How Mickey Rourke Trained For ‘The Wrestler’

Did you ever wonder how Mickey Rourke trained for "The Wrestler," a role that subsequently re-launched his career? Rourke was always in great shape in his younger years, and even after his last boxing stint that left him fairly beat up in the early 1990s, he remained that way. However, his role in "The Wrestler" was a challenging one; something Rourke wasn't used to. He trained long and hard for this lead part, and earned himself respect and notoriety once again.

  1. Mickey Rourke – Boxer. Outside of acting, Rourke took on the role of boxer twice in his life. The first time during the mid 1960s to early 70s and then again in the early 1990s. He spent much of his time preparing for his early career bouts at the 5th Street Gym in Miami, Florida. In the 90s, Rourke trained in the infamous Venice Beach Gold's Gym. He claimed he's spent more than 30 years total training throughout his life at Gold's Gym alone.
  2. His early training. Rourke always worked hard at everything he set his mind to, and how he worked out was no different. Many of the people training along side of him were either professional boxers or bodybuilders. He would watch their strict training regimes and mirror some of what he saw to make the most out of his own workouts.
  3. Training for the movie. Rourke didn't limit himself on anything when training for his role in "The Wrestler'". His preparation was as serious as if he was this character in real life and he didn't fall short of proving that to the world. Rourke trained every day, seven days a week. It was basically an all day event. He'd go for a run in the morning, come back and eat something, take a brief nap and then go back to the gym and work out some more. On top of this strict workout regime, he'd participate in wrestling practice in the evenings. This guy is unstoppable!
  4. His diet while training. Rourke had to gain approximately 40 lbs for his role as character Randy "The Ram" Robinson, which meant eating more than normal. His diet consisted of six to seven meals per day, each containing a high amount of protein and a low amount of carbs. In addition to that, he took supplements and drank protein shakes. With this type of weight gain, even when you get sick of eating, you can't stop eating.
  5. How he dealt with exhaustion. It doesn't really matter how healthy you are or what type of shape you're in, every person will hit a point of training exhaustion and Rourke had his fair share. How did he deal with it you ask? He took Vitamin B-12 supplement shots approximately three times per week giving him that extra energy push he needed to get through. And what about injuries he sustained while training? He treated his body the only way he knew how —as an "old-school boxer" he's said. If he was in pain from the rigorous training or practice, he'd call in a masseuse each night and get a two hour massage.

Mickey Rourke certainly made his way back into the limelight and rightfully so. His training ethic and work on the movie "The Wrestler" earned him a Golden Globe award in 2009, as well as an Academy Award nomination the same year.

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