What He Did: The actor’s physique has been in constant flux since playing Wolverine the first time in 2000’s X-Men. For his latest outing as the character in this summer’s The Wolverine, Jackman bulked up to 215 pounds—his biggest version yet.
Why He Did It: The Wolverine director James Mangold wanted Jackman to be ultra-massive, both to offset his lanky, 6’2” frame, and serve notice that the character was back—bigger and badder than ever.
What He Ate: Jackman crammed in 6,000 calories per day, cycling his carbs. On training days he’d eat more starches to support his workouts, and on off days, he’d eat fewer to allow his body to burn fat more freely. Jackman also jacked up his intake of healthy fats such as avocadoes and nuts so as not to drop his calories too low on days he cut back on carbs. These nutrient-dense choices minimized the risk of gaining body fat and kept his energy steady.
His Workout: The key to looking like you have super-human strength is, in fact, getting super strong. Jackman did just that, with a regimen that had him deadlifting more than 500 pounds for reps . Below is an example of his lower-body day.
Deadlift (4 sets of 5, 4, 3, and 10 reps)
Romanian Deadlift (4 sets of 10 reps)
Zercher Squat (4 sets of 12 reps)
Weighted Incline Situp (4 sets of 10 reps)
Barbell Landmine (4 sets of 20 reps)
Plus: Ironically, Jackman used to work in a gym before he got famous but never touched a weight.
Jackman says: “I landed the coolest comic book character there is. He’s badass, way cooler than me, and as an actor, his complexities, his tortured soul, make him endlessly interesting.”