The Workout Behind Captain America Anthony Mackie's Arms | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Want Arms Like Anthony Mackie? Try This Workout

Want arms like Anthony Mackie? The heir to Captain America’s shield looks seriously jacked on the Men’s Health US cover, and no, that’s not because of Super Soldier Serum. It’s because Mackie, now 40, knows how to pack on size and muscle when it’s time for a role. It’s exactly what he did in the […]

Want arms like Anthony Mackie? The heir to Captain America’s shield looks seriously jacked on the Men’s Health US cover, and no, that’s not because of Super Soldier Serum. It’s because Mackie, now 40, knows how to pack on size and muscle when it’s time for a role.

It’s exactly what he did in the lead-up to the 2013 film Pain and Gain, in which he starred alongside muscleheads Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg. And his tactics for bulking up for that film were pretty simple: Lift hard and heavy. “I was doing heavy lifting, and no cardio,” he says. “I was max repping. “At the end of every set, I would max out. I was doing chest and thighs, back and tris and shoulders, and then Friday would be legs, and I would start over again. It was just constantly ripping the muscle, giving it four days to recover, and then going right back into it.”

So much for all the talk you hear today about total-body workouts and high-intensity interval training. When Mackie wants to muscle up, he heads to classic bro splits, and there’s a reason for that: They work! There’s a reason that the biggest, strongest guys in the world, and the guys who look like superheroes (like Mackie!) aren’t living their lives doing HIIT workouts. If you want to build serious muscle, you have to lift heavy and then give your muscles a break.

RELATED: Josh Brolin Shares His Tips On Building Superhero Muscle At 50

Training Mackie-style can help you add serious bulk and strength to your body in ways that HIIT protocols can’t, which is why it’s the backbone of most of my own training. It’ll gives you a chance to really feel each muscle, instead of just breaking some pointless sweat, and it allows you to attack a muscle instead. You need a few days of recovery between such workouts, which is why Mackie attacked only a few bodyparts (or in the case of his Fridays, a single bodypart, his legs) in any given workout. You need a plan to build your body this way, not random fitness classes.

Interested in trying a Mackie-style workout? Give this arm blast a try—and don’t be surprised if it leaves you with such a good pump that you a little more like the new Captain America when the session’s done.

Directions

Do this arm workout twice a week, resting at least two days between each session. On the days in between each arm workout, train other bodyparts. Do back one day and legs the other. Here’s a sample of a leg workout you might do on one day, and a chest workout you can attack on another. If you train this hard, make sure to get plenty of sleep to recover between workouts. Your sore muscles will need it.

RELATED: This Man Is A Professional Superhero, With A Rig To Match

Start every workout with some light mobility work. Open by doing 3 minutes of sit-thrus, working for 30 seconds, then resting for 30 seconds in each minute. Then do 2 30-second planks, and jump into the workout.

Dumbbell Biceps Curl

Do 10 to 12 reps. Work through 4 sets, focusing on really squeezing your biceps.

Close-grip Bench Press

Do 8 to 10 reps. Do 4 sets.

3D Hammer Curl with Parallel twist

Do 8 to 10 reps, aiming to use as heavy a weight as possible with good form. Do 3 sets.

Kneeling Two-Step Pressdown

Do 12 to 15 quality reps with a resistance band. Do 3 sets.

This article originally appeared on Men’s Health

Michael Clarke’s Guide To Hosting Like A Pro This Festive Season

Michael Clarke’s Guide To Hosting Like A Pro This Festive Season

Holiday parties are, more often than not, only sort of fun. Corporate blowouts of yore have given way to mildly festive, just-as-awkward after-work "drinks." Hosting friends and family usually equates to a slow-build of stress that bursts into a flurry of activity and...

6 Common Misconceptions About Skin Cancer, Set Straight

6 Common Misconceptions About Skin Cancer, Set Straight

With a health condition as common as skin cancer, widespread myths and misconceptions must be quashed to keep Australians safe in the sun and confident in their skin.  Skin cancer is a bigger issue than many people realise. TAL research found more than half of...

Recommended to you

More From