Hugh Jackman made huge improvements to his physique from the age of 31 until his mid forties which is most noticeable in his role as The Wolverine in the X-Men movies.
Hugh Jackman was never in bad shape in the first place however his transformation has still been dramatic. He has gone from a guy with a good yet relatively normal physique to near bodybuilding levels of size, definition and body fat.
So how did this happen?
It all started when Hugh began training with David Kingsbury, who is an ex mixed martial arts fighter. David got the chance to work as a personal trainer at Pinewood Films Studios, this is how David became Hugh Jackmans trainer for the part of The Wolverine.
Also note that how he looks in the movies in partly the result of visual manipulations. This includes studio lighting, probably fake tan and make up to improve definition. Plus I guarantee he was training in the gym to get a pump shortly before those scenes were shot.
Hugh Jackmans Wolverine Workout Routine
Hugh Jackmans workout was a combination of low repetition 1 – 5 and High repetition resistance training of 8 – 12 reps per set. David Kingsbury believed this combination of training styles to be one of the most effective to get Hugh Jackman his Wolverine physique in the short time that they had before filming started.
His training was separated into two main parts, the bulk and the cut. During these two phases his weight training actually changed very little, the bulk and the cut was influenced mainly by diet, calorie consumption and cardio exercises.
The first goal was to achieve bulk, strength and size while trying to limit any gains in body fat. Once this goal was achieved the focus turned to achieving definition and reducing body fat.
His workout started with low reps for triggering muscle growth and strength, each week the weight would increase to encourage muscle and strength gains. On the forth week he would decrease the weight so that 10 reps would become achievable.
- Week 1 – 5 Reps
- Week 2 – 4 Reps
- Week 3 – 3 Reps
- Week 4 – 10 Reps
The exercises that this applies too
- Bench press
- Pull ups
These compound exercises should always be the priority of any muscle building workout. Based on this information you should be able to create your own workout based on this 4 week plan concept using these four main compound exercises. All other exercises use the more common higher repetition sets.
As an example I will create a workout myself based on this information. I have tried a few different workout systems in my time, yet never one exactly like this, so I am going to try this workout myself.
Warning these workout are high intensity, these are heavy resistance workouts and a proper warm up is required before lifting heavy to avoid injury.
- Bench press – 4 – 5
- Bicep curls barbell – 3 – 10
- Dumbbell flyes – 3 – 10
- Preacher curls – 3 – 10
- Lunges – 3 – 10 each leg
- Squats – 4 – 5
- Calf raises – 3 10
- Shoulder press – 4 – 10
- Leg Raises – 4 – 10
- Shoulder raises – 4 – 10
- Lat pull downs 3 – 10
- Tricep Extensions – 3 – 10
- T-bar row 4 – 10
- Tricep rope cable pull downs – 3 – 10
- Pull ups (weighted if necessary) – 4 – 5
- Crunches – 4 – 10
- Upright rows – 3 – 10
- Deadlift – 4 – 5
- Narrow grip bench press – 4 – 10
- Single arm dumbbell row – 3 – 10 each arm
Week 2 – increase the weight and reduce to 4 reps, week 3 increase the weight and reduce to 3 reps, and on the 4th week reduce the weight and perform 10 reps per set. Train to failure while maintaining good technique! Remember only to follow this 5 4 3 10 set plan on the 4 main compound exercises which are highlighted in bold above.
Only attempt this workout if you are in good health and if you already have some weight training experience, contact your doctor if necessary.