"It's very hard to maintain focus in the gym," says Patrick Wilson, who starred in Little Children and Watchmen and who plays a father whose son becomes possessed in this month's Insidious. "What's helped me focus is having fun." That's meant mixing it up—BOSU balls, kettlebells, body-weight exercises. But this wasn't always the case. For about 20 years, Wilson, now 37, went to the gym like any other guy obsessed with how much he could lift, whether he was bench-pressing or doing bent rows. "I don't even care about weight anymore," he says, "and weirdly I can see results in just a few weeks." Now he lifts lighter weights, completes many more reps, and doesn't do exercises that isolate muscles. "Without sounding ridiculous about it, I feel powerful!"
The Celebrity Workout: Patrick Wilson
The star of Little Children, Watchmen, and this month's Insidious has a simple formula for staying ripped: Have fun, ditch the weights, and vary your exercises day to day.
Get his workout
Wilson concentrates on exercises that engage his entire body. One day he'll focus on broad jumps; the next he'll get down and do Spider-Man crawls. That way, every day he hits his core but never in isolation (as with crunches). "The thing about abs," he says, "is if you hit them daily, you feel more put-together. And thanks to full-body moves like the broad jump, my back pain has disappeared."