There are two simple ingredients that go into looking like Captain America: (a) your diet has to be perfectly balanced for all macro and micronutrients, and (b) you have to work out harder than pretty much everyone else at the gym.
But, they are two simple concepts that are incredibly hard to stick with for long enough to get the amount and shape of lean muscle mass like Chris Evans.
Oh, and the chances are that you won’t be paid anything for your efforts. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t achievable for the average person with a family and a 9 to 5 job.
As a matter of fact, having very high goals like this can actually be very positive and help as motivation.
But where do you start?
What will you need to do, and how do you change your diet?
Those are questions I’m going to address on this page.
How Did Chris Evans Achieve His Physique For Captain America?
I’ve listened to loads of interviews with Chris Evans in the past few years, mainly because I’m a secret Marvel fan. One thing has stood out to me a lot in all the answers he gives and it’s about how he managed to get his body so ripped.
He sometimes jokes that you can do it while eating pizza and watching exercise videos on YouTube, but the reality is very different. Basically, it all comes down to a very clear plan for food and exercise, and then religiously putting in the hard work.
Here’s why I believe Chris Evans workout routine is so effective.
1. Work Out With A Trainer
There are two things that a personal trainer will be able to provide.
First of all, they will be able to show you the correct technique for all the different exercises.
Some simple mistakes can result in exercises becoming ineffective and even causing damage.
More importantly, though, a fitness coach will help to keep you motivated, especially when you have significant goals. (1)
For Captain America, this means teaming up with Simon Waterson, but even if you cannot afford such a coach, finding a gym with several trainers on standby will work just fine.
2. Lift Heavier Than Everyone Else
Greg Plitt once said that there’s no excuse not to be the hardest working person in the room -- and that’s exactly what Simon Waterson made sure Chris was doing.
Not only did he use high-intensity interval training, but he piled on the weights and reduced the reps.
This was different. I’d walk out and I’d be like, ‘I need to vomit. I hate this trainer. I hate this movie. I want to go to sleep for a week.
If you want to become lean and muscular as well, then add on those weights. It’s the only thing that will maximize growth.
3. Become The Low Cardio Guy
Technically, all warm-up routines are a form of cardio, but what I mean here is that Chris didn’t waste entire days on doing just cardio.
In order to build muscle to the extent he did, and in the short space of time as well, he had to use all available energy to focus on a routine that was all about lifting, pushing and pulling as much weight as possible.
4. Do Gymnastics And Plyometrics
Plyometrics and gymnastics are excellent ways to keep your heart rate up when you’re doing low-rep, high-weight exercises.
I also did some plyometrics, stuff like squat-to-box-jumps. The aim was to keep my heart rate high throughout the workouts, and that helped with my general fitness and especially during filming when I had long days and was running around or doing fight scenes.
5. Bulk Up With The Correct Portions Of Food
You might think that the correct portions are nice and small snacks multiple times a day, with some healthy salads thrown in, then think again.
While that may be the best approach if you’re carrying a few extra pounds, when it comes to creating a ripped physique, it’s all about lean protein; and lot’s of it.
For multiple sessions in the gym a day, you could be looking at several chicken breasts for every single meal, starting first thing in the morning.
Working out sucked, eating sucked more. You get to a point where you just can’t even look at another piece of chicken. You’re just so bloated, but you just have to keep consuming protein, so that was tricky.
Chris Evans’ Sample Weekly Workout Routine
Below, we’ll show you what the routine looked like for Chris. It’s brutal and would actually put a lot of people into a sweat just reading it.
Now, one word of caution. This is not a routine to pick up if your fitness levels are really low. If you sweat while eating your dinner and can’t walk a flight of stairs, then start with some basic fitness first.
What stood out for me with this routine is that there is a serious focus on compound lifts and plenty of exercises that took advantage of bodyweight.
Compound exercises target muscle groups, as opposed to isolated exercises that focus on only one or two muscles. The result of these compound exercises is that growth hormone levels will naturally be maximized. And the anabolic effect of that is faster and bigger muscle gains.
An example of such exercises would be deadlifts and squats, which target your legs and core muscles at the same time.
Here’s what Chris’ training looked like on a weekly basis:
MIX THINGS UP A BIT
Instead of him doing cardio, Chris Evans replaced them with circuits.
Let me add here that Chris went through this 2 to 3 times per day, so if you thought it was tough reading through it once, imagine having to do this multiple times a day.
You can also watch this video to get a glimpse on how Chris trained for his role as Captain America.
Chris Evans’ Diet
People that come to me for fitness advice are always surprised when I tell them they also need to spend some time with a dietician.
In order to achieve your fitness goals, you have to look at it as a 70-30 split.
70% of your success will come from your diet, and 30% from your work at the gym.
Chris hasn’t actually revealed exact details about every meal, but in an interview with the Huffington Post he said: “You get to a point where you just can’t even look at another piece of chicken.”
So, I sat down with a close friend of mine who is a nutritionist for professional triathletes, and she gave me a sample of what she imagined Chris would have to take in during training.
(Stir-Fried Chicken and Rice)
You can see why he would get sick of chicken.
A Cocktail Of Supplements
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that they got into a shape like Captain America without taking a ton of supplements. Between the exercise routine and your protein needs, you’ll struggle to get all the energy, macros and nutrition you need.
Simon Waterson (Chris’ personal trainer) talked in a Bodybuilding.com interview about a stack of products he generally sets up for his clients.
Here are some details:
1. Natural Testosterone Booster
Using a natural testosterone booster, he was able to increase his testosterone easily and safely. See, testosterone can help you increase strength and stamina which will lead to improved muscle size. With this product, rest assured that everything's done safely and naturally.
2. A Mountain Of Protein Powder
Through protein shakes and powder added to smoothies or porridge, Chris was taking in 180 grams of protein powder per day. A lot of this would come at night time to help provide as much amino acids as possible to repair and build muscle tissue. Here are some of our favorite whey protein powders.
3. Fish Oil Supplement
These are excellent for the immune and vascular system. As your body becomes accustomed to a regular supply of healthy fats, it is going to be far more likely to release any bad fats, especially around the heart. This also helps you balance your body's pH levels, protects you from diseases, and boost your wellbeing with micronutrients.
4. BCAAs To Avoid Muscle Wasting
This supplement is vital in a bulking phase as it will help to prevent muscle loss. As you go through different stages of intensity and rest periods, you don’t want your body to reduce any of that hard work to achieve muscle mass. Here are more of our favorite BCAA supplements.
5. Glutamine To Help Your Gut
There’s a bit of a debate over how important this supplement is, but in my opinion, it provides two benefits. First of all, it helps your stomach and digestion, which will be working overtime with all the food. Secondly, it can help with a cutting phase where you want to remove as much fat as possible. (2)
The good news is that you won’t have to take 4 different supplements in huge doses. The first three items listed are often available in high-grade products in the right amounts needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long did Chris Evans workout for Captain America?
Chris Evans went through a 3-month workout phase to prepare for Captain America. He has talked about the grueling training and diet routine in TV interviews, describing that he regularly wanted to just pack it all in.
2. Who trained Chris Evans for Captain America?
Simon Waterson trained Chris Evans for Captain America. Simon is a former British Royal Marine, and he has a team of fitness and diet coaches that have trained actors for many high profile movies including James Bond.
3. How much does Chris Evans weigh for Captain America?
Chris Evans weighs about 180 pounds at 6 feet tall for the Captain America movie. He reportedly put on 30 pounds of lean muscle weight and reduced his body fat to 10%, which is quite an achievement.
Captain america workout & Diet Final Thoughts
As you will now be able to appreciate, Chris Evans workout and diet routine is rigid and planned out for every single day.
In the space of 3 months he went from being a rather scrawny Hollywood actor to a true superhero physique.
The routine he was given had the perfect balance of gaining the right proportion of lean muscle, which is something too many people get wrong.
Bulking up is not just about training your biceps and triceps; you have to plan out your exercises to avoid looking like a lollipop.
If you want to give it a try, make sure you involve a friend or trainer who can provide moral support. But if you can get through 3 months of this, then you will look like some of the above photos.