Nathaniel Massiah and Kit Connor / Instagram
Young guns were flexing in London recently. Kit Connor, the 19-year-old star of the Netflix series Heartstopper (which has been renewed for two more seasons) teamed up with Nathaniel Massiah, a 20-year-old powerlifter. Both hail from the South London borough of Croydon.
The duo went through a push workout of chest, shoulders, and triceps (with some biceps, too). It started with bench presses. Connor said, “I normally train with dumbbells, so I haven’t trained [barbell] bench press in a while.” Still, he benched 220 lbs. (100 kg.) and then hit a personal best of 231 lbs. (105 kg.). Massiah speculated that Connor probably had the strength for 110 kg. (242 lbs.). Massiah, meanwhile, benched 364 lbs. (165 kg.)—but did we mention he’s a powerlifting phenom, who dominated a powerlifting meet just two weeks earlier?
To see where Connor’s bench press compares to other actors, check out: Celebrity Bench Presses
Kit Connor explained that he used to stick to a push/pull/legs split (chest, shoulders, triceps one day; back and biceps another day; legs on a third day), but he now does the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger split of shoulders and arms one day, chest and back another day, and legs a third day.
Between sets of chest and shoulder exercises, Kit Connor talked about his fitness journey and the pressure on male actors to look diesel:
“The reason I got into the gym was kind of deep, to be honest. When I got cast in Heartstopper, it’s based on a comic book, and the character that I’m based on is like 6’2″, very big. And I was shorter than I am now [5’11”], and skinnier. When it got announced, there were some people on the internet going like, ‘He’s a bit too skinny to play him.’ I saw that and was like ‘S**t.’ So then I just started eating loads. And then I was like, if I’m eating this much might as well [train]. So I started just doing push-ups. I was doing like 200 push-ups a day, and the only thing developing was my chest. So if you look at Heartstopper, there’s a couple points where I’m wearing quite a tight shirt, and the boobies were looking quite large. I was like yes. But then I started properly hitting the gym. It’s good. It’s good for your mental health, I think.”
Watch the video of the Kit Connors and Nathaniel Massiah workout here: