Mortal Kombat Star Joe Taslim Shares His Martial Arts Training

Mortal Kombat<\/em> Star Joe Taslim Shares His Martial Arts Training

April 24, 2021

When you watch Sub-Zero execute one of his trademark finishing moves in the Mortal Kombat reboot, the man behind the mask isn’t just some athletic actor who learned how to perform some stylistic choreography. That’s Joe Taslim, a highly proficient martial artist and action star with key roles in hard-hitting action staples like cult-classic movie The Raid and fan favorite, recently revived TV show Warrior.

Before acting, Taslim was a member of Indonesia’s national judo team. He brings the sensibility of an athlete and martial artist to the way he trains to prep for his acting roles.

“My training is very simple,” Taslim tells the MH crew. “I don’t use a lot of equipment.” Instead of heading straight to the weights, like so many of our “Train Like” subjects, Taslim opts for a quick spin on the treadmill, running for an intense 20 minutes to push his VO2 Max.

The rest of his session falls along the same lines, with lots of rounds of technique work to drill his movements, strikes, and evasions. Taslim does include some strength training in his routine, but he focuses on pushing volume to promote muscular endurance, rather than lifting heavy weights to add size.

“As an action actor, as a martial artist, I cannot be too bulky,” he says. “I cannot really have big muscles because they will limit my movement.”

Everything comes down to just Taslim himself, since his body and his ability to control it is his most valuable tool for his roles that prize physicality. That means favoring movement over muscle—which might be an interesting change-up for your own workouts.

Joe Taslim’s Sub-Zero Training

5 rounds of 5 minutes

5 rounds of 5 minutes

Weight Training

4 sets of 12 reps

4 sets of 12 reps

4 sets of 12 reps

4 sets of 12 reps

4 sets of 12 reps

Want more celebrity workout routines? Check out all of our Train Like videos.

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