Arguably the most memorable feature in the third Blade movie was actor Ryan Reynolds’s impossibly sculpted abs, so defined they should have won a special Oscar.
Seven years after the movie was released, people are still and in great numbers searching the Internet for Reynolds’ workout.
We talked to the man behind those abs, personal trainer Bobby Strom, about Ryan's workout.
When you started working with Reynolds eight years ago, for Blade: Trinity, did he know what he was getting himself into?
No, I don’t think he was ready for it back then. No one is prepared for the workout I do with them.
But when he was doing the Green Lantern, he was well aware of what he was in for.
I was with him in New Orleans [for the shoot] for six months. We worked out seven days a week, 90 minutes a day, and never did the same workout twice.
What did you have him do during those 90 minutes?
One day might have been 70% abs work, then some leg work or upper body work. He’d work with dumbbells or on his core strength.
By working opposing muscles from day to day, the workouts complemented each other. They flowed.
We’d do legs one day, no legs the next. Abs one day, then no abs or minimal abs the next day. One muscle group would recuperate while we engaged other muscles.
And Reynolds was able to keep up while working on the movie?
How did you design the workout?
Whatever the movie required him to do, we based the workout on that.
When he needed to prepare for the fight scenes, we’d do kickboxing. At one point, the stunt team told me Ryan would be doing a lot of harness work and to make sure his back was really strong for that.
The training we did was functional in all aspects. The days of training only for aesthetics is over, but Ryan did have to look like a superhero. He had to put on some size to be the Green Lantern.
So, it would be a different routine for a movie like The Proposal?
For a romantic comedy, he needs to shrink down a bit. For Blade and Green Lantern, he was 200 pounds and 8% body fat. For rom coms [romantic comedies], he’s about 180 and 11% body fat.
When he does a comedy, he probably goes to the gym to do cable work every other day. I’m not even there.
Ryan’s an avid athlete. There’s no way he’s not going to work out.
Did you design his diet as well while you were in New Orleans?
I cooked for him six days a week. I’d make a healthy Bolognese: 97% fat-free ground bison, sautéed in a skillet with broccolini and my own marinara sauce, along with black pepper, a little cayenne, and some garlic. No salt, so sugar, served over brown rice or a top-quality brown rice pasta.
I’d also cook ground turkey and grilled salmon.
What do you say to clients who tell you they want to look like Ryan Reynolds?
It’s good to have a role model but don’t carry it too far. Don’t say, ‘I’ve got to be that or I fail.’
You might not be able to be a Ryan Reynolds, but achieve what you can achieve and be OK with that.
Though a few will fall off and quit, most people accept the limitations of their achievable goals. I think that is a good thing. If everybody could [look like Ryan], it wouldn’t be special.