Learn from Paul Rudd's personal trainer on how he got into Ant-Man shape!
We stopped by FitSpace NYC to meet up with Fitness Consultant Richard Louis to get the scoop on how he got Paul Rudd into Marvels ‘Ant-Man’ shape. He gave us 10 steps Paul used (that you can use too) during his training, talked about how he started reading comics and much more. See how you too can get Ant-Man strong!
Marvel.com: How did you and Paul meet in the first place?
Richard Louis: Paul was referred to me by my nutritionist, Dr. Carlon Colker, who’s also worked with several actors. Carlon has prepared me for several international body-building competitions; so Carlon referred him to me.
Marvel.com: How did you like working with Paul?
Richard Louis: We actually turned out to be a pretty good match; I like his intensity. He’s a nice guy. He’s funny.
Marvel.com: So take us through the steps of what you showed us and what Paul did with you and what fans could do to get in Ant-Man shape.
Richard Louis: As his conditioning improved, he got stronger — got better; I was able to push him harder. So what I would advise people to do is… The first thing is get in cardio shape because that helps you recover between the exercises because the routine itself is pretty cardio based along with the strength training. So that way you get leaner; you build muscle simultaneously. The whole thing is consistency because Paul still did it for a year.
You can’t just do that and expect within four weeks to look the way he did. He trained for a year. He watched what he ate for a year. And you have to be consistent with it. It can’t just be like a “Eh, I’ll do it this week. Eh, I’ll skip next week. Eh, I’ll do it for the next two weeks and skip a few days.” It has to be a consistent planned out thing.
Marvel.com: Did traveling affect his workout schedule?
Richard Louis: Sometimes I’d travel with him. And when I do travel with him they would search gyms in the area.
Marvel.com: How many times did you guys work out?
Richard Louis: We would train, depending on his schedule, between four and five times a week.
Marvel.com: Paul obviously had the incentive to work out because he was on camera. What reasons would you give other people to get in shape?
Richard Louis: There are a bunch of incentives. You’re going on vacation. You’re going to a wedding. You want to just look better in your clothes. You wanting to look better without your clothes is a big incentive because when I trained as a bodybuilder, the one thing that kept me going was “Okay, I’m going to be standing on stage in my skivvies in front of a bunch of people.”
So you want to look your best. You have the beach vacation coming up. Summer’s coming up. Give yourself small goals and that is what you do and that is what will help you take it through the long-term.
Marvel.com: Take us through the steps of what we did today.
Richard Louis: So today we started off with the eight-count body builders, which were the combination of a burpee and a pushup in one thing. Then we did the sit-ups followed by the flutter kicks; all done with the sandbag weights, which really adds some intensity. We did a lot of planks, which helps keep your waist very tight. The pullups help accentuate that V-shape because the thing you want… all super heroes have that V shape: the big shoulders, the big back, the big chest. So the exercises, like the pullups, give you the V-shaped back. The overhead presses give you the big shoulders, because he’s not a naturally wide guy, so you had to give him the illusion. To give you that, some people are naturally wide-waisted; but if you broaden out the back and broaden out the shoulders, you really can’t do anything about the hip-structure. But if you change those two things it makes a dramatic change in the way you’re shaped.
So you get that nice V-shape and stuff, a lot of ab work to keep the waist small and tight; a little bit of arm work in-between just to make it add a finishing touch. Because if you’ve seen the scene, you can see his triceps were looking really… you know. So all those things that we did to help, it’s all an illusion. You want an illusion. It’s an illusion you’re looking for. So you accentuate certain body parts to get the look that you’re looking for.
Marvel.com: What got you interested in wanting to train people?
Richard Louis: I just thought this was the best thing and I wanted to share it with people and help people. Because a lot of people out there are intimidated by gyms; they’re intimidated by exercise. They don’t know how to do it. And then a lot of people too are busy. They want to exercise but, you know, “I don’t want to go to the gym and have to think.” That’s when I come in. And I just want to help people and make people healthier and feel better and look better and live better lives. I mean exercise is no guarantee because there are a lot of diseases that are genetic, like cancer. But if you could cut down your risk, you could live a better life. You could be in your 60’s and 70’s and you could still play with your grandkids. You could play tennis better. It translates. Exercise translates into life. You could run better. It cuts back on the risk of arthritis. If you look at America these days, the obesity rate is up there so you’ve got to do something about that.
Marvel.com: You also grew up a legit comic book fan.
Richard Louis: Growing up, I was skinny. I’ve been like my dad. I was very, very skinny. And I’d look at those guys in the comic books and they all looked jacked. And I was like, “wow.” And I used to draw them. I’d draw them out and “wow, that looks cool, wish I could look like that.” And then at age 16 it was like, “wait, I can really look like that” and that’s when I picked up body-building. Just that look; it sets you apart. Even within my family, an aunt of mine passed several years ago. I flew back for the funeral and as I walked into the house, one of my cousins was like, “Okay, Richard’s here. It’s going to be okay.” And you realize people look to you as the… You look strong so you’re the strong one who will calm everybody down like “Everything’s going to be okay” and make everybody feel better, I guess. So it translated into that. And I’ve always liked the… it was Peter Parker’s Uncle who told him “With great power comes great responsibility.” You have something that sets you apart, you use it to help people.
Marvel.com: So coming from being a fan, what’s it like now being a part of the Marvel universe?
Richard Louis: Oh, that’s like I’m sitting here just getting goose bumps thinking about it. It’s just like “wow.” It’s indescribable. It’s a great feeling. I don’t want to say a dream come true but it’s kind of like that, you know what I mean? You see all the comics and now to actually be a part of it is like, “Holy (expletive).” But it’s really, really cool.
Marvel.com: You’ve mentioned before that you’re a big fan of Dracula.
Richard Louis: Dracula, Morbius, Blade.
Marvel.com: What made you get into those growing up?
Richard Louis: I liked the whole vampire thing too. They’re the bad guys as far as I’m concerned, but the good bad guys. I just like the whole vampire thing and I’ve always liked the Dracula movies. I don’t know if you remember, there was a series called Dark Shadows, where the star was Barnabus Collins who was a vampire. The whole vampire thing I think is just very cool.
Marvel.com: It seems as though comic book shops and gyms have the same thing in common where people are sometimes afraid to go into both places.
Richard Louis: Well, not only that too. We’re almost a kind of underground kind of thing. Cult-y a little bit. And people find that, I guess, weird. Listen. Under all of this, I am a geek. I’m sorry. I am a geek. I love sci-fi. I love comic books. I love video games. I’m a geek. I remember one time my son was complaining, “Oh, people tease me when I say I’m a geek.” I said, “ You know who’s the biggest geek you’ll ever know?” He was like, “who?” I said, “your dad.”
Marvel.com: What would be your advice to people who are kind of afraid to go into the gym for the first time?
Richard Louis: Just go in slowly. Don’t let anyone or anything intimidate you. Do some research before you go so at least you’ll have an idea of what you’re going to do while you’re there. And just go in and get yourself very slowly acclimatized to everything. Pick out something each time you go. “Okay, I’m going to go do these two machines. Okay, next time I’ll add one more.” And just slowly build yourself up. Don’t go in there trying to be thinking you know everything because even I don’t know everything. But just go in there very slowly. Do your research before you go. And just when you feel comfortable. Don’t let anybody push you into it. Find somebody who’s a professional who can guide you. Don’t let anybody bully you into it or “you have to buy sessions.” You go in there and you very slowly get yourself acclimatized and then if you feel like… “Okay, I’m going to seek out the help of a professional who could really guide me.”
Marvel.com: Can you tell fans some of the things you’ve accomplished?
Richard Louis: I am the 2007 Trinidad National Champion. I’m the 2009 Mr. USA and I’ve been to the Mr. Universe twice in 2011 and 2013 where I placed in the top 10 both times.
Marvel.com: Where can fans reach you?
Marvel.com: So if anybody wants to look like Paul Rudd, they come to you.
Richard Louis: They can come to me. They want to look like any kind of super hero. Well, except I can’t make them green like the Hulk… but they could kind of look like the Hulk.