Robert Downey Jr. Gained 20 Pounds of Muscle for ‘Iron Man 2’

Robert Downey, Jr. looks darn buff in ‘Iron Man 2,’ but I wouldn’t have thought he gained 20 lbs. of muscle for the role. Then again, he’s not a big guy to begin with, so I guess it’s feasible. 


His trainer Brad Bose told Us Magazine, “When we did ‘Iron Man 1,’ we had five months before the shoot to get ready, so we used more traditional, heavy-weight training.” Since Downey, Jr. had just wrapped ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ he was down to 151 pounds when shooting on ‘Iron Man 2’ began.

"After [the first routine], Robert felt kind of bored with it and wanted to do something a little more exciting, so we decided to do what I call a ‘Rocky IV’ meets high-tech training," says Bose, who bulked the 45-year-old actor up to 175 pounds over the first three to four weeks of filming.

More after the jump…

A few examples:

  • Downey Jr. pushed "a custom-built wheelbarrow that we modified with 600 to 700 lb. weight stacks" around an obstacle course.
  • "We went out and bought truck tires, and we used sledgehammers — anywhere from two 4-lb. sledgehammers in each hand all the way up to a 20-lb. sledgehammer — and we were just beating tires with it.
  • “We used fire hoses that we filled with sand and water… and we’d drag and whip them to build the shoulder muscles and pecs back up."
  • They also juggled "weighted Indian clubs," hulled around kettle bells and even used a war machine, which Boyes explains is "like a rope with handles on it with a pulley — you suspend yourself from it," says Bose.

The two would meet around 9:30 a.m. and work out for an hour-and-a-half at least three days a week. Downey Jr. also trained in Kung Fu two to three days a week with Eric Oram. Who says being an actor is easy?!


Images: Paramount Pictures





  1. Joan Lambert Bailey Avatar

    Ok, that’s amazing. He is a Buff-a-saurus Rex here, that’s for sure. (Found you through the Blogathon!)

  2. MarthaAndMe Avatar

    20 lbs of muscle is insane! My husband is dying to see this, yet he went to see the truly horrific Back Up Plan with me over the weekend instead.

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