Ryan Reynolds has been the fit guy as long as we’ve seen him onscreen. So when he first suited up as the titular character of the superhero comedy Deadpool, the role didn’t exactly really require a body transformation. Instead, his longtime trainer Don Saladino of Drive 495 worked to bulk him up while building up cardio so that he would be able to pull off the movie’s insane action sequences.
The movie was a runaway success, and the excitement for the sequel, Deadpool 2, is rampant. Inspired by that fan dedication, Reynolds took the opportunity to assemble another amazing cast, including Josh Brolin, and pack on a little more muscle.
“I can say Ryan is in the best shape of his life now,” Saladino says. “There are better results coming now than he saw years ago, and he doesn’t leave the gym feeling wiped out.” Those results are thanks to a newly customized program from Saladino, which he’s shown off on his Instagram.
“I love having Ryan do reverse crunches because his lower back is pinned down [by] his bodyweight and it forces him to pull from his lower abdominal,” Saladino says. “If he were to turn around and do a traditional crunch, he is putting his spine into deflection and brings a great risk of injury.”
For the 40-year-old Reynolds, cutting an eight-pack is a job requirement and the result of his full-body program, and Saladino likes to caution that there is risk that comes with training your abs too intensely. “The undeniable fact is that abs are one of the first muscle groups that people look to see if someone is in shape,” he says. “There is a lot of temptation to overtrain them.”
Instead of smashing out thousands of crunches on a yoga ball, Saladino recommends focusing on a few key movements and exercises that engage the whole body. “On top of a program like this I would still emphasis deadlifts and squats,” he says. “Those are still two of the best abdominal exercises I know because your whole body is forced to brace and stabilize. Then, because you are using more of your muscle, you are able to pick up more weight, which in turn is going to hit your core.”
Don Saladino’s Deadpool 2 Ab Workout
- Hanging Leg Raise: 8 reps (4 sets)
- Cable Crunch: 12 reps (4 sets)
- Landmine: 10 reps (4 sets)
- Up/Down Carry: 25 meters (4 sets)
- Reverse Crunch (with lift): 12 reps (4 sets)
- Ab Roller: 12 reps (4 sets)
- Heavy Loaded Carry: 40 meters (4 sets)
- Short Side Plank: 60 seconds (4 sets)
For video of the full program and more workouts from Don Saladino, visit his workout page.