Robert Downey Jr: Fitness Q&A

Hollywood’s highest-paid actor weighs-in with his fitness and nutritional regimes that earn him multi-million dollar paychecks.

 

TRAIN: You’ve trained in Wing Chun for years now. How has that helped your acting career and life, and has that bled into your training for Tony Stark?

“I can’t even adequately put it into words, honestly. Wing Chun has been such a massive part of my life for well over a decade now – both physically and mentally. Wing Chun is all about balance, concentration and focus, which are integral to so many aspects of life. It does so many things for me – it has certainly grounded me and it promotes a sense of respect.

“But my weight training for Tony Stark… I’m big on functional fi tness, core work and agility-focused workouts. For the role, I don’t need to be a bodybuilder because Tony is a playboy millionaire, he’s not a super soldier or Norse god. His muscles need to look full, but it’s really about agility and functional strength.”

 

What is your workout and nutrition like with a role like Tony Stark?

“It’s very functional and circuit based. I train around five times a week for about 45 minutes to an hour. I use sledgehammers, tyres, kettlebells, stability moves, suspension moves, sandbag throws, BOSU ball moves, Indian clubs, bodyweight moves, rope waves, rope pulls, traditional weight machines, weighted wheelbarrows through obstacle courses and then traditional weights. It’s a mixed bag every session.

“Every rest period is timed and we make sure we get the most out of each workout. I also often do bench presses with an unstable weight to engage my shoulders and core into stabilizing the body. For that we use a barbell with kettlebells attached to each end by bands. I love when that comes into play because that’s a mental and physical exercise – you have to be on the ball. Plus you’re getting more bang for your buck overall.

“I alternate between periods of heavy weight with low reps and lighter weight with high reps, just to keep it interesting and test my muscles. Anything unstable and different will force your muscles to work harder. Also, I do more splits between lower body and upper body than your ‘shoulder day’ and back day’ type splits.

“I do generally eat very healthy and balanced. For Tony I eat 30% proteins, 30% fats and 40% carbs. I eat every three hours. It’s very balanced, but not quite as strict as the diets for Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth. Poor guys with their endless supply of boiled chicken, broccoli and counted-out almonds!”

 

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