Jake Gyllenhaal Workout: Prince of Persia

The Jake Gyllenhaal Workout for Prince of Persia is a combination of cardio and weight training. Jake Gyllenhaal worked out twice a day while preparing for the film. The secret behind Jake Gyllenhaal’s workout routine were the plyometric exercises he performed each day.

jake-gyllenhaal-workout-prince-of-persia

Gyllenhaal would start each morning with a fat burning cardio workout. In the afternoon, he would hit the gym for a strength training workout. For Prince of Persia, plyometric circuit training was the key to Jake Gyllenhaal’s success. The theme throughout the Jake Gyllenhaal workout is finding ways to couple cardio with strength training via a plyometric format.

jake-gyllenhaal-workut

The Secret: Plyometrics

The secret of the Jake Gyllenhaal workout routine was the use of plyometric exercises. Plyometrics are exercises that exert maximum muscle force over short intervals of time. They tend to be bodyweight exercises that shock the muscles into complex action. Plyometrics get you ripped and burn fat by (technical) combining both eccentric and isometric contractions.

Plyometrics include exercises like squat thrusts (burpees), squat + jump, plyo pushups, plyo pull-ups, bear crawls, tuck jumps, lunges, and even exercises like one-legged deadlifts + jump. Many modern gyms and trainers are incorporating plyometric routines into their training. Gyllenhaal’s trainer explains why plyometrics so well:

By packing exercises together rather than splitting them up you’re hitting all the bases at once: cardio, muscle and movement.

Jake Gyllenhaal Monday Workout – Chest

Jake Gyllenhaal Monday Workout – Cardio & Chest

AM Workout (Monday): 

  • 1 hour Run (cardio with weighted vest, last 20 minutes running in sand)
  • 10 sets Bodyweight Plyometrics (see table below)
  • 5, 27 yard Wind-sprints (often they would be uphill)

The morning cardio was done with a weighted vest. This served to strengthen Jake Gyllenhaal’s muscles while performing cardio. Usually, they would spend the last 20 minutes running at the beach to help shape Jake’s calves.

Bodyweight Plyometrics:

ExerciseSetsReps
Squat Thrusts
210
Plyo Push Ups210
Jump Squats210
Plyo Pull Ups
210
Box Jump
210

(Do these exercises in circuit training format, one exercise, then the next. Two times through.)

jake-gyllenhaal-monday-workout-chest
Disney

PM Workout (Monday): 1 hour Plyometric Circuits / Strength Training

Plyometric Circuit:

ExerciseSetsRepsWeight
DB Bench Step Up + Squat Thrusts41015-20 lb. Dumbbells (8 kg)
Lunges + Shoulder Press410 (each leg)20-25 lb. Dumbbells (10 kg)
Squat Thrusts + Pushup + Clean and Jerk

41045 lb. Barbells (20 kg)
Wide-Grip Pull Ups + Squat Thrusts
410Bodyweight or weighted vest
Wide Squats + Jump Squats
410Holding 45 lb. (20 kg) weight above your head

The plyometric circuit is circuit training. Do 1 set of each exercise, then move onto the next exercise. When Jake Gyllenhaal is done with 1 set of each exercise, he rests for 2 minutes, then repeats the circuit 3-4 more times.

Strength Training – Chest:

ExerciseSetReps
Bench press36-8
Incline Bench Press36-8
Cable Flys38-10
Weighted Push Ups38-10
Weighted Dips38-10

Jake Gyllenhaal tapped celebrity trainer Simon Waterson to help him with his workout routine. Waterson is an ex-marine famous for working with Daniel Craig (in James Bond) and Chris Evans (as Captain America).

Waterson would have Jake Gyllenhaal do abs exercises every other day. Waterson likes to use Medicine Ball Ab Exercises (like Med Ball Rotational Toss) and Hanging Leg Raises. He likes these type of abs exercises because they work multiple planes of motion. With Jake, he also used Russian Twists, Woodchops, Barbell Rollouts, and Knee Raises.

Jake Gyllenhaal Tuesday Workout – Back

Jake Gyllenhaal Tuesday Workout – Cardio & Back

AM Workout (Tuesday): 

  • 1 hour Run (cardio with weighted vest, last 20 minutes running in sand)
  • 10 sets Bodyweight Plyometrics (see table below)
  • 5, 27 yard Wind-sprints (often they would be uphill)

Bodyweight Plyometrics:

ExerciseSetsReps
Squat Thrusts
210
Plyo Push Ups210
Jump Squats210
Plyo Pull Ups
210
Box Jump
210

The plyometric circuit is circuit training. Do 1 set of each exercise, then immediately move onto the next exercise. When Jake Gyllenhaal is done with 1 set of each exercise, he rests for 2 minutes, then repeats the circuit 3-4 more times.

PM Workout (Tuesday): 1 hour Plyometric Circuits / Strength Training

Plyometric Circuit:

ExerciseSetsRepsWeight
Squat Thrusts + One-handed Medicine Ball Push-Up410 (each arm)Do pushup on the ground phase of squat thrust (each arm)
Box Jumps + Clean and Jerk410 (each leg)Bodyweight / 45 lb. Barbells (20 kg)
Wide Squats + Biceps Curls410Bodyweight / 20-25 lb. Dumbbells (10 kg)
DB Bench Step Up + Weighted Push Ups41015-20 lb. Dumbbells (8 kg) / 45-55 lb. Barbells (20-25 kg)
Plyo Pull Ups + Jump Squats410Bodyweight or weighted vest

(Do these exercises in circuit training format: one exercise, then immediately go to the next. Two times through.)

Strength Training – Back:

ExerciseSetsRepsNotes
Deadlifts36-8Watch (<--Video) For Proper Form. It's Easy To Hurt Your Back Without Proper Form / Belt.
Lat Pulldown38-10Alternating Wide Grip / Close Chinup Grip
Dumbbell Rows38-10Go Heavy, focus on using the proper muscle, your lats to perform the lift. (It's easy to use your shoulders/arms instead)
Seated Cable Row38-10Remember to Breathe. Use Proper Form. Look Slightly Up.
Weighted Pull Ups3AMAP(Get a belt if bodyweight isn't enough of a challenge).

AMAP= As many as possible.

Disney
Disney

Jake Gyllenhaal Wednesday Workout – Legs

Jake Gyllenhaal Wednesday Workout – Cardio & Legs

AM Workout (Wednesday): 

  • 1 hour Run (cardio with weighted vest, last 20 minutes running in sand)
  • 10 sets Bodyweight Plyometrics (see table below)
  • 5, 27 yard Wind-sprints (often they would be uphill)

Bodyweight Plyometrics:

ExerciseSetsReps
Squat Thrusts
210
Plyo Push Ups210
Jump Squats210
Plyo Pull Ups
210
Box Jump
210

PM Workout (Wednesday): 1 hour Plyometric Circuits / Strength Training

Plyometric Circuit:

ExerciseSetsRepsWeight
DB Bench Step Up + Squat Thrusts41015-20 lb. Dumbbells (8 kg)
Lunges + Shoulder Press410 (each leg)20-25 lb. Dumbbells (10 kg)
Squat Thrusts + Pushup + Clean and Jerk

41045 lb. Barbells (20 kg)
Wide-Grip Pull Ups + Squat Thrusts
410Bodyweight or weighted vest
Wide Squats + Jump Squats
410Holding 45 lb. (20 kg) weight above your head

The plyometric circuit is circuit training. Do 1 set of each exercise, then immediately move onto the next exercise. When Jake Gyllenhaal is done with 1 set of each exercise, he rests for 2 minutes, then repeats the circuit 3-4 more times.

Strength Training – Legs:

ExerciseSetsReps
BB Squats36-8
Leg Presses38-10
Leg Extensions38-10
Hamstring Curl38-10
Standing Calf Raise310-15

Many people, including Jake Gyllenhaal while training for Prince of Persia, hate legs day. Not necessarily because its are hard, but because of how one feels the day after. If Jake was hurting the next day, Waterson would take it easy on him.

jake-gyllenhaal-prince-of-persia-training
Disney

Since Gyllenhaal had to ride horses for Prince of Persia, they would take a break and focus on horseback riding. Jake’s trainer, Simon Waterson, says:

I made sure he trained when he need to train. He was fed when he needed to be fed. And rested when he needed to rest. You have to bear in mind, this was an intensive four months of training. He was living an athlete’s life.

Jake Gyllenhaal Thursday Workout – Shoulders

Jake Gyllenhaal Thursday Workout – Cardio & Shoulders

AM Workout (Thursday): 

  • 1 hour run (cardio with weighted vest, last 20 minutes running in sand)
  • 10 sets of bodyweight plyometrics (see table below)
  • 5, 27 yard wind-sprints (often they would be uphill)

Bodyweight Plyometrics:

ExerciseSetsReps
Squat Thrusts
210
Plyo Push Ups210
Jump Squats210
Plyo Pull Ups
210
Box Jump
210

PM Workout (Thursday): 1 hour Plyometric Circuits / Strength Training

Plyometric Circuit:

ExerciseSetsRepsWeight
Squat Thrusts + One-handed Medicine Ball Push-Up410 (each arm)Do pushup on the ground phase of squat thrust (each arm)
Box Jumps + Clean and Jerk410 (each leg)Bodyweight / 45 lb. Barbells (20 kg)
Wide Squats + Biceps Curls410Bodyweight / 20-25 lb. Dumbbells (10 kg)
DB Bench Step Up + Weighted Push Ups41015-20 lb. Dumbbells (8 kg) / 45-55 lb. Barbells (20-25 kg)
Plyo Pull Ups + Jump Squats410Bodyweight or weighted vest
Ubisoft
Ubisoft

The plyometric circuit is circuit training. Do 1 set of each exercise, then move onto the next exercise. When Jake Gyllenhaal is done with 1 set of each exercise, he rests for 2 minutes, then repeats the circuit 3-4 more times.

Strength Training – Shoulders:

ExerciseSetsRepsNotes
Shoulder Press36-8"Go Heavy Unless Start To Waver" (Waterson always starts with a heavy lift)
Cable Lateral Raises38-10This exercise was used to prepare Jake for sword training.
Front Raises38-10Dumbbells, Alternating Each Arm
Rear Delt Flys38-10Focus on Proper Form, keeping head up
Dumbbell Shrugs38-10Keep Head/Neck looking up to avoid injury, pause at the top

Jake Gyllenhaal Friday Workout – Arms

AM Workout (Friday): 

  • 1 hour run (cardio with weighted vest, last 20 minutes running in sand)
  • 10 sets of bodyweight plyometrics (see table below)
  • 5, 27 yard wind-sprints (often they would be uphill)

The morning cardio was done with a weighted vest. This served to strengthen Jake Gyllenhaal’s muscles while performing cardio. Usually, they would spend the last 20 minutes running at the beach to help shape Jake’s calves.

Bodyweight Plyometrics:

ExerciseSetsReps
Squat Thrusts
210
Plyo Push Ups210
Jump Squats210
Plyo Pull Ups
210
Box Jump
210

PM Workout (Friday): 1 hour Plyometric Circuits / Strength Training

Plyometric Circuit:

ExerciseSetsRepsWeight
DB Bench Step Up + Squat Thrusts41015-20 lb. Dumbbells (8 kg)
Lunges + Shoulder Press410 (each leg)20-25 lb. Dumbbells (10 kg)
Squat Thrusts + Pushup + Clean and Jerk

41045 lb. Barbells (20 kg)
Wide-Grip Pull Ups + Squat Thrusts
410Bodyweight or weighted vest
Wide Squats + Jump Squats
410Holding 45 lb. (20 kg) weight above your head
Disney
Disney

The plyometric circuit is circuit training. Do 1 set of each exercise, then move onto the next exercise. When Jake Gyllenhaal is done with 1 set of each exercise, he rests for 2 minutes, then repeats the circuit 3-4 more times.

Strength Training – Arms:

Exercise SetsReps
Barbell Bicep Curls36-8
Hammer Curls38-10
Preacher Curls38-10
Triceps Rope Pressdown38-10
Overhead Triceps Extension38-10

Read more about the Jake Gyllenhaal workout routine and workout videos on the next page >>

2 COMMENTS

  1. im wondering how do you do squat thrust with a clean and jerk? or you doing them back to back or do you do the clean and jerk 10 times then squat thrust 10 times? some of this stuff would be hard to do at say a 24hour fitness but I really want to try it this workout has everything I like in a workout but just wondering how to do it at a 24hourfitness also could I do the AM and PM all at one workout?

    • The reason Jake did all the Squat Thrusts and stuff like that was to get a superhero physique. He wanted to look like a guy who had to make those kind of movements all the time. Do the squat thrusts all at once, then do the clean and jerks. Yes, in a gym some of this will be harder to do. I tend to grab a 25 pound set of weights, and carry them with me throughout the gym. Maybe do your squat thrusts in between other exercises, or switch things up however you need to. Add different parts of the AM and PM workout together. Switch it up, so that you’re not just doing everything you like, but the ones you don’t like as well (make sure you get a complete workout that challenges you each time).

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