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Josh Brolin Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements 

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: March 2, 2022

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.

Quick Summary

  • Brolin’s workout routine includes mobility, circuit, and bodybuilding training.
  • His bodybuilding routine includes drop sets that maximize muscle growth.
  • His routine is based on circuits and drop setting.
  • Brolin’s diet is simple, clean, and flexible.

Josh Brolin Stats

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

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.

He prepared for his role of Cable with former bodybuilder Justin Lovato. Thankfully, Lovato shared many insights into how he trained Brolin.

Josh Brolin’s Workout Routine

While preparing for his role of Cable, Brolin would work out twice a day, six days a week: 

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

I’ve outlined Josh Brolin’s workout routine based on what Brolin’s trainer shared in interviews.

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 [1]:

  • 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 lighten the load so that you can repeat the exercise [2].

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 or do some easy cardio.

Josh Brolin’s Workout Principles

man lifting weights

Brolin’s workouts are based on two principles:

  • Short period to 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 [3].
  • Drop sets help maximize muscle gain: Brolin’s bodybuilding routine is based on the drop set principle. One study found that participants who performed a single drop set had superior muscle gains compared to the control group that performed three conventional sets [4].

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

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 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 system [5].
  • BCAAs: BCAA supplements stimulate muscle growth and decrease soreness and fatigue [6].
  • Glutamine: Glutamine reduces muscle wasting and boosts your immune system [7].

Will You Follow Brolin’s Routine To Get Jacked?

There’s no one way to build muscle.

Although the routine above worked for the Avengers actor, it may not work for you. Every person is different.

So, try it out for several weeks and experiment with weights and sets.

If you don’t like the routine, change it. Brolin would agree it doesn’t matter what you do. It only matters that you keep going.

And if you want to follow Brolin’s exact footsteps and use BCAAs to stimulate muscle growth, check out our review of the 8 best BCAAs for men.


References:

  1. https://www.harpendenphysiotherapy.co.uk/self-help/understanding-importance-mobility/ 
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-a-drop-set
  3. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6750/circuit-training-basics/ 
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28474868/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-health-benefits-of-probiotics 
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-bcaa 
  7. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-glutamine

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