How John Krasinski Got Strong for ‘Jack Ryan’


John Krasinski has made the move from paper salesman to CIA spy and he has built the body to match. After making his mark as hero material in Michael Bay’s 13 Hours, he’s now back in action in the new Amazon Video series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.

Krasinski is the fifth actor to take on Jack Ryan, the analyst-turned-agent in Tom Clancy’s book series, following guys like Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine. This show brings Ryan into the modern era however, and dropped into war operations in the Middle East. That meant Krasinski needed to look the part of a modern agent who could handle his own in the field.



In order to accomplish this, Krasinski reached out to Simon Waterson, a personal trainer who had previously worked with his wife Emily Blunt. Based out of London, Waterson has worked with some of Hollywood’s fittest leading men, including Daniel Craig from his first appearance as James Bond in Casino Royale.

Amazon / Jack Ryan

Formerly a commando of the British Royal Navy, Waterson’s military background has bred an original training program that is able to get guys operating at their full potential. “There are ideals that you experience in the military that never go away,” says Waterson. “I wouldn’t say that I train like a drill sergeant but there is that focus on structure, frequency, efficiency and intensity.”

Nearly six months before Jack Ryan was filming its first scenes, Krasinski was putting in the work in the gym. By the end of it he was as strong as ever, moving well, and able to crank a 400-pound deadlift. That head time also allowed for Waterson to pinpoint plot points and make sure that the actor was dialed in physically to each sequence.

For example, one of the show’s opening scenes shows off Ryan completing an early morning workout, rowing on the Potomac River. So that Krasinski would look natural and strong on the water, Waterson included rowing exercises into their weekly regime. Of course, as the season progresses so does the action, and the physical conditioning became clutch when Ryan makes his move from analyst to field agent.

Their training mentality partnered perfect with the weapons coaching that Krasinski was getting from the military advisors on the show like Kevin Kent, a former Navy SEAL who also worked on 13 Hours with the actor.

“I liked to look at our training and make sure that what was onscreen matched what would be born out of his routine and his job,” Waterson says. The schedule included five days a week of physical conditioning and the weekends set aside for active recovery like yoga or physiotherapy. “My belief is that aesthetic is solely byproduct of good performance.”

John Krasinski in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan
Amazon / Jack Ryan

The results of that work can be seen within the first episode; with Krasinski showing us a clearly capable Ryan who is combat ready.

Warm Up

Super Incline Treadmill: 5 minutes
Stepmill: 5 minutes
Steady Row: 1000 meters

Conditioning Circuits
Perform each of these circuits only once, moving down the list. Take as little rest as possible.

Circuit A
Lateral Raises: 15 reps
Incline Jog: 1 minute

Circuit B
Lateral Raises: 15 reps
Incline Push-Up: 15 reps
Steady Row: 300 meters

Circuit C
Lateral Raises: 15 reps
Incline Push-Up: 15 reps
Dumbbell Clean & Press: 15 reps
Stepmill: 1 minute

Circuit D
Lateral Raises: 15 reps
Incline Push-Up: 15 reps
Dumbbell Clean & Press: 15 reps
Bicep Curls: 15 reps
Plate Forward Raises: 15 reps
Treadmill Sprint: 1 minute

Strength Push/Pull
The circuits are performed in 3 descending sets, worked out 12 reps, 8 reps, and 6 reps (plus 2 semi-forced reps). Take as little rest as possible.

Circuit A
Flat Bench

Circuit B
Weighted Dips (45 lbs.)

Circuit C
Bench Double Dumbbell Row
Incline Flys

Follow this finisher with stretching with bands.

Side Bends (45 lbs.): 3 sets of 25 reps (each side)
Roman Chair Straight Leg Raises: 3 sets of 15 reps
Roman Chair Knee Raises: 3 sets of 15 reps

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