How Sebastian Stan Got Pumped Up For ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Credit: Marvel / Disney

When it came time for Sebastian Stan to suit back up as The Winter Soldier in Avengers: Infinity War, Stan needed to get big, fast. So his trainer Don Saladino did what any good fitness coach would —  have him throw around heavy things.

“Every day we kicked off with a heavy lift,” says Saladino. “There is this amazing muscle engagement that you can just feel when you pick up a big weight. I am not saying it needs to be strenuous to the body, where your system is freaking out. It just needs to feel heavy.” Before filming commenced on Avengers: Infinity War, the pair ramped up their sessions, knowing that Stan would be working long days and it would be more difficult to make gains.

“Never forget that exercise is not building muscle, it is tearing it down,” reminds Saladino. “Make sure you are taking in proper nutrition and getting enough sleep, because that is when the progress is developed.”

Here is part of the program Saladino put through to help Stan level up. Bigger isn’t always better. But let’s be honest, most of the time it is.

Sample Workout: Chest Day

Dynamic Warm-Up (20 minutes)

“I threw in a lot of gymnastic movements before we even started training,” says Saladino. “Before every workout, there was about 20 to 30 minutes of functional movement. Fun bodyweight exercises like this got us warmed up but also got us excited to train."

Handstands: 5 minutes

Turkish Get Ups: 5 minutes

Arm Bars: 5 minutes

Front Levers: 5 minutes

Weights Program

Block A

15 seconds rest between movements.

Flat Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 5 reps; 1 set of 15 reps; 1 set of 20 reps

Dumbbell Squeeze Press: 4 sets of 10 reps

Cable Fly: 4 sets of 10 reps

Block B

15 seconds rest between movements.

Incline Barbell Press: 4 sets of 10 reps

Alternating Flat Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 10 reps

Dips: 3 sets to failure