‘You’ actor Travis Van Winkle shares strength training
Fans of the hit Netflix series You have finished waiting. The highly anticipated Season 3 is now streaming, featuring an intriguing new character played by actor Travis Van Winkle. (You can recognize it from the first Transformers TNT film and drama The last boat). Van Winkle is Cary Conrad, a bio-hacker and fitness entrepreneur who has his own line of supplements. Van Winkle decided to put on 10 pounds of muscle to fully embody the role – and the results speak for themselves.
“Before having the role in You, I had a fairly unstructured exercise routine, ”admits Van Winkle. “I worked out 4 times a week and did a lot of full body circuit workouts, HIIT workouts. I would stretch, warm up and be done in an hour to 90 minutes. I wasn’t focused on building muscle, just maintaining. That all changed when he got the role of charismatic and professionally ripped Cary Conrad, so Van Winkle knew he needed to focus more on finding the part.
To do this, he brought in celebrity trainer Grant Roberts, the guy behind some of Hollywood’s most notable physical transformations for the roles, including David Dastmalchian for. Dune and Kumail Nanjiani for The Eternals. Van Winkle reached out to Roberts via Instagram DM after learning he had worked with Nanjiani.
“I sent him a DM and went to his office for a 3D body scan and located the parts I wanted to add muscle to,” Van Winkle explains.
Roberts created a 5: 2 workout plan for Van Winkle, which he did mostly in his home garage around 2 or 3 p.m. The plan focused on certain muscle groups each day, which typically included four different exercises per muscle group. He did descending reps in each set (i.e. 12, 10, 8, 6 reps) and added weight as he moved down the ladder. He spent about 2 hours in the gym each day. The plan was structured as follows:
On Monday: thoracic and posterior deltoids
Tuesday: biceps and quads
Thusday: shoulders, triceps and chest
Friday: back, hamstrings and biceps
Saturday: pit, calves and traps
Sunday: cardio and / or rest
“I trained like an Olympic athlete,” says Van Winkle.
He also focused on recovery. “I took Creatine HCL every day after my workout, with dextrose in my protein shake within 30 minutes,” says Van Winkle. He also says he relied on weekly deep tissue massage, acupuncture once every two weeks and that he used his massage gun “frequently”. He drank a casein protein shake before bed and also made sure he was getting enough sleep, setting up a 10:30 p.m. bedtime most nights, waking up around 6:30 or 7:00 a.m.
Besides a workout plan, Roberts also gave Van Winkle nutritional advice. The actor ate six meals a day and focused heavily on macro counting. During the five days of the traditional work week, Van Winkle was sticking to 240 grams of protein, 130 grams of fat, and 100 grams of carbohydrates. He used the MyFitnessPal app to track everything.
“Before that, I didn’t know what macros were,” laughs Van Winkle.
On weekends, he would still aim to get the same amount of protein, but halve his fat intake and double his carb intake. “I would have cakes, donuts, burgers, pizzas … full of carbohydrates,” Van Winkle explains. “It helped me gain muscle mass and lean mass in the parts of the body that I had affected during my workouts on Monday and Tuesday.”
Specifically, Van Winkle knew he would have a shirtless scene around two and a half months after filming began, an important goal and a “why” that motivated him to stick to the plan. “I never stopped and I never broke up,” says Van Winkle.
To prepare for the shirtless scene, he took three days of water loading (drinking 2 gallons of water per day). Then, the day before the scene, he didn’t drink any water. He went to the sauna and ate a high carb meal that included steak, baked potato, and wine. On the morning of the shoot, he woke up and loaded himself with carbs again, eating six pancakes with blueberries and syrup before going to bed, where he had a rice cake and a scoop full of raisins before. to do a mini pumping session before going in front of the camera.
“I have learned to go further to get results,” says Van Winkle. (Keep in mind that this is not standard practice and that Van Winkle worked with pros. Don’t try this type of preparation at home.)
After nearly four and a half months of following the workout and diet plan created by Roberts, Van Winkle says he also hit his goal of adding 10 pounds of muscle.
“I did everything Grant Roberts told me to do,” he says. “It’s become so normal for me, but I’m incredibly motivated and I knew I had to show up. When you don’t want to train because you’re in pain, you have to go through that. Come in and get the job done, and you’ll be glad you did. ”
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