Playing a comic book character comes with demands of getting into comic book shape.
Anthony Mackie was able to add muscle mass because of his workout routine and diet plan. The plan consisted of 6 days per week of lifting weights along with a high protein diet, with 6 meals per day. You can find out more about how he prepared below.
The Anthony Mackie workout routine
Mackie first bulked up to play the role of Adrian "Noel" Doorbal in the 2013 film Pain & Gain, which he starred in along with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson. To train for the role, he did 7 a.m. workouts every day with Wahlberg and his crew.
Mackie found that having training partners pushed him harder than individual workouts did. They did a lot of heavy weight lifting and followed a traditional bodybuilding split where they would hit each muscle group twice per week. The split looked like the following:
- Monday - chest and triceps
- Tuesday - back and biceps
- Wednesday - legs and shoulders
- Thursday - chest and triceps
- Friday - back and biceps
- Saturday - legs and shoulders
This training routine worked, as Mackie was able to go from 190 to 213 pounds on his 5'10" frame in just 5 weeks. He credited the volume of lifting in his workouts, along with a quality diet and commitment to getting 8 hours of sleep each night to his success.
After his role in Pain & Gain, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe to play comic book hero Sam Wilson/The Falcon, beginning with 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Mackie talked about how he planned to prepare for the role and the pressure of getting into superhero shape in an interview with ScreenRant.
He's known for his physique. He's described as 6'3", 245 pounds, so starting Monday, for the next five months until we start shooting, I'm going back to high school workouts and start doing two-a-days, so I get up to 230 pounds. I'm going to try not to get a job between now and then, so I can really focus on this. Because Chris Evans is in such good shape! I'm just a dude he dragged into the lab that he injected with some shit, but I got to stand next to him. So we shall see!
The Anthony Mackie diet plan
A good diet was a huge reason Mackie was able to bulk up so quickly. The diet he followed focused on lots of lean protein with light carbs mixed in. He would eat 6 meals per day, spaced 3 hours apart. Most of his protein came from lean sources like turkey burgers, chicken breasts, and protein powder.
Mackie had the same post-workout smoothie after each lifting session. The high protein smoothie consisted of the following ingredients, blended:
- half of a banana
- a scoop of peanut butter
- a scoop of protein powder
- skim milk
Mackie's ability to bulk up in his mid 30's has earned him plenty of action roles, such as playing Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Solider, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War.