Josh Brolin posing for pictures

Josh Brolin Shows Off His Workout Routine to Prepare for ‘Dune 2’

If you thought working out was hard, try doing it in the sauna.

Josh Brolin is no stranger to getting in shape for a role. We’ve seen him bulk up for his role as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity Wars and get shredded to play Cable in Deadpool.

In his latest Instagram post, the 54-year-old actor gave fans a glimpse at his preparation for his role as Gurney Halleck in the upcoming Dune sequel. In typical Brolin fashion, he’s taking it to the extreme.

Brolin shows off his grueling routine in a sauna, which he joked required him to consume “tons and tons of spice.” If our workout looked like that and was done in 225-degree heat, we’d need some spice too.

Here’s everything we know about Brolin’s routine, and how you can replicate it at home.

Josh Brolin Workout Routine

Brolin’s “morning warmup” begins with a 30-minute resting stint in the sauna. He follows up his melt with a round of 100s while still in the hot box: five rounds of 20 squats, 20 dips, and 20 pushups with no rest.

Then he jumps straight into an ice bath for a five-minute 36-degree cold plunge.

Once he’s finished his “warmup,” Brolin is ready for his workout, which he doesn’t share in the video. But he does mention he likes to do a 25-minute cardio and core circuit training workout. If it’s anything like his warmup, we’re sure it’s every bit as grueling and then some.

Benefits of Using a Sauna

Devotees claim that sweating in a sauna can ease pain, clear skin, and help you relax. Here’s how research says it can also boost your fitness.

Boost Muscle Recovery

Heat increases blood circulation by dilating your blood vessels so more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood can flow through them to your muscles for faster recovery.

Extend Lifespan & Preserve Muscle Mass

As you age, you lose muscle mass. One study found using a sauna might help to preserve muscle by countering sarcopenia, the decline of skeletal muscle tissue with age (1). The same study also found that using the sauna can help guard against inflammation.

Increase Cardiovascular Endurance

If you’re interested in boosting your cardiovascular health, one study confirmed heat exposure from a sauna can trigger similar long-term positive effects for the heart as exercise (2). According to the study, regularly using a sauna could increase cardiovascular endurance and lower your resting heart rate over time.

Should You Work Out in a Sauna?

Exercising and sitting in a sauna may share some perks, but you can’t replace your workout with a sauna session and expect the same returns. If you’re just parking your toweled butt on a bench, you miss out on some of the physical adaptations of exercise.

Combining the two may boost your heart rate and help you burn calories more efficiently because heat is an added physiological stress on your body. But, since it automatically elevates the workload, pairing your sauna session with a high-intensity workout (like Brolin) can be dangerous. Plus, with all that sweat you’ll be losing water and electrolytes, so staying hydrated is top priority.

If you’re searching for an edge, sauna workouts might be worth a shot but stick to low-intensity workouts like yoga or pilates. Keep an electrolyte beverage handy, and if you feel unwell, stop exercising immediately and exit the sauna.

If you do move your sweat sesh to the sauna, just be cool about it. The gym bros you’re sharing the sauna with might not be as thrilled with your new routine as you are. But, if you have a personal sauna, sweat away.


No space for a sauna but want to experience the benefits? Try this infrared sauna blanket.

Benefits of Cold Plunge Tubs

Once you’re finished with your workout, hop in a cold plunge tub like Brolin. The cold plunge is an ancient practice, with modern applications. Hippocrates once thought that cold plunges could help ease fatigue (3), and they were recommended by doctors in the 1700s to treat fever.

Cold plunges have regained popularity in recent years due to emerging research that suggests cold water swimming might reduce anxiety, stress, and depression (3, 4).

Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy can be used to decrease muscle soreness and assist with muscle recovery. Cold water causes your blood vessels to constrict (the opposite of a hot sauna). This reduces blood flow, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation (5).

How To Do a Cold Plunge

Immersing yourself for anywhere from five to 15 minutes in 50 to 59°C water can be effective for practicing cold plunges (6). At 36 degrees, Brolin’s plunge comes severely under the recommendation, so feel free to bump up the temperature in your bath.

If you’ve never done a cold plunge before, you’ll need to give yourself time to build up a tolerance. So start on the higher end of the temperature spectrum, and the lower end for time. You can work your way up to longer periods at lower temperatures as your body adjusts.


1. Patrick, R. et al (2020). Sauna Use as a Lifestyle Practice to Extend Lifespan.
2. Ketelhut, S. et al (2019). The Blood Pressure and Heart Rate During Sauna Bath Correspond to Cardiac Responses During Submaximal Dynamic Exercise.
3. Demori, I. et al (2021). Effects of Winter Sea Bathing on Psychonueroendocrinoimmunological Parameters.
4. Knechtle, B. et al (2020). Cold Water Swimming—Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review.
5. Yeung, S. et al (2016). Effects of Cold Water Immersion on Muscle Oxygenation During Repeated Bouts of Fatiguing Exercise.
6. Versey, N. et al (2013). Water Immersion Recovery for Athletes: Effect of Exercise Performance and Practical Recommendations.