With the new marvel movie Captain America: Civil War out in cinemas, we thought we would share a few insights into how the Captain Chris Evans got into such monstrous shape.

Every child is obsessed with super heroes, and it seems that since the last few years all adults have become obsessed too. Super heroes on the screen represent everything that we want to be, and that includes our physique.

Captain America Workout

Captain America is one of the best shaped super heroes on the screen today. He is hugely muscular, but very athletic and lean. This combination ticks most people’s boxes for the ideal body. So how did Chris Evans do it? Well we have pulled together several interviews with his trainer, and distilled the basics of how he got Chris Evans to transform into Captain America.

This is the type of training used by the greats, Arnold and Franco. This type of training is simple, you pick two opposing muscle groups, and pummel each one in turn. For example, take your chest and your back, these two muscle groups trained at the same time would constitute an antagonist set of muscles. Generally the way this type of training works is using a superset.

So you would do for example, a bench press, followed by a bent over row. Another variation could be dumbbell chest press followed by chin ups. This type of training can lead to a huge growth response from your body, as you have blood and anabolic hormones swilling around your body. Captain America would punish himself 4 times per week with antagonist training. 2 days per week would be split into a push/pull, and the next 2 days would be legs.

chris evans shirtless

You mirin?

1) Antagonist Training

This is the type of training used by the greats, Arnold and Franco. This type of training is simple, you pick two opposing muscle groups, and pummel each one in turn. For example, take your chest and your back, these two muscle groups trained at the same time would constitute an antagonist set of muscles. Generally the way this type of training works is using a superset.

So you would do for example, a bench press, followed by a bent over row. Another variation could be dumbbell chest press followed by chin ups. This type of training can lead to a huge growth response from your body, as you have blood and anabolic hormones swilling around your body. Captain America would punish himself 4 times per week with antagonist training. 2 days per week would be split into a push/pull, and the next 2 days would be legs.

So to split this into body parts it can look like:

  • Day 1 – Chest and Back
  • Day 2 – Quads and Hamstrings
  • Day 3 – Shoulders and Back
  • Day 4 – Quads and Hamstrings

To try some great antagonist routines, check out this.
 
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2) All the Angles

The key to a balanced physique and constant gains is variation and understanding of how to stimulate muscle properly. Chris Evans and his trainer have mentioned several times how they attacked the muscle from many different angles.

This simply means that a variation in exercises is key to getting the fullest look for each muscle group. This doesn’t mean that you are continually switching exercises and rep ranges. If you are looking to build a superhero body then you must progress in your lifts. Lifting with the big main compound movements will ensure that you keep your body growing stronger. However, it is a great idea to have a variety of additional movements in your arsenal to get the most stimulation possible for your muscles.

 

3) HIIT and Conditioning

Evans’ trainer has said repeatedly that cardio was out from the beginning. Evans himself said that he is naturally a skinny guy, and doing long periods of cardio would just destroy all his muscle gains. So they stayed away from jogging or long rowing, but that didn’t mean that he only stuck with the weights.

Evans and his trainer have both said that they focused on getting some intense conditioning sessions into the training. This included sprints, prowler pushes, and other vomit induced HIIT workouts. The take home lesson from this is that to build that superhero body, you are going to have to dig deep and throw some conditioning into your sessions. This doesn’t mean plodding on the treadmill like a tortoise, but sprinting like a hare for several seconds, followed by some rest.

This will help keep the metabolism high, and the fat firmly off your body. Oh, and you’ll gain some great looking Captain American muscle to boot. It was also important for Captain America to be able to throw his shield around, spring and jump around. So the conditioning played a more important role than just aesthetics. Being athletic is all part of the superhero ideal. So making sure that you preserve some of your athleticism will benefit you in more ways than just your appearance.

chris evans workout

4) BCAAS and Diets

The supplement that was used frequently by the Captain were BCAAS. These (Branch Chain Amino Acids) help to preserve muscle if you are unable to continually stuff your face all day. During periods of rest, or light activity, having BCAAS in your system can stop your body from eating all the muscle you have worked hard to develop. This was the case with Chris Evans, whose physique naturally tends towards being thin, so BCAAS helped him to protect his gains. It might not sounds easy but this is the Captain America workout after all.

The diet he used was nothing out of the ordinary, check out our fat shredding diets section, and there will be something in that that will roughly emulate what Chris Evans was eating. In short, he was going for 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight, and a calorie and macro controlled split.

 

5) The Routine!

Different sites, and different interviews will tell you different things about the exact program that Chris Evans followed. This is normal, as the workout obviously changed over the 3 month period. But to give you an idea, below is an exert from an interview with his trainer. It gives a great starting place to get that Captain America physique. So get training, and become super human!

Monday: Push/Pull

Superset 1 – Push/Pull: Wide Grip pull Ups to Barbell Bench Press

  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: Pull Ups until Failure, Bench press 8-12
  • Rest Time: 2.5 Minutes

Superset 2 – Push/pull: Barbell Row to Incline Bench Press

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-12 Each Set
  • Rest Time: 2 Minutes

Superset 3 – Push/Pull: Db 1 Arm Row to Db Flat Bench Press

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-10 each set
  • Rest Time: 2 Minutes

Superset 4 – Push/Pull: Close Grip Weighted Pull Ups to Weighted Dips

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-10 each set
  • Rest Time: 2 Minutes

Wednesday: Leg Day #2 & Light Shoulder Work
 
Exercise 1: Barbell Deadlift

  • Sets: 4
  • Style: Reverse Pyramid
  • Reps: 10-8-6-4
  • Rest Time: 2 Minutes

Exercise 2: Hamstring Curl Machine

  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: 8-10
  • Rest Time: 2 Minutes

Exercise 3: Db Step Ups

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-10 each leg
  • Rest time: 2 minutes

Exercise 4: Db Bulgarian Split Squat

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-10 each leg
  • Rest Time: 2 minutes

Exercise 5: Db Shoulder Press

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Rest Time: 2 minutes 
Friday: Push/Pull

Superset 1 – Push/Pull: Weighted Static hold pull ups to Db Incline bench press

  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: Pull Ups until Failure, Bench press 8-12
  • Rest Time: 2.5 Minutes

Superset 2 – Push/pull: Rear Deltoid fly to pectoral fly

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-12 Each Set
  • Rest Time: 2 Minutes

Superset 3 – Push/Pull: T Bar Row to Weighted Push Ups

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-10 each set
  • Rest Time: 2 Minutes

Superset 4 – Push/Pull: Lateral pull down machine to diamond pushups

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-10 each set
  • Rest Time: 2 Minutes
Saturday: Leg Day #2 With Light Traps Work

Exercise 1: Barbell Squat

  • Style: reverse pyramid
  • Reps: 12-10-8-6-4
  • Sets: 5
  • Rest Time: 2 minutes

Exercise 2: Db Walking Lunges

  • Reps: 10-12 each leg
  • Sets: 4
  • Rest time: 90 seconds

Exercise 3: Leg Press Machine

  • Reps: 10-12
  • Sets: 4
  • Rest Time: 90 Seconds

Exercise 4: Leg Extension

  • Reps: 12
  • Sets: 4
  • Rest Time: 90 Seconds

Exercise 5: Barbell Shrug

  • Reps: 10
  • Sets: 4
  • Rest Time: 90 Seconds

The only question that remains is whether you ready to commit to the programme and make some hero gains.

teamcap workout