Train like Dylan O’Brien, the American Assassin

Go from zero to Hollywood hero in two months.

Fitness First has created a workout based on what Dylan O’Brien did to get fit for American Assassin. It features long compound weight and bodyweight exercises that will get you fit and moving like a Hollywood star.

The creator and performer of the workout, Fitness First trainer Alistair Morrell, specialises in getting people to move better — so there was no better person to interpret O’Brien’s Hollywood-style training program for Fitness First members and gymgoers.

Designed to get good results within a couple of months, the workout comes in two sessions: the barbell complex and the bodyweight/animal flow, which you do on separate days.

Kick off the workout with the barbell complex, using an unloaded or lightly loaded barbell. Try not to put the barbell down until all 100 reps are done. Follow this with the flow series.

Barbell complex

  • Beginner: Work to 100 total reps or 25 per exercise.
  • Advanced: Repeat 4x with 2 minutes rest between sets.

1. Romanian deadlift

Keep your knees soft and spine neutral (straight back). Hinge forward at your hips, keeping the weight in the heels of your feet. Driving your hips forward, return to the starting position.

2. Power clean

With soft knees, create a slight hinge at your hips. With explosive force extend your hips, knees and ankles, drawing the barbell up vertically. Catch the bar on your shoulders in a front rack position for the next movement.

3. Front squat

With the bar on your shoulders in the front rack position, squat down and back up, maintaining a neutral spine (straight back) and the weight in the heels of your feet.

4. Overhead press

With the bar in the front rack position, soften your knees and create a slight hinge in your hips. With explosive force extend your hips and knees, pushing the bar directly overhead. Control the bar back down to your shoulders, and then back down to the hips to start again.

Bodyweight/animal flow circuit

Complete 4 sets

  • Hindu push up to Hindu squat: 10 reps
  • Kossack squat: 10 reps each side
  • Plank rotation: 10 reps each side
  • Push up jackknife: 10 reps each side

1. Hindu push up into Hindu squat

Start at the top of a push up position. Push back on your hands, driving your hips up high into the air. Draw your body down along the floor in a scooping action, keeping as low as possible. Jump your feet either side of your hands. Lift your hands off the floor to above your head and stand up. Place your hands back on the floor to start again.

2. Kossack squat (with counterbalance)

Start with a wide stance, feet facing forward with a light kettlebell held against your chest. Lunge your weight down onto one leg, pushing the kettlebell straight out in front of your body. Squat as low as possible with a neutral spine. Drive off the heel of the foot and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other leg.

3. Plank rotations

Start at the top of a push up position. Take one hand off the floor, rotating your body and reaching that hand high into the air. Rotate back down, placing your hand back on the floor. Make sure your body remains rigid, keeping your core and glutes engaged. Change arms and repeat.

4. Push up jackknife

Start at the top of a push up position. Lower to the bottom of the push up and jump one leg out wide. As you push back up jump the wide leg back in. Repeat and change legs.


Alistair Morrell is a personal trainer at Fitness First Bondi Platinum who’s also a model and National Fitness Model champion. He specialises in movement and getting the body to move in ways that are being lost because of sedentary lifestyles.
Instagram: @morrelligram
Website: mindandmuscle.com.au

Photography by Peter Suchecki