Here’s How Stephen Amell Stays Ripped For ‘Arrow’

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Looking back on his first audition for the role of Oliver Queen on Arrow, Stephen Amell recalled the many workouts he’s pushed through since then.

“I had no clue how many days I was going to be spending in the gym,” he told Men’s Journal.

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Here’s a look at the recent trailer for the final season:

The hit CW series was the very first pilot Amell read for back in 2012. Show creator Greg Berlanti decided pretty much in the room that Amell would make the perfect Oliver Queen based off of his acting ability and leading man charisma. Once the show started production, though, Berlanti discovered that Amell also possessed superhero strength. The showrunner even mistook Amell for his stunt double while watching some of the early footage he received.

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Once the Arrow team realized what Amell was capable of, they wrote scenes into the show to reflect his ability, including the now iconic salmon ladder climb in the pilot episode. Amell held himself to an intense fitness standard while preparing for Arrow’s introductory season, and he has continued to keep it up throughout the show’s run.

“I have really enjoyed the physical aspects of playing this character,” says Amell. “I feel like as the show has gone on, and we have gotten to shoot more seasons, I have only gotten stronger and more adept at training. That means I can always be trying new things out in the gym, and we can try be trying new things out in Arrow.”

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But Amell doesn’t do it alone. Thomas Taylor, a martial artist and conditioning coach, helps him get dialed in for each season. The two have spent many a long session in Taylor’s T3 Athletics gym in Vancouver, where the show is filmed. Amell’s Instagram followers are likely already familiar with their training together, and he fills his profile with entertaining, creative, and always inspiring exercise videos.

“It has become natural for us to change the routine up often,” said Taylor. “The fact is Stephen is a natural athlete, and like most athletes he doesn’t want to spend all day in the gym. So I want to build programs that are both interesting and challenging for him.”

Fortunately, Amell is always up for a challenge, and he’s taken on plenty of unique extracurricular activities, like throwing down with wrestlers on the WWE mat or crushing the American Ninja Warrior course. But when the time comes to prepare for another season, Amell always shows up ready to work at T3.

“I never want to be one of those actors they have to cut around,” said Amell. “Getting in shape means that I can pull off the stunts and the fights myself.” That dedication is one of the reasons Arrow has kept going through seven seasons and become the foundation for the DC superhero universe.

This season Queen finds himself in a maximum security prison, surrounded by the very villains he delivered there. That meant amping up the workouts to reflect his grittier, hardened existence. Of course, there have been plenty of cell-bound pull-ups and push-ups already.

“Getting to take him into the prison environment means he is in a darker and more dangerous place than ever before,” says Amell. “There are a lot of people gunning for him in there, so he has to be prepared.”

Stephen Amell’s Training Regimen

Here’s a sample circuit from a typical training week for Amell. Workout days are usually split up with active recovery days involving martial arts, boxing, archery, or even parkour.

Battle Rope & Bells Circuit

Complete this circuit 3 times; rest for 60-90 seconds between sets.

One-Arm Plank Battle Rope Pull (stay in plank position, alternate arms pulling weight towards you): 135 lbs for 40 feet

Battle Rope Seated Slams: 10 reps (each side)

Spiderman Dumbbell Push-Up Crawl: 8 reps

Spiderman Dumbbell Retreats: 8 reps

A2G Bicep Curl Squat Thruster: 8 reps

Box & Bell Circuit

Complete this circuit 3 times; rest for 60-90 seconds between sets.

Racked Kettlebell Step-Ups (alternating): 8 reps

Push-Up Box Jump Flow: 8 reps

Plank Climb Kettlebell Rows (alternating): 16 reps


Proper diet is essential to help Amell stay shredded, but what he puts on his plate is pretty fundamental. He stays away from gluten, dairy, and processed sugars and focuses his meals around lean proteins, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.

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