When you think of superhero bodies, you think of Batman clad in his metalic frames or the hulk that looks more comic book-like than human. But Hugh Jackman’s character of Wolverine in the X-Men series is quite a different story altogether. His fitness regime has captured the imagination of men all over the world because his body, chiseled and muscular as it is, is quite achievable albeit with a lot of hard work and mental strength. Read on for tips on how you can get a body like Wolverine too!
In the words of Hugh Jackman's trainer Michael Ryan: “The routine was intense but it was for 1.5 hours for six days a week. It wasn't a complicated regime at all and something anyone can do. It was based on four or five lifting sessions and a cardiovascular session.
The key to our success with his body was variation. A lot of guys head for the gym day-in day-out and do the same thing every time and then wonder why their body stays the same. Make a point of working different muscles, building on the weight you can lift and getting your heart beating with a mix of running, swimming or cross-training.”
How to do these workouts:
- Warm up first with ten minutes of cardio and light bodyweight movements.
- Do the pairs of exercises as supersets, performing one set of the first exercise, then moving immediately on to a set of the second exercise.
- Rest for the stated time before repeating.
- Choose a weight that you can manage with perfect form, but which leads to muscular failure by the end of the final set.
- Take one second to lift the weight, pause for another second, then take two to three seconds to lower again.
In order to get into shape for the role of Wolverine, Hugh Jackman’s workout routine comprised of alternating between Tempo phase and Strength Training phase.
Gaining Muscle Phase: Hugh Jackman's trainer changed the tempo that Hugh had been lifting to force the muscles to adapt to force the muscles to grow. He had Hugh lift the weight for 3 seconds up and one second down. At first this limited the amount of weight he could lift, but as he adapted it help him put on a lot of lean mass.
Strength Training Phase: This phase was all about lifting as heavy as possible with no rules on tempo. He just wanted to see how heavy he could lift. The great thing about the previous phase is that it made these weights seem lighter. Hugh was actually benching 315 for reps before filming began!
He alternated between these two phases for 5 months and each phase lasted 6 weeks.
According to Hugh Jackman it is all about mental strength. In an interview with Men’s Health magazine he said : ‘When I have 315 pounds above me, there’s that little breaking point,” he says. “You either get really pissed off at that weight, or you ask for help from your spotter. It’s that exact point — and every guy reading this article will recognize it — when Wolverine gets not just pissed off, but insanely pissed off. I try to reach that point every day in my workout. And then push through it.’
According to Hugh, yoga, stretching, pilates and running is necessary to avoid an obstructive muscle mass that can hinder free movement.
Image courtesy Reuters
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