‘The Raid’ Star Iko Uwais Training and Martial Arts Training

Actor Iko Uwais approaches his workouts a little differently than your average movie star. He doesn’t necessarily train to build a body that will stand out on screen, which makes sense, if you know any of his work.

Uwais is arguably one of the best martial artists currently making movies, standing out in movies like Lowering series and television in Netflix Wu Assassins (and its recently released feature follow-up Handful of revenge) with his mastery of Silat, a class of martial arts that originated in Southeast Asia. For Uwais, bodybuilding sessions are at the service of his practice. He needs the stamina to go the distance for the intense, frantic fight scenes that are the hallmarks of his films – and capturing those sequences can be difficult.

“Sometimes these [shoots] can last for hours and hours or even days,” Uwais told the MH crew when he shared his typical training plan from Jakarta, Indonesia. “I need power and speed all the time.”

He breaks down his training into divisions of endurance and strength, with additional agility and martial arts practice as well. Most of his work with weights uses high repetition regimens, which help build muscular endurance more than build mass. Its main focus: powerful, fluid movements and the stamina to shoot some of the most talked about fight scenes in cinema.

Iko Uwais Martial Arts Strength Training Workout

Endurance training

    15 km/h (9.3 mph) for 10 minutes

    strength training

      3 sets of 20 repetitions

        3 sets of 20 repetitions

          3 sets of 20 repetitions

            3 sets of 20 repetitions

              3 series of takes of 1 minute

                3 sets of 20 repetitions

                Agility training

                  10 minutes

                    10 minutes

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                    Kristen T. Prall