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The Workouts That Got Sebastian Stan in ‘Winter Soldier’ Shape

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Sebastian Stan
Trae Patton/NBC / Getty
Sebastian Stan
Trae Patton/NBC / Getty

Don Saladino, owner of the Drive Clubs in New York, started working with Sebastian Stan five years ago to help him get ready for a Broadway play, Picnic.

“He had to be shirtless for most of his time onstage, and, unsurprisingly, he was a little paranoid about it,” Saladino says. But things had to progress slowly to avoid injury.

“When Seb started squatting, I actually took the bar off his back,” Saladino says. “He didn’t have the hip mobility or hip-hinge ability to squat or touch his toes.”

Well, that changed, and Stan went on to appear in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger as Bucky Barnes. Then he reprised his role as the Winter Soldier, a brainwashed assassin with a bionic arm and super-strength who’s well-versed in hand-to-hand combat, in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Sharing screen time with guys like Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans pushed Stan to up his game.

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“Sebastian wanted to add size without sacrificing his ability to move,” Saladino recalls. That’s reflected in his program, which has Stan performing heavy days along with plyometric and speed days. “It keeps him loose and pliable and allows him to move,” Saladino says. “Some of the loads he lifts are at 50% of his one-rep max. It’s more about getting the body to move light weight more quickly.”

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Saladino’s approach is partly based off the West Side Barbell Method, which has lifters work up to near-one-rep-max loads early in the week, and then move lighter weight explosively to build power. “As for plyos, you’re not looking to go for high reps—just get the body moving,” says Saladino. “When you’re done, you’ll notice that your body is looser, and you feel faster.”

Routine

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Warmup

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 4

Kettlebell Swing

Equipment
Kettlebells
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 2 of 4

Kettlebell Clean

Equipment
Kettlebells
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 4

Kettlebell Squat

Equipment
Kettlebells
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 4

Kettlebell Shoulder Press

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
*Alternating arms

Day 1

Heavy Day

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 5 of 4

Zercher Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Power Rack
Sets
3
Reps
3
Rest
--
Exercise 6 of 4

Barbell Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
3
Reps
3
Rest
--
Exercise 7 of 4

Barbell Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
25
Rest
--
Exercise 9 of 4

Single-Leg Squat

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--
Exercise 10 of 4

Box Jump

Equipment
Box
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--

Day 2

Volume Day

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 11 of 4

Chest-Supported Row

Equipment
Sets
5
Reps
12
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 13 of 4

Alternating Lat Pulldown

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 15 of 4

Dumbbell Curl

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12-15
Rest
--

Day 3

Start with 5 min. of aerobic plyometrics, then complete the following workout.

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
3
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 18 of 4

Lateral Leap and Hop

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 19 of 4

Farmer’s Walk

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
25-50 yards
Rest
--
Exercise 20 of 4

Box Squat

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
3 (50%)
Rest
--
*With band
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