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Gabriel Luna Shows You How to Get Terminator Tough

Men's Health logo Men's Health 9/12/2019 Brett Williams

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While the heroes of the upcoming sci-fi action blockbuster Terminator: Dark Fate all have tough tasks to accomplish to save the future, you could argue that none of the characters have as intimidating a challenge as Gabriel Luna, the actor.

Luna plays the film's big bad, the Terminator Rev-9, a new kind of shape-shifting killer robot that can separate itself into two parts to maximize the future-altering carnage. The character looks to be absolutely formidable in the movie's early trailers—but in real life, Luna has to live up to the dread-inducing presence of the OG Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of film's all-time great antagonists.

Luna, 36, who was best known for his role as Ghost Rider on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before being cast in the movie, had a steep hill to climb to prep his body for the role. The actor told Men's Health he started training the minute he landed the first audition. “I knew I had to get my body into a good place,” he says, “because at the time, I was drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes and all this other stuff I didn’t need to be doing if I intended to play this role. I knew I’d eventually have to stand in front of this guy”—he gestures to Arnold—“and my motivation was, I want him to see me and see a formidable foe. I don’t want him to see me and think, I could squash this guy with my thumbs.

Gabriel Luna attends the "Terminator: Dark Fate" press line on day one of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 18, 2019, in San Diego. © Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Gabriel Luna attends the "Terminator: Dark Fate" press line on day one of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 18, 2019, in San Diego. Like most other eighties babies, Luna grew up aware of Schwarzenegger as the biggest star (both literally and figuratively) in Hollywood. The younger actor recalled watching Arnold's movies with his brother “until the tape popped,” along with being introduced to working out through footage of his future costar promoting the President’s Challenge physical-fitness test as a kid in school. “I have an image in my mind of him doing those pullups,” Luna says. “I did three, I think.”

Luna can probably handle way more than three pullups now that he's spent an entire film cycle training to fill Schwarzenegger's shoes, especially considering the hours of workouts the two actors logged together, in Budapest and Gold's Gym in Venice, California. Luna broke down some of his favorite exercises for the Men's Health crew when we caught up with him at RetroFit in Hollywood.

If you want to try these moves yourself, you should keep in mind that they're not part of one routine. Instead, add them to your workouts on days that you're training the relevant muscle groups—and always be sure to stay within your experience and abilities before you add more weight.

Gabriel Luna's Favorite Terminator Exercises

Leg Warmup

Lateral Walks and Monster Walks

  • 3 sets of 10 steps in each direction

Shoulder Warmup

Dumbbell External Rotations

  • 3 sets of 10 reps

Dumbbell Front Raises

  • 3 sets of 10 reps

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

  • 3 sets of 10 reps

The Exercises

Bicep Curl 21s

  • 3 sets of the series

Arnold Press

  • 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps

Dips

  • 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps

Dumbbell Chest Pullover

  • 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps

Trap Bar Deadlift

  • 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps

Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown

  • 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps

Core Workout

Dragon Flag Lowers

  • 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps

Russian Twists

  • 4 sets of 1 minute of work

Cardio Finishers

Assault Bike

10 minutes

3 sets of:

  • 1 minute above 70 rpm
  • 2 minutes 40-50 rpm
  • 1 minute above 70 rpm

or

Battle Ropes

10 minutes

  • Alternate between 1 minute of high intensity and 2 minutes of moderate intensity.

Slideshow: These 40 fit celebrities over 40 will inspire you to hit the gym (Provided by Prevention) 

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