Hugh Jackman has played the Wolverine character 8 times (I think). There could not be anyone more perfect then Hugh Jackman to play Wolverine. The man captures the emotions, the prowess, and the physique of the classic comic book hero who is as complex as they come.
Every magazine, and every website out there most likely has some version of the Wolverine workout to feed the hungry masses of wannabe-bodybuilders and fitness fanatics. I’d rather learn from the man and employ his training principles and ideas into my program.
Twice a Day Sessions
For Les Mis, Jackman’s trainer David Kingsbury had him perform twice a day training sessions. “We trained at about 4 a.m. on the day we let for France,” says Kingsbury. “We flew in, hiked up this mountain, filmed all day in freezing weather, finished around 9 or 10 p.m., and got straight back in the car to go to the hotel. We both slept the whole ride, then went to the hotel gym at 11 to get the second session in.”
Before working with David Kingsbury, Hugh Jackman’s trainer was Mike Ryan, who helped him get into shape for his X-Men films. Ryan did a lot of superset training with Jackman. According to Ryan, “to push the muscles to failure on the last set, we’ll superset compound [and] isolating ones, for example go from a dumbbell bench press straight into a fly. By the last set, you’ll need a spotter to help you squeeze out those last couple reps.”
Take Pride in the Journey
Before landing the role of Wolverine in the first X-men film, Hugh Jackman had not taken training and dieting seriously. When he took this role, Jackman knew that he had to get serious with lifting heavy and eating a lot of food. It was a huge adjustment for him, but the world saw the results his hard work in the gym gave him, and they wanted more of Wolverine!
17 years later, he’s even BETTER shape then he was in the first X-Men film! Jackman says, “as Will Smith put it, ‘It’s easier to stay in shape than to get into shape. Drastic changes are very tough on the body. I never stray too far in terms of my strength training or fitness level; that way it never feels like climbing Mount Everest to get back.” So when you go see the new Wolverine film, remember that the physique you’re seeing on screen took 17 years to build.
Hugh Jackman’s eating plan is simple, tried, and true:
Get your protein from natural, unprocessed sources whenever possible
Eat six small meals per day as opposed to three large ones
Avoid all processed foods
Oh, and to get ready to become Wolverine, Jackman ate 6,000 calories per day!
The big, core compound lifts are the backbone of Jackman’s training regimen. These lifts include bench press, back squat, pullups, rows, and deadlifts. There was a point where Jackman mocked guys who lifted heavy weights, and now he is out-repping his trainer. Kingsbury recounts a session where the workout called for triples at 507 pounds. Kingsbury barely did 2 repetitions. Jackman did 3 repetitions, easy. Kingsbury rested a few minutes, and tried again. He did his 3 repetitions. Despite the intense training, “[Hugh Jackman’s] energy level is what impresses and motivates me, ” says Kingsbury. “There’s never been one day where he was too tired or run-down. He always wants to train.”
There you go. Five incredible training principles to start implementing into your life TODAY!