Downey worked out in the morning (around 9:30am) 3-4 times a week, for 90 minutes a session. He also practiced yoga, kung fu, and ate a high-protein diet of 2,500 to 3,200 calories. Trainer Brad Bose talked to WebMD about Downey's diet and workout:
"Back in the early 1900s, they were quite popular... 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."
"Instead of doing regular bench presses, we used a bamboo bar... and we would hang plates on rubber bands off the bar... so it was like trying to bench press a snake! It bounced all over the place. .. 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 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... It requires an immense amount of strength and skill."
Bose's final training 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 time.
- Vary your cardio routine every time you work out, and from week to week.