The Iron Man 2 Workout
How Robert Downey Jr. trained for Iron Man 2 and beat workout boredom
Bose likens these to weighted juggling pins. "Back in the early 1900s, they
were quite popular," he says. "They were the center of a lot of Strongman
shows, where guys would use these five- and 10-pound big wooden clubs and swing
them around at [high] speeds and do unusual movements. It's really nice
for shoulder and arm development, and actually pretty good on the joints,
because it's rotational movement."
Bose says meels, which look like oversized Indian clubs, were used in
ancient Persia to train horse riders who had to carry big, heavy swords. "I
called a couple of experts and learned how to train with them. Some of it's
crazy. But it's great for shoulder work," Bose says.
Bose rigged 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,"
"I filled fire hoses with sand and water – one of each – and got [Downey] to
whip them around. He would do almost squats while whipping the fire hoses up
and down," Bose says.
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.
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
"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."
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,"