Jonathan Bailey playing Anthony Bridgerton


What we can learn from Jonathan Bailey’s Bridgerton workout routine 

Of course, celebrities are no different than us mere mortals, and a good workout routine involves a mix of exercising and eating well. Yet if you’re wondering how Bailey got in shape to play the Viscount, here’s what we know:

He got in shape to feel confident on camera 

“When you’re getting your kit off, you just want to feel confident”, Bailey told Glamour Magazine. “I also think getting into the discipline of exercise really helps when you have a long grueling schedule so exercising and getting ready for a role is more of a mental thing as well as a literal physical thing.”

There are a number of different studiesthat have proven exercise to have a positive effect on confidence and self-esteem in the short term, but regular movement can also help improve mental health in the long term. Exercise has been found to boost self-esteem and cognitive function, and there’s no doubt about it — Bailey would have needed to feel comfortable and confident going into those semi-clothed scenes in Bridgerton.

Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

He focused on recovery and good nutrition 

In an interview with new! Magazine, Bailey said: “This season required a lot of staying calm and steady and ready. It's kept me on my toes. I got really fit, I made sure to eat well and get loads of sleep, and everything else just seemed to fall into place."

As we’ve already mentioned, long term fitness results come from an overall healthy lifestyle, and this includes nutrition, and getting enough sleep at night. Studies have found that sleep not only boosts your immune system and increases your exercise performance, but it can help prevent weight gain. Want to feel better? Make sure you’re getting enough shut eye. 

He trained with a personal trainer in Mayfair 

Of course, that physique did involve some hard work, and while getting in shape for Bridgerton, Bailey shared photos of his training on Instagram. Bailey trained with Jeff Dobos, a personal trainer at Ultimate Performance — a gym in Mayfair, London.  

In one photo, Bailey can be seen doing lateral pull downs using a pulley attachment in the gym. Lat pulldowns are one of the best exercises out there for targeting your back muscles, but they also hit your lower traps, biceps, and forearms for a killer arm workout too. Here’s how to do lat pulldowns with the correct form

He was already pretty fit before stepping on set 

A quick dive down Bailey’s Instagram account proves he was already incredibly fit before stepping back in time to play Lord Bridgerton. Bailey hiked to Everest Base Camp in 2018, has completed a 100 mile bike ride for a homeless charity, Shelter, and taken part in triathlons. Inspired? Here are the best running shoes to get you moving and the best exercise bikes for those brick sessions. 

He’s also posted a number of thirst trap worthy shots carrying a paddleboard and previously told Entertainment Tonight, "I'm actually doing a lot of paddle boarding at the moment and swimming in the sea because I live on the coast," adding that in regards to Bridgerton, "Part of the excitement for all of us [is] to really get fit and be able to enjoy the scenes." Stand-up paddle boarding is a brilliant core workout, as it forces you to engage your abs to balance as you row. 

Bailey proves that staying fit and building a Hollywood body doesn’t have to be boring. Rather than spending hours slogging on the treadmill, or lifting weights in the gym, find exercise you enjoy, eat well, and sleep well and you’ll undoubtedly feel better. 

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.