How Ryan Reynolds got in superhero shape to play Deadpool
Ryan Reynolds reportedly gained seven pounds of lean muscle to play his dream role, loud-mouthed superhero Deadpool, in 2016.
So it's no surprise that the actor went through "a huge bulking phase" to get prepped again for the hero's long-anticipated sequel. Here's everything we know about how he got into shape to play the iconic "merc with a mouth."
He prioritizes warm-ups before strength training.
Reynolds has worked with celebrity trainer Don Saladino— who also works with Reynolds' wife, Blake Lively— for many years.
Saladino and Reynolds focused on building actual strength to film "Deadpool," rather than aiming to simply look good on the outside. To accomplish this goal, they did movement training every day before lifting weights to prep Reynolds' body, according to Men's Journal.
"This is important because he's going to be moving in all sorts of ways through his training. Every single joint needs to warm up," Saladino told the publication.
Reynolds' movement prep includes dynamic stretching, as well as three cardio circuits with 10 reps of bounding, overhead shovel throws, and Turkish get-ups.
"You're getting the body prepared for a number of motions," Saladino told Men's Journal. "These are more expansive than your typical lifting movements."
He allows for flexibility in his workout routine.
Saladino noted that, while he and Reynolds tried to stick to a weekly strength plan that included two days off, it was constantly adjusted to fit the needs of his body and schedule.
"The biggest mistake that people make when making an exercise plan is not to listen to their body every day," Saladino told Men's Journal. "Ryan was a recent father and traveling a lot [when "Deadpool" was being filmed], so if he had been up all night with the baby, or just gotten off a plane from Singapore, you can best believe we were changing up the program."
He took it upon himself to work out in his downtime.
"Don [Saladino] gave me a plan so I could train whenever I needed to," Reynolds told Men's Health in 2016. "It made things more manageable. And if I wanted to spend a little extra time with my daughter in the morning, I could do that."
Reynolds has said that he has a "functional" approach to training rather than a "fashionable" one, so he usually prefers to work out alone and on his own time.
Saladino admitted that he is never concerned about Reynolds' commitment to the workout regimen.
"Ryan's such a hard worker," Saladino told Men's Health. "If anything, I had to scale him down. One day he came up to see me having been working out on his own and I was like, 'Holy sh-t!' He looked like a different person."
Reynolds also told Men's Health that he will sometimes call fellow superhero Hugh Jackman for encouragement or advice, claiming that Jackman "could be a world-class trainer."
Reynolds favors simple moves with added weight to increase difficulty.
"Ryan loves deadlifts, and he loves squats because he knows that's how he's going to make real gains," Saladino told Men's Journal.
Another move that encourages both strength and mobility is a walking lunge with rotation, using a 40-pound weight for added difficulty. Saladino recently posted a video of the 41-year-old actor performing the move while also wearing a 30-pound weighted vest.
"I like using these traditional movements with little twists," Saladino explained. "This move, in particular, is not only maintaining the strength that he built up to play Deadpool but also encourages stabilization and balance. We have done exercises similar to this over the course of the past few years, but sometimes with a kettlebell and without the vest during our warm-ups."
He keeps his workouts varied.
Bobby Storm, who trained Reynolds for his previous stint as a superhero in "Green Lantern," told Muscle Fitness that Reynolds trains for films like a bodybuilder trains for competitions.
"Strom kept the action star's body guessing by constantly changing up his workouts every day," writes the website.
Strom also revealed that he had Reynolds begin every gym session with a 20-minute abs workout, followed by different versions of muscle-building circuits.
He battles his aversion to cardio by exercising outdoors.
Reynolds told Men's Health that he doesn't particularly enjoy cardio: "For me, that kind of sustained running is tough, mechanically speaking."
However, the father of two did admit that he can battle this aversion with outdoor exercises and activities.
"I love being outdoors," he said. "There are forests all around [where I live] and I get to hike, mountain bike … just move. I'll even bring the baby with me, put her in a little baby carrier thing and off we go. In a weird way, it's a great workout because you're adding 20 pounds to your bodyweight."
It's certainly admirable that Reynolds juggles his responsibilities as an action star with his growing family of four— but his DIY style when it comes to fitness can work for just about anyone.
This article originally appeared on Insider. Follow @thisisinsider on Twitter.