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Downey's Iron Man 2 Diet and Workout

Bose designed a series of one-of-a-kind workouts that honor Bose's mantra of "functional performance" – training that accomplishes specific physical goals and keeps the body working at peak performance. 

Downey ate a high-protein diet of 2,500 to 3,200 calories a day. In addition to Yoga and Wing Chun Kung Fu, he worked with Bose three or four days a week for about 90 minutes each.  

Here are some of the exotic exercises Downey did, which Bose describes as "Rocky IV meets modern technology."

But first, a word of caution. You shouldn't try these exercises at home. They were developed specifically for Downey and performed under watchful supervision. That's a must, because without expert help, you could easily get hurt.

Indian Clubs

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," Bose says.

Fire Hoses

"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.

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