How Alan Ritchson Built Hollywood's Most Ripped Physique For 'Reacher'
Alan Ritchson Shares The Mindset That Got Him Hollywood’s Most Ripped Physique For ‘Reacher’

Alan Ritchson’s fitness philosophy for getting ripped for Amazon Prime Video’s Reacher is rather simple and given the results, it seems to be highly effective too.

With a fresh new spin on one of the world’s greatest action thriller novels, Amazon Prime Video’s Reacher features one of the most incredible-looking men to ever step in front of a film camera – Alan Ritchson.


Known for playing a superhero previously, Ritchson’s role as a tough-as-nails ex-military badass is one of the most-sought after in Hollywood – Tom Cruise has played the role twice, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson too was confirmed to be in the running. When Ritchson landed the gig in September 2020, he had a tough challenge ahead of him – packing on the muscle required to convince audiences and bring the character to life.

The titular Jack Reacher is based on Lee Child’s bestselling books, with Ritchson’s adaptation focusing on the events of Killing Floor – the first novel out of 27 in total. Jack is a veteran military police investigator that’s as smart as he is tough – a sort of real-life Batman. When he takes the fall for a murder he didn’t commit, Reacher uses every ounce of muscle and mindpower to prove his innocence – and survive the several attempts on his life.

Naturally, a big part of playing Jack involves having some serious physical presence. In a recent Instagram post, Ritchson highlighted some of his key philosophies regarding fitness – while showing off a physique that would make any A-lister blush:


View post on Instagram

Interested in building a body like this yourself? Here’s some pointers that Ritchson keeps in mind when sculpting the best version of himself:


Let Your Workouts Complement Each Other

Image Credit: @alanritchson

Several fad workouts focus on a single-minded focus on getting big – leading to poor long term results and a limited understanding of muscle-building.

“I’m grinding it out just like you,” says Ritchson to his fans. “But let me simplify it for us… move something that fatigues your body and heart most days of the week.”

Ritchson then goes on to explain how hypertrophy (building muscular volume) and strength are different concepts, and require different approaches.

“Usually they compliment each other,” he remarks. “High weight low reps (think – 4-6) will increase strength. Some growth in size (hypertrophy) will occur. But not as fast as if you did lower weight and higher reps (think – you can’t do more reps than 15-25 each set for 4 sets).”

Ritchson here is making the point that a one-track mind approach to your workouts can be a limiting factor. Switch up your weight and rep progression through the week, and you’ll not just get big – you’ll have the power to keep getting stronger each day.

No Equipment? No Problem

Image Credit: @alanritchson

During the pandemic, many of us have fallen off the treadmill – quite literally. With gyms shutting down, several fitness resolutions have gone up in smoke, especially if space and budget constraints keep us from setting up a home gym.

Ritchson argues that the only thing we really need is our bodies, and the motivation to keep going – something his character would probably say. “Body weight exercise like push-ups, pull-ups and dips can add plenty of size if you don’t have access to a gym,” he suggests.

“All you really need is you and the discipline to push.”

The Underappreciated Value of Patience

Image Credit: @alanritchson

At 39 years old, Ritchson isn’t just physically impressive – there’s a certain level of mental discipline required to keep a physique that solid while approaching his older years. Balancing two decades of an acting career along with being a father of 3 – now that’s a task that requires patience!

This means no shortcuts. “To the people that keep asking,” explains Ritchson, “- no I don’t do steroids and never have. If you know what those do, it’s obvious.”

“Just be patient and do the things today the you ten years from now needed you to do. Don’t expect the you two months from now to be the you you want to be in ten years.”

That’s the attitude that separates a novice from a veteran.

Reacher is set for a 4th February release, for Amazon Prime Video.

(Featured image credit: Keri Anderson)

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