While the 2011 film Green Lantern didn't have the financial or critical success that Warner Bros. had hoped, it is tough to blame the star of the film.
Th Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern workout and diet plan helped get him in shape to play the iconic DC Comics superhero who uses will - and a green ring - to generate anything his mind can think of.
Even if this Justice League hero doesn't really need to get his hands dirty when battling villains, looking the part of a superhero is something that audiences have come to expect.
Reynolds' lean and muscular physique, combined with his famous sense of humor, helped make his version of Hal Jordan one of the highlights of the film.
The Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern Workout
When Reynolds was cast in 2009 at the age of 33, he was already in terrific shape. He had a lean and muscular build for most of his acting career and had already played a comic book character in 2004's Blade: Trinity, as Hannibal King.
Reynolds trained for a year to get the body he wanted to play Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, according to this article on Men's Fitness. The article also shared some of his workouts as he prepared to be the character.
While this might not look like a lot in terms of resistance training, it is important to note that Reynolds already had enough muscle on his frame to play the character and he would also do extra supplementary work, which is listed below.
3 exercises aren't a lot, but the exercises chosen are great for maintaining muscle mass. The high rep work of both flat and incline bench allowed him to maintain a thick and full set of upper-body muscles, particularly in the chest and shoulders.
The walking lunges, especially performed in such high volume, also have a couple benefits. For starters, they can help to maintain muscle mass in the lower body. Also, doing high rep lunge work with a challenging weight can have some serious cardiovascular and fat burning benefits.
Decline Bench Sit-ups
Hanging Leg Lifts
Wood Chops on Cable
Swiss Ball Crunches
Decline Bench Body Bar Twists
Ab Wheel from Knees
Proving just how important ripped abs are for a superhero. Reynolds would actually begin his training session with a core circuit. He would repeat this circuit a total of 4 times for an intense core burn.
Reynolds didn't just choose boring old sit-ups and crunches to make his ab muscles pop. The exercises above are very challenging for abdominals and obliques and doing this much volume on a consistent basis can really make the core muscles pop and stand out, even in an animated green super-suit.
The supplementary work might be the most difficult part of his training regimen. In addition to extra core and stability work on off-days, Reynolds would incorporate the following types of training on days he didn't lift weights:
- Suspension training
- BOSU ball work
- Resistance band work
All of these different types of exercises can have a slew of different benefits. Plyometrics, suspension training, and resistance bands can help to maintain, or even improve muscle mass. Extra core work, BOSU balls, kickboxing and yoga can strengthen all of the muscles in the abs, obliques, and lower back.
All of these training systems, either used individually or by combining them strategically, can have major cardiovascular and fat burning benefits. The fat burning is great for obvious reasons by helping to look part of the character. The cardiovascular benefits are also important, though, as they will help the body be functional at the end of a long day of shooting.
All of these exercises are part of a functional training plan too. Muscles might look great on a comic book character, but when you are actually filming, you'll want that muscle to translate into functional strength.
The physical challenge of shooting a film as a superhero is tough on its own. When you are flying through the air or doing superhuman things, a special green ring won't help you very much. You'll be suspended from wires and all kinds of things that will challenge your core fitness and muscular endurance.
His role as Hannibal King helped him learn what it took to get a superhero's physique and that it was actually possible, as he stated in the article on Men's Fitness:
I was pretty unhealthy, I didn't care what I ate or drank. That time changed my life because it taught me you can actually do things that were previously impossible.
It's crazy to think sometimes, but even celebrity actors can struggle with their health and fitness goals. What we see on a movie screen doesn't happen overnight. It can take years of hard work, with the right training program and diet.
The Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern Diet
When Reynolds was training for the role of Hannibal King in the early 2000s, he first learned the importance of a good diet for developing the physique he desired. Reynolds was able to put on 25 pounds of muscle in 3 months by training 6 times per week and eating 3,200 calories per day.
When playing a hero whose defining physical characteristics are based on a 6-pack rather than a massive chest, the diet is especially important. Reynolds had to eat very lean during his training so he wouldn't put on any unnecessary body fat that would hurt his physique.
The failure of Green Lantern to impress the general audience meant that this was the first and last time that Reynolds would get to portray the character. Despite this, his training and dedication to the character shines through in the film. There is no question that he was able to look the part.
After his stint as Hal Jordan, Reynolds would eventually go on to have success playing another superhero on the big screen in the 2016 film Deadpool. In that film he plays the fast-mouthed Wade Wilson, who also has a superhero physique.