Wondering if you can get cosmically (and we mean that literally) jacked at age 49, big enough to play a superhero?
Josh Brolin has your muscle-bound answer. Set to star as Marvel superhero Cable in next year’s Deadpool 2, Brolin had to bulk up, if only to match lead and Men’s Health cover star Ryan Reynolds. So Brolin cleaned up his diet and hit the gym hard, and on Tuesday, he showed off the results of his journey to superhero size, flashing his hard-earned muscle in an epic Instagram post.
Brolin has definitely added serious brawn for his role as Cable, a ridiculous transformation even if dark lighting and an ideal camera angle helped make the Instagram look work. His arms are thick, his shoulders showcase definition, and he’s transformed his core into a roadmap of abdominal detail.
Not bad for a near-50-year-old, right? Brolin’s Instagram account provides some clues to how he pulled off the change: He talks about some serious diet adjustments, and a few workout insights are obvious, too.
Brolin refers to drop sets several times on his Instagram account, indicating that he started at a high weight with an exercise, then immediately moved to a lower weight after he’d done some sets. It’s a hardcore way to push a muscle past fatigue, and for Brolin, it obviously worked.
It’s a popular technique among bodybuilders, and you can apply it to any body part, but there are other, more time-efficient ways to utilise it than Brolin’s method. Try some mechanical drop sets in your workouts, settling on a weight, doing your reps of an exercise, then moving to an easier angle with the same weight to continue doing more reps. Check out this chest drop set, and give this tricep tri-set, which also features a mechanical drop set, a try too.
Judging from Brolin’s Instagram account, he apparently did a boatload of front raises (for front shoulder develop) and lateral raises, sometimes with weights, other times with his trainer providing the resistance. He does these moves smartly, though: Note that his thumb faces up during the front raises, clearing more room in his shoulders for his rotator cuff tendons to move.
If you’re chasing Brolin’s look, you’ll want plenty of shoulder moves in your arsenal, so check out these new shoulder exercises and these moves too.
And of course, after all that hard work, you’ve gotta have a cheat day:
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health.