Get Winter Soldier Arms Like Sebastian Stan With This Workout

When Sebastian Stan entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he wasn’t necessarily the type of actor you’d peg as a comic book movie hardbody. Sure, he’d shown off an impressive physique before—in the 2006 hunkfest The Covenant he appeared with a supernaturally sculpted six-pack—but his look was more heartthrob, less superhero.

Then, Stan’s Bucky Barnes character transformed from a World War II pal of Chris Evans’ pre-super soldier serum Steve Rodgers in the first Captain America movie, The First Avenger, to the titular amnesiac super mercenary in the second, The Winter Soldier. Stan’s maned and masked character presented a worthy adversary for Cap, thanks in part to the actor’s diligent prep work with NYC-based trainer (and Men’s Health fitness advisor) Don Saladino.

When it came time for the third film in the series, Civil War, the actor really pushed himself in his training so that he could rival his famously jacked franchise mates. Stan might’ve even packed on too much bulk—soon enough, rumors spread that his arms were so big that he couldn’t even fit into the prop prosthetic arm he’d worn in the previous film. Posts popped up on Reddit dubbing him “the Winter Swoldier” and “Bulky Barnes,” and yet another superhero training legend was born.

Stan shed some light on what really happened with his prop in his Men’s Health cover story. The actor says that he didn’t use the same arm from Winter Soldier to Civil War—the first version depended on slathering on lube to slide his arm into two rigid metal tubes. “It was like having a massive hammer attached to me,” Stan says, “but it looked unbelievable in the movie, and it actually informed a lot of my body language.”

His arm for Civil War was more pliable, with a sleeve inside—but those internet rumors wound up holding a nugget of truth. “I was so insecure being around these massive fucking guys, so I started lifting really heavy and ate a lot. I remember I showed up, and I was a little bit bigger than I had been in The Winter Soldier. The arm was a bit tight,” he says. “I was losing circulation.”

Stan’s character (and his arms) continued to play a role in subsequent MCU, and he’ll lead the way into Marvel’s next wave with the upcoming The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Disney+ show (co-starring fellow MH cover guy Anthony Mackie).

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If you want to build up your own set of superhero arms, Stan’s trainer Don Saladino has you covered. He created the Men’s Health Superhero Shred program to give everyone a game plan to transform into a powered-up version of themselves.

The routine below wasn’t designed for Stan—but it still comes from the guy who helped him turn into the Winter Swoldier.

Directions: Do this workout twice a week. Finish all sets of each exercise before moving onto the next move. Rest 60 to 90 seconds between each set.

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps per arm

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

3 sets of 10 to 12 reps

3 sets

3 sets of 10 to 12 reps

3 sets of 10 to 12 reps

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