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 25 pounds 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-foot Machu Pichu, 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. Not only has he acted alongside Oscar winners like Denzel Washington and Sandra Bullock, he’s also been offered countless superhero roles, like The Green Lantern and Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

“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 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."

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The Reynolds Workout

Trainer Bobby Strom has been training Ryan Reynolds for eight 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.

See the workout >>

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Abs

Every workout begins with a 20-minute ab workout. Here is a sample circuit. Do one of each set, then repeat 4 times:

Set 1

Exercise Reps
Decline Bench situps* 15-20
Hanging leg lifts 15-20
Wood chops on cable 15-20

 

*Use a 10-lb plate held behind the head.

 

Set 2

Exercise Reps
Swiss Ball crunches 15-20
Decline Bench Body Bar twists* 15-20
The Wheel from Knees** 15-20


 

 

 

*As you come up, twist the bar to your right side then go back, but only extend about 45 degrees, and come up and twist the bar to the left side. if you don’t have a weighted bar, you can hold 7-lb dumbbells in each hand next to your head

**Extend all the way out as far as you can with a one-second pause. return to the top. Doing this from the knees takes pressure off the lower back.

Heavy Lower-Body Day

Exercise Sets Reps
Walking lunges* 3-4 52

*45-pound dumbbells in each hand, 26 paces down, 26 paces up.

Heavy Upper-Body Day

Exercise Sets Reps
Flat Bench 3 15-20
Incline Bench 3 15-20

Matrix Day

More stability and core work to let the muscles recuperate. “i incorporate a lot of plyometrics, TRX [suspension training], BOSU, bands, kickboxing, yoga," Strom says of his client's routine, "so his bodydoesn’t acclimate and his mind doesn’t become stale.”