The Body of Three Superheroes: How Ryan Reynolds Does It

Whether he’s modelling for Marks and Spencer, or kicking ass as a superhero, there’s no denying that Ryan Reynolds looks good. The former husband of Scarlett Johansson has obviously got his physical wellbeing sorted out, achieving fitness goals from running marathons to doing his own stunts. But how does Reynolds get his wellness into such amazing shape?


1. What does your training regime entail? According to Reynolds, ‘I don’t have a set routine. Sometimes my training is very cardio-centric – like when I was training for the New York City marathon a few years ago – but if I’m preparing for a film role I’ll mainly lift weights. There’s also a difference between doing aesthetic training to achieve a certain look and functional training, which I do if I’m preparing for a stunt-heavy film to help me avoid getting hurt. Right now I’m in the middle and doing a little bit of everything.’


2. Do you prefer functional or aesthetic training? ‘The functional stuff is a little bit harder because you don’t get that reward of looking really ripped as you do with aesthetic training,’ he notes. ‘But in the long run, the functional stuff will make you physically capable of achieving much more.’


3. What has been your most physically demanding film role to date? Reynolds recalls, ‘I did a film called Safe House with Denzel Washington a couple of years ago where the shooting style didn’t really allow for stuntmen, so we were required to do our own stunts.’


4. Have you ever been injured when filming a stunt? ‘I’ve had lots [of injuries],’ says Reynolds. ‘But the most painful was dislocating my shoulder filming Green Lantern. Then you get the injuries you don’t find out about until years later, where you thought it was just a strain or a sprain but actually it was a break or a fracture.’


5. You’ve starred in three comic book movies (Green Lantern, Blade and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is there something in particular that attracts you to comic-book roles? Reynolds comments, ‘I don’t necessarily seek out those roles. I just think they’re very popular in general these days – every other Hollywood film you see is based on a comic book. It has become a genre in itself.’


6. You have to carry a lot of muscle in those films. How do you approach bulking up for a role? Reynolds asserts, ‘It requires a tremendous amount of eating and a lot of lifting. You end up putting on muscle and fat at the same time, then when you get closer to the shoot you strip away the fat and you’re left with just muscle. It isn’t an exact science, and I’m not that well versed in it, but I know my own body. It’s tough for me to say whether that approach would work for someone else though…Nutrition is everything. Everyone thinks getting in shape is 80% working out and 20% diet, but really it’s the other way around.’


7. Is it difficult being so disciplined? ‘I don’t live like that all the time,’ Reynolds admits. ‘This morning I had a cheese omelette, which isn’t what I’d eat if I were weight training for a role– but sometimes as an actor I have to. You wouldn’t expect somebody with a wife and kids and a nine-to-five job to spend two hours in the gym after work and then come home and eat nothing but steamed vegetables and fish. You have to live a normal life.’


8. Do you enjoy training or is it just part of the job? Reynolds notes, ‘I don’t consider it part of my job at all – I train because I like being healthy and I enjoy it a lot. I’m at my happiest when I’m outdoors, walking in the woods or hiking. I like to try to incorporate those kinds of activities into my morning routine. In some ways, it’s like meditation.’

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