Ripped. Shredded. Lean. Jacked. Hench. These are all adjectives that could be used to describe Hugh Jackman's physique as clawed mutant, Wolverine. After a dramatic transformation from his initial appearance in X-Men (2000), Jackman's ultra-lean, pumped up look has become the thing of legend. But it comes at a cost.
After 17 years and 1,000s of hours in the gym, after Logan, Jackman will gracefully bow out and leave the role that defined a generation of X-Men. In the build up to the film, on top of the hard work of perfecting the script and leaving his own distinct imprint on the beloved character, Jackman underwent the usual strict regime of weightlifting and calorie counting, but with an added, high risk twist.
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Don't Do This At Home: Logan's High Risk Key To Being Ripped
In an interview on the Late Show, Jackman explained the extreme lengths he goes to during the build up to a topless shoot. Although the 48-year-old stays in good shape all year round, the intensive training last around three months, with a shocking final technique. He said:
"It finishes with dehydration. Don't do this at home; you increase the water intake to about 10 litres (3 gallons) of water a day, and then you stop about 36 hours before you shoot. But because you've drunk so much water, you're peeing all the time, and then you have nothing. Then, you lose about 10 lbs of water weight."
36 hours! Make no mistake, Jackman is right when he advises to not to try this at home — a day and a half with no liquid at all is the definition of risky. Dehydration can cause dizziness, fainting, seizures and kidney damage. Death occurs if the body loses just 15 to 25 per cent of its water, which takes roughly 100 hours, depending on physical activity and temperature. Yikes.
The liquid-less technique is used by professional bodybuilders in the run up to competition, where the aim is to get the body fat as low as possible, thus increasing definition. By avoiding liquids, the body disposes of excess water, going the extra step that Jackman required for his scenes in Logan.
But, Wait, How Do I Get Wolverine's Physique?
It's a good question. The short answer is: A lot of hard work, and a lot of determination. Jackman's transformation from his debut #XMen appearance is remarkable, and even more impressive considering he was 44-years-old when he revealed his honed physique on The Wolverine (2013).
Jackman revealed that in those early days, he assumed the Hollywood primed body would be achievable in a short timeframe. He added:
"In the first one, I thought you could get into shape in three weeks. And I turned up, and the director had to push all shirt off scenes to the very end, four months later."
However, he soon picked up the tricks of the trade. For the fourth film in the series, he bulked up a considerable amount, a feat achieved by a high-calorie diet and some seriously heavy lifting — including bench pressing over 300lbs. In 2015, Jackman posted a video of him deadlifting heavy weight, with the caption "The deadlift that brought me into the 1000lb Club" — a reference the total weight of the combines one-rep-max of the big exercises, the deadlift, squat and bench press.
Hugh Jackman's Wolverine Workout
Jackman's personal trainer, David Kingsbury, who worked with Jackman in the run up to The Wolverine (2003), revealed the extent of Wolverine's workout routine to Bodybuilding.com. At the time, Jackman had been working on Les Miserables, for which he was super lean, but much smaller. Kingsbury had around four months to transform Jackman.
To achieve the goal, Jackman worked out for 1-2 hours a day, six days a week. He worked on big compound lifts —exercises such as deadlifts, squats, weighted pull ups and bench presses — and maintained a clean but calorific diet, rich in complex carbohydrates (such as oats, sweet potato and brown rice), lots of protein (from chicken breast, steaks, eggs) and lots of veg. And rest. Lots of rest.
In Logan, although the training regime would've been at the same level of intensity, the final results were slightly different. Jackman portrayed an ailing #Wolverine who was past his best; while muscle mass was still significant, the goal from #HughJackman's workout was more of a muscular-yet-sinewy appearance — hence the dehydration.
With all that effort, it's no surprise they call him Huge Jacked Man.
Has Wolverine inspired you to start a weight training routine?
(Source: The Late Show)