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“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.
“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.”>
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.”