Mike Colter Used This Big Muscle Workout to Get Swole

MIKE COLTER HASN'T always had to look swole. The 46-year-old actor describes one of his earlier notable roles, Lemond Bishop in CBS's The Good Wife, as having one real physical requirement: looking good in a suit.

Then, he was cast as Marvel's Luke Cage for the Netflix series of the same name. To play the super strong, invulnerable Harlem hero, Colter had to gain 30 pounds of brawn. That meant lots of big meals and heavy lifting—which set him up perfectly for his most recent role as Louis Gaspare, a mysterious, high-security prisoner with a particular set of skills in the well-reviewed action romp Plane.

For Plane, Colter needed to have a strong set of guns—and while most of the promos show him hauling a rifle or some other weapon, we're talking big arms here—but that wasn't all. He took on a strength training routine that engaged his whole body, as he showed off when he visited the MH crew in NYC to talk about his prep for the role.

Along with his workouts, Colter credits his focus on recovery for keeping his body feeling good. "When I was working on Plane, it was easy for me to have access to a cold plunge, a sauna, and a hot tub," he says. "Those things were essential in my recovery. Game changers. There's a lot more to working out than just working out—it's the recovery, it's the preparation, and those things are essential to maximizing your gains."

Mike Colter's Plane Workout


Sprint Intervals

3 sets of 30 seconds max sprint, 1 minute rest

Strength Training

Barbell Deadlift

4 sets of 8 reps

Face Pull

4 sets of 12 reps


4 sets of max reps

Stability Ball Chest Press

4 sets of 12 reps

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