Jared Leto's Joker Workout Routine & Diet Plan

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
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As a fitness coach, my personal favorites when it comes to Hollywood workout routines are those that involve superheroes and their enemies.

And Jared Leto is a man who took dedication and hard work to a whole new level when it came to preparing for the role of The Joker in Suicide Squad.

What has impressed me the most is how he has managed to achieve muscle mass that is in perfect shape and proportion. Needless to say, I got really curious, went into a deep dive into his routine, and spent a day researching his approach.

Let’s see how he did that.

His Stats

jared leto wearing a suit and tie

Born: December 26, 1971
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 155 lbs

Before he became a method actor and Hollywood star, Jared Leto gained fame as a member of the rock band Thirty Seconds To Mars.

His earliest screen appearances were as characters in My So-Called Life, which was a teen TV show in the 90s.

Where we became interested is when he suddenly appeared on screen as the Joker. And this isn’t the fat and ugly Joker from the '60s Batman series.

No, the Joker from the Suicide Squad is in ripped shape, and that takes a ton of hard work.

The Jared Leto Workout Routine

To look like the Joker in Suicide Squad, Jared Leto had to work on building muscle and staying lean in a controlled way.

 

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A post shared by JARED LETO (@jaredleto)

When it comes to weightlifting, Leto piles on the weights and works on one body part at a time through split workouts.

Monday: Chest And Triceps

man in a push up position

This is a tough weight training session, and it focuses on the glory muscles for a complete upper body transformation.

  • Warm-up (15 minutes running or rowing)
  • Incline dumbbell bench press (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Dumbbell press (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Military push-ups (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Wide decline push-ups (4 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Overhead extension on cables (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Triceps pushdown (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Sit-ups (4 sets to failure)
  • V-ups (4 sets to failure)

Tuesday: Cardio

This is where things get a bit different, and to train like Jared Leto, you’ll want to do some semi strenuous outdoor activity like rock climbing or hiking.

If you’re into more adventure, then white water rafting could be an option. Or just grab your yoga mat and head for a quiet park to do some yoga poses.

Wednesday: Shoulders and Legs

man working his leg out using a leg press machine

I generally prefer keeping leg days completely separate, but Jared Leto likes to pack his workouts into fewer trips to the gym.

  • Warm-up (15 minutes running or rowing)
  • Wide-grip pull-ups (4 sets of 12 reps)
  • In and out pull-ups (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Military press (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Barbell squats (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Leg presses (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Calf raises (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Hamstring curls (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)

Thursday: Cardio

Jared Leto’s workout routine has one dedicated day at the gym that doesn’t involve weight training.

He heads to elliptical or rowing machines for a good hour of intense cardio exercises that aim to burn away any excess fat. And that seems to be his fitness secret for his incredibly toned physique.

Friday: Back and Biceps

man laying down in a yoga mat doing V ups

Jared Leto also combines some ab work into this day to ensure more targeted core muscle growth.

  • Warm-up (15 minutes running or rowing)
  • Muscle-up pull-ups (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Weighted chin-ups (4 sets of 12 reps)
  • Isometric chin-ups (4 sets of 12 reps)
  • Cable Bicep curls (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Sit-ups (4 sets to failure)
  • V-ups (4 sets to failure)
  • Leg lifts (4 sets to failure)

Saturday: Active Recovery

Jared Leto doesn’t seem to like days on which he has no exercises to do. And for active recovery, the Jared Leto workout schedule includes a commitment to spending time outdoors on walks, hikes, and some water sports as well.

Sunday: Rest

The Jared Leto workout routines are tough going, and you’ll enjoy the rest day on this schedule.

At the same time, it shouldn’t be a day where you sleep all day on the couch. Go for leisure walks in nature or do some light yoga as a way to help your mind-body-connection and allow for faster recovery.

“I showed up in L.A. with $500 and a backpack, and I stayed at a shelter, so nobody handed me anything. I worked for every single thing that I have.”

- Jared Leto

Jared Leto’s Diet Plan

Healthy fruits and vegetables

The Jared Leto workout regimen will require a lot of focus on what you do and don’t eat.

And there are two areas that he’s most vocal about.

1. Junk Food And Sugar

Jared avoids junk food and sugary treats at all costs, which results in a diet that is low in carbs. While he does allow occasional cheat meals and some ice cream, these are carefully planned to not interfere with his weight goals and workout sessions.

If you don’t want to waste all the hard work from the exercises, then it’s a good idea to follow this advice. From my own experience as a certified fitness coach, I can say that sugar is by far the most disruptive problem for a weight loss journey.

2. Plant-Based Diet

PETA has voted Jared Leto to be the world's sexiest vegetarian [1], and that’s a nice award to have next to making the list for People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People in the World.

It’s great to hear that Jared is an outspoken animal activist who believes he has achieved a lot of his physical success from abandoning animal products.

He also says it helped him overcome health problems, and the switch has had no impact on his training volume or endurance.

Sample Meal Plans

This is a simple kind of diet plan, and the idea is to not overthink it too much.

It’s important to track everything you eat in a journal or app like Noom. That way, you’ll know your daily macros and calories at the same time.

Breakfast

  • Organic oatmeal with chia seeds
  • Buckwheat pancakes
  • Fresh berries

Snack

  • Plant-based protein shake

Lunch

  • Vegetable soup
  • Whole grain brown bread
  • Mixed raw vegetables

Snack

  • Cup of unsalted nuts

Dinner

  • Coconut curry with kidney beans
  • Brown rice or sweet potatoes
  • Mixed leafy green salad with olive oil

Snack

  • Plant protein shake

Adapting Jared's Plan for Different Fitness Levels

Adapting Jared Leto's Joker workout for various fitness levels involves scaling intensity and complexity.

Beginners can start with basic bodyweight exercises, focusing on form and gradual progression. Intermediate enthusiasts might incorporate more challenging variations and increase reps.

Advanced individuals can add resistance and complex movements, emulating Leto's intensity. The key is to respect individual limits while steadily pushing boundaries, ensuring a balanced approach that enhances strength, flexibility, and endurance, tailored to each person's unique fitness journey.

Jared's Mental and Physical Discipline

Jared Leto's rigorous Joker workout epitomizes the fusion of mental and physical discipline.

Such a demanding regimen necessitates unwavering determination and steadfast consistency, traits essential for transformative results. It's a mental game as much as a physical one, where mental resilience plays a pivotal role.

This type of training goes beyond sculpting the physique; it fortifies the mind, instilling a sense of discipline that transcends the gym and influences life's various aspects, from personal to professional realms.

Supplements

All gym goers that follow the Jared Leto workout should also consider taking these supplements.

1. Protein Shakes

Because Jared sticks to a vegan diet, he’ll mainly focus on blends of rice, pea, and soy protein powders.

You need that blend to get the complete amino acid profile. Another vegan alternative would be hemp protein powder, which is supported by research from the School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism [2].

2. Creatine

The reason athletes take creatine is all down to how it can give you a small boost in mental and physical performance levels.

No matter what activity you’re doing, creatine can boost your cell-level ATP supply, which is what every single cell in your body uses for energy.


References:

  1. https://time.com/2928418/sexiest-vegetarian-peta-jared-leto-ellen-page/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6245118/
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