Stephen Amell's Workout Routine & Diet Plan

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
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I don’t think I’ve seen another TV show where the main character and superhero gets his shirt off as much as it happens in Arrow.

And that is why we get so many requests from clients and readers to show them how to follow a Stephen Amell workout.

To do this, we spent a few weeks going through YouTube videos, interviews, and social media comments that Stephen has shared.

And here’s how Oliver Queen (the main character of the Arrow TV series) got transformed.

His Stats

portrait image of Stephen Amell in a black shirt

Born: May 8, 1981
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 185 lbs

To gain a physique that is fit for the cover of Men's Journal, Stephen had to completely transform his body shape and gain a ton of lean muscle mass.

Yes, looking back at old photos, he certainly wasn’t one of the flabby fat guys trying to make a career in Hollywood.

But looking at how ripped he became for Arrow meant that his diet and workouts had to be something special.

What most people like about this success story is that Stephen Amell didn’t aim for the massive bodybuilder bulk but still looks lean and ripped enough for a superhero.

Let’s take a closer look at how he approaches workout routines for season 1 of Arrow.

The Stephen Amell Workout Routine

black man doing battle ropes in a gym, white man doing muscles up

This will come as good news to some people; the Stephen Amell workout only really requires you to head to the gym three days a week.

But that doesn’t mean you get to vegetate on the couch, checking your social media comments for sympathy because you posted about how sore your muscles are.

For some of my clients, those cardio days of the Green Arrow workout are tougher. Especially if you jump right into doing some parkour workouts.

Day 1: Chest, Triceps, Abs

This is a tough day, and you’ll feel every muscle in your upper body, but that doesn’t mean you should stay away from the heavier weights.

  • Flat dumbbell press (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Incline dumbbell press (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Muscle-ups (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Plank climb kettlebell rows (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Plank battle rope pull (3 sets of 30 seconds each arm)
  • Spiderman dumbbell push-ups (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Ab crunches (3 sets to failure)
  • Weighted leg raises (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)

Day 2: Cardio

Check out some of the video posts Stephen has shared about his parkour training. What he does is pretty advanced, and you’ll likely need some coaching on this to not take it too far as you’re learning all those leaps and jumps.

Alternatively, do some cross-country training or hiking. Anything to get you out and into fresh air and nature is a great way to look forward to your workouts.

Day 3: Legs

This is more of a traditional free weights rather than bodyweight routine. But they are predominantly compound exercises that everyone should be doing for those superhero thighs.

  • Split squat (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Kettlebell step-ups (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Leg press (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Walking lunges (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Calf raise (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Hamstring curl (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)

Day 4: Rest

It’s an active rest day where you still want to plan going for a few walks or easy hikes to keep your muscle fibers loose. It’s also a good idea to do some stretching to help with muscle recovery.

Day 5: Back, Biceps, Abs

You’ll be adding a few more core exercises, and no one should skip these. It’s one area all celebrities focus on in their goal for a ripped physique. So make sure you make every rep and set count.

  • Bicep curl squat thruster (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Hammer curls (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Military press (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Barbell row (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Deadlifts (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Preacher curls (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Battle rope seated slams (3 sets of 45 seconds)
  • Bicycle kicks (3 sets of 25 reps)
  • Decline ab crunches (3 sets to failure)
  • Hanging leg raises (3 sets to failure)

Day 6: Cardio

This is another parkour day, but Stephen Amell also adds martial art training to his routine. Even if you don’t plan to fight in an octagon, you can gain a lot of strength and agility from learning a martial art. It’s definitely a life skill.

Day 7: Rest

Take it easy but still plan for a few walks. And invest in a foam roller to massage some of the soreness out of your muscles.

His Training Principles

The Stephen Amell workout to become the Green Arrow took fitness training to a new level.

In the TV show, his character spends five years on an island training his body and fighting skills. What we love about the story is that Stephen took the same approach to full-body transformation as part of his filming preparations. Here’s what that meant.

1. Bodyweight Training

Stephen Amell spent a lot of his time at the gym, but his workouts aim to combine bodyweight and free-weight training.

One thing you can achieve with this type of workout program is to have extra compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups. Studies have shown that this may help with faster bulking phases.

2. Action Cardio

Rather than spend endless hours on treadmills and other gym machines, Stephen Amell prefers to spend his cardio time learning mixed martial arts or doing parkour training. There is a lot more action and even adventure in this stuff that many folks find motivating and fun.

3. Maximum Mobility

Unlike the average celebrity workout plan, Stephen has focused on adding as much activity to keep his whole body mobile. That includes advanced yoga, plyometrics, and some extreme kettlebell exercises that will reshape every single part of the body.


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A post shared by Stephen Amell (@stephenamell)

The Stephen Amell Diet Plan

shirtless man devouring a bowl of salad

With the goal of achieving lean muscle growth, you have to understand that it’s impossible to achieve this if you still remain on a crap diet.

I tell everyone of my clients that they need to put more effort into their diet than their workout, and Stephen has been a great role model when it comes to screening what he allows into his body.

“I try to stay away from gluten, dairy, and processed sugars. This allows for a more regimented diet and more lean proteins, veggies, and complex carbs.”

- Stephen Amell


It’s hard to be exact here, as Stephen would regularly adjust his macros for the calories he needs in either bulking or cutting phases.

  • Protein: 30-40%
  • Fat: 25-30%
  • Carbs: 30-40%

To ensure a proper diet, you first need to calculate your macro profile, and you can do this with our macro calculator. The macro calculator uses reliable formulas to provide personalized data on required protein intake, fat, and carbohydrates.

After that, you may use an application like Noom or a browser-based journal to track all your food intake.


For a lot of his preparation time for Arrow, Stephen would have worked on the basis of a calorie surplus. Some folks automatically conclude that this would mean more fat storage, but that’s not how it works.

Unless you take in more calories than your base metabolic rate requires, you’ll end up losing both fat and muscle tissue. And because Stephen needed to bulk up, his diet would be considerably more calorie-rich than normal.

Food Quality

Celebrities often talk about shunning junk food and hopping on the latest diet trends. Yet, they're frequently caught munching on burgers and pizzas.

Take Stephen, for example. His ripped appearance screams a strict diet of high-quality, nutrient-packed foods, not junk.

He's all about quality, not quantity. That's where many slip up. Follow Stephen's lead: focus on quality, fresh food to look great, not just the quantity.

Sample Meal Plan

bowl filled of avocado salad and greens

Here’s what we took from different social media posts over the years as an example of what Stephen would eat on a standard training day. It’s what Stephen’s version of a superhero diet looked like.


  • Bowl of oatmeal
  • Fresh berries with greek yogurt
  • 3 to 5 egg omelet


  • Protein bar
  • Unsalted nuts


  • 2 to 3 chicken breasts
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Large bowl of salad with avocado


  • Protein shake
  • Raw vegetables


  • Large portion of lean red meat or fish
  • Brown rice
  • Large bowl of salad

The idea is to use healthy snacks in between the main meals to avoid heading for sugary treats. You need to avoid highly refined sugar at all costs, as it’s the main enemy when it comes to reducing your BMI.

Stephen Amell’s Supplements

heart shaped pills and leaves

Now, food will only get you so far in giving you what your body craves during the Green Arrow workout.

And based on our research and information from a nutritionist, these are the workout supplements you’ll need to lift the weights, build the strength, and speed up your recovery times.

1. BCAAs

This is one way that many professional athletes aim to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Branched-chain amino acids complement workout programs by giving your muscles three types of amino acids that are most important for muscle protein synthesis.

2. Whey Protein

For all the other amino acids that your muscles need, whey powder is one of those products you should never do without. And in the above diet plan, you’ll see at least two protein shakes per day, but you could even stretch that to three times during bulking phases.

3. Fat Burner

Building muscle and strength requires a surplus of calories, and that will also add to your fat storage. What fat burners can help with is raising your resting metabolism in order to burn off some extra energy in the form of fat.

4. Pre-Workout

This is a type of supplement that can boost your workout experience by giving you just a little boost in stamina and strength. When you multiply that small boost over weeks and months, you can get to your workout goals that much faster.


How Did Stephen Amell Get Fit for Arrow?

Stephen Amell achieved his Arrow physique through intense workouts, including parkour and weight training. His regimen focused on functional strength, agility, and cardio. A disciplined diet complemented his training, showcasing dedication to his role as Oliver Queen.

How Often Does Stephen Amell Workout?

Stephen Amell's workout frequency varies, but he typically engages in intense training sessions five to six times a week. His fitness routine combines weightlifting, cardio, and functional exercises, reflecting his commitment to staying in peak physical condition.

Does Stephen Amell Do Calisthenics?

Stephen Amell incorporates calisthenics into his fitness routine, emphasizing bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and dips. His workouts focus on building strength, agility, and functional fitness.

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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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