How To Get A Vin Diesel -ish Physique Without Doing His Exact Workout Routine
First of all, why would I even say that? Well to be honest, if you’ve been searching for the workout Vin Diesel does then you may already know that it isn’t out there to find. At best, there are little tidbits of some insight as to the types of workouts Vin Diesel does, but no exact routine nor exercises that he uses. From what is available though, we can easily put together an effective strategy to build an awesome Vin Diesel body!
“I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team … For those ten seconds or less, I’m free.”
Ok, so that’s no Tyler Durden quote, but still pretty cool. Vin Diesel is one of those guys who can really pull off the “buff” look quite well. Despite being a pretty big dude, he still has good amount of definition — which is undoubtedly why everyone wants to know what the Vin’s workout looks like. And the car — Challengers rock! — ‘nough said.
In some of his past interviews, Diesel has mentioned that he does a lot of compound exercises, Pilates and Yoga. So as I mentioned, this isn’t an official workout, but considering his large build and definition we know where to start.
Compound exercises are great for both building muscle size and burning calories and therefore fat. As I talk about quite a bit and go into more detail in the article about Brad Pitt’s routine, by burning excess fat and leaning out, you will actually look bigger at a lighter weight. That said though, you’ve got to have a decent amount of dense muscle mass to look good.
Although Pilates may seem like it shouldn’t have a place in Vin Diesel’s workout routine, they are surprisingly good for building core strength and definition — my wife talked me into trying out some of her Pilates workouts and they’re stinkin’ tough! As for Yoga, it can be great for flexibility and even strength.
Adding Muscle to Look Like Vin Diesel
First of all, if you have read that you should focus on the big 3 lifts to build muscle, flags should be going up! That is true, by focusing on deadlifts, squats and bench press you will build the most overall muscle mass, but it is not going to be the type of muscle that looks good. You’re going to get a big butt, big thighs and perhaps big chest, but one that doesn’t look as good as if you were to focus on the correct exercises.
When it comes to chest workouts, I highly recommend doing upper chest exercises and focusing more on dumbbells rather than the barbell. This will give you a more masculine and much stronger look.
Here’s an example of a workout routine that will build a decent amount of muscle mass as well as some good density so that the muscle will still look strong and not just big and fluffy. It is a pretty familiar 3 day split but with a very effective twist on the sets & reps and resting time.
A Solid Routine
For the workout you’ll be doing 8 sets of 5 reps for each exercise.
Rep one should be done with a weight that you could only do 6 times (stop at 5 though).
Rest 1 minute and do 5 more reps at 80% of the original weight. Rest 1 minute and do 5 more reps at the same weight as this new weight. Repeat this until you’ve done all 8 sets.
Note: you are keeping with this new weight. You may not be able to hit 5 reps for each set. Make sure you stop before failure.
Day 1 – Chest & Triceps
- Incline Dumbbell Press
- Incline Dumbbell Flyes
- Incline Barbell Press
- Skull Crushers
- Diamond Pushups
Day 3 – Back & Biceps
- Pull Ups
- Seated Rows
- Upright Rows
- Standing Barbell Curls
- Preacher Curls
Day 5 – Legs & Core
- Front Squats
- Straight Leg Deadlifts
- Planks – 3 sets at 2 minutes
- Side Planks – 3 sets each side at s minutes
If you are a small or skinny guy, then adding muscle should be your top priority to build a Vin Diesel body. A good approach to adding muscle is by doing the Visual Impact workout routine but just staying on phase 1 until you’ve built all the muscle mass you want. The overall focus of this workout is building ultra-defined muscle but it actually has one of the best approaches to building overall mass as well.
If you’ve got a decent amount of size or quite a bit of extra body fat though, then you should really be focusing on losing fat while preserving and really toning the muscle you already have.
Creating Dense & Defined Muscles
If you are already very lean or even skinny, that is the perfect time to build muscle. If you are not lean then your muscles are not going to look as impressive as they could without the layer of fat that is covering them. If that’s were you’re at then you should focus mainly on diet and muscle building & toning workouts to put on ultra-defined muscle.
Once you have reached a low body fat percentage while also doing some type of resistance training, your skin is going to be used to the smaller version of you. When you add bulk to your already tight skin you get the “shrink wrap effect” which will really make your muscles pop! A perfect compliment to any “Vin Diesel workout.”
For a few other celebrity workouts I’ve outlined, checkout the Daniel Craig, Brad Pitt and the Hugh Jackman workouts.
And one last quote from Dom, Vin Diesel’s character in Fast & Furious:
You almost had me? You never had me – you never had your car… Granny shiftin’ not double clutchin’ like you should. You’re lucky that hundred shot of NOS didn’t blow the welds on the intake! You almost had me?
Dave - Not Your Average Fitness Tips
May 8, 2011 @ 4:51 pm
Vin Diesel is definitely in great shape. Even if his exact workout routine was out there, it’s hard to say anyone else would get exactly the same results. However, with a lot of the recommendations you outlined, I think most people could build a very good body. Taking it to the next level like a celebrity is always challenging since average people don’t have the time or resources (money, trainers, dieticians) helping them take it across the finish line.
Kevin - Fitness B&W
May 9, 2011 @ 7:42 am
I definitely agree — I think if we all had hours and hours to devote to working out (and having our perfectly balanced meals handed to us) it would be a lot more feasible goal to build a physique like Vin Diesel’s.
I do think though that by focusing on what will make the biggest impact (diet and effective workouts) that we can all acheive very good results.
The Underwear Body
June 19, 2011 @ 10:17 pm
I think Vin Diesel is a much better role model than the bulked up bodybuilder’s in the magazines. He’s obviously a guy with a larger frame but he carries the larger look quite well. Personally I think he’d look better with slightly leaner with little more muscle definition, but then we all do I suppose!
I like the idea that you don’t have to use his exact routine if you want results like his. It’s about having your role models but still using the best way for YOU to get their results (though I spent an awful lot of time looking for Brad Pitt’s fight club routine back in the day).
May 4, 2012 @ 8:28 am
I agree … just a bit more lean and toned and he would have a killer build … still does though for a bigger guy.
April 26, 2012 @ 12:34 am
Hi, I have a question, on the Vin Diesel workout. When you are doing, 8 sets, and 5 reps, what should your weight be? Start at the max 6 reps, and then go down 80%, do I keep going down 80%, every time?
May 4, 2012 @ 8:35 am
Sorry I wasn’t very clear on this, I updated the article.
Pick a weight that you can do 6-8 reps but don’t do more than 5. Keep the same weight throughout the exercise. So for incline dumbbell flys your reps might look like this for each set: 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3 reps.
You want to stop just short of failure for each set … always having another rep left in ya.
May 30, 2012 @ 10:06 am
Love the workout man. I have a quick question and would be very grateful if you could answer it for me. You say that for skinny guys who wish to gain mass they should use phase 1 of visual impact. However I read on forums(bb.com) that beginners should stick to the big 3 and that they won’t make gains on sarcoplasmic training (like phase 1). Is there any truth to that. I ask as I am a skinny beginner who really wants to pack on size,but in a strategic and fast way which phase 1 offers. However I don’t want to waste time on a routine that wont even work for me 🙁
June 1, 2012 @ 7:29 am
The more “beginner” you are, the easier it will be to pack on size and make strength gains. I really don’t see how it would hurt or be a waste of your time to do phase 1 in Visual Impact.
As far as the big 3 go … if you make your biggest gains in your shoulders and chest then you’re going to look bigger (and possibly better) than if you made those gains to your thighs and butt.
June 1, 2012 @ 8:31 am
Thanks for the reply. I agree with you actually. I went on a website and some guy was claiming that you need a big strength base before embarking on phase 1(165lb bench,250lb squat, 275lb deadlift- all 5×5). He said that begionners should follow starting strength and work up to this. However I agree with you as your body doesnt know how much your lifting. As long as the weights(as small as they may be lol) produce enough cumulative fatigue them I’m guessing you should still make sarcoplasmic gains?
August 14, 2012 @ 1:30 pm
yes i have a question as well. i work out almost everyday and i want to put on muscle but i also want to cut the rest of the stomach fat i have. I want to know if this will also help you cut the fat in the core or will it just pack it on over the belly, and do you have any exericses that could get the core smaller alot faster because i have been trying alot of things and nothing is working
August 11, 2012 @ 10:16 pm
Hey I was just curious as to how many rest days to take on this routine? In between each session? Please get back to me.
July 30, 2013 @ 8:10 pm
How many diamond push-ups? Thanks.
December 5, 2013 @ 1:45 pm
Hey, the workout looks great, definitely gonna try it out! But i was wondering how the shoulder work would look like? since its not listed. Thanks!!