Even if you are not a fan of superhero movies, you probably know about Hugh Jackman’s amazing transformation from a lean and handsome actor to a ripped and ferocious Logan. He became a beast to play Logan or Wolverine who is more than a 100-year-old, trained in Samurai arts and knows 7 languages.
It isn’t one of the easiest roles to play as you have to ensure that you live up to fans’ expectations.
Wolverine is not new to superhero and comic book fans. He has been around for years as an important member of X-Men, mutant superheroes with uncanny powers fighting a battle against human bias as well as their own brethren who have gone berserk. Wolverine is known as a non-nonsense fight machine who has retreating claws made of adamantium, one of the strongest metals on earth, which can cut through any substance and rip humans to pieces.
Between 2011 and 2013, Hugh Jackman completely transformed his body to play Wolverine. He attained this at an age where most men have crossed their body building prime. Therefore, Hugh Jackman has become an inspiration for many men who want to get shredded and look like a superhero. If you are one of them, this post is for you.
Two facets of getting a Hugh Jackman body
The two aspects of getting a ripped body are- nutrition and workout.
You need to change your diet and lifestyle completely to get a body like Hugh Jackman. The diet should specially be very restricted only to healthy food. You will be better off including oat meals, eggs, steaks, broccoli and sweet potatoes in your meals. Additionally, you should be including chicken, spinach, brown rice, avocado and fish in your diet.
The meals should not be too fancy. You should try to keep your meals as low key as possible. Use sautéed vegetables, grilled fish and salads in your diet. Do not opt for an extremely calorie restricted diet. It will not give you good results. You will be lifting many weights during your exercise. Hence, you should not restrict your diet at all.
One of the most important aspects of Jackman’s diet is intermittent fasting. He follows the 16:8 method of intermitted fasting. This means that he can eat only during an 8-hour window during the day. For the rest of 16 hours, he is fasting. He eats only between 10 am and 6 pm every day. This helps him in staying focused, getting a better workout and getting increased strength as well.
This is not all, intermittent fasting helps in increasing growth hormone as well. Jackman has been playing Wolverine for over a decade and he is 44 years old right now. This means that he started preparing for this role in this early 30s. This is a time when the body starts to produce lesser growth hormone and making gains becomes extremely difficult.
However, to build an impressive physique like this at a mature age like this, Jackman focused on intermittent fasting. It helps in raising the levels of growth hormones and gives you better growth than any other kinds of diets available on the market.
In order to make the most gains, Jackman usually trained in early morning hours. At this time, his body has been in a fasting stage for about 10 to 12 hours, which helps him in burning more fat than usual. This also helps him in bulking up and making more muscle as well.
The diet he consumed wasn’t a small by any means. In fact, he could have consumed anywhere between 4,000 to 5,000 calories per day. This included 50% protein, 30% fat and 20% carbohydrates. However, for an average male, the requirement could be lesser than that. This also depends on your body’s current structure, your height, weight and weight distribution.
Working out for a body like Wolverine
You need to follow the classic overload style of bodybuilding, getting a ripped physique and moving over one plateau after the other. Jackman was trained by David Kingsbury who helped him build a great physique through strength training exercises. These include lifting weights through deadlifts (with straps), squatting and bench press. The idea is to start doing strength training with only a limited percentage of your maximum weight lifting ability and start moving higher as time progresses.
You have to start extra light with the weights. As the weight starts increasing, the number of reps start decreasing. This way, you don’t reach overbearing plateaus and continue to look fabulous and train well. This helps in improving your gains as well. The rest of the results are achieved through circuits and supersets that help in burning fat and keeping your muscles at maximum productivity. This helps in getting a more pumped up physique, exactly what Wolverine wants.
The reason behind this old-school workout could be the timeline of the X-men movies. Wolverine is more than 100 years old and he obviously would not hit the gym and pump iron like people do nowadays. Obviously, his workout routine has to be very old-fashioned as well. There will be no modern workouts involved when you are looking for a body like Wolverine. It is developed with the help of old-school workout methods.
Jackman himself suggests that simply bulking up doesn’t make sense. He says that you have need to have a body that is functional, not just a body that looks huge.
The Wolverine Physique was Achieved Without Machines
As hard as it may look to grasp, Hugh Jackman suggests that he doesn’t go for bigger arms like other guys in the gym. His body transformation proves that he has worked more with free weights and own body weight rather than with machines.
Make linear progress
The secret of getting a jacked body like Wolverine lies in linear progress. You will have to work with multiple weight sets and vary them week by week. The most important workouts will include deadlifts, weighted pull-ups, squats and bench press.
In order to do this, you first have to estimate how much weight you lift comfortably. You don’t have to try and lift the highest weight. Simply focus on what your strength allows. Now, take 5% off this weight. Let’s assume that you can lift 50 kilograms at a time. 5% of 50 kg will be 2.5 kg. The adjusted maximum weight that you should be lifting should be around 47.5 kg. We want to leave at least a 5% margin so that you do not get injured. The idea is to focus on repeated exercises, not on how light a weight feels.
Here is how to use these weights to get your perfect physique.
In the first week, do 4 sets of varying weights.
- Set 1 should be done with 60% of maximum weight. Complete 5 reps.
- Set 2 should be done with 65% of maximum weight. Complete 5 reps.
- Set 3 should be done with 75% of maximum weight. Complete 5 reps.
- Set 4 should be done with 75% of maximum weight. Complete 5 reps.
- Set 1 should be done with 65% of maximum weight. Complete 4 reps.
- Set 2 should be done with 75% of maximum weight. Complete 4 reps.
- Set 3 should be done with 85% of maximum weight. Complete 4 reps.
- Set 4 should be done with 85% of maximum weight. Complete 4 reps.
- Set 1 should be done with 70% of maximum weight. Complete 3 reps.
- Set 2 should be done with 80% of maximum weight. Complete 3 reps.
- Set 3 should be done with 90% of maximum weight. Complete 3 reps.
- Set 4 should be done with 90% of maximum weight. Complete 3 reps.
- Set 1 should be done with 40% of maximum weight. Complete 10 reps.
- Set 2 should be done with 50% of maximum weight. Complete 10 reps.
- Set 3 should be done with 60% of maximum weight. Complete 10 reps.
- Set 4 should be done with 60% of maximum weight. Complete 10 reps.
This schedule is for your mail lifts like deadlifts, barbell bench press, weighted pull-up and squats. If you feel the weights are too comfortable for you, add no more than 5 to 10% of the weight and no more than 1 extra rep into this 4-week schedule. Ideally, you should be able to see gains in this schedule only.
When you create your next 4-week schedule, add a minimum of 5% to the weight lifted in each set and add 1 extra rep in the training. This will help you stay on schedule and gain in a much more sustainable way. After a few weeks, you may also decide to recalculate your maximum weight lifted comfortably in one rep and design a similar schedule with the same percentage, but of a higher weight.
Getting a physique like Wolverine is not easy. It is not necessary that you will start looking exactly like Jackman. However, depending on your own body type, you will get a ripped yet functional physique that you will love for sure.