Building muscle is not easy…
I’d venture to say that putting on size (without getting too fat) is even harder than losing weight. The fact of the matter is that when you’re trying to build muscle like Hugh Jackman or Daniel Craig did for both of their big movie roles, you MUST focus on compound exercises, and you must eat like its your job.
Unlike a lot of bloated bodybuilders, Hugh & Daniel are actually big AND strong. Hugh benched 315 and leg pressed 1000 lbs while getting ready for Wolverine. That’s no joke.
Hugh Jackman Workout (What He Did To Get Ripped…)
- Hugh was quoted in one of those celeb magazines saying that he was “eating around 4500 calories per day”. Eating 4500 calories each day can be broken down into 4 meals & 2 snacks. Each of your meals should have around 800 calories, and then your 2 snacks should be some type of shake such as peanut butter/bananas/ice cream/olive oil or bananas/strawberries/blueberries/olive oil. You can put up to 1/3 cup of olive oil in a shake without tasting it (I’m doing this now since I’m trying to put on size 🙂
- Hugh’s workout was nothing “fancy” or groundbreaking. He did lots of squats, bench presses, leg presses and barbell lunges. I would definitely add deadlifts, shoulder presses and some of the Olympic lifts to that. Olympic lifts are great for developing your shoulders and traps – two areas that will make you look bigger quicker than anything else…
- Hugh mixed in some speed work into his workout. Powerlifters and athletes rely on speed work every week, such as speed benching or squatting with bands and chains. If you don’t own bands or chains, you can work on your speed with things like sled drags, tire flips, and high-speed deadlifts.
Here’s what Daniel Craig did to get ripped…
- Daniel Craig’s workouts for Casino Royale got him pretty big & jacked. But for the sequel, Craig wanted to not only look tough, but ACTUALLY be tough. He kept pumping the iron, but also started boxing 3x per week
- Daniel focused mostly on circuit training involving the clean and jerk (one of my favorites), dips, pull ups, squats and the bench press. I would venture to say that you could do nothing but the clean & jerk and get a hell of a workout in if you’re strapped for time.
- Daniel actually leaned out a bit for the role and ate pretty similar to my weight loss diet. His breakfast was 2 eggs and toast. His lunch was salmon and veggies and dinner was a piece of protein, more veggies, and more fruit. He added in protein shakes after each of his workouts… Personally I’m not a big fan of protein shakes, I’d recommend chocolate milk post workout for anyone looking to put on muscle…
So what’s the point of all this?
Real muscle building like Hugh & Daniel did comes from eating a ton of calories & doing big movements. Whether you workout at home, or you workout at a gym you have no excuse for not doing the big compound movements.
Ignore what Muscle & Fiction tells you about putting on size, and stick with the big movements if you want to get a ripped body like Daniel Craig or Hugh Jackman.
Your wife or girlfriend will thank you 🙂
BTW if you want to get the ripped and rugged look like Hugh & Daniel, I suggest you pick up my buddy Zach Even Esh’s Underground Strength Manual.
This manual is 100% legit, and I use many of the workouts to train clients at my gym. Zach’s rockin a 50% off sale until Sunday night, pick up a copy now while its still on sale… Check it out here
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Nice one Vic,
something that i’ve been doing as well
went well untill hoildays/weddings & beer got in the road….but back to it on monday & hopefully get a kettlebell or boxing added in
Routine i’ve done for about 12 weeks
So how much size are you trying to put on? Whats your current weight?
Great article. I also agree adding on that pump is harder than losing weight…yes, it still aint for me..
Also, get the ZEE Manual…SICK SICK SICK!!!
Great post Vic! One thing I wanted to ask was what exactly are olympic lifts? I want to try them as I’m going to try to build muscle now that I did the Fat Shredding. 🙂
I’m with you on the Olympic lifts, Nothing compares to getting the barbell from the floor to overhead for me. Some trainer/college student told me about how people should have a physiotherapist check over their shoulders first and everyone should start from the hang position and drop the bar at the end. I do the squat clean and jerk from the floor at the moment and I’m progressing quite well. I think finding a safe way of dropping the bar on failed attempts is the first thing to consider.
“Hugh benched 315 and leg pressed 1000 lbs”…(the guy is a mutant!!!) Ok so I must face it… I’ll never be tough as Wolverine…
Wait!!… this is CRAZY… You really got to be an actor and have nothing else to do to train like that!!!… Actually getting paid is even better!!!
Seriously! Can a normal guy, with a Job, deadlines, the will to party and stuff, etc can start these kind of workouts?!
And yeah I got to precise that I’m no self healing mutant with an adamantium skeleton or as charismatic as 007…
Another amazing blog Vic…your information that you provide on your website and blogs are amazing. I look forward to them everytime. I agree witht he rest of the peeps putting on muscle is not an easy task especially if you dont want to look BIG!! I obviously am a chic and am putting on muscle doing mostly squats, deadlifts, lunges, pullups, shoulder presses, kettlebell swings and snatches. Question you suggest choc milk after a workout…if you are wanting to lean out and still put muscle on is this a good option or would a protein shake be better? any words of wisdom would be amazing! Thanks!!!
Great post! Can you develop your traps without doing the olympic lifts and just sticking with the dips and pullups? I’m just asking because my workouts consist 100% of body weight training.
Very interesting post.
Alas, I wish I could commit myself to build my body like it’s my job (like Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, and whoever), but I do have a day job. Anyway, I just do my best, and I accept that.
I think I know what Olympic lifts mean (like the Bulgarian weightlifters), but what does “clean and jerk” mean?
Hi Vic great post again.
I’m currently trying to put on muscle, and have been following the muscle building workouts on here (dips are absolute bastards!) with some good results.
My question is about nutrition. I’m pretty clueless as to how many calories are in typical muscle building foods. So when you say Hugh Jackman ate 4500 calories a day, or 800 a meal, I basically have no idea what that actually consists of.
It would be great if you could give us some rough calorie numbers for things like a chicken breast, egg, pint of milk, handful of nuts, bowl of rice, potato etc.
if i ate 4500 calories a day no matter what the circumstances i’d look like Haystacks Calhoun! (look that up in your Funk & Wagnall’s!) what no roadwork? rope skipping? and other fun aerobic stuff? nevertheless good advice… when i see these ads for all that chemicalized crap they’re pushing in the mags it just infuriates me! if fitness really did come prettily packaged in a bottle or a can everybody would be fit, right? we have two choices as fitness freaks: The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Defeat! Shaka!
> One thing I wanted to ask was what exactly are olympic lifts?
They are two lifts: the Snatch and the Clean&Jerk. Both lifts start with the bar on the ground and end with the bar over head. Just google for
snatch weight lifting
clean jerk weight lifting
and you should come up with usefull information.
> Some trainer/college student told me about how people should have a physiotherapist check over their shoulders first and everyone should start from the hang position and drop the bar at the end. I do the squat clean and jerk from the floor at the moment and I’m progressing quite well. I think finding a safe way of dropping the bar on failed attempts is the first thing to consider.
Starting from the floor has no real benefit if you don’t want to compete in olympic lifting where it is a requirement. And you should drom the bar on every heavy attempt. That includes the successfull ones. That’s what bumper plates are for.
> Can a normal guy, with a Job, deadlines, the will to party and stuff, etc can start these kind of workouts?!
Can a normal guy perform lunges, bench presses and stuff like that? Yes.
> Question you suggest choc milk after a workout…if you are wanting to lean out and still put muscle on is this a good option or would a protein shake be better?
IMO, it doesn’t realy matter, but the choc milk probalby tastes better.
> Can you develop your traps without doing the olympic lifts and just sticking with the dips and pullups?
Dips and pullups aren’t good at developing the upper traps. Shruggs, deadlifts and some olympic lift assistance exercises like high pulls are all good at developing them.
> I think I know what Olympic lifts mean (like the Bulgarian weightlifters), but what does “clean and jerk” mean?
Not just the Bulgarian weightlifters, but the weight lifters of every country. “Clean and jerk” is one of the two olympic lifts that you have to perform as a weight lifter.
> My question is about nutrition. I’m pretty clueless as to how many calories are in typical muscle building foods. So when you say Hugh Jackman ate 4500 calories a day, or 800 a meal, I basically have no idea what that actually consists of.
Not everybody should start eating 4500 calories a day. I bet many here would simply get fat realy fast. How many calories you should eat depends on your activity level. If you have a deskjob your calory expenditure is a lot lower that of a person who has to perform a lot of manual work.
> It would be great if you could give us some rough calorie numbers for things like a chicken breast, egg, pint of milk, handful of nuts, bowl of rice, potato etc.
Google for something like “calorie table”
Good post Vic. I’ve not been to the gym for a while – I’ve been concentrating mainly on jogging outdoors. I’m planning to get back into the gym again this week and this post is just what I needed to get my mind focussed on the task at hand.
This all sounds too good to be true. There must be something else at work (i.e. chemistry) for these and all the other Hollywood guys to bulk so big, so lean, in such a relatively short period of time–especially the guys who were not athletes and who make these transformations in their 30s or later.
If it were as easy as eating 4,500 kcal and working out there would be more people with similar builds and amazing transformation stories (not to mention the supplement and AAS manufacturers might suffer).
People readily accept that Hollywood women have cosmetic work done but I believe most remain in a state of denial when it comes to leading men.
I take these results and the advice with a grain of salt and just remember: nothing worth having is easy.
Obviously some guys like Hugh Jackman have solid genetics, but there are others like Tobery Maguire & Edward Norton that have less than avaerage genetic makeups for building muscle.
How many people do you know that could eat 4500 (good) calories day in and day out & hit the gym with absolute intensity 5-6 days per week for 16 weeks? Not many people have that kind of dedication. Actors als have the perfect job for this. They just need to read scripts all day, so recovery isnt really an issue for them. Im sure most of them double up on workouts and do 2 a days near the end of their training programs…
Not to mention the lure of a $10 million dollar payday is some pretty nice motivation to not give up 🙂
Sung to the tune of the NBC jingle…
Ummm. . . I cannot deny or confirm that allegation. 🙂