Avengers: Infinity War kicks off the culmination of Marvel’s ten-year run of superhero movie glory as all of its stars align for a blowout battle. The blockbuster promises bigger thrills, bigger fights, and, importantly, bigger superheroes—so the actors who portray the characters had to put in extra work to look the part.
Sebastian Stan has played Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier, since the first Captain America movie in 2011. The character morphed from an All-American WWII soldier into a genetically modified, bionic super-soldier through the years, meaning Stan has had to bulk up like his co-stars to go from everyday guy to physical marvel.
There’s no super-soldier serum in real life, so Stan has been building up his body for his appearances in Marvel movies. We talked to the man responsible for the Winter Soldier’s physique since 2013, superhero trainer Don Saladino (he’s trained Ryan Reynolds, David Harbour, and Liev Schrieber for roles, too), to learn a little bit more about the hard work that went on behind the scenes.
“For me it has been a thrill to watch Seb evolve, not just aesthetically but they way that he moves now is completely different than when we started six years ago,” Saladino told Menshealth.com. “The thing about Seb is he isn’t a full-time action hero; he is a very versatile actor. Going into shooting Avengers: Infinity War he was coming off of I, Tonya, where he had a very different body type.”
When it came time to suit up to become the super-soldier, Saladino needed to reform the actor’s frame.
“We focused on putting that muscle back on with circuits and getting him strong,” he said. “It hasn’t been the same game plan going into every one of the Avengers movies. It’s just like life, where you aren’t going to have the same launching pad every time. Optimal energy and recovery is always primary.”
Alert! Special guest! Featured Workout on @fitner_app with @imsebastianstan getting ready to take on Thanos! – This is a chest workout that develops strength and definition. – I need to see who completed Seb's and my workout! Who's suiting up?! – DonSaladino.com for blog, tips, nutrition Weekly #Suitup workouts @fitner_app #suitup #superhero #training #gymmafia
If you want to get in on the Avenger-style training, Saladino has an app-based program to help everyday people “suit up” to superhero status. For a taste, you can check out this upper body workout Saladino designed for specifically for Stan. You might not be at a superhero level quite yet—so tackle only the parts you can handle, and work up to completing the whole thing.
Sebastian Stan’s Superhero Upper Body Blast
“Begin the workout with foam rolling and mobility work for 10 to 15 minutes,” Saladino advised. “We call this our “Practice. We work on movements like getups, handstands, goblet squats as well as any other areas that feel tight. It’s a smart warmup with purpose.”
Kettlebell Turkish Getups
By Brett Williams