Josh Brolin Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements 

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 13, 2024
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Ryan Reynolds may be Deadpool's main star, but Josh Brolin is stealing his thunder in the gym world.

Despite his age, Brolin achieved fantastic fitness results. I wanted to see how he did it, so I religiously watched his interviews for the last few weeks.

Hours of work paid off: I got to the bottom of Josh Brolin’s workout routine and nutrition plan.

Find them below.

Josh Brolin’s Workout Routine

While preparing for his role as Cable with former bodybuilder Justin Lovato, Brolin would work out twice a day, six days a week, similar to my own rigorous training schedule for MMA competitions:

  • Mornings: Circuit training and mobility work
  • Afternoons: Bodybuilding exercises

Drawing from my experience, I’ve tailored Josh Brolin’s workout routine based on insights shared by his trainer in interviews.

Josh Brolin's workout routine includes weight-training exercises aimed at building muscle mass and gaining muscle.

But keep in mind that Brolin was in the gym for three hours every day, and you probably don’t have that much time.

That’s why I’ve divided his daily routine across a few days. Still, try to work as hard as you can. If you put in twice the work, you’ll get double the results.

Monday: Mobility Exercises

man running outdoors

Mobility exercises reduce the risk of injury, alleviate aches and pains, and improve posture:

  • Side Lateral Shuffle (3 sets of going 20 yards and back)
  • High Skip Jump (3 sets of going 20 yards and back)
  • Backpedal/Sprint (3 sets of 60 seconds)

Note: Follow the backpedal with an explosive sprint.

Tuesday: Back Workout

Brolin’s bodybuilding workouts contain drop sets, so it’s important you understand what they are for this routine.

A drop set pushes you to complete a set to failure, then lightens the load so that you can repeat the exercise.

Rest for two minutes after finishing each exercise: 

  • Deadlift (5 sets of 12 to 15 reps)
  • Neutral Grip Lat Pulldown (2 sets of 12-15-6-8 drop sets)

Note: Start with the original weight for the first 12 reps.

Drop-set the weight by 30% for 15 reps, go back to the initial weight for 6 reps, and back to the drop-set weight for 8 reps.

  • Wide Grip Cable Row (3 sets of 15 reps + 2 drop sets to failure)
  • Pronated Lap Pulldown (3 sets of 12 to 15 reps + 2 drop sets to failure)
  • Smith Machine Pendlay Row (3 sets of 12 to 15 reps + 2 drop sets to failure)

Wednesday: Circuit Training

feet view of a man using a treadmill

When you finish the circuit exercises, take a few minutes to rest and hop on a treadmill:

  • Hammer Curls (5 sets of 20 reps)
  • Push-ups (5 sets of 20 reps)
  • Sled Push (5 sets of pushing 120 yards and back)
  • Treadmill (30 minutes, 15% incline, 3.0 miles per hour)

Thursday: Chest And Legs

Thursdays are for building your upper body:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press (3 sets of 12 to 15 reps)
  • Peck Deck Flye (3 sets of 10 to 12 reps)
  • Leg Extension (3 sets of 20-18-15 drop sets)
  • Lying Leg Curl (3 sets of 25 reps)

Friday: Mobility Exercises

man doing lunges

Fridays are for improving your mobility:

  • Foot Speed Drill (3 sets of going 20 yards and back)
  • Defensive Shuffle (3 sets of going 20 yards and back)
  • Walking Lunge (3 sets of going 20 yards and back)
  • Frog Hop (3 sets of going 20 yards and back)

Saturday: Arms And Shoulders

Prepare to use dumbbells and barbells quite a bit for the Saturday routine:

  • Seated Dumbell Overhead Press (5 sets of 10 to 20 reps)
  • Dumbbell Front Raise (3 sets of 15 to 20 reps)
  • Skull Crusher (3 sets of 10 to 12 reps)
  • Barbell Triceps French Press (4 sets of 15 to 20 reps)

Sunday: Rest

Your body isn’t a machine, and it needs proper recovery time.

Even Brolin takes a break at least once a week, so you should, too.

Limit yourself to only gently moving your body on Sundays. Take a walk, do some easy cardio, or enhance recovery through methods like yoga, deep tissue massages, and adequate sleep.

Josh Brolin’s Workout Principles

man lifting weights

Brolin’s workouts are based on two principles:

  • Short period of rest yields better results: On Wednesday, Brolin rests only when he completes an entire circuit. That way, his heart rate stays elevated throughout the circuit, and he burns more calories, as stated in the American Council on Exercise [1].
  • Drop sets help maximize muscle gain: Brolin’s bodybuilding routine is based on the drop set principle. One study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that participants who performed a single drop set had superior muscle gains compared to the control group that performed three conventional sets [2].

Thanks to these principles, Brolin’s exercise plan can help you lose weight and accelerate muscle development at the same time.

Brolin’s Diet Plan

Here’s what Brolin’s regular nutrition plan looks like:

  • Breakfast: 1 protein shake, 10 almonds, chicken breast
  • Snack: 10 almonds, a protein shake
  • Lunch: chicken or salmon, a cup of veggies
  • Snack: 10 almonds, a protein shake
  • Dinner: 18 almonds mixed with black rice, chicken, or salmon on the side

Brolin’s Diet Principles

Josh Brolin includes compound exercises in his workout routine to promote fat burning while also consuming high-glycemic-carbohydrate components of his diet plan.

Brolin isn’t too rigid about his diet.

He allows for one cheat meal or day per week. In his own words:

“If you love sweets, have a donut, then get back on board without looking back.” - Josh Brolin

He says it only matters not to fall off the rails completely just because you’ve allowed yourself a donut.

Still, Brolin practices a much cleaner diet when prepping for his roles. When he was preparing for Deadpool 2, he only ate fish, rice, eggs, and veggies.

Brolin’s Supplements

stack of capsules

Besides his lil’ nicotine tablets, Brolin uses supplements that help him stay healthy and maximize the effects of his workouts:

  • Probiotics: to improve and maintain the immune and digestive systems, based on research from the Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins journal [3].
  • BCAAs: BCAA supplements stimulate muscle growth and decrease soreness and fatigue (these are a staple in my supplement regime too).
  • Glutamine: As stated in WebMD, glutamine reduces muscle wasting and boosts your immune system [4].

Josh Brolin Stats

  • Born: February 12, 1968
  • Height: 5' 10½" (1.79 m)
  • Weight: 170 lbs (77 kg)


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A post shared by Josh Brolin (@joshbrolin)

Brolin is currently 54 years old, but he’s absolutely jacked.

Maybe you haven’t noticed in Avengers: Infinity War since the actor was decked out in CGI, but his fantastic physique and muscles sure showed in Deadpool 2.


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About The Author

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
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

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