The Routine That Got William Zabka Back In Shape For Cobra Kai

Sweeping the world like he did Daniel's leg, Cobra Kai star William Zabka is back, and some might say, better than ever. With Cobra Kai rating the number one most-watched Netflix show in 28 countries, Zabka has good reason to want to stay fit (per The Wrap). The now 55-year-old The Karate Kid star told Men's Health during season one that, although he continued training for years after the iconic 1984 film, "coming back to Cobra Kai had me jump back in real hard, so I could be camera ready."

Celebrity Trainer Chad Landers trained Zabka as he prepared to reprise the role of Johnny Lawrence. He states that Zabka was not in bad shape when he began (via Onnit). Landers tells Onnit that he worked three to four days a week with Zabka, focusing mostly on strength training and cardio. According to Landers, Zabka's training also included a lot of single-leg movements such as lunges and step-ups, which prepped him for his kick scenes. A focus on muscle balance was crucial so that Zabka was well prepared for his kicking scenes, using either side of his body. 

How karate helped Zabka get fit

In addition to cardio and strength training, Zabka trained in various martial art techniques throughout his long Cobra Kai workdays, including, of course, karate. Regarding getting back into practice, he tells,"it's a lot like being a skier back in the day, you still remember it. You have the mechanics, but you have to stretch a lot more." He did admit to that his personal trainers were an essential factor in his body transformation.

According to the India Times, the benefits of martial arts training include increased strength and flexibility, lower blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, and improved heart health. With his fitness routine, as well as a daily diet consisting of lean proteins and vegetables, it's no surprise Zabka was able to bounce back to being not Johnny the bully, but rather, the unlikely hero, stealing the hearts of The Karate Kid fans everywhere.