You are here

Train Like Hugh Jackman

To be a leading man, you need to bulk up for action roles and lean down for comedies and dramas. Here’s how Hugh does both.

When Jackman needs to transform into an adamantium-clawed mutant, trainer Don Smith alternates between four weeks of heavy training and a few weeks of higher-volume workouts so Jackman can maximize size gains. The heavy-lifting phase is done with low reps and long rest periods to train his body to recruit a maximal amount of muscle fibers. This in turn improves his performance during the volume phase, when he’ll use higher-rep sets and rest less time in between them. He changes exercises slightly between phases—an incline press may go to a flat press, for example. TRAINING FOR STRENGTH Reps: 2–6 Sets: 4–6 Rest: 3–5 min. TRAINING FOR SIZE Reps: 8–12 Sets: 3–5 Rest: 1 min. A sample chest workout:

  • Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
  • Flat Dumbbell Chest Press
  • Seated Machine Press
  • Decline Dumbbell Chest Press

When Jackman needs to lean out (to be more the Hollywood heartthrob), he’ll superset two exercises for the same muscle group and train his whole body in one intense session designed to burn even more calories during his workouts. He adds high-intensity interval training to speed up his fat loss. TRAINING FOR FAT LOSS Reps: 8–12 Sets: 2–4 Rest: 1 min. An example of a full-body strength and endurance workout:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press: superset with Alternating Swiss Ball Dumbbell Chest Press
  • Standing Cable Row superset with One Arm Dumbbell Bench Row
  • Seated Shoulder Press superset with Alternating Standing Shoulder Press
  • Barbell Squat superset with Walking Lunge

Intervals: Warm up at 75% maximum heart rate for 5 minutes, increase to 90% for 1 minute, lower to 85% for 3 minutes, then 75% for 2 minutes. Repeat for 60 minutes.


Want more Men's Fitness?

Sign Up for our newsletters now.

You might also like