If you happen to be a fan of Robert Downey Jr., then make sure you get the January/February issue of Men’s Fitness magazine which features the actor on the cover showing off some well-defined biceps! Inside, he talks about how he prepared physically for the role of ‘Iron Man’, his love for his wife Susan and how he feels about rescue animals.

Here’s an excerpt from that issue on what Downey had to say about playing Tony Stark:

“I guess I had some notion about [being an action hero]. I think I wanted to be able to look good and defend myself and all that stuff. I’ve always really enjoyed that genre, but I mean, it’s pretty outlandish. I’m not particularly tall or strong or fast or aggressive. Yet, I’m not faking it. To me, it’s a cosmic chuckle.”

In order to up the ante to play Stark in ‘The Avengers’, the 46 year old Downey had to work out at least 12 hours a week. The workouts included strength straining, Wing Chun martial arts, Tracy Anderson Method workouts and yoga. “It was ideal,” he says, “But it’s completely unsustainable. I’m not a kid, and I’m not a professional athlete, so what I’m probably doing is feeling really good all the time and over-training wildly.”

When Downey was first given the role of Tony Stark, his personal trainer, Dr. Brad Bose, wanted to change the 150 lb. actor to one who looked capable of going mano-a-mano with whatever was thrown at him. “Our goal was to get him as big as we could, but we also wanted to make sure he had some kind of six-pack,” Bose says. “We really focused on the old-school heavy lifting. Military presses, dips, and bench presses. Keep him ripped but maintain the muscle mass.” Obviously this workout routine works as Downey looks quite ripped in the role!

Downey is not all macho and muscle and does have a sweet sensitive side. He proclaims his love for his wife, Susan, in the article by saying:

“What can I even say about her? I’m crazy about her. Everybody’s opinion isn’t right all the time, but as far as averages go, if she wants to, she could hit to the same seat in the bleachers over and over and over again. That sort of consistency is awe-inspiring. We give each other the freedom to explore who and what we really are, which is great, because we’re always changing. I know I’ve changed a fair amount over the last decade, but she’s changed 10 times more than I have.”

As for his opinion on rescue pets:

“Eighteen months ago, I’m saying, ‘I don’t want any rescue pets within 100 yards of either of my residences, I’m sorry. I don’t want some, like, tripod, abused animal.’ I was adamantly opposed to the whole idea. And now I couldn’t imagine living without them. I’ve become one of those people where the Missus is like, ‘They don’t want to see iPhone pictures of our kittens right now. Stop it.”

To read more about Downey, make sure you pick up the latest Men’s Fitness issue. And if he’s inspired you to get that super hero physique, check out the complete list of exercises that Downey’s personal trainer had him do for that ‘Iron Man’ look!