Inside The Complete Workout Routine That Got Hugh Jackman In Wolverine Shape - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Inside The Complete Workout Routine That Got Hugh Jackman In Wolverine Shape

When Hugh Jackman launched onto the screen as Wolverine, he immediately became the aspirational figure for fitness enthusiasts and gym rats everywhere. Here’s everything you need to know about the workout that got him in such fighting-fit shape.

Hollywood has created many a transformation when it comes to actors either bulking up or slimming down for a role. And while most tend to entertain such notions only to lose the gains immediately post-production, when it comes to Hugh Jackman, the golden child of Australian cinema seems to be perpetually in fighting-fit shape. His is a lifestyle that revolves around fitness and mobility, with Jackman often frequenting the theatre stage for the kind of broadway productions that are exhausting just witnessing a few minutes of rehearsal. That he can sustain the energy to do that consistently throughout the year is staggering, but a testament to his incredible fitness and dedication to his workout routine. 

Still, the fact remains that as Wolverine, Jackman tapped into another level altogether. When audiences first caught of glimpse of the actor in the role, he immediately became an aspirational figure for the gym junkies and fitness enthusiasts the world over, each of them wanting to get the kind of biceps he sported, each of them wanting his six-pack that had as deep indents as you’d find on a corrugated iron roof. 

For Hugh Jackman, the preparation for Wolverine saw him embark on a 12-week program that was divided into two 6-week phases, allowing him to first bulk up and then cut down. Here’s what you need to know about the complete workout routine behind the star’s incredible physique. 

Phase one: Bulking up

In this phase, Jackman focused solely on bulking up with an hour of intense training, and no more. He performed the below circuit twice a week, with at least two days’ rest to allow for proper muscle recovery and optimal functioning when taking on the circuit. For each exercise in the workout, use the below rep structure and ensure you’re lifting the maximum weight possible so you’re close to failure with the last rep of every set. 

Set 1 8 reps (120 secs rest)

Set 2 6 reps (120 secs rest)

Set 3 4 reps (120 secs rest)

Bonus set 1 rep max with a spotter

Exercises: Bench press; incline dumbbell fly; close-grip barbell press; tricep dip; press-up.

Phase two: Cutting

In the second six-week phase, Hugh Jackman focused on using lighter weights, higher reps and did intense cardio sessions designed to strip body fat without losing muscle tone. “Training wise, speed it up,” says Jackman. Essentially, you’ll be performing the same circuit as Phase 1 but with lower weights and higher reps. Then perform one of the interval cardio sessions. Jackman also dropped his daily caloric intake from 6000kcal to 3,500kcal. 

Set 1 10-14 reps (60 secs rest)

Set 2 10-14 reps (60 secs rest)

Set 3 10-14 reps (60 secs rest)

Set 4 10-14 reps (60 secs rest)

Interval Cardio

Option 1: Warm up, then set the treadmill to a 1 or 2 per cent incline and 85 per cent of your flat-out speed. Sprint hard for 50m (roughly 15 to 20 seconds). Then rest for 30 seconds and repeat for 10 sprints. 

Option 2: After warming up, Jackman aims to row 2km in seven minutes, which is a hard task. Aim for 1 min 45 secs for the first 500m and maintain it for as long as possible. 

By Jess Campbell

Hobby jogger and pickle enthusiast, Jess is a writer committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport. When not staring down the blank page of a word document, you can find her getting a little lost and a little cold out on the trails. Previous work featured in GQ Australia.

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