When he was preparing for Wolverine, Hugh Jackman’s diet and workout plan made him a jacked man indeed. Can it do the same for you? Only if you’re as dedicated as he was, which was pretty freaking dedicated. After all, it’s not easy balancing a full-fledged fitness and eating regimen with an A-list Hollywood career. Nevertheless, the man got it done (with help from his personal trainer, naturally). In turn, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine-ready body was all kinds of shredded. Okay, we’ll stop with the puns now.
Being that Jackman played Wolverine over the course of 17 years, he didn’t necessarily stick with one solitary fitness routine or one personal trainer. That said, intense weightlifting and heavy protein consumption were always part of the program. Should you want to bring out the superhero physique lurking inside you, you’ll likewise be expected to get busy with the barbells and lean meats. Let’s find out if you have what it takes to adopt the Hugh Jackman Wolverine diet and workout plan. Like Jackman himself, you can one day make Australia proud!
What is the Hugh Jackman Wolverine Diet?
As we mentioned above, Jackman worked with different personal trainers at different points in his career. For movies like “The Wolverine” and “Logan,” it was fitness expert David Kingsbury who helped whip the legendary actor into shape. According to Kingsbury, Jackman’s diet varied depending on which stage of the regimen he was in, though one thing remained constant: carb cycling. Specifically, Jackman consumed carbs (before 3 pm) on weight training days, and more or less eradicated them every other day. Another constant? Proteins and supplements, of course.
Kingsbury also made sure that every single calorie was accounted for. In fact, he claims that calculating calories and macronutrients makes for the most important part of dieting. Furthermore, he ensured that Jackman ate clean and wholesome foods on a regular basis, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and chicken. Did that mean Jackman wasn’t occasionally binging on five In-N-Out burgers in one sitting? It did not. Overall, however, the actor’s diet plan was lean and clean.
Hugh Jackman Diet Breakdown
When it comes to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine diet plan, simplicity reigns supreme. That is to say, on the days in which he was training, he ate a lot of the same foods at a lot of the same times. It all breaks down into four meals per day, plus supplements. Here’s a general overview of the foods Hugh Jackman consumed on the average training day:
Eggs – There’s nothing we can say about eggs that you don’t already know, except maybe this: don’t fear the yolk.
Oatmeal – For breakfast, Jackman also enjoyed one cup of healthy oatmeal, which can reportedly lower cholesterol (we’re looking at you, eggs). It’s also a great source of antioxidants and soluble fibre.
Steak – For his second meal of the day, Jackman would often help himself to one serving of lean, delicious steak. And who could blame him?
Sweet Potato – A veritable superfood, sweet potatoes deliver generous amounts of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, they taste pretty great, which is what helps make them super.
Broccoli – Something as bland as broccoli has to be good for you, so it’s no wonder that this dense green vegetable appears on just about every professional diet plan.
Chicken – Clean, lean, and packed with protein, chicken also happens to be quite tasty. Like virtually every (carnivorous) bodybuilder or fitness freak, Jackman powered up on poultry.
Brown Rice – As a whole grain, brown rice has been associated with a variety of benefits, including lower cholesterol and the prevention of blood clots.
Spinach – We’re tempted to make a Popeye joke, but we won’t. After all, Wolverine’s strength speaks for itself. By the way, eat more spinach.
Fish – Jackman’s fourth meal of the day often consisted of fish, which can make for a terrific source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and minerals.
Avocado – Speaking of omega-3 fatty acids, you can find them in avocado. You can also find beta-carotene, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, and a slew of vitamins. Is there anything this superfood can’t do?
Animal Pump – Before each workout, Jackman ingested this supplement to bring out his inner animal. It contains no sugar or sweetener, and comes in tablet form, allowing one to adjust the creatine content.
Animal Nitro – This BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino-Acid) promotes recovery, improves energy, and preserves lean muscle mass. Jackman took 5-10g of it before and after every workout. What an animal!
Carnitine Liquid – Jackman used this supplement to help metabolise fatty acids.
Creatine – When bulking up, Jackman added more creatine to his serving of Animal Pump. When cutting, he reduced and then removed the creatine.
The Hugh Jackman Wolverine Workout Plan
Hugh Jackman’s muscle gain was the result of a specific workout plan from David Kingsbury, who broke the actor’s regimen into two phases: bulk and cut. During the bulk phase, Kingsbury calculated calories to give Jackman the leanest possible muscle gain. Kingsbury also employed a combination of low-intensity training and intervals in order to keep body fat levels down, even as Jackman was bulking up.
During the cut phase, Kingsbury kept the weight training consistent, but adjusted caloric consumption and the amount of cardio Jackman was performing. Again, the end goal was to build strength without going overboard in terms of body fat. Lean and mean, baby!
Kingsbury is also a major advocate of progressive overload, which involves gradually increasing the amount of weight being lifted during training, all to ensure continual gains in strength. He broke Jackman’s program down into a four-week schedule, increasing the weight each week for the first three weeks, and then reducing it during the fourth week while upping the number of reps.
As if Kingsbury’s approach wasn’t already methodical enough, he worked off a percentage system to determine what weights Jackman should be using each week as his main lifts. Each percentage was calculated by figuring out Jackman’s working 1-rep max (W1RM), which represented 95% of his 1-rep max.
For all compound movements, Kingsbury encouraged Jackman to perform low, 1-5 rep heavy work first, followed by higher rep work. Because the heavy low reps improved strength, they increased Jackman’s capacity for the higher reps.
Hugh Jackman Workout Breakdown
Over the course of his training, Jackman performed just about every exercise you can imagine, including push-ups and cardio. However, the primary focus was weightlifting and progressive overload from beginning to end. As you’ll recall, Jackman worked in four-week blocks, increasing the weight with each passing week, then reducing the weight in the fourth week and performing higher reps.
Upon completion of the first four-week block, Jackman added 5-10% of his working 1-rep max to the next block. Should you follow in his footsteps, prepare to add 5% if your progress is gradual, and 10% if you’re hitting all your target reps with relative ease. Moving forward, you should increase your working 1-rep max to the tune of 5-10% with each subsequent four-week block.
Here’s a breakdown of the main lifts Jackman performed during each four-week block, as well as the rep and working 1-rep max fluctuations he incorporated from week to week.
Barbell Bench Press
This classic weightlifting exercise is as straightforward as it is effective, targeting a range of upper body muscles. Start by lying back on the bench with your feet flat on the ground and your eyes even with the bar. Use an overhand grip to grab the bar, keeping your arms a little more than shoulder-width apart. Next, fully extend your arms and take the bar off the rack so that it’s hovering directly over your chest. Keep your elbows in as you lower the bar, stopping when it touches the tippy-top of your chest (i.e. your nipples), and holding for one second. Now, thrust the bar up with considerable power until your arms are back in the starting position. Repeat.
Work those lower body muscles—including your quads, hamstrings, and glutes—by performing this barbell strength exercise. Start in the standing position, with the bar placed on your upper back, and your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, squat down by pushing your knees to either side and moving your hips back. Descend until your hips are lower than your knees, and then use your hips to drive upward, returning to the starting position. Repeat.
If the average pull-up just isn’t challenging enough for you, this brutal exercise brings an extra weight into the process. To perform it, you’ll need either a weight vest or a weight belt, which you can adjust accordingly so as not to injure yourself. The rest is fairly self-explanatory.
If you want Wolverine’s mutant-like strength, prepare to master this compound exercise. Start in the standing position, with your feet under the barbell in a hip-width stance. Bend over and grab the bar, keeping your arms just outside of your hips and your shoulders slightly in front of the bar. Raise the barbell to waist level, holding it for a second, with your hips and knees locked. Next, bring the weight back to the floor and repeat the exercise. Your back should maintain a neutral position, and your hips and shoulders should move at the same rate.
- Set 1: 5 reps 60% of W1RM
- Set 2: 5 reps 65% of W1RM
- Set 3: 5 reps 75% of W1RM
- Set 4: 5 reps 75% of W1RM
- Set 1: 4 reps 65% of W1RM
- Set 2: 4 reps 75% of W1RM
- Set 3: 4 reps 85% of W1RM
- Set 4: 4 reps 85% of W1RM
- Set 1: 3 reps, 70% of W1RM
- Set 2: 3 reps, 80% of W1RM
- Set 3: 3 reps, 90% of W1RM
- Set 4: 3 reps, 90% of W1RM
- Set 1: 10 reps, 40% of W1RM
- Set 2: 10 reps, 50% of W1RM
- Set 3: 10 reps, 60% of W1RM
- Set 4: 10 reps, 90% of W1RM
Add 5-10% of your working 1-rep max to the next four-week block, then another 5-10% to the block after that, and so on. Oh, and don’t forget to grow some massive sideburns while you’re at it. Now you’re doing things the Wolverine way.