Death-defying explosions, helicopter rides, fights on moving cars, and badass gunfights.

It’s all in a regular day’s work on the Cinemax series Strike Back.

Actor Daniel MacPherson scored the role of Sergeant Samuel Wyatt, a U.S. Joint Special Operations Command officer, on the series after adding 20lbs of muscle to his frame—and shooting the show was one of the most intense experiences of his life. A former triathlete and Ironman race competitor, MacPherson is still amazed at the stunt work and preparation that went into the series.

“Our stunt team was incredible,” MacPherson told Men’s Fitness (read his full profile here). “They pulled off things you couldn’t imagine anyone else doing on television. You see some scenes on other shows that are similar, but on Strike Back you’re not just jumping off a building or out of a helicopter and it’s a wide shot. On this show, they want the camera right in your face when you’re coming off the roof.”

MacPherson did his best to train like his character would in real life, taking inspiration from Bradley Cooper’s character in the film American Sniper.

“Knowing Wyatt, who came through the Marines, and [knowing that my] character was a solo operator, I trained a lot by myself,” MacPherson said. “I did a lot of heavy basic lifting as he would have done and would do when he was going through boot camp. You look at the training scenes in American Sniper—Cooper’s doing those big, heavy, basic lifts. These guys aren't focusing on the biceps muscles or getting definition in this one little spot. So, I just kept that character mentality in everything I did, even with the training.”

MacPherson spoke to Men’s Fitness about the behind-the-scenes production of Strike Back. Here are seven things he revealed.