This is not your average superhero transformation. Robert Downey Jr had to go from a wiry-looking Sherlock Holmes to Iron Man in two months, as his trainer Brad Bose explained to us. Here’s a sample workout to show what some of the sessions looked like.
Ten to 15 minutes of extensive warm-up exercises for major muscle groups and every joint.
1A Figure of eight
Sets 3 Reps 60
Swing Indian clubs in figures-of-eight around your head for 60 reps.
1B Instability bench press
Sets 3 Reps To failure
Lie on a bench and hold a slosh pipe over your chest. Crank out as many bench press reps as you can before failure.
2 Sledgehammer strikes
Sets 3 Time 3min Rest 90sec
Pound a tyre for three minutes with a 10kg sledgehammer, lifting the hammer over your head and constantly changing the angle of the strike, then rest for 90 seconds.
3 Bosu press-ups
Sets 3 Reps To failure
Get in a press-up position with your hands on the sides of a Bosu ball (soft side down). Lower your chest to the floor before powering up quickly so that the ball also leaves the ground. Use the momentum from the ball to crank out as many reps as you can, aiming for at least 20.
4 Weighted slalom
Sets 3 Rest 2min
Fill two milk cartons with water or sand and fix them to each end of a broom handle. Find an outdoor space, ideally with some small hills, and arrange cones to form a slalom-style obstacle course. Hold the broom across your shoulders, as in the start position of a front squat, and then navigate the course as quickly as possible, timing yourself. Rest for 90 seconds to two minutes, then try to go faster.
“The weight is so hard to control, especially when you go uphill or downhill, that this exercise will blitz virtually every muscle as well as your cardio system,” says Bose.
Tie a stretch band to a tree. Do a variety of twisting and rotational movements to help your joints recover.
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Joe Warner is a highly experienced journalist and editor who began working in fitness media in 2008. He has featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness UK twice and has co-authored Amazon best-sellers including 12-Week Body Plan. He was the editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine between 2016 and 2019, when that title shared a website with Coach.