Interviews

'Wrecked' Star Will Greenberg Is Sneaky Jacked, So We Got His Training Secrets

The guy who plays Todd dishes on his muscle-building training split, his favorite gym equipment, and survival skills.

'Wrecked' star Will Greenberg
Courtesy of Will Greenberg

Now in its third season, TBS’s comedy series Wrecked is full of surprises. In the first season, a plane headed to Thailand crashes near a deserted island and all hell breaks loose. In the second season, pirates take over the island, but the plane-crash survivors eventually—spoiler alert—steal the pirates’ sailing vessel (which is, of course, a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band cruise ship). In the current season, a billionaire named Declan Stanwick kidnaps the survivors, imprisons them in a cage, and makes them hunt each other for sport.

But perhaps the most surprising aspect of the show (at least as far as we here at Muscle & Fitness are concerned) is the deceptively jacked-ness of Will Greenberg, the actor who plays the uber-fratty Todd from Scottsdale, AZ. Now, don’t get us wrong: Greenberg isn’t going to be competing in the Olympia anytime soon. But from certain angles, his pecs and biceps are more befitting of an action star like Dwayne Johnson or Jason Momoa than a comedic character actor.

We’re not the only ones who have noticed, either: Greenberg’s physique is a running joke on the show, with Todd and the other survivors often commenting on the golf-loving Arizonian’s impressive arms, chest, and abs. And Todd’s muscles actually come in handy when he’s trying to win back the love of his memory-damaged wife, Jess.

So with the Wrecked season finale (and possibly series finale) airing this week, we called up Greenberg and asked him about his muscle-building routine, his favorite fitness tools, and what it’s like filming a TV show in paradise.

M&F: You’ve packed on some serious muscle. So what’s your routine?

WILL GREENBERG: The thing that I discovered that really works for my body is finding out your one-rep max and then doing 80 percent of that. So I warm up, obviously, for a bunch of sets, incrementally increasing the weight. Then I do 80 percent of my one-rep max, three sets of six reps. But I take two and a half to three minutes in between to rest. That’s my protocol.

What exercises do you do?

We shoot the show in Fiji. Before I left for the show, I was doing heavy incline bench with a barbell, flat bench with a barbell, and weighted dips. That’s what I did for chest. And it just made—I had huge gains. It’s annoying—it pisses you off—because you’re not getting much cardio, but you’re building strength really fast. For me it made a difference.

What happened when you got to Fiji?

In Fiji, they didn’t have a barbell and plates. They just had your standard hotel gym equipment. So the heaviest dumbbells they had were 50 pounds. So I would do pushups almost to failure and then hop on the bench and do six reps of presses with 50-pound dumbbells. Do three sets of that. And then I’d have days where I’d just do six sets of six pullups and six sets of six chinups, and I would just wait a minute in between those. I injured my wrist so I wasn’t doing any curls or triceps stuff, and ironically my arms looked better than they ever looked. And then I was doing a lot of the rowing machine. High-intensity shit.

How long do you row?

I would do the rowing machine for 20 minutes—30-second sprints and one minute off for 20 minutes. I’d usually do this on the same day as the pullups. Or I’d come in and do pullups and abs and then go outside and run sprints as well. They had a rugby field out there.

Sounds like a solid workout.

And it was hot. That’s the other thing about Fiji that helps you get in shape is it’s 112 degrees outside. We were shooting outside every day, so you’re losing a lot of water weight, sweating your ass off.

Is it humid?

It’s pretty humid.

How many days a week do you work out?

While we were shooting I was working out four days a week in the gym or running sprints. And then on the weekends we would do water activities—surfing, snorkeling, swimming—or like a hike. Then the thing that made the difference for me, ab-wise, was I got one of these ab rollers. Man, that made a huge difference. I’d do that four times a week. Along with some hollow body movements.

Anything else?

I also jump rope. In Fiji I had a badass porch overlooking the water and I’d just jump rope like an asshole. So basically I had a chest workout, I would consider the pullups my back workout, and then I would do a lot of high-intensity things—rowing, sprints, and the jump roping.

How long do you jump rope?

Twenty minutes. I’ll usually go for six songs. Fast songs I go fast. I do high knees, double unders, fast toe tapping. I use a black, old-school King Athletic jump rope. I just started following some jump rope guys on Instagram. I’m gonna order a weighted jump rope.

What fitness equipment do you travel with?

I travel with the ab roller, the jump rope, and then my rings. Those are great. I do dips and curls—you know, basically hanging back at an angle and you can make it as hard or as easy as you want, like a TRX system.

Is there any type of apparel or shoes that you love?

Oh yeah, I use Topo athletic shoes. They have a wide toe box. People need to start wearing those.

If they have wide feet.

No, everybody should. Because I have a bunion now. That’s why I can’t do a lot of long-distance running. I do the rower because of that, because my toe gave up. My right big toe. But these shoes are so incredible. Humans should not have pointy-toed shoes. It’s stupid. It’s just an aesthetic.

Do you get a lot of comments from people about your body?

Oh yeah. A lot of my childhood friends are just impressed, because I was the fat kid.

Really?

I was a chubby bunny. And my sister’s always like, what the fuck is going on? People are always very complimentary and asking what I do.

What are your measurements?

I’m 5’8” and 170 pounds. It’s a lot of girth. My skeleton is very dense.

Do you feel like working out this much helps you as an actor?

Absolutely. For our show in particular, with the physical demands of shooting outside in that heat and then all of the crazy stunts they had us do this year. Like in the episode that just aired, there’s a scene where I lift Pack off the ground and swing him over my shoulders. I’m like, I can’t just fling this sucker up on my shoulders. The stuntman showed me a way to do it, but it was still hard and I had to do it like 10 times and then finally I was like, this is the last one. So yeah, the demands of the show require working out. At least I think they do.

Do you think it makes you funnier somehow?

It definitely makes me cockier. So yeah.

The writers throw in jokes about your body, too.

They do. And I always tell them, well, this isn’t gonna play because I’m too ripped now.

In one episode a character called you Flabby McConaughey.

Right. Which was warranted because at that point I was Flabby McConaughey.

You didn’t look too flabby.

There was a little flab. That was pretty early in the season. I thought I was already shredded but I needed another month.

So if viewers are watching closely, they’ll see you get in better shape as the season goes along?

Yeah. It’s easier because of the catering as well. You got somebody making meals for you that are incredibly healthy because they use local stuff. In Fiji, it’s all fresh, so at lunch every day I would have a pile of veggies and a ton of fish, and I rarely would snack on set, and if I did it would be just the tiniest bit of fruit.

Have you been lifting weights for a long time?

Yeah. I go through waves. I try to listen to my body. I enjoy lifting weights. I definitely like doing it. It makes me feel like I accomplished something. It’s just fun to see how much you can improve. I’m much more interested in going slow instead of just trying to pound through shit.

What’s your go-to workout music?

I love me some Action Bronson. I’ll go old-school Beastie Boys. Sometimes I’ll do a Replacements radio station on Spotify. I’ll put on Bowie. I’m a big classic rock guy.

Got a favorite pair of headphones?

JBL wireless earbuds. They’re OK. They stay in your ears good.

Did you pick up any survival skills in Fiji?

I did. I learned how to clean a fish. The major guest star this season, Jonno Roberts, who plays Declan, he and I bought fishing poles and we would catch barracuda and this fish called the giant trevally right outside of our rooms. He bought an electric frying pan for his room. We’d clean them right there on the rocks, take them in, and he’d cook them up. We definitely did that over 20 times.

Do you take any supplements?

I use Vega, their vegan protein powder. And then I’d use this green powder as well, Catie's. It’s like a mix of a million vegetables. I’d have that, the powder, and water every day on my way to set at 4 in the morning.

Whoa. That’s early.

It’s hard shooting Wrecked. We do shoot in paradise, but you have to get up and be ready to shoot when the sun’s up. Because you’re done when the sun goes down.

How many days does it take to shoot one episode?

Four and a half. They gave us four and a half this year. Last year it was four.

Do you know if there will be a fourth season?

We don’t know yet. We’re waiting to hear. We’re hoping for one more just to finish it up.

Well, it’s a really funny show.

Thanks, man. I’m very proud of it. And as a comedy snob, I think it’s actually funny as well. This job is a dream come true, and I give it everything I’ve got because I’m lucky to get to do this silly job for money.

The two-episode season finale of Wrecked airs Tuesday, Oct 2, at 10 p.m. EST on TBS. Follow Greenberg on Instagram: @wgreenbe

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