Want to look like a superhero? You can. How? By following the example of Hugh Jackman with the Wolverine Workout. No, we’re not suggesting you get claws. Instead, we give you the plan to get ripped like Wolverine.
Want otherworldly results from a plan that is just as simple and down to earth as it gets?
In that case, you came to the right place! We’re talking, of course, about the simple plan that is responsible for making hugh jackman ripped into the movie-screen icon, Wolverine.
Who is Wolverine?
This character is fluent in seven languages, can cut through any known substance with his famous, iconic claws and is a Canadian superhero trained to be a legend through Samurai teaching.
But, for all that he is, it’s not just the larger than life character gracing the screen that impresses people around the world, but the real-life man behind the legend, Hugh Jackman. While most Hollywood actors and regular Joes alike are slowing down in terms of physique by their forties, Jackman got into undoubtedly the best and most jacked shape of his life in his mid-forties to step into this role.
Since then, he has only continued to shred out and dominate on the silver screen. Though Jackman has one, luckily you will not need to hire the best of the best of Hollywood trainers and dieticians to get the same results from your own home gym or weight room.
It’s true: His plan isn’t revolutionary. But, the results clearly are. While you may not be seen on the big screen anytime soon, nor is it likely you will find the need to moonlight as an out-of-this-world beast, there is no reason you can’t look and feel the part.
Let’s delve into the basics, and then the specifics, of what turned Hugh Jackman from a fairly typical dude into Wolverine.
Simplicity Is Key For The Hugh Jackman Wolverine Plan
It might be reassuring, refreshing even, to hear that Jackman’s plan is not propped up on any fad diet tactics or fancy celeb trainer techniques. You don’t even need a well-stocked gym to duplicate the training and the results.
This plan is as bare bones and back-to-basics as you are likely to find.
Jackman and his trainer both knew that if it isn’t broken, you don’t fix it. As a result, they felt no reason to stray from tried and true techniques. Of course, this makes it easy to replicate for us at home to integrate into our own training sessions. While Jackman has clearly always worked out, this simple gym routine and diet devised by his trainer David Kingsbury is what’s responsible for taking him to the next level that we all can instantly imagine when we think of the movie series.
The movies have stretched over the course of a decade, and anyone who has seen them knows that Jackman has only gotten progressively more and more shredded as time has gone on. That is an impressive feat for anyone, but especially in a world where Hollywood actors are known for quick bulk-ups, overnight weight loss and generally yoyoing all over the place with their weight loss and gain. Jackman has defied the odds and not only maintained but improved his physique as time has marched on.
Jackman had a vision for his title character going into the franchise, but he admits it took some time to nail the animalistic look he was going for. In the first few movies, he says he had not quite attained the jacked, vascular look he envisioned. He says it was key for him to create a body that fit the character, meaning one where audience members could easily envision how he could rip someone’s head off with ease.
Hugh Jackman Workout & The Basics
While it may be simple, make no mistake that Jackman’s roadmap to finally get him the look he desired is not for the faint of heart. Long hours were logged at the gym, and every bite he ate was super clean and diligently measured, weighed and tracked. There were no cutting corners, and Jackman says the level of discipline he undertook turned him into something of a pro athlete as he prepared for this role and then maintained and improved upon the look over time.
Everything was highly calculated, stringent and done to a tee.
His workouts, in the most basic sense, relied on a progressive overload plan designed to over time build up strength, using the most basic of exercises like deadlifts, presses, and squats. Hardly any machines were used, and the workout was not one just focused on needlessly bulking.
Instead, it was designed to make Jackman highly functional and swift on his feet. While old-school techniques are heavily relied upon, there is no old school mindset of bulking just for the sake of bulking. And, you will not find yourself hitting a plateau in strength either, as they are purposely designed to keep you constantly improving and leveling up.
Give The Assist To The Trainer
Though Jackman claims the onscreen glory for his impressive build, and rightfully so, as he worked tirelessly and continues to do so, the man behind the brawn also deserves a shout out. David Kingsbury often works on the road with his clients, so the equipment he relies on is barebones. He claims his main must-have is chalk, in order to mark for deadlifts. If he finds a gym with an Olympic bar he considers it the ultimate luxury.
Since they are always on the go, he says they strive to pre-plan as much as humanly possibly when it comes to meals and workouts. Of course, he also understands that it’s important to allow for flexibility in order to still enjoy their time and accommodate for any hitches in their plan or lack of access to ideal meals, for example.
He also stresses a good old-fashioned approach of plenty of rest and will scale back workouts if he knows Jackman can’t get the recovery time he needs to build muscle and see results. As well, he always recommends keeping a good old-fashioned pen and paper tracker system handy to keep on top of daily routines and gym progress.
This Is The Wolverine Workout
The time has come to get down to the nitty-gritty. What follows are the workouts that Kingsbury designed. These have been proven over time to get animal-like results worthy of Wolverine himself.
What are the key points to know before you begin?
For starters, the workout is designed to last for eight weeks, with a daily workout for each day of the week plus a rest day built in. The weights will progress each week and will go up as time progresses. As a result, you will want to calculate your starting point erring on the lighter side, so as to not overburden yourself too soon to be able to complete the plan.
Kingsbury’s overarching approach is to set Jackman up with low, 104 rep heavy work rather than in the 8 to 12 range, which is what Jackman had previously been used to hammering out in the gym. He switched instead to focusing on heavy work and then moving on to higher reps after strength was increased.
He also broke the training down into two basic phases, a bulk and a cut, but kept the bulk as clean as he could to discourage much body fat from being packed on. On top of this deliberate diet plan to keep the bulking clean, Kingsbury prescribed low-intensity training to keep Jackman cut throughout.
|60% of working 1 rep max
|65% of working 1 rep max
|75% of working 1 rep max
|75% of working 1 rep max
This Is Day 1
Dynamic Warm Up
Bench Press: 4 sets/5 reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4 sets/10 reps
Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck: 4 sets/10 reps
Cuban Press: 3 sets/10 reps with 30 seconds of rest
Superset: Triceps Dip: 3 sets/10 reps, 15-second rest + Triceps Pushdown: 3 sets/12 reps with a minute of rest
Shoulder Circuit: 4 Rounds
Side Lateral Raise: 8 reps
Front Dumbbell Raise: 8 reps
Reverse Flye: 8 reps
Standing Military Press: 8 reps
This Is Day 2
Dynamic Warm Up
Barbell Squat: 4 sets/5 reps with 2.5 minutes of rest
Front Barbell Squat: 4 sets/10 reps with a minute of rest
Single Leg Press: 4 sets/10 reps with a minute of rest
Superset: Standing Calf Raise: 4 sets/12 reps with a minute of rest + Hanging Leg Raise: 4 sets/12 reps with a minute of rest
This Is Day 3
Dynamic Warm Up
Weighted Pull-up: 4 sets/5 reps with 2.5 minutes of rest
One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 4 sets/12 reps with a minute of rest
Inverted Row: 4 sets/10 reps with a minute of rest
Incline Dumbbell Curl: 4 sets/10 reps with a minute of rest
Biceps Circuit: 4 Rounds
Zottman Curl: 8 reps
Cross Body Hammer Curl: 8 reps
Barbell Curl: 8 reps with a minute of rest
This Is Day 4
Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 drop sets of 6 + 6 reps with 2.5 minutes of rest
Incline Drop Dumbbell Press: 4 drop sets of 6 + 6 reps with a minute of rest
Cable Iron Cross: 4 sets/10 reps with a minute of rest
Close Grip Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets/10 reps with a minute of rest
Triceps Circuit: 4 Rounds
Triceps Pushdown: 8 reps
Triceps Dip: 8 reps
Narrow Push-up: 8 reps with a minute of rest
This Is Day 5
Barbell Deadlift: 4 sets/5 reps with 2.5 minutes of rest
Romanian Deadlift: 4 sets/10 reps with a minute of rest
Zercher Squat: 4 sets/12 reps with a minute of rest
Weighted Sit-up with Bands: 4 sets/10 reps with a minute of rest
Landmine Linear Jammer: 4 sets/20 reps with a minute of rest
This Is The Wolverine Diet
It should come as no surprise that not even an immortal werewolf can outwork a shabby diet, so Jackman’s diet had to be very dialed in throughout filming. He followed a high protein diet, unsurprisingly, and carb cycled, meaning higher carbs on weight training days and very low amounts on rest days.
He says his staples included tons of chicken breast, sweet potato, oatmeal, egg whites, brown rice, steak, avocado for healthy fats, spinach, broccoli and a healthy dose of daily protein shakes post workout, of course. Kingsbury carefully calculated the exact amount of not just calories, but also micronutrients and macronutrients for his goals. Everything Jackman ate, he ate for a reason. In other words, there was no messing around or randomly snacking. Everything was mapped out and deliberate when it came to his diet plan.
Wondering what supplements an immortal tosses back?
Wonder no more. Jackman added creatine into his routine during bulking but tapered off on it while he was cutting down. Other supplements included a pre workout and another recovery supplement after working out called Animal Nitro BCAAs. These were also used in the morning, pre-workout, on an empty stomach. During cutting, he used Universal L-carnitine to assist the process.
While Wolverine himself may never age and be able to fight with the best of them, this workout and diet plan is just as suitable for the mortal man looking to get into the best shape of his life. You do not need a trainer or even a fancy gym. The results will be just as impressive as Jackman’s onscreen physique if you are willing to invest the time and effort.
There are no shortcuts to a svelte and seriously jacked physique, so do not expect overnight results or quick changes. With that said, if you follow this plan, you can expect to be transformed. Of course, sideburns and claws are optional.
By Emmy Schneider-Green