All it takes is one glance at Stephen Amell, and you immediately know the guy hits the gym HARD. He has it all: a chiseled chest, ripped abs, a v-tapered back, and cut shoulders. Although diet plays an extremely important role in his impressive physique, his workout is just as important. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of guys screw it up and waste a time. Stephen Amell is taking on the role of Oliver Queen in the highly anticipated series, Arrow, which is the story of the Green Arrow. After super hero fans have been clamoring for a Green Arrow series following Smallville, Stephen Amell had to pack on some serious muscle to get fit for the role and to keep fans happy. From the looks of it, Stephen Amell does a phenomenal job wearing the hood of the emerald archer and if his work in the weight room is any indication of his dedication for this role, he it going to hit the mark.
5 Exercises to Look Like Stephen Amell
To get a body like Stephen Amell, you need to make sure your exercises fit the following criteria:
- They’re big, compounded exercises that stimulate the most muscle mass possible. The more muscle mass we train, the larger the testosterone release and the bigger the gains. Hence, lateral raises and dumbbell curls are out.
- They should balance each other out. The exercises should create a symmetrical body. Too much emphasis on the chest, and your shoulders become rounded ultimately making your chest appear smaller than what it is. The real key to a great body like Stephen Amell is making it a proportional masterpiece.
Primary muscles worked: Traps, shoulders, and triceps
Tips on performing it correctly: Perform this exercise early in your workout. Like most power exercises, it’s a little more dangerous than strength-focused exercises if you’re extremely fatigued. Performing it while you’re fresh with 2-3 minutes of rest in between sets really squeezes as much out of it as possible. Also, think explode throughout the entire lift. I’m more concerned about bar speed than weight.
Sets/Reps: Since this is considered a power exercise, repetitions should be limited to 6 or less. 3-5 sets of 6 repetitions works extremely well. If you’re an intermediate lifter, perform 3 sets of 5-6 reps for 4 weeks, then perform 4 sets of 4-5 repetitions for 4 weeks, and finish the cycle by performing 5 sets of 3 repetitions for 4 weeks.
Why I love it: It doesn’t get more manly than this. Who doesn’t love tossing a big weight above their head? It’s great for producing huge traps and shoulders. Plus, it has a nice carryover to the bench press.
Primary Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes, Back, Traps, and Forearms
Tips on performing it correctly: Really focus on tensing the lats as much as possible once you grip the bar. As you begin to rise, think about pushing the ground away from you.
Sets/Reps: It’s really up to your goal. If size is what you want, focus on 3-4 sets of 6-10 repetitions. If you’re interested in strength and size, 5 sets of 5 repetitions is a great starting point.
Why I love it: If I could only perform one lift at every workout, this would be it. It works the entire posterior chain, and if you know anything about the posterior chain, it’s the key to looking like a monster. Nothing is more intimidating than big traps, a v-tapered back, and bulging hamstrings/glutes.
Primary muscles worked: Pectorals and triceps
Tips on performing it correctly: Use a neutral grip as it’s less stressful on the shoulders. At the top of the lift, really focus on squeezing the pecs as hard as possible.
Sets/Reps: Like the deadlift, the sets and reps can vary greatly depending on the goal. If you’re seeking only hypertrophy, perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. If you’re interested in attaining a balance of strength and hypertrophy, perform 3-5 sets of 4-6 repetitions.
Why I love it: With the barbell bench, my triceps tend to overshadow my pecs, and thus I get very little pectoral development. If I perform a wider grip barbell bench to focus more on my pecs, my shoulders end up hurting. With the dumbbell bench, I get much better pectoral hypertrophy while still hitting my triceps.
Primary muscles worked: Lats, Upper Back, and Biceps
Tips on performing it correctly: Begin the movement with a pronated grip and finish the movement with a neutral grip to get maximum lat and upper back activation. Also, keep the core tight. There should never be a bend at the hips throughout the movement.
Sets/Reps: Like the dumbbell bench and deadlift, the sets and repetitions are dictated by the training goal. For hypertrophy, 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions will be sufficient. For a nice mix of strength and hypertrophy, 3-5 sets of 4-6 repetitions works extremely well.
Why I love it: With dumbbell and barbell rows, it’s extremely easy to cheat. What’s supposed to be a lat exercise becomes a total body exercise. TRX rows are a little harder to cheat on. Plus, ending with a neutral grip really activates the lats, and if you really squeeze at the top, you’ll get a great pump.
Primary muscles worked: Lats, Upper Back, Biceps
Tips on performing it correctly: To really work the lats, think about pulling your elbows behind you as opposed to pulling your body up to the bar. At the very top of the movement really squeeze your upper back. Also, lower yourself under control and stop just before your arms become fully extended so you keep constant tension on the lats.
Sets/Reps: I’ve had more success with lower repetitions and more sets. However, 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions will stimulate muscle gains while 3-5 sets of 4-6 repetitions will produce a nice blend of hypertrophy and strength gains.
Why I love it: Not only does it produce awesome bicep development, but it also is one of the best exercises to get the v-tapered back guys covet. It’s also pretty cool to hang one or two 45lb plates from your waist.