Read about the diet and training of Hugh Jackman...
The Wolverine - Hugh Jackman and the vital role of diet and training
Hugh Jackman encountered a few problems this time when it came to once again portraying comic book icon Wolverine. Firstly, Wolverine is only 5ft3 in the comic books whereas Hugh stands an entire foot higher. For this reason he needed to put on much more muscle in order to look as stocky and squat as the character. Being 44 years old Hugh also found it took longer to get into shape for the film, but his trainers knew that a better look wasn't just dependent on muscle size, camera work and lighting can help a lot in that regard. Rather, it would be how ripped Hugh could get that would make the most difference on screen. In just twelve weeks, Hugh managed to gain a whopping 11.3 kg of lean muscle, here's what happened and how he did it with his diet and training. Supplements like fat strippers could also have been used to help.
Prior to doing The Wolverine, Jackman had been filming Les Misérables, playing Jean Valjean, a role that required him to appear scrawny and starving at one point, then healthy and robust within a few weeks. For the scene that required a starved appearance, Hugh fasted by skipping meals and also foregoing water altogether, though still continuing a strict workout regimen. These extreme methods allowed Jackman to cut a further ten pounds before doing the scene. From this point, roughly halfway through principal photography for Les Misérables, Hugh began building his body back up for The Wolverine.
Taking Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's advice, Jackman began a bulk that required 6000 calories (1000 more than his usual) in six meals a day as well as 3 hours of training too. This would allow Hugh to stack on 25 pounds of lean muscle before becoming The Wolverine once again. He primarily took his intake of protein from natural and unprocessed sources wherever possible, eating eggs, fish, beef and sometimes up to 7 chicken breasts in a single day! When there were time constraints or other issues Hugh would have a protein shake instead, also using BCAAs before and after each workout to facilitate faster recovery. At night during this bulk phase Hugh would have cottage cheese, he would sometimes even keep a protein shake on his bedside table to have if he woke up before going back to sleep!
Hugh added vegetables such as broccoli and spinach to most dishes, with bulking meals he would often include either sweet potatoes/yams or brown rice as a healthy source of carbohydrates and have oatmeal in the morning for breakfast. Jackman's carbohydrates were generally cycled throughout, on weight training days his first three meals would have lots of carbs in them, but the last three would only include healthy fats such as peanut butter, olives and avocados. Hugh was forbidden to have carbohydrates after 3pm and faced other dietary restrictions such as no fruit, no alcohol and no salt. On saturdays and sundays when he wasn't lifting weights, Hugh would just forego the carbs altogether and have healthy fats and vegetables instead.
Hugh's cutting diet took place in the last month of his preparation for the movie, and he chose to follow the eating framework of David Zinczenko's popular intermittent fasting '8 Hour Diet.' This framework meant that Hugh had to eat 5000 calories within the 8 hours from 10am to 6pm, fasting the rest of the time. This new approach meant Hugh didn't put on any extra fat and he slept much better. He tweaked his meals during this last month, taking out carbohydrates and replacing them with steamed vegetables. For shirtless scenes during the filming of The Wolverine, Hugh would also undergo a major dehydration diet, drinking 2 gallons of water per day for a week, then cutting all liquids for 24 hours. This special diet allowed Hugh to lose 10 pounds of water weight for these particular scenes.
When it came to workouts, Hugh was training every morning. He would have a coffee pre-workout and then breakfast once his first workout was finished. The mornings were often started very early, if he had to shoot at 6am then he was up at 3 and in the gym for 4. Usually his workouts would take up 3 hours of his day, with 1 to 2 of them occurring during the morning, then an extra hour squeezed in on set. Jackman's warmup was usually gentle cardio for ten minutes then practicing exercises with an unloaded barbell to get the bloodflow going. Weightlifting would focus on basic lifts like bench press, squats, leg presses and deadlifts. To switch these exercises up the angles, weight, rest time and angles would be tweaked. A different muscle group was also trained each day.
Throughout the training for the movie, Hugh's personal trainer aimed to 'progressively overload' his muscles, increasing the weights by five percent every four weeks, adjusting the rep ranges accordingly. Sometimes for extra intensity, Jackman would do supersets, finishing a compound move and heading straight into an isolation exercise until he couldn't do another rep. Special focus was given to his legs when training in order to even out the physique, as a byproduct Hugh ended up being able to leg press 280kg and squat 100kg. Cardiovascular exercise was always either interval based or a fast paced walk for steady state cardio. On saturdays Jackman had to do just a one hour interval session with a heavy gym sled but on sundays he had a full day of rest.
As you can see that it took a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve the look that Jackman and the producers wanted, sometimes the methods used where slightly extreme but all massively achievable to anybody. Diet is a key factor but you also need to train smart and train effectively. Implementing different methods and techniques can shock your body in to change and bring about the desired results that you crave the most. If Hugh Jackman has the ability to bring about a change to his physique in such short time it is a great advertisement as to what hard work, dedication and persistence can do.
By Bodybuilding Warehouse