Sebastian Stan’s workout? It’s not a walk in the park. The star may strap on a bionic arm to play the Winter Soldier, but best believe he’s an absolute weapon without the robotic muscle.
“Staying in shape for this role over the past eight years has changed my life,” Stan says. His next stint as Bucky is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (March 19), a new Disney+ series that picks up where Avengers: Endgame left off. “The action is just as big a production as the movies are,” the actor says, but getting superhero fit in isolation meant he had to change tack.
“There were a lot of days all Seb had was a kettlebell or a pair of dumbbells,” says long-time trainer Don Saladino. Yet he was still able to increase size, strength, and endurance to carry out the show’s ruthless fight sequences. “What he achieved with body weight and a few pieces of gear is aspirational.” Here’s a look at Stan’s pre-shoot strength routine, which was complemented by hundreds of pullups, situps and pushups.
Directions: Perform exercises 1 and 3 as straight sets, and exercise 2 as a triset, moving continuously through each exercise and only resting for prescribed amount of time between triset rounds. Keep dumbbell and kettlebell weight as heavy as possible without compromising form.
Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Workout
1. Half-Kneeling One-Arm Kettlebell Press
How to do it: Kneel down, holding a kettlebell bottoms up (hand on handle, bell toward ceiling) in the hand opposite your front knee, palm facing in. Press the weight straight up, rotating your hand so palm is facing forward, torso perfectly aligned at the top of the press. Don’t arch your low back. Lower the weight slowly, performing all reps on one side before switching. Rest 1 min. between sets. Complete 5 x 8 reps on each side with 1-minute rest between sets.
2A. Dumbbell Side Raises
How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in. Raise the weights out 90 degrees to your sides without bending elbows or swinging arms for momentum; the motion should be controlled and steady. Pause briefly once arms are parallel to floor, then return to start. Complete 10 reps, then move instantly to dumbbell reverse flye.
2B. Dumbbell Reverse Flyes
How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in. Hinge forward at your hips until your torso is nearly parallel to floor. Let dumbbells hang straight down, elbows slightly bent. Keep a flat back as you raise arms laterally, maintaining a soft bend in elbows. Pause briefly at the top, then return to start. Complete 10 reps, then move instantly to kettlebell halo.
2C. Kettlebell Halo
How to do it: While standing or kneeling, hold a kettlebell in the bottoms-up position with both hands at chest level. In one fluid motion, rotate the bell around your head in a clockwise direction, keeping it close to your body, pausing briefly at the start position. On the next rep, move counterclockwise. Engage your core and keep your spine still at all times. Complete 10 reps. Take 1-minute rest between trisets for 4 total rounds.
3. One-Arm Suitcase Carry
How to do it: Hold a heavy kettlebell in one hand, arms down by sides, palms facing in. Engage your core, maintain a straight spine, and keep shoulders square as you walk 25 yards down and back. Switch sides and continue alternating on every rep. Complete 4 x 50 yards on each side with 30–60 seconds rest between sets.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney+