Ted Lasso Star Phil Dunster Uses Explosive Lifts to Prepare for the Pitch

PHIL DUNSTER MIGHT be the one of the most recognizable fake footballers on TV—but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t put in the work to train like the real thing. The 30-year-old English actor plays mercurial soccer striker Jamie Tartt on Apple TV+ smash hit Ted Lasso, and portraying a world-class athlete takes sweat and effort. Lots of it.

So when he went about preparing for the role, Dunster knew he’d have to find a discipline that wouldn’t make the physical aspect a major bore. As the character Jamie a speedy goal-scorer, you might expect that the bulk of his program would be soccer-specific. But Dunster had different ideas. “One of the things that I really wanted to do when approaching preparation for Ted Lasso was find a sort of exercise that I could enjoy that wasn’t as tedious as just picking heavy things up and putting them back down again,” he told the Men’s Health crew. “One of the things I really wanted to get into was Olympic weightlifting.”

Dunster worked with trainer Nat Liu Roach to develop a hybrid Olympic weightlifting-hypertrophy plan so that he could throw around heavy barbells and train to build explosiveness while also honing some of the “Hollywood muscles” that would pop onscreen. “Footballers need to use a lot of explosive work—I fortunately don’t have to have the stamina of a professional footballer,” Dunster says. “So I could just work a lot on the explosive stuff.”

Dunster and Roach walked through an example of one of their sessions, moving from a substantial warmup to an Olympic weightlifting block that uses an EMOM structure—Dunster performs two reps at the start of every minute, then rests until the next one begins. After that, he shifts the workout to some movements focused on muscle-building, then finishes with a quick conditioning movement.

Check out Dunster’s workout as the third season of Ted Lasso rolls out—but don’t jump into Olympic lifts without proper prep. Make sure to work on learning the form (preferably, with a coach like Roach if possible) before adding these explosive movements to your own splits.

Phil Dunster’s Ted Lasso Workout

The Warmup

Copenhagen Plank

2 sets of 15 second holds

Arm Bar Roll

2 sets of 15 reps

Single-Leg Box Jump

2 sets of 15 reps

Olympic Lift Power Block

7-Minute EMOM – Hang Power Snatch

Perform 2 reps every minute for 7 minutes

7-Minute EMOM – Hang Clean


Perform 2 reps every minute for 7 minutes


Hypertrophy Block

Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat

3 sets of 6 reps per leg

Chest-Supported Incline Dumbbell Row

3 sets of 8 reps

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

3 sets of 8 reps

Ab Wheel Rollouts

3 sets of 12 to 15 reps


Sled Push

3 rounds of 30 meter pushes

Want more celebrity workout routines? Check out all of our Train Like videos.

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