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David Ramsey used old-school training principles to muscle up for his role on Arrow (on the CW, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST). We caught up with the actor to ask how he approaches his training.
M&F: As a co-star on Arrow and a regular on Blue Bloods, how do you find the time to train?
David Ramsey: Staying motivated can be tough, but little things help, like laying out my workout clothes the night before, preparing my meals, setting my alarm clock, and not drinking [alcohol] an hour or two before sleep.
Does your schedule make it difficult to consume all your macros?
On set, it can be tough to get all my prepared meals in, so I have a blender in my trailer.
Do you aim for a specific number of calories per day?
I’ve always been a thin guy, so I eat around 5,000 calories per day. I’ll lose all my mass and get a potbelly like my dad if I stop hitting the weights. I feel good when I’m around 200 pounds.
You’re skilled in Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee’s hybrid style of martial arts. How has JKD influenced you?
The art revolutionized my life. I took to JKD because, philosophically, it’s all about making a choice.
When did you get into weight training?
It was after being cast as Muhammad Ali [in 2000], and I met world-renowned kickboxer Benny “the Jet” Urquidez. I still use the traditional stuff I learned from Benny—pyramid sets, forced reps, dropsets. I don’t worry too much about the weight I’m pushing. I just want to exhaust the muscle from different angles. I also hold the contractions to increase blow flow; it’s all basic, no fad stuff.
John Diggle has become a popular character on Arrow, but he wasn’t in the DC Universe. Why have fans embraced him?
They appreciated how real and accessible Diggle is; he’s not a goody-two-shoes, but he’ll stand up in your face and tell you the right way to get something done.
What’s the vibe like on the set of Arrow?
Stephen Amell [Oliver Queen/ Green Arrow] and I have been on a campaign to make [co-star] Katie Cassidy crack, because she has a tendency of playing everything very seriously. We make dumb noises, fart jokes, Yo Momma jokes; we’ll put wet thumbs in her ear and kiss her during a take when there’s no kissing. She won’t crack.