The Captain America workout. Chris Evans gained about between 20 lbs of muscle for his role in the movie while at the same time dropping his body fat percentage from 12.5 to 8 percent. Even though the actual physical training is by far the most important thing when it comes to getting more muscle, you really have to eat more in order to weigh more on the scale.
Chris did it by eating skinless chicken, turkey and fish in huge quantities and lots and lots of salad and all sorts of green vegetables.
Chris Evans’ Workout for Captain America
- Chris Evans on his workout: the actor stated the 3 months of his workouts were grueling and brutal. Honestly, he’s right. Gaining muscle is simply impossible without hard work.
- Two muscle groups: Chris and his trainer would take two muscle groups such as chest and back or biceps and triceps and destroy them in the gym for about two hours. Afterwards they would cool down with some core and ab work. So much working out did not leave Chris without some injuries. But because of the movie deadline, they had to work around the sore or injured body parts and push on.
- Performance training The workout was mainly based on becoming more athletic – more upper body strength, faster sprinting, etc.
- A lean and muscular, but angular body The guys that get in this kind of shape like Chris Evans get in different kind of shape than say football players or bodybuilders. They don’t balloon to be as big as possible, but instead strategically build their bodies. Here is s great video that explains this – click here and watch the first video.
Captain America vs. James Bond
Chris’s trainer for Captain America, Simon Waterson, has become Hollywood’s go-to guy when it comes to getting actors in super hero shape. Previously he helped Daniel Craig get buff like a bull for his roles in Casino Royale, The Invasion, The Golden Compass, Defiance and Quantum of Solace and Jake Gyllenhaal for his role in Prince of Persia. Currently he is busy getting Sam Worthington in Spartan shape for Clash of the Titans 2.
In addition to that, he also trained Halle Berry for her James Bond movie role, Gerri Halliwell for her music video It’s raining men and Pierce Brosnan for The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day.
Simon’s basic philosophy is to combine weight training and cardio into one workout using circuit training around 10 basic multi joint exercises done for 10-15 reps with as little rest as possible.
Chris and Simon would train six days per week with an optional workout on Sunday to hit muscles that are not trained enough or lagging. They would do 3 weight training sessions and two cardio and core sessions.
Each weight training session would begin with a plyometric bodyweight circuit to improve overall functional fitness. Then, they would focus on 2 muscle groups per day. This kind of combined training builds a very balanced physique with a combination of myofibrilar (the muscle fibers) and sarcoplasmic (the fluid in the muscles) hypertrophy.
The second video here <== just click here and scroll down to the second video. It explains these two types of muscle.
Here’s an example circuit – pull-ups, followed by squat trusts with a push up, then kettlebell swings, weighted step-ups, squat trusts again and finally suspension training.
- Monday – circuit followed by back and arms. Lots of deadlifts, shrugs, biceps curls. Chris and Simon worked up to doing weighted pull-ups for 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 15 kgs.
- Tuesday – cardio and abs. Chris and his trainer would incorporate rotational core exercise such as the high to low or low to high wood chopper.
- Wednesday – circuit plus heavy legs – lunges, squats.
- Thursday – cardio and abs.
- Friday – circuit plus chest, arms and shoulders. Simon likes to hit the chest from different angles – close grip incline presses, incline flies, incline pushups with feet elevated. Another exercise he uses is the kneeling shoulder press – this way you cannot cheat by using your legs. Chris also did weighted dips for 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 20-30kg as well as pushups with a 20kg plate on his back.
- Saturday – rest. This includes the strict nutrition rules. Simon’s clients are free to eat whatever they please from 6pm on Friday to 8am on Sunday.
- Sunday – either extra work for muscles that are not hi hard or extra posture work – rear delts, rhomboids.
- Supplementation – Simon Waterson had Chris take a simple but effective supplement combo to aid in his fast recovery. The Cap would take whey protein shakes, Omega 3,6, and 9’s as well as glutamine.
Chris Evans Before Captain America
Before getting in Nazi-butt-kicking shape as Captain America, Chris Evans was still in pretty great shape, as far as looks go. For his roles in Not Another Teen Movie and Fantastic Four, Chris worked with Hollywood trainer Steve Zim. His methods show quick results by only focusing on the visible muscles and using targeted movements with custom range of motion to target only these muscles.
Steve Zim has developed a method of specifically targeting only the intended muscles with his own custom devised exercises. With his method it is possible to have a noticeable difference in your muscular development in a matter of weeks. Here are 3 tips from Steve Zim, Chris Evans’s personal trainer on Fantastic 4 and Not Another Teen Movie:
- Stretch between sets – this way you will remain flexible and prevent injuries. Plus it’s a great way to use the idle time.
- Breathe during weight training. This may seem obvious to many ‘ but some people actually forget to breathe out on the exertion portion of the lift and breathe in when on the negative motion.
- Focus your mind on the muscle. This tip is especially important when trying to build muscles that are difficult to feel ‘ like the shoulders, the mid back and the lats.
Movies and the Hollywood Body
- Lighting – the body looks best when properly lit. One of the best sources of lighting is the sun – preferably at noon. The basic technique that photographers use is to have the light source in front of the subject, not behind him. So have in mind that every scene you see in a movie has been meticulously arranged and properly lit to look the best.
- Training on set. Actors would frequently work out all through the day and between takes when shooting the movie. Some would go for a quick pump before shooting a scene where they need to look their best.
- Peaking. You must realize that peak shape is usually not held for a long time. For example, the now famous scene of Chris exiting the apparatus in Captain America in his new buff body was a moment of physical peaking for him. Simon Waterson mentions in an interview that he planned his workout so the guy would look outstanding exactly on the day the scene was shot. I’ve read similar accounts from Gunnar Peterson, who helped Stallone with his training for the Expendables. He planned his training to peak for the shirt off scenes etc.
- The Shrink wrap effect Chris’ trainer explained that he had him look extra ripped and big for the particular day they shot the shirtless scene. Watch the third video <== here to find about thsi strategy that allows you to have your skin shrink and your muscles expand and almost stretch it out for a great effect. A really cool technique.
Getting a Chris Evans Body
For that kind of physique, characteristic of so many of the A-list celebrities, it is crucial to get lean with a low body fat percentage and also develop the arms, chest, shoulders and abs. For this kind of body I strongly recommend you get a workout partner or trainer who is already in fantastic shape (so he can show you what to do and more importantly PUSH you to train hard.
Another option is getting the Visual Impact Muscle Building workout for anybody looking to build a stunning muscular body. This workout plan will show you what you need to do in the gym. However, you still need to train hard!
5 thoughts on “Chris Evans’s Workout History – Fantastic Four, Captain America and Beyond”
Simon Waterson is amazing – interesting how he created the same James Bond type shoulders/traps but a more defined chest.
D, yes – his workouts create pretty much the same physique, when needed. For Cap they did lots more “visual” training for the chest. Also – for the shot of Chris showing his transformation, they “peaked” his physique.
Amazing the transformation. His chest developed really well for the movie.
I normally would say its impossible to lose fat and put on muscles at the same time but looks like Chris made it happen.
Thanks for outlining his workout I’ll see how I can incorporate those ideas into my own routine.
Hey Ray, at first the transformation looks almost unreal. But from what I’ve read by his trainer, his the real deal. In fact I ordered one of his books from amazon, can’t wait to get it!
I saw Chris Evans on a magazine cover a few weeks ago in a fitness magazine and I had to stop and read it.
His transformation has been incredible and working with his trainer has really worked well. I would say that a big part of having a good physique is working with a well structured program. It makes it easier.
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