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Ryan Reynolds’ superhero workout for a strong, shredded physique

From comic actor to comic book superhero, Ryan Reynolds has spent the last decade chiseling a blockbuster body.

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Ryan Reynolds
Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff / Getty
Ryan Reynolds
Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff / Getty

Back in his Van Wilder days, Ryan Reynolds lived like a frat boy. “I was pretty unhealthy,” he admits. “I didn’t care what I ate or what I drank.” Then came Blade: Trinity, and the comic actor got serious. After three months, six-day-a week workouts, and a 3,200-calorie daily diet, Reynolds gained 25lbs of muscle.

“That time changed my life because it taught me you can actually do things that were previously impossible,” he says.

Impossibilities like running the New York City marathon (at a time of 3 hours, 50 minutes). Or climbing the 8,000′ Machu Picchu, one of the fitness feats left on his to-do list.

It’s hardly coincidental that Reynolds’ career has taken a meteoric trajectory since bulking up for Blade. He’s not only acted alongside Oscar-winners like Denzel Washington and Sandra Bullock, but also been offered countless superhero roles, like The Green Lantern and Deadpool.

“I’ve been a fan of Deadpool all my life, so I was gonna murder someone if it wasn’t me [who played him],” Reynolds recalls. “He was a last-minute addition to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so I had to gain muscle quickly. I was eating, like, live children as they passed in order to bulk up.”

Nowadays, Reynolds says his training is more functional and less aesthetic. “Most of it is self-preservation. You want to still be able to get up after take 50 of falling off some ledge and landing on cement,” he says. “As I’ve gotten older, falling on cement has become less and less hilarious.”

The Reynolds workout

Trainer Bobby Strom has been training Reynolds for years, dating back to Blade: Trinity. “We try to make him look different in each role,” Strom says. “It’s not the same physique every time.” He likens Reynolds’ year-long preparation for The Green Lantern to a professional bodybuilder training for the Mr. Olympia competition. Strom kept the action star’s body guessing by constantly changing up his workouts every day.

Every workout begins with a 20-minute abs workout. Here’s a sample circuit; do one of each set, then repeat it four times.

Routine

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Ryan Reynolds' superhero workout

Abs workout (do 5 circuits)

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 10

Weighted Situp

Equipment
Weight Plates
Sets
--
Reps
15-20, performed on decline bench
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 2 of 10

Hanging Leg Raise

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
--
Reps
15-20
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 3 of 10

Horizontal Cable Woodchop

Equipment
Cable Machine
Sets
--
Reps
15-20
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 4 of 10

Swiss Ball Crunch

Equipment
Swiss Ball
Sets
--
Reps
15-20
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 5 of 10

Russian Twist

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
--
Reps
15-20 on decline bench
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 6 of 10

Ab-Wheel Rollout

Equipment
Ab Wheel
Sets
--
Reps
15-20
Rest
As needed

Ryan Reynolds' Superhero Workout

Lower-body finisher

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 10

Walking Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
26
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 8 of 10

Reverse Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
26
Rest
60 sec.

Ryan Reynolds' Superhero Workout

Upper-body finisher

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 9 of 10

Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
As needed
Exercise 10 of 10

Incline Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
As needed
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