Sebastian Stan was born in Romania. His parents divorced when he was 2, and at age 8, he moved to Vienna, Austria and then 4 years later, he and his mother moved to New York. Stan acted in plays in school and at summer camp. He attended Rutgers University School of the Arts which included an opportunity to study for a year at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Stan had a small role in a film in ’94 but his career really began in 2003 with a spot on Law & Order. He then started to earn film roles. In 2011, he was cast as Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger, and went on to reprise the role of Bucky/Winter Soldier for several more films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Avengers: Infinity War. A Marvel TV series featuring Winter Soldier also started airing on the Disney+ channel in 2020. He has also appeared in non-comic book roles including I, Tonya, Destroyer and The Martian. Stan has been nominated for several awards and won a Hollywood Film award for his role in I, Tonya. He has millions of followers on social media. Stan is 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs about 175 lbs.
Sebastian Stan’s Diet
For Winter Soldier, Stan followed a diet of lean protein, veggies and plenty of healthy fats. At first, he was just eating a ton to bulk up, but his plan made him fat rather than fit, so, counterintuitively, his nutritionist added in more fats to slim him down. Wholesome fats like from fish, nuts, avocados and coconut fuel workouts, build muscle, help you recover and reduce inflammation, and they do not make you fat, so long as you aren’t also chowing down on carbs. Stan ate every couple of hours, between 5-8 meals per day, but it wasn’t the fun kind of food. It was the bland stuff: greens and lean animal protein with very little seasoning, not even salt. Stan works with trainer Don Saladino for both his diet and exercise regimen, whether or not he’s in training for a film.
- Low Carbs 15% 15%
- Medium Protein 45% 45%
- Medium-High Fat 50% 50%
Stan prefers to workout on an empty stomach, and he will only have coffee before hitting the gym. If he’s feeling too empty, he’ll have a rice cake with some honey and almond butter. And if he’s feeling very, very empty, he’ll have scrambled eggs, and Brussels sprouts with aioli, which is garlic mayonnaise, a Mediterranean specialty.
Stan refuels every 2-3 hours with a mix of protein, veggies and fat. The stuff is pretty bland, however, often broccoli, salad, chicken breast with just a hint of seasoning and a protein drink.
Calorie Delivery System
Because of his busy day and how much he had to eat, Stan originally had a service deliver his food every morning by 7 am. He packed on 20 lbs., but it wasn’t muscle. This led to his trainer rejiggering his diet.
Fear Not the Fat
Fat gets a bad rap but Stan’s trainer had him add in things like avocados and almond butter to help him gain muscle and trim the fat. It worked.
Stan’s trainer believes in eating organic foods whenever possible, especially meat and coffee.
Gram Per Gram
Stan’s trainer recommends eating 1-1.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight for those looking to gain.
No Restaurants for You
Stan had to skip going to restaurants while filming Winter Soldier because he wasn’t allowed to order anything interesting.
Luckily, Stan was allowed a cheat day, which not only helped rev up his metabolism and get better sleep, it also offered a mental break from the monotony.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Stan on his Diet for the Play Picnic
‘I really zoned in on the diet, and everything transformed.’
Stan on his Motivation for Sticking to his Diet
‘I had to be basically shirtless every night, like 8 shows a week.’
Stan on his Winter Soldier Regimen
‘It was physical training and fight training, 6, 7 months. It was intense. My diet changed. That was very hard.’
Stan on his Appetite During Winter Soldier
‘I think I went for about 4 or 5 months where I wasn’t hungry…I was just eating because I had to.’
Stan’s Trainer on Adding Fat to His Diet
‘Stan’s body responded well by eating avocado, coconut or MCT oil and almond butter. We didn’t really stray from that because when you find something that works, you want to stick with it.’
Stan on his Brand of Aioli
‘I’m not going to tell you the place where I got that.’
Sebastian Stan’s Fitness Routine
Stan played soccer and basketball as a kid, but he didn’t start running or going to the gym until college. It took getting cast in The Covenant for him to really step things up a notch.
To get ripped for Winter Soldier, Stan teamed up with trainer Don Saladino who has worked with such luminaries as John Krasinski, Ryan Reynolds and Liev Schreiber
Mix it Up
To get in shape for Winter Soldier, Stan trained for over half a year in advance of filming. He did a variety of exercises to beef up, including barbells, dumbbells and machines.
Stan often does a boxing workout created by former middleweight champion Michael Olajide Jr., and specifically designed for people who don’t have a ton of time to devote to the gym.
Quality Over Quantity
Stan knows a serious 20-minute routine has more value than putzing around for an hour.
Roll Out the Aches
Stan uses a foam roller to get the kinks out before he starts his routine. He also does a good stretch pre-workout.
Stan likes to do aero-boxing because he believes it trains both the body and the mind. It is a fusion of jumping rope, boxing moves, and resistance training.
Specialized fight training was another part of Stan’s Winter Soldier prep. Stan compares fight training to dance class because it had to look graceful. He did 90% of his own stunt work, including the scene on the motorcycle.
Stan hits the gym at least 3-4 times a week for an hour at a clip. He also runs outdoors to get fresh air and clear his head.
A Sebastian Stan Routine
Aeroboxing: Keep moving. No rest.
Jump rope: 5 min
Resistance training: 10 min including different types of push-ups, squats & core work.
Shadow box: 5 min
Take 15 sec rest between each set of the following:
Dumbbell press: 5 reps x 4 sets
Dumbbell squeeze press: 10 reps x 4 sets
Cable fly: 10 reps x 4 sets
5 sec rest between moves:
Barbell press: 10 reps x 4 sets
Dumbbell press: 10 reps x 4 sets
Stan on Prepping for The Covenant
‘One of the producers said to me, “Look, you’re going to have to look like John Travolta…” I was like, “Oh my God.”’
Stan on his Physique
‘I like to be lean and flexible. I’m not interested in gaining size.’
Stan on Getting in Shape
‘I started to work out with a trainer, but it was my buddy Taylor Kitsch who got me into it.’
Stan on Lifting Heavy
‘There is this amazing muscle engagement that you can just feel when you pick up a big weight.’
Stan on his Running Routine
‘I’m not going to tell you where [I run].’
Sebastian Stan’s Supplements
Stan likes coffee as his pre workout. If you’re not a fan of the bitter brew, you can always take a caffeine supplement.
Stan would drink BCAAs to help support his workout regimen. Branched-chain amino acids help with all phases of muscle gains: growth, endurance and recovery and reducing wasting.
Another regular feature of Stan’s drink mix was the amino acid, glutamine. Glutamine helps burn fat and restore glycogen, promoting muscle growth and preventing muscle loss. He would take glutamine with BCAAs and citrulline malate, and on its own.
Citrulline malate was another amino acid compound in Stan’s power beverage. It enhances performance and speeds recovery, and is calorie-free.
Sebastian Stan’s Lifestyle
Sleep is Key
Stan’s trainer really emphasizes sleep, at least 8-10 hours when you’re looking to make gains. Stan didn’t have the luxury while filming, but he made up for it when he could.
Help for the Superhero
Stan sometimes comes across as hostile toward interviewers, but says his friend and costar Anthony Mackie helps him to relax and present his best self.
Stan’s godmother is Anastasia Soare, billionaire founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills.
Too Sexy for His Arm
Stan says he had to grease up to get his arm in the first iteration of the Winter Soldier’s fancy mechanical arm. By Civil War, he had developed so much muscle, he was losing circulation when he wore the thing.
Feeling Better than Ever
Although Stan doesn’t think he can catch up to his costars Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth in size, he still feels like he’s in the best shape of his life, which is pretty sweet for someone in his late 30s.
Stan on Costar, Anthony Mackie
‘He sort of unlocks me a little bit.’
Stan on Captain America’s Prosthetic Arm
‘It was like having a massive hammer attached to me.’
Stan on his Face
‘People always ask me if I’m okay. They’ve said I have a “serial killer resting face”.’
Stan on Fixing his Face
‘No matter what I do, I’ve always had dark circles under my eyes…Lately, there might be a little moisturizer happening here and there, just in case. Preserving a couple of years, or whatever.’
Stan on his Overall Health
‘My body right now is probably the best it’s ever been.’
Stan on Himself
‘I’m terribly self-aware, to the point of detriment.’