Iron Man 2 Workouts: Robert Downey Jr.

by Nate

in Celebrity Workouts, Role Preparation

Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man 2 Workout

Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark in Iron Man 2 today with an additional 20 pounds of muscle.  The actor, who we last talked about in a January post, once again use a workout routine created by celebrity trainer Brad Bose to bulk up for what should be one of the summer’s blockbuster movies. Downey Jr. cut up and slimmed down to 151 pounds for his role in Sherlock Holmes, but Bose got him back up to 175 over the first month or so of filming for Iron Man 2.

“When we did Iron Man 1, we had five months before the shoot to get ready, so we used more traditional, heavy-weight training,” Brad Bose told “Robert felt kind of bored with it and wanted to something a little more exciting… so we decided to do what I call a Rocky IV meets high-tech training.”

Brad Bose and Robert Downey Jr. are known for their unconventional workouts.  While training for Sherlock Holmes, Bose had the 45-year-old actor use Vortex Perfect Storm and the Ab Coaster.   For his latest role, Bose literally pulled out all the stops and threw the entire kitchen sink at Downey Jr.  “We tried to find the most unique, and yet funnily enough, inexpensive training stuff to use,” he says. “You couldn’t find more practical stuff to use.”

“Instead of doing regular bench presses, we used a bamboo bar… and we would hang plates on rubber bands off the bar… so it was like trying to bench press a snake!” Bose explains. “It bounced all over the place.”

“We went out and bought truck tires, and we used sledgehammers — anywhere from, two 4-lb. sledgehammers in each hand, all the way up to a full 20-lb. sledgehammer — and we were just beating tires with it. We used fire hoses that we filled with sand and water… and we’d drag and whip them to build the shoulder muscles and pecs back up.”

Downey Jr. also navigated through an obstacle course while pushing “a custom-built wheelbarrow that we modified with 600 to 700 lb. weight stacks,” said Bose.  They even trained with something called the war machine, which Bose describes as “a rope with handles on it with a pulley — you suspend yourself from it.”

While Robert Downey Jr. and Brad Bose’s workouts are not easy to repeat in your normal gym setting, they do provide a fun an unique alternative to your workout routine.  Finding the motivation to train is sometimes half the battle.  However,  picking a few unconventional exercises you can do in your home, or outside, is a good way to keep your workouts exciting.

The workouts they used are also very functional in that they train the body in different planes of motion. This simulates how the body actually moves in real life.  Many exercises done in the gym are isolation movements, and while those also have their place, they are normally not as effective and efficient as multi-planar functional exercises.

Leave a comment and let us know if you’ve ever tried any non-conventional exercises in your workout routine.

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