With “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” quite literally killing it in theatres (and “Chapter 4” on the way), now is the perfect time to get in on the John Wick diet and workout plan. For those who don’t already know, 54-year-old action star Keanu Reeves performs a number of his own stunts in the film, a feat that requires extreme discipline and dedication.
It’s then no surprise that the John Wick workout entails significant amounts of mixed martial arts training, along with exercises aiming for joint stability and injury prevention over excessive muscle gain.
Put it all together and you end up with John Wick‘s body, the kind of which is impressively agile and resistant to all sorts of pain. If only we could all be that spry and fearless at the age of 54. At the very least, we can try. Here’s how Reeves whipped himself into shape before tackling the role of the world’s foremost super-assassin.
Keanu Reeves John Wick 3 Diet
One might look at Reeves’ eternal youth and slim physique and assume he abides by a strict dieting regimen, but his daily consumption habits are more about simplicity and philosophy than they are rigidity. Specifically, he’s said to avoid overindulgence and stick to clean and healthy foods such as rice, chicken, pasta, and vegetables. In between movies, he’ll indulge in the occasional glass of wine, beer, or single malt. He reportedly stays away from junk food altogether and eats nutritious snacks to curb cravings. Balance is the operative word here, and it might help explain the sort of zen-like aura Reeves exudes no matter what the situation.
When training for a film like “John Wick 3,” the actor once again sticks with simplicity, employing diet methods that he first picked up during “The Matrix.” According to Reeves, he eats low sodium and low-fat foods, and on the night before a big fight sequence, he’ll order (or cook) a juicy steak with “a little fat on it.” To ask Reeves, the ritual is “totally psychological,” though surely the extra dose of protein doesn’t hurt.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Rice – This ubiquitous starch is one way to fill up on carbs without going overboard. We don’t know if Reeves gets down with the brown (rice), but you should.
- Chicken – We’ve said it before and we’ll say again: chicken is a lean, mean protein, and an essential part of any (non-vegetarian) healthy diet.
- Vegetables – If your mum didn’t tell you when you were growing up, we’ll tell you now: eat your vegetables.
- Pasta – Is regular pasta good for you? Not really. But it’s not necessarily bad for you either. Moderation is key.
- Steak – Reeves prefers a New York cut, and who are we to argue with that?
Keanu Reeves John Wick 3 Tactical Training
Diet and exercise aren’t enough if you want to emulate the world’s greatest fictional assassin, and Keanu Reeves is not one to do things by halves. Working under shooting instructor and tactical expert Taran Butler of gun school Taran Tactical, the John Wick 3 star became an expert in munitions and firearms, graduating to some seriously pro-levels with a multitude of weapons, as demonstrated by the above video.
Keanu Reeves John Wick 3 Workout
It pretty much goes without saying that Keanu Reeves is no stranger to martial arts. After all, his one directing credit is “Man of Tai Chi,” in which he also starred. His “John Wick” workout is, therefore, a continuation of the skills and methods he’s been honing for the past two decades, but with the dial cranked all the way up.
On that front, he started training for the role approximately 4-5 months before shooting began, hitting the mats for about 4-5 hours per day, every day. Consciously training the way a stuntman would (for obvious reasons), Reeves practised jujutsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, and tactical shooting. The proof is in the pudding, as anyone who’s seen “John Wick 3” can attest.
Again, this was all par for the course for Reeves, who’s previously trained with mixed martial arts phenoms the Machado Brothers and professional stunt doubles alike. In fact, the “John Wick” franchise is directed by the actor’s own former stunt double, Chad Stahelski. As a result, the John Wick workout is like prepping for a career as a stuntman and for a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament at the same time, plus loads of tactical shooting training.
In addition to all the mixed martial arts and shooting training, the Keanu Reeves “John Wick 3” workout consisted of joint stability and tightness exercises. Under the guidance of personal trainer Patrick Murphy, Reeves focused on injury prevention over bulk, though surely he gained some extra muscle in the process. Between the actor’s age and the slate of stunt work, it makes sense that the program emphasised strength and safety in equal measure, even if it still put Reeves “through the wringer,” according to Murphy.
In lieu of traditional weights, Murphy employed resistance bands, which go easier on the joints and deliver negative resistance. The personal trainer also had Reeves performing unilateral movements through exercises such as ice skaters and single-leg pistol squats.
Last, but not least, Murphy implemented a circuit workout. This involves performing 20 reps of each exercise in a consecutive circuit, taking very little rest between each move, and then resting for two minutes upon the completion of each round. You should perform six rounds in total to complete the circuit. Here are the specific exercises Reeves performed:
- Reverse Lunge Front DB Raise – Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length to either side. Keeping your chest tall and shoulders back, put one foot back and lower both knees into a lunge position. Simultaneously, raise the weights in front of you to shoulder height, all while keeping your arms straight. Next, press through your front heel and return to the starting position. Switch sides and do it all again. That’s one rep.
- BOSU Lunge Shoulder Press – You’ll need light dumbbells and a BOSU Balance Trainer, the latter of which should be placed behind you. Start in a lunge position with your right leg extended behind you, with the toes and ball of your foot in the middle of a BOSU. Holding the dumbbells at your sides, slowly lower down until your right knee is hovering just about the ground. Do this five times before switching sides.
- Reverse-Step Resistance Band Row – Step back with one foot or lower one knee as you pull on the resistance band. Step forward and pull on the band at the same time. Repeat.
- Squat with TRX Shoulder Iso-Hold – Secure a TRX suspension trainer to an overhead bar. Hold onto the TRX strap as you get into the squat position, pausing at the bottom. Stand and repeat.
- Stability Ball Dynamic Plank – Get into the kneeling position with a stability ball in front of you. Keeping your arms and spine straight, put your hands on the ball and roll forward, retaining the plank position for a few seconds (or more). Now roll back. You’ve just done one rep.
- Banded Lateral Walk Pallof Press – Secure a resistance band to a bar at shoulder length. Holding the band to one side, take short sideways steps away from the band, which tightens as you go. When you get to the end, take short sideways steps back toward the bar.