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Hugh Jackman Workout

Posted by personaltrainersscottsdale.com | Posted in Celebrities | Posted on 23-09-2010

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If you’ve seen any of Hugh Jackman’s movies then there’s one thing that you’ve probably noticed: the guy is always in shape. Whether or not he is “totally shredded” or is carrying an impressive amount of muscle probably depends on his movie roles and the characters he plays, but regardless of the fact, he’s always in at least pretty good shape.

While it’s pretty clear that Hugh Jackman maintains an active lifestyle, what isn’t always so clear to people is how he gets his body into tip top condition for the movie roles where he has to be lean and mean – and have the physique to prove it.

A big part of Jackman getting into great shape for his movies is that he is typically in an at least decent shape to begin with.  In other words, he never really “lets himself go.”  For movie stars – let alone average people – this is a huge factor: most of the time, staying in pretty good shape once you get there isn’t so hard – it’s getting there in the first place which is the challenge.

And of course there’s the whole celebrity bit.  Specifically, is he at a disadvantage when it comes to getting in shape because of his fame?  Well, it’s clear that he isn’t, but what about actors in general?  On the one hand they have all the assistance you could ask for in regard to getting (and staying) in shape: access to great personal trainers, nutritionists, coaches, agents, etc.  On the other hand, they’re celebrities.  This means they’re busy.  They travel.  A LOT.  Not to mention the parties, the food…you get the idea.

The point is that there is a lot to juggle.  And while some guys (and gals) do it better than others, when it comes to getting in shape for a movie, money is a pretty strong motivator.  Just look at what Bradley Cooper did to get in shape for the A-Team. He’s certainly not a fitness buff by any means, but he pushed himself to new heights (and a new body) to look good for his role.

But with Jackman the cool thing is that he seems to be in great shape all the time. He maintains a decent base level of fitness.  He clearly enjoys working out and eating right (or if not, he’s one hell of a glutton for punishment).

So the big question then, is what does Hugh Jackman do to stay in great shape?

The answer?…

It depends a little bit on his roles.

For example, he probably put in the most hard work and commitment to get in shape for the Wolverine sequel.  Many would argue that he’s never been in better shape than he was for that role.  Again, along with the whole “being in better shape than ever” comes a lot of hard work and effort.

So, if you want to get ripped like Jackman (or are just curious what the guy does in the gym) first ask yourself what “look” you’re going for.  Are you trying to emulate Hugh Jackman from Wolverine Origins?  While a lot of guys would say “yes”, there are certainly some other fellas (maybe the older ones) who aren’t as obsessed with carrying mountains of muscle.  Those guys might prefer a body type more similar to Hugh Jackman’s in Australia. Since a lot of guys haven’t seen the latter movie (since it’s a bit of chick flick) here are some pics to illustrate the differences in his physique between the two movies.

Guys: I apologize for the corny, romance novel-style sweaty shirtless pic from Australia – it’s just to give you a reference point.

Ladies: You’re welcome.

So here we go,

Here’s Hugh Jackman in Wolverine 2:

And here is Hugh Jackman in Australia:

The first thing that you probably notice is that he looks like he’s carrying less muscle in Australia. He’s still lean and muscular but probably 5-10 pounds lighter than in Wolverine 2.  Because he’s carrying less body mass, his face is also leaner.  For his role in Australia it’s clear that the character he was playing was supposed to be thinner.  This is normally the case for most actors in most movies: if they’re wearing clothes and not trying to show off their physique then a lighter body weight and a thinner appearance is desirable.  Clothes normally fit better and make the actor look taller.

In Hugh Jackman’s case he has a relatively long body and medium to large frame (bone structure) so he can carry some extra weight without looking stubby.  At 6’2″ he is around 210 pounds in the Wolverine Origins pic above.  Most people – after realizing how tall he is – would guess that he weighed more than 210 when filming the flick.  In reality though, he just had good all around muscle development and was very lean.  Because of this he looked bigger and more muscular at 210 pounds than someone in worse shape at the same height/weight.  This is a very important point for people to realize: being moderately heavy but very lean will help you look fitter (and more muscular) than you really are.  I mention this because it applies to you no matter what boat you’re in.  For instance, if you’re skinny and trying to bulk up, remember that you won’t have to add as much muscle as you might think to look big.  If what you add is lean muscle mass while minimizing fat gain, you will look bigger (and often better) at a lighter “bulked up” body weight than you might think.  By the same token, if you are heavy to begin with and you would like to “get ripped” or at least shed some pounds you might not need to lose as much as you think.  If you preferentially burn fat and maintain (or even build) muscle by training the right way, you might not need to lose as much weight as you think to noticeably change your physique.

Want more info?

Wondering what to do after the twelve weeks are up?

Check out this exclusive offer from MyLifeMyBody, the first site to offer the breakthrough new book The Celebrity Workout Book for Men

For more in depth info on Hugh Jackman’s workout, diet and background check out the ground breaking just released book The Celebrity Workout Book for Men. In it you’ll find in-depth info on how to train and eat like Hugh Jackman and almost 20 other stars to get a specific physique based on the celebrity of your choice. Packed with over 400 pages of exclusive content about how to change your body forever!!

Grab it now!

So, in reference to the pictures again, Jackman was probably around 200 pounds when he filmed Australia (again being lighter than when he bulked up Wolverine Origins).  While he was lighter, he still had a reasonably impressive body – perhaps even with more mass appeal. It just comes down to what “look” you prefer…

I’m going to included both Hugh Jackman workouts – one for the “Wolverine” look and one for the “Australia” look.  Just choose which workout to follow based on which “look” you’re shooting for.

The “Wolverine” Workout:

To prepare for the Wolverine Origins film Jackman ,who was already in “decent” shape, stepped up his game big time.  He increased his training intensity and his training frequency to an almost insane level starting two months before shooting.  He basically trained like a maniac for 8 weeks prior to filming…

What Jackman did might be hard for some people to do but if you have a hard time with it just remember that it only lasts eight weeks.  Not that you will want to just let yourself go after that, but and at the end of the eight week cycle, you can definitely back off a bit and give yourself a break.  You’ll be able to get away with working out less (or not as hard) and not eating as cleanly.  One thing to keep in mind as well: the workout I am providing below is very similar to what Hugh Jackman did to get in shape for Wolverine Origins.  So, even though he may have had some extra help that you may not have, it worked for him, and, despite what you might think, there is probably a decent chance that it will work for you too.  So, if you’re already in pretty decent shape, this routine can take you to that “Wolverine” level.  And, if you’re a bit out of shape then don’t worry: this regimen will help you make a huge change to your physique.

The Real Wolverine Routine –

This routine is centered around moderate to high frequency, high intensity training.  The idea behind this approach is to build muscle while burning fat simultaneously.  Even though many people say this is “impossible” it’s not.  You just have to have a great plan to follow and have everything in place.  Worst case scenario is that you maintain the muscle that you do have and burn whatever fat necessary to get you to “ripped” status.  This workout is centered around activities that preferentially burn body fat and spare or build muscle.  There are a few key things that this workout includes that make it effective at getting a body like Hugh Jackman’s:

1. Increasing shoulder circumference and or shoulder size (bigger, wider shoulders create the illusion of a bigger physique…a bigger looking physique means you won’t have to weigh as much to look muscular).  Building bigger shoulders while maintaining a skinny waist is one of the main ways to achieve a “V-taper” – which is one of the cornerstones of a great male body.

2. Targeting the big back muscles: lats, traps, and rear deltoids.  These will provide more “bang for buck” – more muscle in these areas not only has more impact than if you brought up smaller muscles, but working these areas creates a more active metabolic environment (improves metabolism)

3. Targeting the legs: training the legs with enough intensity/frequency/load will stimulate muscle growth in the rest of the body via the hormone release (especially growth hormone) that occurs via leg training.

4. Including a variety of different types of resistance exercises.  Different exercises mean the muscles are worked in different planes, at different angles, using diffferent “force curves”.  The ultimate result is that you end up with well developed and balanced muscles.

5. Training with aerobic activities that burn fat and spare muscle.  Fasted cardio is the optimal choice here because it pushes the body to increase lipolysis (fat breakdown) and decrease lipogenesis (fat accumulation).  Done right it won’t breakdown muscle tissue.

6. Training one day using sprints.  Sprints increase glute activation (giving you a nice derriere) and also strengthen the entire body – especially the legs and core.  Also, sprinting has the added benefit of preventing your body from adding too much muscle mass while simultaneously being a strong fat burning stimulus.

7. This program includes not only a variety of exercises but also variety in the other loading parameters (reps, weight, rest).  This variety not only “keeps your body guessing” but allows you to work on different strength/endurance qualities, improving your chances of burning fat/building muscle, improves athleticism, and decreases the risk of injury.  There is also the added benefit of decreasing monotony.

Here’s the workout:


- Fasted cardio is done for 30 minutes shortly after waking up.  It is done before eating any food so you will use fat for energy (burn it off) The intensity is kept low (shoot for a 60-70% MHR or a “5″ on a scale of 1-10 difficulty) so that you burn fat but not muscle.

- All weight training should be done 8-12 hours after your fasted cardio.  For most people this would mean doing weight training in the evening.

- With all exercises  the last set should be done to failure unless otherwise specified.

- Take rest as follows: 5-6 rep exercises 2-3 minutes, 8-12 rep exercises 1-2 minutes

- Perform one aclimation set with lighter weight before starting the first set of each exercise to help determine what weight to start with.  This can be done with a moderate weight for about 10 repetitions.  For the first “work” set use a heavier weight than the one you warmed up with.  Try to stick with this weight for the rest of the sets or increase the weight if you can.

Hugh Jackman Workout Day 1:


AM Fasted Cardio (1-3 mile brisk walk for 30 minutes, trying to improve distance over time)

Resistance Training: (Heavy, Strength Day)

1. Deadlift: 5 sets of 5 reps

2. Bench Press: 5 sets of 5 reps

3. Bent Over Row: 5 sets of 5 reps

4. Military Press: 5 sets of 5 reps (optional based how you feel energy wise)

Hugh Jackman Workout Day 2:


Same as Day 1

Resistance Training:

In place of resistance training on Day 2 you will perform a sprinting workout:

Perform 10  200m sprints, resting 1-2 minutes between sprints.  If you can’t find a track to run these on then estimate the distances as best you can.  Rest for five to ten minutes after completing the sprints and finish with a 1-2 mile easy to moderate pace jog.

Hugh Jackman Workout Day 3:


Same as Day 2

Resistance Training: (High Volume Hypertrophy Day)

For all exercises use a weight that allows you to complete 3 sets of 8-10

1. Squat

2. Incline Bench Press

3. Lat Pulldown

4. Low Row

5. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

6. Barbell Biceps Curl

7. Lying Triceps Extension

8. Barbell Calf Raise

9. Leg Lifts

Hugh Jackman Workout Day 4:



Resistance Training: (High Volume Hypertrophy Day)

On this day perform 2 sets of each exercise (after warming up) but only go to failure on the second set

1. One Arm Dumbbell Row

2. Dumbbell Bench Press

3. Rear Deltoid Dumbbell Fly

4. Dumbbell Pullover

5. Alternating Dumbbell Lunges

6. Barbell High Pull

7. Seated Incline Biceps Curls

8. Triceps Cable Pressdown

9. Cable Crunch

10. Romain Chair Leg Lifts

Hugh Jackman Workout day 5:



Resistance Training:

Day 5 is a deload or “backoff” day.  This means that you should still perform some type of resistance training but what you do is up to you.  Some people would benefit from performing some type of high intensity kettlebell conditioning while others would benefit more from doing just a few exercises that focus on a weak or lagging body part or muscle group.  For instance, if you feel that your biceps are weak or lack definition, you may see improvement by doing 3 or 4 biceps exercises on this day.

Hugh Jackman Workout Day 6:



Resistance Training:

On Day 6 you will perform 2 sets of 15 reps of each of the following exercises:

1. Chest Fly

2. Incline Bench Press

3. Seated Row Machine

4. Dumbbell Deadlift

5. One Arm Cable Lateral Raise

6. One Arm Bent Over Rear Delt Fly

7. Standing Cable Biceps Curl

8. Standing Overhead Cable Triceps Extension

9. Reverse Crunch

10. Swiss Ball Roll out

There you have it, the Hugh Jackman workout.

As I mentioned before though the above workout is geared more towards the “Wolverine” look.  So for all of you who want to be a little bit thinner like Jackman was in Australia the formula is simple.  In fact you can follow the same workout.  And – if desired – you can take Day 4 out of the routine.  Scratch it off the list.  Your goal won’t be as geared towards muscle gain so taking Day 4 off could still allow you to produce the results you want. So what’s the only other thing you change?

The diet.

Specifically reduce your daily calorie intake by 300-500 calories.  Still consume the same things, just cut out 300-500 calories out of your daily diet and try to omit primarily starchy carbohydrates.

Want more info?

Wondering what to do after the twelve weeks are up?

Check out this exclusive offer from MyLifeMyBody, the first site to offer the breakthrough new book The Celebrity Workout Book for Men

For more in depth info on Hugh Jackman’s workout, diet and background check out the ground breaking just released book The Celebrity Workout Book for Men. In it you’ll find in-depth info on how to train and eat like Hugh Jackman and almost 20 other stars to get a specific physique based on the celebrity of your choice. Packed with over 400 pages of exclusive content about how to change your body forever and get the sculpted, lean look that women love!

Grab it now!


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Comments (24)

Please clarify what (shoot for a 60-70% MHR or a “5? on a scale of 1-10 difficulty) from step one means?


[...] Click here to see what Hugh Jackman did to get in shape for movies like Wolverine Origins and Austra… [...]

Rob -

60-70% of MHR is shorthand for working out at those percentages of your Max Heart Rate. The Max Heart Rate or “MHR” is usual more of an estimate that people figure out because they would have to do a doctor supervised stress test to determine their true “MHR”. Because of this you will sometimes see the “estimated max heart rate” listed as “EMHR” at times as well since most times it is basically not an exact or 100% accurate figure.

To determine your MHR or EMHR you can use a simple formula called the Kavonen Method. You just subtract your age from the number 220. The number you get will be your EMHR. (it may or may not be exact, but it is typically a good estimate)

Once you have that number you can then determine what heart rate you would want to achieve depending on what heart rate range percentage of MHR you should be in. In this case the 60-70% of MHR is listed because this is a low to moderate intensity range – which is ideal for burning fat and sparing muscle, especially when you are fasting as is the case. To put it in numbers, let’s say someone is 30 years old. Using the karvonen formula we would arrive at 190 BPM (beats per minute) as the EMHR. To determine what range 60-70% of the EMHR would be, just multiply 190 x .6-.7 – the range you get here is 114-133. Keeping your HR in between these two values while exercising would achieve a cardio workout that is 60-70% of MHR.

Also listed was a “5″ on a scale of 1-10 difficulty. This was using something called the scale of perceived exertion, which is often easier than trying to monitor heart rate (especially if you aren’t wearing a monitor) Essentially this scale is very simple and is based on the idea that every exercise has a given difficulty based on how hard you are working. The scale can apply to any exercise and starts with a “1″ on a scale of 1-10, with “1″ being extremely easy. As the numbers increase they represent a increase in the difficulty of the exercise. So “10″ would be working as hard as you could (which you would not be able to sustain for very long) and “5″ would be moderately challenging – in the middle, not to easy nor too difficult.

Again, using the Scale of Perceived Exertion is often easier than trying to accurately monitor your heart rate when working out and it correlates pretty well. The “5″ is listed because it is pretty equivalent to 60-70% of MHR. You might imagine that a 6 or 7 on a the PE scale would equate better with 6-70% MHR but because the PE scale is less “accurate” in the way the HR is, it is better to use 5 value. In this case the fasted cardio is better to be done too easy if anything rather than too hard.

Hope that helps.

- MyLifeMyBody

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Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! 81417

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