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Want to work out like Ryan Gosling? Here’s how he got in shape for The Gray Man

Ryan Gosling at The Gray Man premiere
(Image credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

How can you ignore a spy movie with Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and Regé-Jean Page? Answer — you can’t. But if you’ve watched the new No.1 Netflix movie (opens in new tab), The Gray Man, and wondered what Ryan Gosling does to get in such good shape, I’m here to help.

As a fitness editor, there’s nothing I love more than digging into the exercise routines of Hollywood’s most famous faces. From the secrets behind David Harbour’s Stranger Thing’s transformation, to how Alan Ritchson packed on 30 pounds to play Reacher, I’m always intrigued by how actors lose weight and bulk up for movies.

When it comes to Ryan Gosling, however, he’s remained pretty tight-lipped about how he’s gotten, and stayed, in such great shape for years. Unlike other celebrities, he’s not uploaded videos of his workouts onto social media (heck, he doesn’t even have Instagram). He has, however, dropped some hints as to his workout regime. 

Looking for more workout inspiration? Here’s what happened when I tried the exact resistance band workout Chris Hemsworth used on the set of Thor: Love and Thunder and when I did 100 dead bugs a day for a week.

How Ryan Gosling got in shape for The Gray Man 

Impressed by Gosling’s physique? While we recently unpacked his ab workout to get in shape to play Ken for the new Barbie movie, here’s what he’s said about his workout routine for The Gray Man: 

He lifted weights 

“I lifted heavy things. I worked out more than I normally would. I ate less than I normally would”, Gosling said in an interview with JOE (opens in new tab) when asked about his workout routine for the roll. 

Strength training is one of the most common ways to build muscle, and if you’re still not ready to return to the gym, you can easily train from home using a set of the best adjustable dumbbells and a set of the best resistance bands.

If you're looking for some inspiration, here are three of the best arm workouts to try with dumbbells, and some of the best workout apps to download and train with.  

He did martial arts training 

As expected for an action movie, there’s a great deal of action in this film, and Gosling is at the heart of it. To make those fight scenes look realistic, Gosling is said to have done seven months of martial arts training and choreography.

“There was an incredible stunt team that was sort of showing me all of these different styles of martial arts, and then trying to figure out what would work best for me and also work for the character so they kind of curated this style for me," Gosling said in an interview with JOE. 

Ryan Gosling is on a train in The Gray Man

(Image credit: Netflix)

He ate well 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — abs really are made in the kitchen. Unfortunately, no amount of training can make up for a bad diet, and how visible your abdominal muscles are is based on your overall body fat percentage — here’s how to calculate your body fat percentage, and why it matters. 

Unsurprisingly, Gosling’s hard work didn’t stop in the gym — according to interviews with the film’s directors, he ate extremely well on and off set. In an interview with Anthony and Joe Russo (known as the Russo brothers), Anthony told EW (opens in new tab), "we would feel very guilty because Ryan was basically eating a very restricted diet for a long time, and there's us, who are just indulging, indulging, indulging. I remember he finally got to the point where we were about a week away from the end of the shoot, and Joe and I were having some great pizza brought to set. Ryan was just like, 'You know what? Today I'm having some of that damn pizza.' And he did, and he was very happy."

He worked out multiple times a day

Again, double days are nothing new to those really dedicated to the gym, but how on earth Gosling fit them around a busy filming schedule, I’ll never know. In an interview with ET (opens in new tab) at the Time 100 Gala, Gosling’s Barbie co-star, Simu Liu, who also plays a version of Ken, was asked which Ken actor was working harder to get in the shape: “Definitely Ryan — 100 percent. He's definitely, like, a gym in the morning, gym after work kinda guy. … As much as I believe that I do have a work ethic, I also love food a lot. Just hearing little bits and pieces about, you know, just his strict diet regimen and just like how much emphasis he puts on taking care of himself and his body, I’m like, I respect it, I respect it. I’m gonna have some soda.”

Looking for a quick workout? Grab some dumbbells, and give this killer full-body dumbbell workout a go

Jane McGuire
Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past four years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.