The Iron Man 2 Workout
How Robert Downey Jr. trained for Iron Man 2 and beat workout boredom
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,"
Back to Reality
Getting bored with exercise is common, even if you're not training for a
Bose says he highly recommends functional training, to reach peak
performance or simply "go to the next level." Otherwise, he says, your
body quickly adapts to your workout – even after just one or two days.
Be sure to mix things up, Bose advises. His tips:
- If you typically do a long cardiovascular session, followed by strength
training, instead do 10 minutes of cardio between weight sets.
- When strength training, do different exercises in a different order each
- Vary your cardio routine every time you work out, and from week to
"One of the weak points people make in their cardio training is limiting it
to one piece of equipment, like a treadmill or an elliptical that they might
have at their home," Bose says.
"They never vary their cardiovascular training. And when you do that, you
limit your ability to perform. The misconception is that because I'm on my
treadmill, I'm improving my conditioning… You need to challenge your heart
with different levels, and you want to switch to something different."