The Hugh Jackman workout has resulted in the charismatic Aussie starring in blockbuster movies like X-Men, Australia, and Wolverine and is something that does not come easily. It comes from a disciplined, specific and very structured combination of routine and training.
The official Hugh Jackman workout consisted of a multi-phase approach. It consists of two very distinct phases.
- The first phase was focused on building mass by changing the speed of each lift, 3 sec count up and then a 1 sec count down or really slow 4 sec count up and 4 count down.
- The second phase of the Hugh Jackman workout focused on strength by lifting really heavy weights, without the sec count. The way that he used it leading up to the movies that he has starred in was by using each of the two phases from six to twelve weeks, training for 1-2hrs, 5 days a week.
When it is close to shooting time, Hugh Jackman lifts weights one day and fills the other days with running, yoga, pilates, and stretching. Below is the specific routine that he works leading up to the making of a movie usually about 3 months before the shooting starts.
The Hugh Jackman Workout: Day 1
- Dumbbell Chest Press (Swiss ball and dumbbells required): 12 reps (pick a weight so the 12th rep is hard); 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down.
- Push ups: Done immediately after chest press. Can be done from knees or toes. Perform 25 reps (take a break if you have to, but finish 25). Rest 1 minute and repeat Dumbbell Press and Push-ups for 3 sets.
- Lat Pull Downs (modular lat pulldown machine required): 12 reps; 3 seconds down and 3 seconds up.
- External Shoulder Rotations (tubing required): Done immediately after Lat Pull Downs . Use tubing with palms facing up and elbows in tight to body. Stretch out band, holding elbows at 90 degrees, thumbs outward. Perform 20 reps; 2 seconds out and 2 seconds back. Rest 1 minute and repeat Lat Pulls and External Shoulder Rotations for 3 sets.
- Cable Side Raise (adjustable cable pulley machine required): Grip a cable in front of the body with one arm, with a slight bend in the elbow. Hold posture, keep shoulder blades down and back. Perform 12 reps; 3 seconds down and 3 seconds up. Do other arm immediately.
- Straight Bar Curl (free-standing bar required): Grab bar shoulder-width apart and curl, holding a soft knee bend and without arching back. Perform 12 reps; 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down.
- Close Grip Bar Push-up (free-standing bar and squat rack required): Do immediately after Straight Bar Curl. In a squat rack, set up bar at waist height. Perform a push-up with elbows in tight. Do 12 reps; 5 seconds down and 5 seconds up. Rest 1 minute. Repeat Straight Bar Curls and Close Grip Bar Push-ups for 3 sets.
It is important to note here that the Hugh Jackman workout has been done by Hugh without resting – for example between the dumbbell press and the push up. This is important not only for selecting the correct weight but also to achieve the high intensity level that any and all muscle growth requires.
The Hugh Jackman Workout: Day 2
- Leg Squat: Slowly lower the body on one leg, bringing the hips back so the front knee does not go beyond the toes and squat until upper thigh is parallel to the ground. Perform 12 reps on each leg; 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down. Rest 1 minute and repeat for 3 sets.
- Balance Board Lunge (extreme or round board is required): Place one foot centered on balance board, back foot on toes behind in a lunge. Slowly bend both back and front knees into a lunge until front thigh is parallel to the ground. Perform 12 reps on each leg; 4 seconds down and 4 seconds up.
- Split Leg Box Jump (do immediately after balance lunge): Plant one foot on top of a box/bench that holds the front knee at 90 degrees. With weight mainly on the top leg, jump and switch legs. Do 30 jumps. Rest 1 minute. Repeat Balance Board Lunge and Split Leg Box Jumps – 3 sets.
- Jack Knife: Start in a push-up position with toes on top of a Swiss ball. Raise hips up slightly and draw the belly-button into the spine. Pull knees up towards chest. Perform 20 reps; 2 seconds in and 2 seconds out.
- Swiss Ball Crunch (do immediately after jack knife): Lie on top of ball with low back supported; pull in belly button to spine. Perform crunch, exhaling as you come up without allowing stomach to “pop up.” Perform 20 reps; 2 seconds up and 2 seconds down. Rest 1 min and repeat Jack Knife and Crunch 3 sets.
As you can see, the Hugh Jackman workout has a very tough lower body routine. Hugh Jackman does not rest at all going from the squat to the balance board and then to the split leg box. The first set is only completed when the last rep of the Swiss ball crunch has been completed.
The Hugh Jackman Workout: Day 3
Do 3 sets of the following exercises with no rest in between.
- Walking Lunges: Hold dumbbells at sides. Step through front heel and bring back knee towards floor. Do 30 steps.
- Push ups: Do 100.
- Swiss Ball Crunch: Do 50.
- Sprint: Outside or on treadmill, sprint 1 minute at 80 per cent intensity.
- Inch Worms: In a push-up position, take tiny steps so the feet come towards the hands. Keep walking until you feel a gentle stretch through the hamstrings. Do this 30 times.
- Lat Pull Downs: Do 50.
- Stairs: Take every second step. Perform 20 reps (up and down is 1).