How to Look like Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3

For part 1 in the “look like a superhero” series, we’ll be taking a look at Ryan Reynolds for his role in Blade 3.

Blade 3 Straight onSo you want to look like Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3 huh?  Sure he might be a jackass, and most likely full of himself…but DAMN the man is cut.  First and foremost, let’s get a few things out of the way: RR was already in decent shape and had a low body fat percentage before he started his six months of training for Blade 3.  Secondly, he has great genetics, he got paid insane amounts of money for this role, and he had a personal trainer and dietitian to keep him on track.  I guess when you don’t have a day job or kids, working out for 3 hours and eating 8 meals a day is actually an option.  Keep this in mind when you don’t look like this overnight.

As a guy who was already in great shape, had a low percentage of body fat, and only had to worry about adding lean muscle, Ryan only had to worry about adding good weight and cutting the little fat he had.  You can see where this is going: Ryan was already in shape and had to get to an almost unhealthy body fat percentage for this role.  As soon as the role was done, he took a break, because training this much was beyond crazy.

Diet

Damn Van Wilder!

I’m going to start with the diet first, because it is absolutely the most important thing.  I worked out for YEARS and couldn’t put on any weight; it wasn’t until I fixed my diet and I got big almost overnight.   Ryan ate right and it shows. His diet consisted of eating between 6 and 8 meals a day, every 2 hours, with a lot of protein and complex carbohydrates in throughout the day and just protein (no carbs) after 8pm.  He also ate a lot of protein and carbs immediately after his workouts to promote growth; the carbs to refuel his body so the protein can be recruited by the body to JUST BUILD MUSCLE.  Where did he get all that protein?  A lot of eggs, chicken, steak, protein bars, and protein shakes. For his carbs, he ate a lot of oatmeal!  Good ole fashioned oatmeal (without added sugar).  Sounds boring?  It’s because it IS BORING.  Ryan had it down to a science and treated his body like a machine, getting the exact amount of nutrients necessary to gain mostly muscle and not fat.  My guess is that he probably spent the first four months putting on 15 lbs (10 of which is muscle, 5 of which is fat), and then the last two months cutting the fat, leaving just the muscle.  If you’re going to gain weight, this is how it’ll happen.

Read more about why protein is so important here.

I’ve found a few different places where it lists a typical day for Ryan.  From sixpackabs.com:

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, some “good” fat like a spoon of almond butter or slice of avocado, and 1 cup of oatmeal with applesauce
  • Midmorning snack: protein bar
  • Lunch: albacore tuna wrap or chicken and salad
  • Mid-afternoon snack: protein shake (whey and water), protein bar, or apple and almonds
  • Dinner: broiled fish or chicken, brown rice, vegetables, and salad
  • Evening Snack: protein shake

Supplements

Not only did Ryan eat 8 meals a day, but he also took supplements to help him get there.  No, not steroids.  He did take creatine (a BIG boost for building muscle), L-glutamine, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), whey protein powder, and a multivitamin.  Three years ago, when I put on 18 lbs. in 30 days, I was taking a meal replacement supplement that had creatine in it, so I can attest to the fact that it does in fact work.  However, I stopped using it since and have managed to gain plenty of healthy weight without it.  I can tell you that it does work, I just choose not to take it.

Workout

Blade 3 shirtRyan worked out for probably 3 hours a day to prepare for this role.  Now, that’s not three hours of weight training, but weight training and fight training and stuff like that.  However, he did do some form of weight training six days a week.  Ryan would work out a specific body part to almost absolute failure each day.  Example: Chest on Monday, Legs on Tuesday, Back on Wednesday, Shoulders on Thursday, Arms on Friday. When I say failure, I mean FAILURE: he would absolutely destroy his chest on Monday, and then not work it again until the following Monday.  To get maximum muscle building potential, Ryan would keep the number of reps in his sets between 6 and 12.  (Why between 6 and 12 reps?  Read here).

I don’t have his specific routine but I can guess his chest routine: Bench press (bar or dumbbells): 12 reps at a certain weight, wait only 1 minute, add weight, do 10 reps, wait 1 minute, add weight and do 8 reps, wait 1 minute, add weight and do 6 reps.  Then repeat this with incline dumbbell flys (same structure of increasing weight, wait, and reps).  Then repeat with another chest exercise until your body physically cannot lift anything.  Want to get more complex?  Superset some of these exercises with each other.  Make sure you have a spotter for each exercise, because you want to struggle with your last few reps.  If you can do it without a trainer, you should be probably be lifting heavier weights.  A warning: You will be sore. Very sore.  Which is why you won’t work that muscle group again for another week.

Now, He also exercised his abs religiously, and did so by allegedly doing between 500 and 1000 situps to start each workout.  GOOD LORD. Personally, I don’t have time to do 1000 situps.  Also, I don’t want to do 1000 sit ups! Eff that.  I believe your abdominal muscles need rest in between workouts  like every other muscle (although the do recover faster than other muscles, some say), so I would recommend giving yourself at least a day off in between ab exercise days.  As for how to do the workout, once you can do more that 25 sit-ups at a time, doing MORE and MORE of them is a waste of time.  I’d recommend adding weight (doing sit ups on a ball, with a 25 lbs plate on your chest, for example) instead of adding reps.  Your workout stays the same length of time, you just up the intensity.

Cardio?

RR was already in great shape, and did NOT want to lose any weight, he needed to gain 10-15 lbs. of muscle.  Because he was doing intensive fight training along with the weight training, cardio was definitely not something that would not be beneficial for him.  By exercising daily, and doing the exercise and routines that I talked about above, Ryan was able to work his cardio INTO his weight training by minimizing downtime between sets.

Here is a training video from the set of Blade 3:


Blade 3 Training Video

So there you have it. Just think, if you have millions of dollars, great genetics, and all the time in the world to train, of COURSE you can look like this. If you don’t have those things, you just have to make do with what you have.  I don’t have the time to train 3 hours a day and I don’t have somebody to prepare my meals, but I’ve managed to go from 173 lbs to 184 lbs. (keeping my body fat percentage at 9%) working out just 3 hours a week over the past two months.  You can read about my current routine here.  Once I get to 185 lbs, my goal weight, I’m going to REALLY analyze my diet, add in some extra sprints, and maintain my weight while decreasing my body fat.  I don’t think I’ll be able to get down to 3% like Van Wilder here, which is fine.  I work a full time job and I run this blog, so I don’t have the time or resources to get there.  Ryan didn’t even maintain that level of fitness after the movie finished shooting, because THAT LEVEL OF FITNESS IS CRAZY!  I’m sure he was glad to have his life back afterward.

My recommendation – read this story for entertainment, and then find a way to pick and chose parts of it that can help you become who you want to be. Find a way to be in shape, and be happy with that level of fitness.

Any questions regarding this routine leave a comment and I’ll certainly help out.

-Steve

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  • BangBangBoy

    You forgot the most important part. STEROIDS. RR absolutely DID do steroids. I know this for a 100% fact. It’s unreal how naive people are. I dont care what your genetics are like, how good you eat and how good your trainer is. You do not transform your body in the short amount of time he did, by diet and exercise alone. Good ol fashioned bulking cycle, and then cutting cycle

  • milind

    i don’t think this is a enough information/material for six pack abs. This articleis something like a politically correct article. Since this post is for all people it should be in a easy to understand diet/weight schedules. Anyways but I appreciate for this attempt of raveling six pack abs exercise and expecting the more good articles on the same from you.

  • alex h

    I love your website steve and love finding out about celeb workouts because as you say, they have so much time and help they really do get in great shape. Like chris hemsworth as thor or henry cavill as superman. I have never seen such good physiques.

    However you really dissapointed me when you called RR a jackass. Have you met him? I always thought you seemed a really nice genuine guy but after reading that I’m just angry. You did a really good article on assassins creed and they have all my ideoligies and beliefs and insulting someone for no reason seems incredibly petty.

    When I first started training I was 15 and a half stone. 2 years later I was just under 11. Now with about 11-12 percent body fat and some decent muscle mass I’m 12 and a half. Your website and articles really helped me with this transformation and now I’m really dissapointed because I had a great respect for you. But now I’m unsure as you decide to insult someone who I have watched every movie, seen his career grow, and was so proud of RR when he held his own with denzel.

    Movie stars have the best work ethic as they film 12 hours a day and keep their great physiques. After that one comment I now think you are a jackass. As haytham kenway says, ‘your words have great power, weild them wisely.’

    I dont mean to insult you as you’re website has really helped me in so many ways. I just cant comprehend why you would insult someone you blatantly dont know. Since he ran a marathon for a charity when he had a serious virus. And also promotes cars that do not harm the environment.

    please reply as the respect I have lost I would like you to earn back by giving me your side…

  • ryan

    If you big nerds think he got that body naturally , you are the dumbest nerds I know

  • nathan
  • tottinghamboss

    99% of people will never have his body because it’s almost impossible to have that dedication to do it. Having that commitment is mental torture so people quit. If you want to get like that, fast for two weeks. Then have a -1000 deficit diet for another two weeks whilst eating sufficient protein, weight train properly and do cardio every day. You probably won’t look like RR, but you’ll be half the size you are reading this. Don’t listen to all the rubbish that’s out there, if you don’t eat, you lose weight. Simple as. It’s not great for your health, but fasting for 2 weeks will not hurt you.

  • Fred

    He may well be, but he’s also right. That is in no way 3.8% bodyfat. It’s around 7-10%.

    Believing the marketing hype is one thing, but using it to recommend a fitness regime is another.

  • buck

    What a joke. I am a dietician and a physical therapist. Whenever muscle is gained and fat is lossed, at a rapid pace there is always steroids involved, unless you posses the greatest genetics in the world. Please people, watch a natural bodybuilding contest, and you might be shocked what it takes just to be natural. Look at old bodybuilding photos of Frank Zane who admitted to taken steroids before preparation for a contest. He was considered the best natural form for a bodybuilder, but still doesn’t look as good as todays actors who do a short cycle for a movie.
    There is nothing wrong to admit that a short cycle is used by almost all actors nowadays for these types of roles. If it looks to good then you know…… I could go on and on, but it’s really not worth it because you can believe whatever you want. Come to a local gym in south Florida everyone will say they are not taking steroids, but you simply cannot workout for 3 to 4 hours a day without actually losing muscle unless you have some help. One of the biggest indicator is when someone says all they do is workout because you can and will improve with steroids.

  • Uros Jaksic

    Hello Steve!
    I driving myself crazy with thousands of possible ideas how and what should I do for my gym workout. Honestly, I am starting to become kind missarable…
    I am going to gym for 4 months now and everybody is telling me : “wow, nice progress in that little time you are going man!”, but I still dont look like i want to. (I know i cant achive what I want in such time, but still)
    I was wondering can you help me to achive that? First of all, I want to look like RyanReynolds from blade trinity and yes I know that many factores affect that like genetics, diet, etc… but still something similar.
    Here some info about me:
    I am turning 18 in September, I am 172cms (I hope i will grow few cm more, 3 at least, dream of being 175 at least!), I weight 68kg(you might think that i am skinny but I am not)
    I read your RReynolds article at nerdsfitness and I really liked it and I sure want to look like that. So can you give me gym workout program(what to do, when to do, how many reps..etc) and diet program(i saw RR diet program and I like it, especialy that oatmeal!)
    I am looking forward your help and thank you in future. 

  • beto

    Sureeeeeeeee, just good food, training and rest, WHO are you trying to fool, this guy use STEROIDS for sure!!!!!!!