'Designated Survivor' Star Ben Lawson's Fitness Essentials

How "Designated Survivor" star Ben Lawson stays fit for the screen.

'Designated Survivor' Star Ben Lawson's Fitness Essentials
Frazer Harrison / Staff

At any given time, Ben Lawson is expected to look good. The actor plays an MI-6 operative in ABC’s Designated Survivor—which just ended its second season—and a baseball coach in the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why. He’s even got an ABC drama-comedy in the works called False Profits, in which he plays a blue-collar building manager who occasionally finds himself shirtless. That’s enough motivation for anyone to stay chiseled. Here are Lawson’s fitness essentials.


To look the part, Lawson employs a steady mix of weights and cardio. “I’m a weights guy,” says the 38-year-old Aussie. “I go to the gym regularly. But when I need to get in shape for a role, I will switch over to high-intensity interval training. Intervals shred you up.”

Push and Pull

When lifting, Lawson likes to start with heavy compound lifts like squats. But bodyweight exercises are always part of his regimen. “Wide-grip pullups are a staple for me,” he says. “If I can’t do three sets of 10, I feel out of shape.”

Gym Gear

Lawson’s Top Tools

Casefile Podcast
“Music is key for me in my life and at the gym,” Lawson says. “When I’m training, I need music or a podcast to tune in and drown things out, so the workout flies by. I love the Casefile podcast. Each episode is a different true-crime case.”

Suspension Trainer
“They’re great for traveling. I’ll pack these away and use them in my hotel room when I’m on the road. I’ve even given them as gifts.”

“I’ll do protein shakes, but after a workout, I love a good burrito from Pinches Tacos in L.A.”