Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: February 13, 2021

I love watching action and superhero movies, and Scott Adkins is one actor I have been following for quite a few years now.

He has starred in movies like Zero Dark Thirty, Boyka Undisputed, Expendables 2, and X-Men Origins, where he shows off his MMA fighting skills.

While he has been super fit since he started learning martial arts in his teens, it wasn’t really until the sequel movie of Yuri Boyka that he gained a lot of lean mass.

So, we decided to take a closer look and find out what he has shared about his workout routine and diet.

His Body Transformation

scott adkins body

Scott started martial arts at age 13 and had his first black belt in Taekwondo by age 19.

He has said on a few occasions that he was obsessed with watching Bruce Lee movies as a kid.

And that’s what inspired him to learn as many different martial art disciplines as possible.

Over many years, he has trained in karate, judo, jujutsu, krav maga, and Muay Thai, and this is probably why he’s so suitable for the action movie roles he plays.

But if you compare some upper body photos from his early career to the most recent movies, there are some obvious changes that took place.

He had to gain muscle mass to play multiple different roles, but especially for a superhero role as Weapon XI in one of the X-Men movies.

Not only does his fighting style show off how deadly he might be, but his physical presence is also a lot more intimidating now.

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Scott Adkins’ Workout Approach

kinds of workouts

Fortunately for us, Scott has shared quite a few details about his approach to his workout routines.

Surprisingly, there aren’t really any special techniques involved, and you could say it’s pretty simple weight training.

A lot of the workouts focus on compound exercises that target larger muscle groups.

There is a lot of evidence that this type of training can help athletes gain muscle faster, and I’ve seen great results with it to help maintain mass.

In order to get an ideal balance of bulked up muscles and low body fat, he would often focus three training days on weights and another 2 to 3 days on cardio and martial arts. 

Now, not every reader here will be into kicking and punching, but you could easily swap out the fighting part of Scott Adkins’ training for CrossFit or additional weight sets.

Let’s take a closer look at what a Scott Adkins workout routine would be like.

Other celebrity physiques:

The Scott Adkins Workout Routine

working out

One thing you’ll notice is that Scott mixes a lot of weight training with cardio and martial art work.

He obviously needs to stay on top of his fighting skills for the types of movies he does, and the cardio seems to help him keep his appearance lean.

If you want to look anything remotely like Scott Adkins, then you’ll need to train intensely for six days a week. There’s no getting around that.

And this is what your average week would look like.

Monday (Triceps, Chest)

dumbell flys

Each of these workouts is 3 sets of 12 reps.

  • Bench Press
  • Triceps Extension
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Dips
  • Triceps Pushdowns
  • Dumbbell Flys
  • Dumbbell Kickbacks

Tuesday (Cardio, MMA)

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (30 minutes)
  • Treadmill Sprints (15 minutes)
  • Bike Sprints (15 minutes)
  • Martial Arts Training

Wednesday (Biceps, Back)

preacher curls

Aim for 3 sets of 12 reps pushing yourself to failure.

  • Preacher Curls
  • Deadlifts
  • Seated Rows
  • Hammer Curls
  • Lat Pulldown
  • Bent-Over Rows
  • Alternating Biceps Curls

Thursday (Cardio, MMA)

Do the same Scott Adkins training routine as Tuesday.

Friday (Shoulders, Legs)

wide grip pull ups

Keep aiming for 3 sets of 12 reps.

  • Military Press
  • Leg press
  • Calf Raise
  • Shrugs
  • Leg Curls
  • Front Raises
  • Back Squats
  • Wide-grip pull-ups

Saturday (Cardio, MMA)

This is an optional day that would be similar to Tuesday.

I’ve shown this to a few of my clients, and they have taken two approaches. Some of them took up kickboxing and really enjoyed how it can help you to decompress.

A few even imagine their boss’s faces on the punching bags :-)

But if you’re not into combat sports, then I would suggest maybe extending the HIIT sessions or joining some form of plyometrics classes [1].

Sunday (Rest Day)

What Does His Diet Look Like?

While Scott Adkins’ diet is a little bit of a mystery, he has planted a few nuggets during interviews over the years.

One thing is clear from looking at photos of him during his teens. I very much doubt that his diet has ever been full of crap or junk food.

What is more interesting is the likely macro balance, and we got a nutritionist friend to help us out with this.

Macro Plan

protein and carbs

The important thing to keep in mind is that Scott aims to eat most of his daily carbs before lunch.

And the carbs that he eats would predominantly be complex and low-glycemic carbs.

On the weight training days, he would need about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

That’s at the high end of the recommended scale, but it explains his significant muscle growth [2].

On his cardio and martial arts days, he’ll likely cut down on carbs even more to boost some fat burning processes.

Sample Meal Plan

vegetables, eggs, oatmeal

Meal 1

  • Whole grain toast
  • Large bowl of oatmeal
  • Bowl of fruit salad
  • Large protein shake

Meal 2

  • Large portion of fresh fish
  • 6 fried or scrambled eggs
  • 1 cup of brown rice

Meal 3

  • 1 cup of mixed nuts
  • Large bowl of fresh salad with olive oil
  • 12 oz of chicken breast
  • Fresh vegetables

Meal 4

  • Raw vegetables
  • Large protein shake

One thing he will likely do on his cardio days is to do some HIIT workouts before breakfast.

By extending the fasting time and training on an empty stomach, it’s possible to maximize the reduction in BMI and gain a leaner appearance.

“Whenever you're looking at new ways to get in shape, first you have to decide what you want. Do you want a more muscular look, or do you want to slim down and appear more toned and ripped? I adapt my training and diet with each role I do, depending on the image I want to convey.” - Scott Adkins.

Scott Adkins’ Supplement Stack

workout supplements

Scott Adkins’ diet will likely depend a lot on a handful of supplements, and these are the ones we’ve seen him mention on social media.

Whey Protein

His diet plan above includes at least two large protein shakes a day. Those will sustain his muscle growth and recovery.

BCAAs

These have become increasingly essential for high-performance athletes. And pretty much all of our bodybuilding clients take these amino acids along with their post-workout shake.

They can work wonders for bulking.

Multivitamin

Many athletes underestimate their needs for vitamins. While your diet can take care of most of them, a high-quality vitamin supplement is a good addition to ensure your muscles have every possible nutrient to maximize growth.

Fat Burner

This could be the best weapon to make sure that you maintain bulked up muscles and still get rid of any unnecessary fat reserves. It’s probably why Scott has been able to maintain such a large and lean mass without huge fluctuations.

Would You Try Scott Adkins' Workout Routine?

This is an incredibly difficult routine to work through consistently. It requires a lot of discipline, even on the days when you feel too sore to do another round of HIIT.

But I highly recommend this to anyone that wants to bulk up and look a lot more like an action movie star.

Let us know what you think of the training and diet plan and if you’ve had any success with it.


References:

  1. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/9-best-plyometrics-exercises-muscle/
  2. https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/files-for-resource-library/protein-intake-for-optimal-muscle-maintenance.pdf

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