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The Workout Plan That Got Josh Brolin Jacked to Play Cable in ‘Deadpool 2’

At age 49, Brolin dove headfirst into his training and packed on an immense amount of muscle to play the 6'8", 350-pound villain.

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Josh Brolin as Cable in 'Deadpool 2'
© 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Josh Brolin as Cable in 'Deadpool 2'
© 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Josh Brolin had only 11 weeks to carve out his MCU-worthy physique for his role as Cable in Deadpool 2. He started at a husky 210 pounds, which he had put on for a role that never came to fruition, according to Justin Lavato, owner of iambuilt.com.

“Josh was kind of chunky,” Lavato says. “He also didn’t have great muscle structure in his shoulders. It was like, ‘All right, let’s see how big we can get your shoulders and arms.’”

 

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Brolin trained upwards of three hours per day. He’d log a morning cardio session along with a calisthenics and mobility workout. Then he’d eat and later come back for his nighttime bodybuilding training (which is what you see below). This insane split ensured that he could still move, as it was a very active role, but it also beefed up his physique. A key component: lots of lateral raises.

“He’d do lateral raises with my hands holding his elbows for added tension,” Lavato says. “It stopped him from activating his traps. He’d just fall to the fucking floor after a set. That’s how brutal they were.”

By the end of training, Brolin had lost 30 pounds (even though he looked far bigger), ending up at a shredded 181 pounds.

“The biggest thing I want to push is that he did this naturally, so others know that they can, too,” Lavato explains. “He took it very seriously.”

Routine

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Day 1

Chest

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 19

Machine Rear Delt Flye

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
45
Rest
--
*Optional
Exercise 2 of 19

Barbell Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
5
Reps
5
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench
Sets
4
Reps
4
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 19

Incline Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 19

Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
As long as possible
Rest
--
*Static hold
Exercise 6 of 19

Pec Deck Flye

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
15-20
Rest
--

Day 2

Arms

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 19

Cable Triceps Extension

Equipment
Cable Machine, Rope Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
10-15
Rest
--
Exercise 8 of 19

Hammer Curl

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12, 15, 6, 8
Rest
--
*With Fat Gripz
Exercise 10 of 19

Seated Barbell Curl

Equipment
EZ-Bar
Sets
3
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
*With Fat Gripz
Exercise 11 of 19

Barbell Triceps French Press

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
Exercise 12 of 19

Reverse Curl

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
15-20
Rest
--
*With EZ-Bar

Day 3

Legs

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 13 of 19

Leg Extension

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
20, 18, 15, dropset to failure
Rest
--
Exercise 15 of 19

Sissy Squat

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Exercise 16 of 19

Lying Leg Curl

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
25
Rest
--

Day 4

Shoulders

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 17 of 19

Machine Rear Delt Flye

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
45
Rest
--
Exercise 18 of 19

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press

Equipment
Sets
5
Reps
10-20
Rest
--
Exercise 19 of 19

Seated Lateral Raise

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12, 15, 6, 8
Rest
--
Exercise 20 of 19

Dumbbell Front Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Exercise 21 of 19

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
5
Reps
20
Rest
--

Day 5

Back

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 23 of 19

Assisted Pullup

Equipment
Sets
5
Reps
20
Rest
--
Exercise 24 of 19

Neutral-Grip Pulldown

Equipment
V-Handle Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
*2 dropsets to failure
Exercise 25 of 19

T-Bar Row

Equipment
Barbell, V-Handle Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 26 of 19

Machine Low Row

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Exercise 27 of 19

Seated Cable Row

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12, 15, 6, 8
Rest
--
*Overhand grip
Exercise 28 of 19

Rope Pushdown

Equipment
Cable Machine
Sets
4
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Exercise 29 of 19

Rack Pull

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
5
Reps
12-15
Rest
--

Day 6: Circuit

Repeat the circuit 5 times.

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 30 of 19

Barbell Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
--
Reps
21
Rest
--
Exercise 31 of 19

Power Clean

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
--
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 32 of 19

Overhead Barbell Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
--
Reps
9
Rest
--
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