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Celebrity Transformation: The Workouts That Got J.K. Simmons Jacked

Two routines, straight from the actor's trainer, to help you trim fat, bulk up, and hone a leaner physique.

In case you're not privy on all things pop culture, J.K. Simmons seriously, seriously underwent a shred in order to play Commissioner Gordon in Justice League (in theaters November 17, 2017) that could rival most of his costars. Check out more photos of Simmons here.


Aside from a tremendous amount of dedication to his regimen, Simmons credits part of his success to his trainer Aaron Williamson. An ex-Marine, Williamson's been providing elite-level training—morphing Hollywood A-listers into bona fide muscleheads like he's cranking out action figures on an assembly line—to the likes of Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Jamie Foxx, and Jai Courtney. He first got his hands on Simmons in 2015 to help him shape up for Terminator Genisys.

At first, Simmons wanted to escape the doldrums of the film's set, which was based in Louisiana, but after shooting wrapped Simmons felt he was ready for a full-body change.

"He wanted to get into the best shape he had ever been in," Williamson says, adding, "J.K.'s goal was to adopt a healthy lifestyle and never have to worry again about health issues." 

Try your hand at two sample workouts Williamson created for Simmons (below). Don't underestimate their intensity. While Simmons is 61-years-old, he's operating like a madman—a madman that can maybe even outlift you.

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Directions: Perform recommended number of reps and sets for each exercise (note: superset exercises are meant to be done back-to-back with little to no rest), taking 45 seconds rest between sets. This routine works chest/back/abs.

Warmup: Hop on the elliptical for 10 minutes at 140 BPM. Add some dynamic stretches, too.

1. Flat Dumbbell Press (superset with) Flat Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press
4 x 10 reps each exercise
2. Machine Chest Press (superset with) Cable Crossovers
4 x 10-12 reps each exercise with 2-second isometric hold on both
3. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns (superset with) Hammer Grip Pulldowns
4 x 10-12 reps each exercise with 2-second isometric hold
4. Hammer Strength Row
4 x 10-12 reps with 2-second isometric hold and 4-second negative (slow down the lowering phase)  
5. Supermans 
4 x 10 reps

6. Ab Finisher
- Crunches
4 x 15 reps
- Hanging Leg Raises
3 x 20 reps each side
- Abdominal Machine Crunch 
3 x 12-15 reps 
- Lying Side Oblique Crunches 
5 reps on each side

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Directions: Perform recommended number of reps and sets for each exercise (note: superset exercises are meant to be done back-to-back with little to no rest), taking 45 seconds rest between sets. This routine works arms/abs.  

Warmup: Hop on the elliptical for 10 minutes at 140 BPM. Add some dynamic stretches, too.

1. Standing Dumbbell Curls with Arm Blaster  
4 x 12-15 reps (Note: On the last set, “run the rack.” Grab dumbbells that are 5 pounds lighter than what you used for your first 3 sets of curls. Complete as many reps as possible, then move down in weight by another 5 pounds and complete AMRAP again, taking no rest in between. Keep going down the rack until you run out of weights.
2. Standing Cable Curls (superset with) 1-Arm High-Cable Curls
3 x 15 reps each exercise
3. Dumbbell Hammer Curls
3 x 15 reps
4. Rope Cable Tricep Pressdowns (superset with) Overhead Rope Tricep Extensions
4 x 12-15 reps each exercise (Note: On the last set of each exercise, complete a triple drop set. Start with your regular weight, stopping one rep short of failure. Next, decrease the weight by 20% and complete another set that’s one rep short of failure. Then, decrease the weight by an additional 20% and complete the final set to failure, maintaining good form.)
5. Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks (superset with) Bodyweight Bench Dips 
4 x 10-12 reps for triceps kickbacks; perform bench dips to failure
6. Ab Finisher
Directions: Complete 30 seconds of each exercise to perform 1 round of the circuit. Take 30 seconds rest between rounds. Perform 4 circuits. 

- Forearm plank
- Plank pushup 
- Plank jacks 
- Side planks with twist (the extended arm drives through the hole between your anchored arm and torso) 

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