Everyone must have heard of the film Wolverine. As early as 2000, Hugh Jackman, the actor of the leading role, came into people’s sight for the first time. Since then, a muscle burst, domineering “Wolverine” has left a deep mark in people’s hearts. In fact, before playing Wolverine, Hugh Jackman’s body was not as strong as he had been in the film. It was the later training that creates this vivid character. The training program Jackman follows in preparation for shooting is called the “Wolverine program”, which is designed by trainer David Kingsbury to help Jackman gain muscles. Now, are you curious about this training program? Do you also want to have a Wolverine body one day? Let’s uncover the “lowdown” together.
Lowdown#1: Sticking to the 16:8 diet plan
Hugh Jackman publicly claimed his gratitude towards intermittent fasting more than once.
Nowadays, intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular because of its large benefits to human health and the simple way to implement it. Put it simply, intermittent fasting actually focuses on when to eat and limits the specific time of your eating and fasting but sets no restrictions to food type.
However, intermittent fasting fails to be instantly implemented the moment it’s been determined to be used because one intermittent fasting plan should be decided first among its big scopes like 5:2 pattern, 12:12 pattern, 16:8 patterns, OMAD, and some others.
Then, what’s Hugh Jackman’s choice?
When Hugh Jackman was training for X-Men: Days of Future Past, he followed the 16:8 method which suggested he eat during an 8-hour window and fast for the other 16 hours. To some extent, 16:8 is the most popular intermittent fasting schedule and is the start of most fasters. And Jackman told Men’s Journal during a 2013 interview,
“I haven’t put on nearly the amount of fat I normally would. And the great thing about this diet is, I sleep so much better.”
Basically, one meal is abandoned, and the fasting time is almost your sleeping time when 16:8 is selected as an intermittent fasting schedule and which meal to abandon depends on the specific situation or individual demands. In addition, it’s been proved by many studies that intermittent fasting boosts sleep.
Notice: Not everyone is suitable for this 16:8 method although it may be the most popular intermittent fasting plan. Before deciding on any schedule, it’s suggested that a doctor should be consulted because of individual conditions.
Benefits of intermittent fasting for a muscular figure
Reducing fat storage
Generally speaking, intermittent fasting aims to expand the time between meals and limits the eating time for less calorie intake. Once-daily calorie intake decreases and more energy in a body will be consumed, the stored fat will start to be burnt so that less fat will remain. A body with less fat looks thinner than that with more even if both bodies have the same weight.
Keeping muscles strength
Muscle is an essential part of the character of Wolverine. But how does intermittent fasting help Hugh Jackman in this aspect? Intermittent fasting is not totally fasting or dieting but sets some food limits. For example, protein is a very important and necessary nutrient during IF and it can largely keep muscles strength. So, getting more healthy proteins is advisable for building a muscular figure. When it comes to the diet leading to huge calories intake like alcoholic beverages, it’s never accepted by IF.
Lowdown#2: Sticking to a workout
Combining intermittent fasting with workout can make a great difference.
The “Wolverine program” designed by Jackman’s trainer was to help Jackman increase his muscle strength and size while keeping him lean. And it mainly includes two parts: weight training and cardio.
The weight training
The main weightlifting in each exercise is based on your percentage of 1 RM (Rep Max) and the reps for the main lifts—barbell bench press, back squat, weighted pull-up, and deadlift—change from week to week. Here is a list for reference:
Percentages for Week 1 (5 Reps)
- 60% of 1RM – Set 1
- 65% of 1RM – Set 2
- 75% of 1RM – Set 3
- 75% of 1RM – Set 4
Percentages for Week 2 (4 Reps)
- 65% of 1RM – Set 1
- 75% of 1RM – Set 2
- 85% of 1RM – Set 3
- 85% of 1RM – Set 4
Percentages for Week 3 (3 Reps)
- 70% of 1RM – Set 1
- 80% of 1RM – Set 2
- 90% of 1RM – Set 3
- 90% of 1RM – Set 4
Percentages for Week 4 (10 Reps)
- 40% of 1RM – Set 1
- 50% of 1RM – Set 2
- 60% of 1RM – Set 3
- 60% of 1RM – Set 4
Over the course of a four-week training block, you will keep your fat levels low and add more muscles as well.
Cardio plays a crucial role in sporting a physique like Logan. And Jackman’s cardio volume changed depending on his body fat percentage. Here’s the cardio workout Jackman described in an interview with Men’s Health:
1. Warm up on a treadmill.
2. Sprint at 85 percent of your max speed for 15 to 20 seconds.
3. Rest for 30 seconds
4. Repeat for 10 sprints.
Notice: Not everyone calls for a wolverine body. For those that essentially aim to lose weight via intermittent fasting, Jackman’s workout plan isn’t that suggested.
Lowdown#3: Sticking to a “carb-cycling” diet
“[Les Mis director Tom Hooper] just wanted weight gain, but the way we saw it was to have the weight gain all be positive—mostly muscle as opposed to just fat,” Kingsbury explains. “So we focused on eating very clean and very healthy, but large volumes to increase muscle mass over that period.”
Jackman also began using what Kingsbury calls a “carb-cycling” diet:
“On weight-training days we’d do carbs, and on non-weight-training days we’d have very low carbs and add more fats, like avocado, nuts, and seeds, so Hugh was still getting the calories in, but without as many carbs.”
Therefore, simplicity reigns supreme when sticking to the “carb-cycling” diet, which is also the rule of intermittent fasting. It’s worth noting that intermittent fasting doesn’t suggest eating anything when the fasting time ends. For muscle building and body health, foods with rich proteins and some fresh fruits and vegetables should be consumed as you want to be a man like Jackman.
Here’s a general overview of the foods Hugh Jackman consumed on the average training day:
There is no doubt that eggs are rich in proteins.
One serving of lean, delicious steak in a meal is acceptable.
Clean and lean chicken packed with protein is more suitable for the “carb-cycling” diet. By the way, stay away from fried chicken with high calories and unhealthy fat.
Fish is a terrific source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and minerals.
For breakfast, Jackman also enjoyed one cup of healthy oatmeal which is a great source of antioxidants and soluble fiber.
- Sweet potato
With amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, sweet potato is also tasty for you!
It’s very common that this kind of green vegetable will appear on about every professional diet plan.
As a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, avocado is good for you!
Because of the huge variety of choices and guidelines, it is difficult to know exactly what to eat during every meal. Don’t worry. Here are some combinations of these foods for you:
- Oatmeal with eggs
- Chicken with brown rice
- Steak with sweet potato
The Downsides of the Wolverine Workout and Diet Plan
Through the above lowdown, you can see that the Wolverine body is created by diet and workout. But a coin has two sides. Here are also some downsides of the Wolverine workout and diet plan, including:
- This diet and workout could boost muscle-building if you’re Hugh Jackman, but it’s not realistic for most people.
- People with some health concerns might not be suitable for the training program.
- People may get hurt in the intense workout plan as a beginner.
Notice: Intermittent fasting won’t perfectly work unless they are selected and followed according to your specific conditions.