John Krasinski made an incredible performance as Jack Ryan in one of Amazon’s newest and most popular TV series. The show and its characters are loosely based on the Tom Clancy novels that have made their way around the world for decades now.
But how did John Krasinski go from the soft loveable Jim Halpert (the office) to the athletic, muscular Jack Ryan? The transformation from Jim to Jack did not happen overnight. This article explains it all:
Krasinski has mentioned before in several interviews that he really had to focus on slimming down to play more athletic characters. And what is the best way to get lean? Running. Running in 20 minutes increments to be exact. This form of interval training is a great starting point when trying to become a fitter person. It is hard to launch right into extensive workouts several days a week if you previously hardly exercised at all. Building a base to work off of with this 20-minute interval training is a good starting point. Whether you are trying to become the super-buff Jack Ryan, or are simply an ordinary person trying to lose weight.
Upper body strength:
Next comes upper body strength. Krasinski mentioned in an interview that when he started training with personal trainer Joe Walsh, he couldn’t even manage one measly pullup. Over time, with dedicated upper body training (Pushups, pullups) he began to noticeably see himself becoming stronger and stronger. This was in 2016, still 2 years before Jack Ryan released to the public.
This is not the first time he has needed to bulk up to help him play a new character. All of his previous work to become more fit and muscular helped him get a leg up when getting in shape for his role in 13 hours. His need to become much bulkier meant he was in a much better position to become Jack Ryan than he would have otherwise been. Furthermore, his role in 13 hours demonstrated that he was more than capable of looking, and playing, the role of a soldier. Perhaps it helped secure him the part of Jack Ryan.
The final push to becoming Jack Ryan:
By now Krasinski had really started to become a much more fit, athletic, person. But he was still not ready for the role of Jack Ryan. Ryan is at the peak of physical fitness, with very little room for improvement. In order to portray him accurately, Krasinksi would have to be able to say the same. To do this he started working with a new fitness instructor, Simon Waterson. Waterson quickly molded Krasinki’s fitness routine into a completely new animal altogether.
Consistent training is the only way to get, and maintain, the body needed to play Jack Ryan. This meant that the newest fitness regime would almost consume Krasinki’s free time completely. 3 days a week he would need to be in the gym, which when your schedule is as full as Krasinki’s, can be very difficult. It takes real dedication.
The routine is based on the idea that you should rotate the exercises you do each day, to allow your muscles to recover and grow properly. By sticking to a 3 day a week routine, you actually have a 3-day gap between each muscle group. Long enough for them to recover ready for the next time.
The first day would be a mix of pushing and pulling exercises. These could be pullups, pushups or working on a rowing machine. If you think back to the show’s pilot, Jack Ryan was rowing in the opening scenes. Krasinki’s trainer was very big on measuring the increase in reps that he could manage, even on the days he wasn’t feeling his best. This careful measuring of improvement contributed to the overall success Krasinski found when bulking up for the part. Having a trainer as dedicated as you are can make a huge difference.
The next day would focus more on the lower body. Squats, lunges, and more running. Always more running. The overlap between cardio and leg exercises is very high. This meant that he was able to maintain his lean physique and become much more toned rather than just bigger overall. Jack Ryan is an analyst, not a weightlifter, after all.
Krasinski really nailed the role of Jack Ryan. There is obviously far more that goes into the role than just the physique, but it certainly helped him portray the part accurately. Overall it was a testament to just how much of a dedicated professional Krasinski is.