Thursday, 22 December 2011

Robert Downey Jr Workout

         To play Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie's new movie, Robert Downey Jr needed to become ripped and lean. Downey's trainer, Brad Bose explains how they did it.

          To get Robert lean and ripped they worked on high volume, low intensity workouts to build up his muscle endurance and cardio levels. Bose says that he didn't want Downey Jr to become massive, more that he wanted him to become strong and fit enough to do the stunts in the movie. To accomplish this they used a machine called The Vortex Perfect Storm, a free-standing multi-gym that has loads of attachments for cables and resistance.
         'We'd do interval work on the Perfect Storm, targeting his major muscle groups from lots of different angles, then end the workout with a climb on a Jacob's Ladder – an inclined climbing treadmill – to improve his cardio,' says Bose. 

          Although Downey looked awesome in Ironman, he was new to this level of fitness.  It takes many weeks and months at a low body fat level to really create a shredded detailed physique.  Carrying on from the exercise and fitness he achieved for Ironman, Robert Downey Jr took it to the next level.

         When someone loses as much body fat as quickly as Downey did for “Ironman,” their skin does not conform to the new musclular physique right away.  In “Sherlock Holmes” he actually looks more toned, especially in the fight scenes, than he did in “Ironman.”

          For Iron Man 2 Downey Jr had to bulk up by adding 20 pounds of muscle in the three months leading up to the film. To achieve this physique Downey Jr trained in some pretty old school and unusual methods while eating a high-protein diet of 2,500 to 3,200 calories a day. In addition to Yoga and Wing Chun Kung Fu, he did 90 minute strength and fitness sessions with Bose three or four days a week.

         Robert Downey Jr Workout For Iron Man 2

  • Indian Clubs 
  • Meels
  • Wheelbarrows 
  • Fire Hoses
  • Sled 
  • Truck Tire With Sledge Hammer
  • SUV Tires
  • Bamboo Bars
  • Bands

          For more information on workouts and how to achieve 'The Lean Hollywood Look'                


3rd Iron Man 2 On Set Pic

          Indian Clubs -  Bose likens the 'Indian Clubs' to weighted juggling pins. "Back in the early 1900s, they were quite popular," he says. "They were the main attraction in of a lot of Strongman shows, where they would use these five- and 10-pound big wooden clubs and swing them around at high speeds and do unusual movements. It's a great workout for shoulder and arm development, and actually pretty good on the joints, because it's rotational movement."

          Meels - Bose says meels, which look like oversized Indian clubs, were used to train horse riders in ancient Persia  who had to carry large, heavy swords. " I learned how to train with them by contacting a couple of experts . Alot of it's crazy. But it's fantastic for shoulder work," Bose says.
          Wheelbarrows - Bose specially adapted a wheelbarrow and welded it to hold up to 650 pounds. "Then I made an obstacle course with cones and had Robert wield it in figure eight formations through the cones," Bose says. The workout targets the chest, shoulders, and back. "It requires an immense amount of strength and skill," Bose says.

          Fire Hoses -  "I filled fire hoses with water and sand – one of each – and asked Downey to whip them around. He would almost do squats while whipping the fire hoses up and down," Bose says.

            Sled - Bose filled a sprinter's sled with 50-pound weights and tied it to the end of a heavy, 50-foot rope. "Robert would stand stationary and then pull it to him, drop it, then sprint 50 feet away again. He would pull, run, and pull again," Bose says. The full-body exercise especially targeted the glutes, lats, rhomboids, biceps and triceps, as well as the torso, abs, and core.

           Truck Tires and Sledgehammer - Bose bought giant truck tires and had Downey beat the tires with sledgehammer "like you'd beat a drum. Then we'd swing them overhead and pound the tires. That builds shoulder stability," Bose says.

          SUV Tires -  Downey flipped and threw SUV tires like a discus. "Again, this is pretty advanced stuff," Bose says. "It's not like the average person should do this, because it puts a lot of torque on the spine... You get very powerful in your abs."

          Bamboo Bars -  "We put rubber bands on bamboo bars then attached kettle bells to the rubber bands on the bar," Bose says. "It's like having a snake in your hands that's trying to wiggle its way out of your hands while you're trying to move it up, down, and around."

          Bands -  Bose attached bands to a piece of stationary equipment called the Perfect Storm. Using the bands, Downey did swimming motions -- like breast stroke and back stroke. "It gives the muscles a polished look," Bose says.

          Downey also used kettlebells and a War Machine, which is a portable, patented pulley training system that uses body weight as resistance (no relation to the Iron Man 2 character of the same name). "If there was one thing you could have in your brief case, it would be probably a War Machine," Bose says.

            For more information on workouts and how to achieve 'The Lean Hollywood Look' check out

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