Nagging injuries led to safer workouts for James Marsden. After all, he’s only flesh and blood—and 44 years old. “We’re shying away from bodybuilding-style workouts,” says his trainer, Adam Nicklas, N.A.S.M.
1) Safeguard your shoulders with pushups.
He’s not a robot! Marsden has cranky shoulders, so you’ll rarely see him bench-pressing. Instead, he builds his chest and shoulders with a mix of pushups. You can do two of his usual variations anywhere. First, assume a pushup position, lower your torso until it’s 2 inches from the floor, hold for 5 seconds, then press back up. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps. Then place your feet on a bench and do pushups. As you lower your chest,lift your left leg and drive your knee toward your left elbow. Aim for 3 sets of 10, alternating knees as you go.
2) Protect your back with planks.
Marsden has no back trouble, and Nicklas wants to keep it that way. That’s why Mars-den’s routine includes plenty of planks. Try doing a 30-second forearm plank, then immediately shift into a right-side plank.Hold for another 30 seconds, and then return to the forearm plank. Repeat on the left side. Do 3 sets like that and you’ll do more than just build a six-pack. “It’ll strengthen your inner ab muscles and stabilize your spine,” says Nicklas.
3) Spare your knees and ankles with Bulgarian split squats.
The barbell squat may be the gold standard of leg exercises, bu tit puts demands on your knees and ankles.That’s why Marsden trains his legs with Bulgarian split squats instead. He’ll hold 15 pounds in each hand and do 8 to 12 reps. Then he’ll immediately lie on a decline bench and do situps, tossing a medicine ball back and forth with Nicklas. Finally, he’ll follow that with a 1-minute run. Do that circuit 3 times for a killer light-speed leg session.
4) Can you master Marsden’s body-weight blast?
No gym, no problem for Marsden. The ex-X-Man recently bought a pullup and dip station for his house, so he’ll often sneak in a body-weight burner when he doesn’t feel like pumping iron. His go-to workout is a simple circuit from Nicklas that you can do almost anywhere:
Complete 10 rounds of that circuit, resting as needed. Keep track of your time. Marsden’s best: 6:53.
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