Gabriel Luna Shows You How to Get Terminator Tough

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.

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.”

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The big man and I aren’t shooting today, but we don’t take days off. @schwarzenegger #stayready #terminators @flexgymbudapest 🤖💀💀🤖

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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

Shoulder Warmup

Dumbbell External Rotations

Dumbbell Front Raises

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

The Exercises

Bicep Curl 21s

Arnold Press


Dumbbell Chest Pullover

Trap Bar Deadlift

Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown

Core Workout

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Dragon Flag Lowers

Russian Twists

Cardio Finishers

Assault Bike

10 minutes

3 sets of:


Battle Ropes

10 minutes

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