Hugh Jackman's Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: June 20, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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I’ve been a huge fan of Hugh Jackman ever since he starred in the Wolverine movies. What has impressed me the most is how he has been able to maintain all that muscle mass.

Many people don’t understand that it is hard to keep muscles as it is to get them in the first place.

Fortunately, Hugh has shared a lot of information in interviews and social media about his weight training and diet plan.

We have gathered solid information that might be helpful for you. Read along.

Hugh Jackman’s Body Transformation

Hugh Jackman’s trainer David Kingsbury was the biggest influence in transforming him to become a badass superhero.

For months at a time, he would go through grueling workouts to maximize muscle building and reduce his body fat to an absolute minimum.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman)

Most people that haven’t tried that with a big enough bulking goal have no idea how difficult it can be.

Of course, having a movie studio pay for a professional trainer and dietitian and then getting paid to go to the gym helps a lot.

But don’t make the mistake of believing this makes the work any easier.

You May Also Like: Hugh Jackman Workout PDF

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What Is Hugh’s Workout Approach?

We found that Hugh's workout approach focused on exercises that would help him pack more muscle.

One advantage for Jackman before The Wolverine was that he was already in good shape with a high fitness level. He was very lean for Les Misérables, but he was missing the bulk he needed for an entirely different character.

The first thing that Jackman changed was going from lifting in the 8 - 12 rep range to a maximum of 5. 

That meant the weights increased, and the burn set in an awful lot earlier. As a personal trainer, I know this is where most beginners go wrong.

Here's what we think Jackman's workout plan looked like.

Other Celebrity Physiques:

Hugh Jackman’s Workout Routine

Hugh working out

So, the first thing we highlight is that Hugh Jackman takes the approach of a declining number of reps with increasing weight. Ultimately, this pushes his muscles to failure, which has a significant impact on muscle building.

One of the things I recommend to my clients is not to go above 10 reps when working on weights.

Monday - Back

  • Lat pulldowns (3 sets of 10-8-5 reps)
  • Dumbbell Rows (3 sets of 10-8-5 reps)
  • Upright Cable Rows (3 sets of 10-8-5 reps)
  • Wide-grip Weighted Pull-Ups (3 sets of 25)
  • Wide Push-Ups (3 sets of 25)

Tuesday - Chest

Chest Flys
  • Bench press (4 sets of 10-8-5-1)
  • Crossovers (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Chest press (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Incline dumbbell press (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Chest flys (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Dips (3 sets of 10)

Wednesday - Arms

Hammer Curls
  • Biceps curls (4 sets of 10-8-5-1)
  • Close-grip bench press (4 sets of 10-8-5-1)
  • Preacher curls (4 sets of 10-8-5-1)
  • Triceps kickbacks (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Hammer curls (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Triceps pushdowns (3 sets of 10-8-5)

Thursday - Shoulders

Arnold Press
  • Military press (4 sets of 10-8-5-1)
  • Shrugs (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Arnold press (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Reverse-grip pull-up (3 sets of 25)
  • Shoulder flys (3 sets of 10-8-5)

Friday - Legs

Calf Raises
  • Squats (4 sets of 10-8-5-1)
  • Leg curls (4 sets of 10-8-5-1)
  • Calf raises (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Lunges (3 sets of 10-8-5)
  • Deadlifts (3 sets of 10-8-5)

Saturday/Sunday - Rest Days

Some light cardio might be a good option, especially if you have some fat to lose, but this should be mainly geared towards recovery.

Going for a few walks per day or doing some targeted stretching can also help with circulation and faster muscle recovery.

Hugh Jackman’s Diet

nutrition

We noticed that Jackman mentioned a few times that he often limits his eating window to just 8 hours every day.

The goal is for the extended fasting times (16 hours) and carb cycling to help him reduce fat while still eating a high-calorie diet to support his muscle growth.

That means he had to cram a lot of food into those 8 hours a day.

Here’s what the Wolverine diet would look like broken down into 4 meals.

Meal 1

  • Large bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit
  • 6 egg omelet (gotta get in those amino acids early)

Meal 2

  • 12 oz steak
  • Large portion of sweet potato
  • Large portion of veg mainly broccoli

Meal 3

  • 3 to 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • Mixed leafy greens including kale and spinach

Meal 4

  • 16 ounces of fish (boost those omega 3 fatty acids)
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 1 avocado (more healthy fats)
  • Mixed veggies

His Diet Principles

Hugh Jackman's diet principles, particularly for his role as Wolverine, focused on the following key aspects:

  1. High protein intake: Emphasizing lean proteins like chicken, fish, and eggs to support muscle growth and repair.
  2. Controlled carbohydrate consumption: Including complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and brown rice, particularly around workouts for energy, while being mindful of carb intake at other times.
  3. Frequent meals: Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to maintain energy levels and support metabolism.
  4. Hydration: Prioritizing adequate water intake to stay hydrated, crucial for overall health and optimal physical performance.
  5. Balanced diet with vegetables: Incorporating a variety of vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals, ensuring a well-rounded and nutrient-rich diet.

Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Supplements

Supplements

Hugh Jackman almost certainly relied on these supplements to see the gains he achieved.

1) Pre-Workout

To avoid premature fatigue and to make those last reps count, Jackman would rely on some energy boosters to increase his endurance.

2) BCAAs

We checked with a nutritionist, and she recommended that a training routine like the above would require about 8 grams of BCAAs, which, according to the National Intitute of Health, speeds up the recovery phase [1].

3) Creatine

This is another supplement that Jackman’s trainer has spoken a lot about to specifically support the bulking phase of training.

4) Mass Gainer

This is a bit of a guess, but considering the kind of calorie intake required and the short 8-hour window for eating, it’s not unlikely that Jackman kept a few mass gaining products at home.

FAQs

How Many Hours a Day Did Hugh Jackman Workout?

Hugh Jackman typically worked out for up to two-and-a-half hours a day when preparing for his role as Wolverine, focusing on intense strength training, cardio, and specific exercises to achieve the desired physique and endurance for the character.

How Did Hugh Jackman Get So Muscular?

Hugh Jackman achieved his muscular physique for his role as Wolverine through a rigorous workout regimen focusing on heavy lifting, compound exercises, and high-intensity interval training, paired with a protein-rich diet to support muscle growth and recovery.

Does Hugh Jackman Do Cardio?

Yes, Hugh Jackman incorporates cardio into his fitness routine, often including high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and running, to maintain cardiovascular health and complement his strength training for roles like Wolverine in the X-Men series.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6212987/
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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