Ryan Kwanten Workout and Diet Tips for Preparing for His True Blood Shirtless Scenes

by Mike

in Celebrity Diets, Celebrity Workouts, Featured, Role Preparation

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True Blood returns for its third season tonight on HBO.  The return of True Blood also means that one of our favorite fit celebrities is back on TV: Ryan Kwanten (who plays Jason Stackhouse), whom we’ve already listed as one of the fittest celebrities you don’t know.

I’m somewhat of a masochist at heart. I like to sweat. I come from a very competitive sporting background—my dad was a world-champion surfer—so it’s always been a part of my DNA.

Despite having one of the best bodies in the business, Ryan Kwanten did not get his physique in the gym. Indeed, he started boxing as a teenager (and became state championship in the welterweight division for the 13-15 age group).

Since then he’s done just about every physical activity to keep himself in shape. Soft-sand running, hiking, surfing, triathlons, biking, swimming (in the Pacific Ocean) are just some of the ways he achieves “muscle confusion.” He adds, “The moment you have monotony, your muscles can fall asleep. Variety makes you much more balanced.” Oh, and he’s even a two-time biathlon winner in Los Angeles (2006, 2007).

Because Ryan has such a dynamic and evolving method for staying fit, he has no need for a specific workout. Instead, you can evolve your workout and diet routine to be like that of Ryan Kwanten on True Blood by following these tips.

Bodyweight Workout

Ryan Kwanten admits to Mens’ Fitness that he still needs to strength train to keep his body fully functional. He does his strength training at home with body-weight exercises: pushups, situps, pull ups, skipping rope. “I love old-school stuff,” he says.

Specifically, while doing his situps and other ab work, he focuses on his core and tries not to reach or stretch his neck. He also likes using a thick rubber jump rope for doing intervals (e.g., 30 seconds of doubles followed by 50 seconds of singles). Like Ryan does in his own home, try doing these exercises during the first half of a Lakers game, and then stretch during the second half.


The former tri-athlete is a running junkie. In particular, Ryan Kwanten prefers running outdoors, and more specifically on trails. “It takes the tedium out of running,” he says. “You gain balance and coordination. No two steps are the same.”

Instead of distance, he chooses routes with distinct midpoints. “Whether it’s that high peak or the end of a beach, it’s great to have something you can touch that lets you know you’re halfway there. You don’t find that on a treadmill.”

When a friend of mine suggested I try yoga to help with flexibility, I said, ‘No, that’s more for the girls. It’s not my cup of tea.’ But I tried it and it beat me up.


Several years ago, Ryan turned to yoga after watching his mother struggle with debilitating back problems and dealing with his own inflexibility issues. Although, initially, he wasn’t too keen on taking up such a “girlie activity.” Fortunately, he gave it a shot. “That first class I was looking across the room and seeing girls and even guys putting their feet behind their heads, and I thought, Wow, that’s where I want to be. And I’m sort of naturally competitive, so once I sink my teeth into something I’m not going to let go.”

And now? Ryan Kwanten is a Vinyasa yoga instructor who’s as flexible as a contortionist.

Ryan Kwanten’s Diet

When Ryan Kwanten needs to prepare for a shirtless scene (or go to beach), he follows a Paleolithic diet (or paleo diet or paleodiet), which is also known as the caveman diet, the Stone Age diet, and the hunter-gatherer diet.  The Paleolithic diet is based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paletolithic period (an era from about 2.5 million years ago until about 10,000 years ago).

The (modern) Paleolithic diet consists mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts. It excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

Ryan claims that he only needs to do this for about 2 or 3 days before the event.  The diet helps to burn fat because insulin levels are kept in check due to the low carb intake (which would otherwise increase insulin and decrease your fat-burning ability).

However, Ryan admits that he doesn’t follow a strict diet anymore, and isn’t afraid to have a beer on occasion, but still prefers water or a protein shake.

We can’t wait to see how this season of True Blood unfolds, and to see if Ryan’s been following his own workout and diet tips…

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