Chris Evans catapulted to stardom with his 2011 portrayal of Captain America. Fans all over the world were amazed at the transformation he had made in order to portray the iconic character.
His repeat performances in Captain America: Civil War and a quartet of Avenger movies saw him appear onscreen in even better shape. By the end of 2019, those roles had established Chris as one of the highest-paid actors on the planet and as a fitness role model for millions of people around the world. As a result, guys everywhere wanted to follow the Chris Evans workout to get in the best shape possible.
In this article, we discover just what it took to turn Chris Evans into the ultimate version of Captain America.
Chris Evans Profile
Christopher Robert Evans was born on June 13th, 1981 in Boston, Massachusetts. He is one of four children, with an older sister and a younger brother and sister.
In his formative years, Chris took musical theater classes and attended acting camp. After graduating from high school, he moved to New York, where he studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
Chris got his first onscreen shot in 1997 in the educational movie Biodiversity. A Film About Life! In 2000 he got his first proper screen credit with The Newcomers. He appeared in a string of movies over the next few years, with his first comic book role coming when he played a superhero in 2005’s Fantastic Four. He reprised the role in a sequel in 2007.
In 2010, Chris signed a multi-movie deal with Marvel Studios. He was cast in the role of Steve Rogers, who has the alter ego of Captain America. At first, he turned down the part, only accepting after the people at Marvel insisted that he was perfect for the role.
In the first movie, Captain America: The First Avenger, his character transforms into a super-soldier Captain America tasked with preventing an evil entity from achieving world domination. The movie was a massive hit, earning $370 million at the box office and catapulting Chris Evans to international stardom.
In 2012, he returned to the role of Captain America in The Avengers, playing alongside an ensemble cast. This movie went on to become one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
Over the past decade, he has reprised the role of Captain America on several occasions, which each turnout being a commercial success. In 2020, he received critical and public acclaim for his portrayal of an attorney whose son is accused of murder in Defending Jacob.
Chris Evans’s measurements are as follows:
- Height – 6’0″
- Weight- 176 lbs
- Chest – 47″
- Waist – 33″
- Biceps – 16″
Chris Evans Workout
Chris Evans got in phenomenal shape for his first Captain America role. With each successive outing, he got into even better condition.
Most people believe that his best shape was in the third movie, ‘The Winter Soldier.’ As a result, millions of people around the world want to know about the Captain America workout so they can get their own Chris Evans upper body.
In order to get into convincing superhero condition for his first outing as Captain America, Chris had to make sure he knuckled down and got stuck into months of hard and heavy training. At the same time, he had to overhaul his nutritional plan with an emphasis on more calories, more protein, and fewer simple carbs.
Following this formula, Chris managed to do something that very few can – he packed 30 pounds of lean mass onto his frame in around 3 months. Yet Chris knew that that was exactly what he needed to do if he was to convincingly stand alongside such other Marvel superheroes as the Hulk and Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth.
Chris Evans is naturally an ectomorph, meaning that his normal physique is quite slim. He had to go with exercises that were going to bulk him up on the screen. At the same time, however, he also had to be physically agile and aerobically fit enough to be able to convincingly do all the acrobatic and physically challenging things that Capt. America does in the movies.
During the course of the first movie, Captain America’s character undergoes an amazing physical transformation. He goes from a skinny military recruit to a muscled superhero with the thanks of a government-administered ‘super serum.’
To get into believable shape in real life, there were no super serums involved – all there was brutal training and high lean protein nutrition.
Chris Evans trained two body parts per day and workouts would last for around two hours. Chris trained his basic mass building exercises through a variety of angles and grip positions in order to fully stimulate the muscle group being worked.
During the five weekdays, Chris would hit the various parts of the body with his two hour daily workouts. Saturday was a rest day. Then on Sunday, Chris would focus on any identified weak points. This would be determined on the basis of the upcoming movie script and the scenes that Chris had that showed off various parts of his body.
The Chris Evans workout wasn’t all heavy weights. He also added in bodyweight exercises such as weighted push-ups, pull-ups, and weighted dips. These exercises are great to finish off a muscle group after he’s pulverized it with free weights.
When he trained chest, for example, Evans would rep out with weighted push-ups to failure where he could not manage even another half rep.
But Chris Evans wasn’t even content with that volume of training. In order to stay on top of the ability and coordination required to play the part of Capt. America, he added in gymnastic training. This included plyometrics, as well as such gymnastic moves as spinning, jumping, and using the bars. This type of training was also highly aerobic, designed to provide him with the cardio endurance that he needed to get through the fight scenes and other onscreen action.
Apart from this type of training, Chris Evans did very little of what most people would consider to be cardio training. The rationale behind this was that the cardio would negatively affect his muscle building workouts and lean protein-heavy eating plan.
The idea was to conserve his energy for the workouts that counted. The only cardio that Chris and his trainer did was a small amount of sprint training to enhance the speed and agility he needed for the role.
Chris much prefers to get his cardiovascular workout from doing circuit training with weight and/or body weight training. This ramps up your heart rate higher and gets you leaner, faster.
The Chris Evans Workout Routine
Ok, now that we have outlined the logic behind the Chris Evans workout, let’s drill down on the detail. Here is the entire Chris Evans workout routine, broken down into days and body parts.
Evans trained two body parts per day between Monday and Friday. Saturday was his rest day, with Sunday being the day to work on his weak areas and those that needed extra attention because they would be seen more on-screen.
The Chris Evans workout routine involved doing pyramided descending sets. For example, when doing squats, he would add weight and reduce the reps on each set.
Monday Workout – Chest/ Back
- Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- Incline Bench Press – 2 sets of 6-8 reps
- Dumbbell Fly – 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Cable Fly – 2 sets of 10-12 reps
- Weighted Push-ups – 2 sets to failure
- Weighted Pull-Ups – 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- Bent-over Rows – 2 sets of 6-8 reps
- Wide Grip Cable Rows – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
- Lat Pulldowns – 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Cable Crunches – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Tuesday Workout Legs
- Squats – 4 sets of 6-12 reps
- Deadlifts – 4 sets of 6-12 reps
- Leg Press – 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 6-12 reps
- Seated Leg Curls – 3 sets of 6-12reps
- Hyperextension – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Wood Chopper – 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Wednesday Workout Arms / Shoulders
- Barbell Curls – 4 sets of 6-15 reps
- Alternate Cable Curls – 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Close Grip Chin Ups – 2 sets to failure
- Triceps Pushdowns – 3 4 sets of 6-15
- Lying Dumbbell Skull Crushers – 3 4 sets of 6-15 reps
- Reverse Dips – 2 sets to failure
- Overhead Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 4 sets of 6-15 reps
- Cable Side Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 6-15 reps
Thursday Workout Chest / Abs
- Incline Dumbbell Press – 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- Hammer Machine Press – 4 sets of 8-15 reps
- Decline Barbell Press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
- Decline Push-Ups – 3 sets of 15 reps
- Abdominal / Core Workout
- Hanging Leg Raises – 3 4 sets of 15 reps
- Weighted Crunches – 3 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Wood Chopper – 2 sets of 12-15 reps
- Plank – 3-5 minute time isometric hold
Friday Workout Back/Core
- Deadlift – 5 sets of 6-15 reps
- T-Bar Row – 2 sets of 6-8 reps
- One Arm Cable Pulldown – 2 sets of 6-8 reps
- Pull Up – 2 sets to failure
- Weighted Hyperextensions – 5 sets of 10 reps
- Glute Raise Machine – 2 sets of 10-15 reps
- Medicine Ball Wall Throws – 4 sets of 15 reps
- Medicine Ball Wood Choppers 2 sets of 15 reps
On Sundays, Chris Evans workout focused on his weak points and those areas of his physique that would show up more on screen. This usually involved doing a few supersets of squats and leg press to get his quad size and power up, along with detail-oriented exercises to carve out the muscular separation in his deltoids, biceps, and triceps.
Here is what a typical Sunday workout looked like . . .
- Squats / Leg Press Superset – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Side Lateral Raise – 5 sets of 8-15 reps
- Posterior Delt Raise with Cables – 2 sets of 15 reps
- One Arm Cable Curls – 5 sets of 12 reps
- Preacher Cable Curls – 5 sets of 6-12 reps
- One Arm Cable Pushdowns – 5 sets of 6-12 reps
- Triceps Kickbacks – 2 sets of 15 reps
Chris Evans Captain America Nutrition Plan
The Chris Evans workout was just the first piece in the puzzle that went to create the Captain America physique. He was well aware that everything he did in the gym was actually making his muscles smaller and weaker.
Those Captain America workouts would be useless unless he also made some major changes to the way that he ate! Getting the proper muscle-building nutrients into his system in the post-workout hours was crucial to getting Chris Evans’s weight up to where it needed to be.
The first thing that Chris and his nutritionist had to do was to increase his daily caloric count to start putting on mass, especially in his upper body.
Chris and his nutritionist set their sights on taking in two grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. The main form of lean protein that he ate was chicken, lean beef, protein shakes, and fish.
Chris states “I’d eat porridge, walnuts, raisins, low-fat Greek yogurt, a scoop of protein, and maybe sliced banana for breakfast, which is generally an hour or two before I work out. Then through the day, I’d eat a lot of things with a good protein source, lots of fish and meat.”
Chris also ate a lot of salads along with his protein. This included a lot of fibrous carbs by way of green leafy vegetables. Nuts were also an important source of healthy fats and extra protein. Fruits were also taken liberally for energy, vitamins, and micronutrients. Chris ate a lot of bananas for pre and post-workout glycogen build up.
What Supplements Did Chris Evans Use?
Chris Evans is well aware of the importance of supplements in order to complement his workout routine and nutritional program when it comes to packing on lean muscle mass while staying shredded. Supplements are crucial to recovery, especially when your workout routine is as intense as the Chris Evans workout.
Here are the supplements that Chris Evans used in his preparation for the 3rd Capt. America movie . . .
- Whey Protein powder
- Branch chain amino acids
- Omega-3 / Omega-6 / Omega-9 fatty acids
With the heavy training that was part and parcel of the Chris Evans workout, omega fatty acids and branch chain amino acids were particularly important.
Chris Evans also used protein powder, specifically whey isolate, containing 30 grams of protein per serving. This was taken during the day before and after workouts.
Then, prior to going to bed, he would take a shake that was made up of casein protein powder. Casein protein powder is a slow-release form of protein. This allowed for a constant release of amino acids to Chris Evans’s muscles throughout the night.
Want to get a physique like Captain America? We’ve laid out the entire Chris Evans workout here.
There really is no secret to how Evans was able to transform himself by packing on 30 pounds of lean mass. It didn’t require steroids or some other so-called shortcut. What it did require was plenty of grit, determination, and old-fashioned hard work.
From the above, it is obvious that the Chris Evans workout routine was extremely taxing.
Yet, you may have seen that Evans noted that the hardest part of his while transformation was the eating part.
In my experience, that is where most guys get themselves unstuck when trying to pack on muscle mass. They push themselves to train like Captain America but are not as consistent with their nutrition. The reality, though, is that nutrition is the key to putting on muscle.
If you want to achieve an upper body that looks like Captain America, make sure that you increase your total daily caloric intake by at least 500 calories, with a focus on lean protein, fibrous and starchy carbs, and healthy fats.
Combine that with hard and heavy Chris Evans workout routine type training, and you will be able to achieve your own version of the Captain America physique!