Squint and you’d be forgiven for thinking Jason Momoa isn’t human. At 1.93m tall, the 42-year-old is such a man mountain it’s hard to believe he’s made of the same flesh and blood as the rest of us. But despite playing the role of half man, half Atlantean God in 2018’s Aquaman, Momoa is indeed mortal and works out just like the rest of us to keep in shape. With a starring role in the heavily anticipated Dune coming soon, we thought it a good time to revisit the workout routines of one of Hollywood’s most in-shape stars.
He may resemble Adonis himself, but Momoa says this is more down to genetics than an obsession with the weight room. As he told Men’s Health last year, “Hawaiians are big people”. In fact, Momoa says if he’s not being paid to pack on pounds for a role, he won’t even set foot inside a gym. Thankfully, since his breakout role as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, Momoa is not shy of a role or two so more often than not, he is being paid to work out.
Jason Momoa Aquaman Workout Plan
Believe it or not, Momoa was originally too small for the role of Drogo so he had to add weight before filming began. To do this, he used a training regime called ‘AR7’, or Accelerated Results 7. AR7 involves circuits with low reps at low weight but high intensity, forcing you to fatigue quicker than usual. Start by doing 7 sets of 7 reps, with 7 seconds rest in between. Then drop to 6 sets of 6 with 6 seconds rest, then 5, for a total of 3 rounds. Rest for one to two minutes per round. Not only will this jack up your heart rate, you should be able to hit more than one workout a day if needed, because the relatively smaller weights are less stress-inducing on your joints.
Momoa began with one workout a day before graduating to 2-3 a day when his body adapted. Here’s what session looked like:
|Movement – leg day
Complete 3 rounds, with 1-2 min rest inbetween:
Round 1 – 7 sets of 7 reps with 7 sec rest.
Round 2 – 6 sets of 6 reps with 6 sec rest.
Round 3 – 5 sets of 5 reps with 5 sec rest.
|Stiff legged deadlift
|Bodyweight jumping squat
The AR7 circuit helped Momoa add some serious mass but for his upcoming role in Dune, the actor had to take a more endurance-based approach. “For Dune, there was a lot of fight choreography,” he told Men’s Health. “So generally I worked with my stunt team, learning to do different fights and a lot of cardio.”
Here’s what cardio looked like a la Momoa.
When he’s not busy with work, you can catch the native Hawaiian actor doing some hard-core rock climbing to stay in shape. It may be difficult to carry his body weight as such a big guy (and the experience comes with plenty of pulled tendons), but Momoa says it’s a hobby he’s loved his entire life. Because his body seems to be thriving because of it, one fan assumes he trains only for himself and doesn’t need much preparation for movies—but that’s only half true.
“I found it better for myself to train for things that I love. For instance, rock climbing has always helped me and inspired me,” explains Momoa. This is sound advice from the God of Atlantis. Find the workout that works for you then you’ll be encouraged to stick to the plan when the going gets tough.
A no brainer for a Hawaiian. Kim Fardy, Momoa’s friend and stunt double, tells MH that surfing and paddleboarding are used as both a core workout and active recovery.
He may have described yoga as the “hardest thing [he’s] ever done” but Momoa knows that in order to get more flexible, which he needed for Dune’s fight scenes, he’d have to embrace his inner yogi.
With a lot of bulk already, Momoa focussed on bodyweight movements like push ups and squats. Fardy explains the beauty of such movements is that, “he can train anywhere. Even between takes on set without access to a gym”.
As you can see, there’s hardly a secret formula. Instead, Momoa’s success is proof that the secret to getting in shape is finding the things you enjoy. Punishing yourself en route to a better body is never going to be sustainable so find your version of what climbing and surfing is to Momoa.
Though, one disclaimer: Men’s Health cannot be held responsible if you don’t enjoy the same results as Momoa. Like the big man said himself, some things are just down to genetics.
Jason Momoa Aquaman Diet
For a guy whose played everyone from Khal Drogo to Aquaman, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jason Momoa’s in legendary shape, thanks to hard-spent time in the gym and a strict diet, we’d assume. But when the 41-year-old \ sat down with Men’s Health he revealed, once and for all, his secret to keeping fit: lots of pizza. (No, really.)
Momoa shared that he had to put on some serious weight to portray his Game of Thrones character, saying he was actually too small to fit the character description at the time. Thankfully, plenty of pizza and steak came to the rescue.
“Some guys are like genetically ripped and have abs and I don’t,” he said. “I generally don’t have a six-pack, which has been my nemesis forever. I’ve always got a solid four-pack, maybe even a two-pack, and that’s all about diet which is challenging for me.”
When it comes to his Aquaman diet, it looks a little like this:
- Breakfast: Momoa starts out with a pre-workout breakfast of peanut butter and honey on granary toast, watermelon, and blueberries. The fairly small meal is one area where Momoa’s regime differs; the actor himself has said he “genetically” puts on body fat quite easily, and so has to eat less and keep up the same level of activity when preparing for a role.
- Snack: The second meal of the day consists of seared tuna, avocado, and spinach, with not a single carb to be seen… except for a can of Momoa’s beloved Guinness. Again, this is a bit of a departure from the regular superhero diet: Momoa won’t eat a carb all day long, if it means he’s then allowed to enjoy a can of his favourite stout.
- Lunch: Momoa’s third, pre-cardio meal is 10 ounces of steak, with a generous portion of spinach sautéed in olive oil.
- Dinner: The fourth and final meal of the day includes yet more sautéed spinach, half of an avocado, two baked chicken breasts, and another can of Guinness.
So what about the rest of the time?
The actor took a more traditional route when he’s no prepping for a blockbuster. Firstly, according to his personal trainer, Stuart Walton, Momoa doesn’t eat any processed carbs or junk foods, and instead loads up on veggies and proteins.
The Jason Momoa diet plan boils down to the three things: nutrition, balance, and enjoyment. What this means is, Walton didn’t force a new diet upon the actor as much as he did concentrate on the healthier foods Momoa already enjoyed. Walton furthermore employed a macronutrient intake method, which builds muscle without adding fat by monitoring the ratios between carbs, fats, and proteins.
Here are some of the foods that appear regularly in Jason Momoa’s diet:
- Veggies – Momoa makes sure to have some type of vegetable with each meal
- Fruit – According to Walton, the “Aquaman” actor would eat fruits either before a workout or before a long day of shooting for a healthy boost of energy.
- Guinness Beer – Momoa apparently can’t go without his daily pint.
- Honey Sandwiches – Momoa ate these before workouts.
- Chicken – Standard.
- Steak – Also standard.
- Fish – According to legend, the Hawaii-born actor loves himself some premium-grade sashimi. Aku—also known as skipjack tuna—is said to be a personal favourite.
- Supplements – Jason Momoa’s workout supplements included protein powder, mass gainer, and creatine. No muscle-building diet plan is complete without them.