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July 28, 2020 10 min read

When you think of  Paul Rudd, perhaps physical fitness is not the first thing that comes to mind, unless you only started to follow the actor’s most recent work as Marvel’s small, yet strong superheroAnt-Man.”

As popular as Rudd has been for the last 20-30 years on the silver screen, his association with ripped body greatness has been much more short-lived, but no less amazing. In fact, many have been looking up to Paul Rudd’s amazing six-pack transformation, eager to learn about his new workout routine and diet regimen as one of Hollywood’s unlikely superheroes.

Since shooting to fame in the 90s hit comedy Clueless as Alicia Silverstone’s boy-next-door love interest, Rudd’s roles have been type-cast as the funny, hapless, relatable guy. Remember him in the 40-Year-Old Virgin, alongside Steve Carell? Much more confident dude with the dad-bod, than shredded and hunky sex-god. 

We’ve always liked him that way though, perhaps because he’s just the kind of fun guy we’d hang out with — at the football, in the bar, or on a park bench with a beer and burger. But those days are over. You’re probably more likely to bond with Rudd over a morning’s session pumping iron or planning your next cheat day. Sounds fun to us!

At the age of 45,  Paul Rudd finally got the opportunity his dormant muscles were waiting for. The role of Marvel superhero, Scott Lang, aka  Ant-Man. As any self-respecting actor knows, playing a superhero comes with specific requirements. Get in shape, or lose the role and big bucks. It’s an incentive anyone would be hard-pushed to refuse.

In his true down-to-earth style, Rudd famously told Men’s Journal, “I was one of those people who always wanted the results, but never wanted to put in the work.” It looks like he finally found the drive to do so, with the help of personal trainers Brendan Johnston of CrossFit BMF, and Richard Louis at FitSpace NYC. And a very tempting paycheck.

While we can’t promise you millions of dollars at the end of your transformation, we can show you how  Paul Rudd got there. After all, an evolution from dad-bod to sex-god will bring you as much abundance as the next rich guy. Because it’s always been about the superhero mindset.

So let’s get down to work.

Paul Rudd.

Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man Full Body Workout 

Unlike other superhero actors that have always maintained a fitness regime like  Thor’s Chris Hemsworth or Guardians of the Galaxy's Chris PrattPaul Rudd has had to learn a new lifestyle from scratch.

If you're anything like Rudd, you’re an everyday guy who’s a beginner at the gym, which means things can get a little intimidating. Unless you’re hiring a personal trainer to show you the ropes, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the equipment and type of exercises you want to do beforehand.

Luckily,  Paul Rudd’s fitness routine is easy to follow. Centered around fat loss and toning, you’ll need to factor in daily cardio along with functional strength training and mobility exercises. Of course, you can’t out-train a poor diet either, but we’ll talk more about nutrition and supplements later.

The goal of the  Ant-Man workout is to become more athletic — strong, fast, and agile, like a true superhero that needs to fight, run, and jump. This requires a great deal of body fat reduction particularly around the waist, with muscle gains on the chest, arms, and legs. In other words, the workout needs to reflect functional fitness to produce a symmetrical aesthetic.

The timing of workouts and meals was also important to Rudd. Starting the day with 40 minutes of cardio, followed by breakfast and then functional/weight training after, Rudd’s work ethic had to be relentless. Even with certain schedule disruptions, Rudd’s commitment and accountability shone through with his persistence to fit in a workout daily no matter what.

Daily Cardio

With many of us leading sedentary lives, the only cardio we get are short walks between transport and places we visit. It’s not nearly enough of our daily requirement for a healthy heart and blood circulation.

Cardio needn’t have to be intensive. If you tend to get stressed easily, the best cardio you can do is ensure you get in at least 10,000 steps daily. Most smartphones have a built-in pedometer, so this should be pretty simple to track. Walking is the simplest, easiest way to get in your cardio, and is a great way of reducing cortisol, our stress hormone.

Swimming is also a fantastic all-round cardio and strength workout. If you can fit in at least a one-hour swimming session per week alongside your gym workouts and daily cardio, you’ll fast-track your results.  

Gym cardio is a little different because it’s usually at a higher intensity.  Paul Rudd starts his day with 40 minutes of gym cardio, using equipment such as the treadmill, bike, stepper, or rowing machine.  The aim here is to increase fat-burning in a fasted state, right before breakfast. Using the HIIT (high-intensity training) method, Rudd adjusts difficulty/speed between easy and hard bursts of 5-6 minutes, until capping the entire cardio workout at 30 minutes.

The benefit of getting in a HIIT cardio workout in the morning is that it will raise your metabolic rate to burn fat for hours after you’ve exercised. It strengthens the heart, improves oxygen consumption, reduces blood sugar, and increases stamina, which you’ll need to power your strength training workouts later in the day. So whatever you do, implement some form of daily cardio to your lifestyle!

Functional Training Routine

OK, so this is the part you’ve really been waiting for.

To understand the movement of a strong, agile ant, Paul Rudd had to incorporate functional training that would mimic lots of flips, rolls, and jumps, as well as build his now-famous six-pack.

Functional strength training makes up resistance exercises and bodyweight movements that are supposed to reflect specific physiological demands of real-life activities. Since many of us no longer chop wood for winter or chase food for survival, a lot of our functional strength and agility has been lost with our comfortable lifestyles.

The benefits of functional training are to strengthen stabilizer muscles so that they can better support larger muscle movements when weight training.  Ant-Man needs to be quick, strong, and flexible, so here is the 7-day functional training plan Rudd used to ‘become’ him:

Monday: Strength 

  • Barbell back squat: 3 sets, 12 reps    
  • Barbell Romanian deadlift: 3 sets, 12 reps    
  • Dumbbell bench press: 2 sets, 12 reps
  • Wide-grip pull-up: 3 sets, 12 reps    
  • Jumping push-ups: 3 sets, 15 reps
  • Leg raises: 3 sets, 20 reps    
  • Plank: 3 sets, as long as you can hold    

Tuesday: Endurance

  • Barbell shoulder press: 4 sets, 15 reps    
  • Rope pull: 4 sets, 15 reps    
  • Split squat: 2 sets, 12 reps per leg
  • TRX bicep curls: 4 sets,12 reps
  • Triceps dips: 3 sets, 12 reps    
  • Calf raises: 3 sets, 15 reps per leg
  • Sit-Ups: 3 sets, 20 reps *
  • Leg raises: 3 sets, 20 reps    
  • Farmer's walk: 3 lengths, 1 minute each

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Explosiveness

  • Overhead clean and press: 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Box jumps: 4 sets, 10 reps    1 x 10    4 x 10    30s
  • Lunges: 3 walking lengths, 1 min each
  • Jumping push-ups: 3 sets, 15 reps
  • Dumbbell flat bench press: 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Bent-over barbell row:  3 sets, 8 reps     
  • Side planks: 3 sets, as long as you can hold

Friday: Speed and Agility

  • Timed sprints: 5 sets of maximum output 
  • Weighted lunges - front, side, and reverse:  3 sets, 15 reps each
  • Calf raises: 3 sets, 12 reps    
  • Chin-ups: 3 sets, 12 reps    
  • Dumbbell shrugs: 3 sets, 12 reps    
  • Ab crunches: 3 sets, 20 reps    
  • Leg raises: 3 sets, 20 reps 

Saturday: Free mix

  • Push-ups: 5 sets, 20 reps    
  • Squats: 5 sets, 20 reps    
  • Pull-ups: 5 sets, 10 reps    
  • Walking lunges: 3 sets, 1 minute each leg
  • Triceps dips: 5 sets, 10 reps    
  • Timed sprints: 5 sets of maximum output 
  • Ab crunches: 3 sets, 20 reps    

Sunday: Rest

Weight Training Workout Plan

After all that morning cardio and functional training, you may be wondering where  Paul Rudd managed to fit in his weight training workouts. Depending on his strength for the day, he either continued straight after his functional exercises or moved weights to later in the evening. Without a doubt, the dedication needed to reach Ant-Man greatness is a full-time hobby for the most part! So here is a sample of Rudd’s 7-day weight training workout:

Monday: Chest/Abs

  • Dumbbell bench press: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Dumbbell incline row: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Dumbbell shoulder press: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Increase dumbbell fly: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Incline dumbbell press: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Wide-grip lat pulldown: 3 sets, 10 reps

Tuesday: Back

  • Wide-grip lat pulldown: 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Close-grip lat pulldown: 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Bent-over dumbbell rows: 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Stiff-legged barbell deadlifts: 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Back extensions: 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Barbell shrugs: 3 sets, 12 reps 

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Shoulders/Abs

  • Barbell clean and press: 5 sets, 8 reps
  • Lateral shoulder dumbbell raises: 5 sets, 8 reps
  • Upright barbell rows: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Barbell push and press: 3 sets, 6 reps
  • Seated alternating incline bench dumbbell curls: 5 sets, 8 reps
  • Lying dumbbell tricep extensions: 5 sets, 8 reps
  • Seated palm-up wrist curls: 5 sets, 8 reps
  • Sit-ups: 5 sets, 25 reps

Friday: Legs

  • Leg extensions: 4 sets, 20 reps
  • Leg press: 4 sets, 20 reps
  • Walking lunges: 3 sets, 20 reps
  • Romanian deadlifts: 3 sets, 20 reps
  • Lying leg curls: 3 sets, 20 reps
  • Hack squats: 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Standing, weighted calf raises: 3 sets, 20 reps
  • Seated, weighted calf raises: 3 sets, 20 reps 

Saturday: Arms/Abs

  • Seated alternating incline bench dumbbell curls: 3 sets, 15 reps
  • Tricep cable rope push downs: 3 sets, 15 reps
  • Barbell curls: 3 sets, 15 reps
  • Plank leg lifts: 3 sets, 50 reps
  • Seated tricep press: 3 sets, 15 reps
  • Barbell pullovers: 3 sets, 15 reps
  • Swiss ball hamstring leg curl: 3 sets, 15 reps
  • Swiss ball crunches: 3 sets, 15 reps

Sunday: Rest

Stretching for Flexibility

Possibly the most important part of  Paul Rudd’s fitness routine is stretching before and after working out. Given that the role of  Ant-Man requires a good range of motion and flexibility, Rudd had to make sure his muscles were as least susceptible to injury as possible.

Regular stretching keeps the muscles supple, flexible, and strong enough to support the joints, so that exertion during weight training is equally placed and properly performed without injury.

For more athletic workouts, dynamic stretching is the best way to warm up the joints in preparation for the full motion of movements. Here are some examples:

  • Hip Circles: Standing on one leg while holding on to a wall for support, swing your other leg in small circles out to the side: 20 circles per leg
  • Arm Circles: Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, hold arms out at shoulder height and circle slowly. Perform 20 circles inwardly and 20 circles outwardly.
  • Leg Pendulum: Swing one leg back and forth while balancing on the other. 5-10 times per leg.
  • Jog To Quad Stretch: Jog in place for 2-3 seconds, then reach behind one leg to grab hold of your foot. Stretch out the quad for 2-3 seconds. Repeat, alternating legs 5-10 times.
  • Spinal Rotations: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold arms out to the side at shoulder height and slowly rotate your body from left to right while keeping your torso still. Repeat 5-10 times.

Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man Weight Loss Diet Plan

Paul Rudd has often joked in interviews that the only way he was able to achieve any result was to cut out all fun foods for a year, including alcohol and carbs.

With the help of celebrity nutritionist Carlon Colker, M.D., Rudd switched up his diet by cutting down on simple, refined carbs while adding a good amount of protein and healthy fats.

The idea was to shift from a glucose-burning state to that of a fat-burning one, meaning that Rudd had to be mindful of everything: Individual nutrient macros, daily intake, and timing.

Paul Rudd with fans.

Sample Daily Menu


  • 3 egg omelet, quinoa oatmeal, black coffee


  • Whey protein shake, 10 brazil nuts


  • Large cob salad with grilled chicken and sweet potato


  • Whey protein shake, 10 almonds


  • Grilled steak and vegetables (no limit)

Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man Supplements

Along with a carefully-constructed diet,  Paul Rudd also took advantage of various supplements to boost his efforts both in and out of the gym.

Whey protein:

Consuming whey protein shakes on a daily basis can help to gain lean muscle mass.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs):

Taken with meals, a BCAA supplement enhances satiety to avoid overeating. A great fat-mobilizing thermogenic, it aids muscle recovery and reduces post-workout soreness.


While creatine can be found in red meats, a creatine supplement is great for taking on days when other proteins are consumed.  Creatine promotes faster recovery time, increases energy, strengthens muscle gains, reduces bloating, and also helps to improve cognitive brain functions.


Embarking on a strict diet and active lifestyle can be a shock for the body. Initially, you may find your immunity is compromised, or minerals depleted as your body goes through its changes. Taking a high-quality multivitamin will ensure you have the optimal level of vitamins and nutrients in your system to support such a high level of activity.

Post-Marvel Superhero Mindset

If there’s anything  Paul Rudd learned from playing Ant-Man, it’s that there’s nothing quite like the feeling of being at the peak of your physical fitness. So much so that he even continued to maintain his health and fitness regime for an extended amount of time after filming and up until the sequel, Ant-Man, and the Wasp.

It’s often said that habits take anywhere from 3 months up to a year to fully form. Of course, seeing visible results in this timeframe will give you the impetus to see how far you can go! 

All it takes is the following rules of a superhero mindset:

Courage: It may sound dramatic, but overhauling your lifestyle takes a brave approach. Facing new territory at the gym, turning down boozy nights out, or changing up other areas of your life to fit in training requires some level of hot-headed courage.  You may face adversity, but you still go on with a clear goal in mind. The goal to become the best version of yourself!

Self-awareness: Learning a new way of living and getting over your short-comings takes immense self-awareness. Watching your emotional reactions to certain restrictions in your life, like carbs and sugar, is an opportunity to address old patterns of thinking that may not be working for you. Figuring these out in the safe sphere of health and fitness will also help you master your emotions in other areas of your life.

Discipline: Practicing the art of physical self-mastery makes up the foundation of a superhero mindset. This isn’t possible without discipline, a skill that requires diligence and training. 

Refuse To Give Up: Not seeing results as fast as you’d like? Be honest with yourself, or continue to seek answers until you’re able to pinpoint the cause.  Once you commit to your own excellence, giving up is not an option. Failure is welcomed as an opportunity to only get better.

Paul Rudd has shown us that in fact, superheroes are just regular guys, like you and me. If anything, his astonishing example has inspired a number of generations to take up fitness no matter their age or ability. It’s just a matter of finding your inner superhero.

So, are you ready to get Ant-Man fit? 

Let’s see what you’re made of.