Ryan Reynolds is an actor known for comedic roles such as the titular character in the movie Van Wilder and other romantic comedy type films. What he is also known for is having one of the best physiques in Hollywood through his work in movies such as Blade: Trinity and Green Lantern or even his portrayal of Deadpool. If you’re cut like he was in Blade then you’re bound to get a lot of attention and people wondering how you got your body to look like that. When designing a workout and diet program to emulate the Ryan Reynolds look it is important to have a strategy that will achieve the desired ripped look without getting too bulky or losing too much muscle mass through excessive cardio activity. Okay, so we know that we will need to pack on some mass and get really chiseled abs which will require our diet and workout to shed body fat like a furnace. Let’s get to it.
If you saw Ryan Reynolds in Blade: Trinity, one of the first things you probably noticed was how cut his abs were. In that movie, he basically had the 8-pack look, which means his body fat percentages were pretty low. I am of the firm belief that diet is the key factor to any body transformation and should be the top priority of trying to get ripped.
A dietary change is difficult for many people to accomplish due to already ingrained poor eating habits. For our purposes, I think the first step would be to implement a clean bulk, and keep the food guidelines very basic and simple to follow. The frequency of eating should consist of at least 5 meals per day and I have read the Ryan consumed up to 8 meals per day. Keep in mind that these meals should be smaller than usual and eaten with a goal in mind and not to just stuff your face. Secondly, a protein shake can be considered a meal if it is in between two of your larger courses and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pair the protein shake with a banana or some other type of fruit.
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Each meal will include a good protein source in order to constantly re-feed the muscles and keep them growing. Protein needs to come from lean sources such as skinless chicken, turkey, fish, and certain cuts of beef. Other great sources of protein can come from eggs, beans, nuts, and of course protein shakes in the morning and post-workout.
Green vegetables are a staple for anybody trying to get ripped and for good reason. Broccoli, spinach, and the like are loaded with vitamins and fiber which studies show actually assists in fat loss. They are also a low calorie food, so combined with their nutrient density gives you all the more reason to load up.
Carbohydrates are also an important consideration. Low carb is not the way to go in this situation, although in the fat loss stages experimenting with carb cycling may be beneficial to some people. Carbohydrate sources should come from complex instead of simple carbohydrates. A good rule of thumb is to avoid processed foods because these are usually very simple carbohydrates that will tend to get stored as fat. Opt for oatmeal, brown rice, veggies, sweet potatoes, etc. Obviously avoid white bread, donuts, snack foods.
Fats are often overlooked and have been demonized as a bad thing. The truth is that fats are necessary for running at your best and certain kinds such as those found in fish oil tablets can actually aid in weight loss (to some extent), as well as helping prevent a myriad of other health conditions. It’s pretty simple, burgers, pizza, etc. are bad sources of fat. I’m sure you know the difference. We want to build the type of muscle mass that Ryan has in Blade without putting on too much extra fat in the process.
You have to learn to love the weights. Now in preparation for some of his roles, Ryan often trained 2-3 hours a day, probably with a few days rest thrown in, and this went on for 6-12 months. Now in our world we don’t have as much time or expert assistance to make this change happen quite as smooth. I like to hit the weight room 4-5 times per week and do a three-day split. For example, a chest/back day, arms/shoulders day, and a day to really blast the legs. This type of workout allows you to focus on specific muscle groups and hit them from all angles, while at the same time allowing for proper rest and recovery.
As far as an ab workout goes, hitting the abdominal muscles 2-3 times per week is sufficient to provide enough stimulation and allow for growth. I like to mix up the ab days and how I train them. Maybe do weighted exercises on one day, hit the lower abs another day, utilize hanging variations on a chin-up bar another. Planking is a great way to really hit the abs from different angles and keep your body working hard in order to reveal those great six pack abs.
Rep schemes and weight should vary from week to week in my experience. Training heavy will help pack on the muscle and increase your strength. At the same time you can add muscular endurance and hit you body in another way with lower weights and high reps. The lower weights and higher reps could easily be transformed into a type of circuit training, that will help keep your heart rate up and burn more calories, like having another cardio workout.
If we extrapolate this transformation over a time period of six months, I might do a clean bulk for four months and then cut for two. The first four months are dedicated to adding lean muscle mass that will be our base that we can chisel down with a fat burning plan during the last two months. The great thing about keeping a basic ‘clean’ diet is that all you have to do is adjust the amount of calories and macronutrients you eat and not the kind of foods. If you want to bulk try experimenting by adding 500 calories each day. If you want to cut then consume 500 calories less per day. See how your body reacts, and if you’re losing too much too fast then add some of the calories back into your diet until you hit that perfect spot.
Getting a body like Ryan Reynolds in Blade or as Deadpool definitely takes lots of effort but the prescription for doing it is rather simple. Create the right workout schedule that will fit your life and will maximize your gains. Get in the weight room and build up your muscle mass through performing consistent workouts (consistent in the temporal sense) that keeps your body guessing and forces it to grow (varying the exercises). To achieve the ripped look a low body fat percentage is necessary which means that the diet you follow must be in order 100%. Cut out processed foods and stick to some basic staples and make it a routine to follow. Your workout and diet need to have a harmonious existence with one another to create spectacular results, so experiment and find out what works best for your body. If you want to get the great abs and built physique of Ryan Reynolds, it will take plenty of work and planning but it is achievable.