Jake Gyllenhaal Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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As a trainer, I meet many new clients whose fitness goals include looking like one of Hollywood’s well-built celebrities.

Some of them recently came to me inspired by Jake Gyllenhaal’s role as boxer Billy Hope after watching  “Southpaw”. Naturally, they asked me to provide them with a workout program that would help them look like him.

So, I spent a couple of weeks researching Gyllenhaal’s training, watching some of his interviews, and studying his weight gain and physique.

So after a few talks with some of my colleagues and a dietitian, I’ve compiled my findings on Jake Gyllenhaal’s Southpaw workout in this article.

His Stats

  • D.O.B: December 19, 1980 (43 years old)
  • Height: 6'0" (1.83 m)
  • Weight: 170 lbs (77 kgs)
  • Chest: 44 inches (112 cm)
  • Waist: 33 inches (84 cm)
  • Biceps: 16 inches (40.6 cm)

Jake Gyllenhaal Southpaw Workout Routine

Working out inside home

When preparing for Southpaw, Jake Gyllenhaal put himself through a hell of a workout. He came out of the film Nightcrawler for which he dropped 30 pounds, so he began his workout from skin and bones.

Let’s take a look at his rigorous workout schedule.

Jake Gyllenhaal Workout Schedule

  • Rise 1,000 sit-ups
  • Eight mile run
  • 15 minutes of intense jump rope training
  • Breakfast (mostly carbs)
  • One to two hours of boxing and sparring
  • One hour core workout
  • Protein meal
  • One to two hour cardio session
  • One hour lifting weights
  • Another 1,000 sit-ups
  • Bedtime

Jake Gyllenhaal Southpaw Workout

Jake Gyllenhaal’s “Southpaw” workout consists of boxing, core, and weights. Let’s dive right into them.

Boxing Workout

  • Jump rope
  • Shadow boxing
  • Bag work
  • Speedball
  • Focus pads
  • Foot drills
  • Sparring
  • Tire flipping 250-lb tractor tire 20x
  • Pounding a 250-lb tractor tire with a sledgehammer, three minutes at a time

Gyllenhaal was said to have struggled with his footwork, so his boxing workout didn’t have a set regiment. Some exercises done for minutes a day took hours on other days.

Core Workout Routine

Based on my first-hand experience, a core workout routine like Gyllenhaal’s, involving multiple rounds and short rest periods, is highly effective. I've implemented similar routines with our clients, seeing significant improvements in core strength.

  • Pull-ups: 1 set of 10 reps
  • Arm walk-outs: 1 set of 10 reps
  • Bicycle crunches: 1 set of 20 reps
  • One arm/leg plank: 1 set, 10 reps
  • Dips: 1 set, 10 reps
  • Push-ups: 1 set, 10 reps
  • Stiff-leg deadlifts: 1 set, 10 reps


"The deadlift also serves as a way to train the mind to do things that are hard."

- Mark Rippetoe, American Strength Training Coach & Author

Weight Lifting Workout

After putting it to the test, I've found that a weight lifting workout comprising multiple exercises in rounds, as Gyllenhaal did, is excellent for overall strength.

  • Dips: 1 set, 8–12 reps
  • Crunches: 1 set, 25 reps
  • Pull-Ups: 1 set, 8–12 reps
  • Barbell Squats: 1 set, 8–12 reps
  • Barbell Deadlift: 1 set, 8–12 reps
  • DB Shoulder Press: 1 set, 8–12 reps
  • Walking Lunge: 1 set, 8–12 reps
  • Dumbbell Shrugs: 1 set, 8–12 reps
  • Bench Press: 1 set, 8–12 reps

What’s Jake Gyllenhaal’s Diet and Nutrition Plan?

Raw eggs and healthy foods

Jake Gyllenhaal’s diet and nutrition plan consisted of six or seven meals a day, every three hours.

His diet required that he loaded up with carbs in the morning, giving him the necessary fuel to push through his morning workouts.

He then shifted to a high protein diet in the afternoon and evening to recover and rebuild his muscles.

Gyllenhaal’s diet for “Southpaw” consisted of the following foods:

  • Eggs: Gyllenhaal ate a ton of these throughout the day.
  • Lean Meat: chicken breasts huge salad, a staple for everyone looking to build muscle; and fish, low in calories, high in protein, and easily digestible.
  • Fruit: Goji berries, apples, raisins, and bananas.
  • Almonds: Every serving of almonds contains 6 g of protein and 4 g of fiber.
  • Raw Cacao Beans: This bitter superfood is loaded with antioxidants and flavanols.
  • Rye Bread: Gyllenhaal preferred freshly baked rye bread.
  • Pasta: The extra carbs from this gave him the energy for his intense workouts.
  • Couscous: Fat and sugar-free carb source.
  • Sweet Potatoes: They're chalked with vitamin B6 and C, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Vegetables: Gyllenhaal ate raw vegetables when training for Southpaw.

For salads, Gyllenhaal would have avocados, tomatoes, broccoli, and other dark-green leaves.

He avoided fried foods, and everything was as natural as possible.

He would also drink plenty of water throughout the day.

“My look really came from training in the ring and my diet. Nutritionally, it was eating 6–7 meals a day, eating every 3 hours or so. Often, it was to add fuel for my next session or get my energy back up from the previous one.”

- Jake Gyllenhaal, American Actor

What Supplements Did He Take?

Supplements spilled from a bottle container

Gyllenhaal took supplements like vitamins and protein powders. As I’ve gathered in my research, he took the following:

  • Vitamin D3: According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this nutrient is important for muscle and strength building because it increases muscle protein synthesis, ATP concentration, physical performance, strength, and exercise capacity [1].
  • Vitamin C: Based on insights from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this may boost exercise performance by reducing inflammation, stress hormones, and oxidative stress [2].
  • Whey Protein Supplements: A 2018 analysis of 49 studies published by the BMJ Journal confirmed that consuming protein shakes can significantly improve muscle size and strength in healthy adults who lift weights [3].

Read More:

Workout and Diet Principles

A boxer training on a punching bag

After going through many of his interviews and social media posts, I’ve figured out some of the workout and daily diet principles he adhered to.

Core workouts were a key component of Gyllenhaal’s training. Most sports require you to have an excellent core.

Gyllenhall focused on boxing workouts and compound movements that engaged his core so that he could carry that into the ring for Southpaw.

Before the film's release, it was revealed that Gyllenhaal trained hard like a real fighter. He worked with various boxing coaches (sometimes on Sundays) to study the ring and his moves.

Gyllenhaal would start his day with 1,000 sit-ups, training his mind to work hard throughout the day.

Gyllenhaal ensured that he loaded himself with quality carbs so he could burn body fat through his workouts with ease.

His six meals a day would give his muscles and body enough nutrition to recover and rebuild.

Is It Possible To Get His Body Naturally?

Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw

Yes, it’s possible to get Gyllenhaal’s body if you put in months of hard work and dedication.

In addition to doing a lot of core exercises, you also have to eat big and healthy to give your muscles what they need to grow bigger and stronger.

Sometimes, this can be a challenge for hard gainers and folks with a genetic disposition to slow muscle mass growth.

In such cases, I advise my clients to consider including natural legal steroids in their regimen.

Legal steroids might be a great option for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they’re made with all-natural ingredients combined to boost testosterone, muscle mass growth, strength, and mood.

Secondly, you won’t have to deal with the nasty side effects of anabolic steroids.

Related Articles:


How Long Did It Take for Jake Gyllenhaal to Train for Southpaw?

It took Gyllenhaal six months to train for Southpaw.

Who Trained Jake Gyllenhaal for Southpaw?

World-class professional boxing trainer Terry Clayborn trained Gyllenhaal for Southpaw. Clayborn trained him with weights and boxing.

How Much Did Jake Gyllenhaal Weigh for Southpaw?

Jake Gyllenhaal weighed 175 pounds for Southpaw. Before his six-month training, he weighed around 147 pounds.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3497950/
  2. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7697466/
  3. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/52/6/376
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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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