Paul Rudd Shares the Key Fitness Factor of His Ant-Man Workout

PAUL RUDD WAS not exactly the type of actor you’d assume would make the leap to superhero status during the early days of Marvel’s interconnected film series. While he studied Jacobean drama at the British American Drama Academy at Oxford, he was mostly known for lighter roles in comedies like his breakout Clueless, cult classic Wet Hot American Summer, and Judd Apatow vehicles Anchorman and Knocked Up.

Rudd joked in his Men’s Health cover story that before being cast as Ant-Man for the MCU, his bare torso was more likely to be the butt of a joke than an aspirational ideal. “Every shirtless scene I had ever done was for comedy’s sake,” he said. “I had no business doing a shirtless scene [in a superhero movie].” But Marvel still came calling, and Rudd took on the now-standard transformation from comedy standout to superhero, even after he had been a steady presence on movie screens for the better part of two decades.

When asked about the routine he used to get into his super shape, Rudd didn’t respond with a long list of complicated exercise protocols, diet hacks, or next-gen procedures out of reach for normal, everyday guys. His most important component of getting (and staying) in shape is simple: Sleep.

After sleep, Rudd lists, diet, lifting weights, and cardio on the scale of importance for his success. “People ask me, ‘Can you send me your meal plan? How many times a week do you work out? Do you drink? Do you eat carbs? Do you have a cheat day?’ The most important part of training is sleep,” he said. “People will set their alarm and then sleep for four hours and they’ll get up so that they can train. They’re doing themselves a disservice. If you can somehow get eight hours of sleep . . .”

He then shared a look at a day in his life following his routine: “I get up and I have a cup of coffee, and then I do cardio before I eat anything,” Rudd said, adding that he would never have done any of this before his time in the MCU as Ant-Man. “I lift weights, hopefully at least three times a week. And I’ve learned so much about how my body reacts to foods, how it reacts to exercise, and where I’m happiest and how much it affects me mentally. . . . If I’m in this suit, running around playing a character who’s supposed to be a superhero, I just feel better. And I feel less like an impostor.”

Want to make an effort to maximize your sleep? You can start by following this 30-day plan, and use the other resources we have available. Just don’t expect that you’ll immediately morph into a size-changing superhero who can visit the Quantum Realm. Like Rudd, you’ll need a special suit for that.

Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. You can find his work elsewhere at Mashable, Thrillist, and other outlets.

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