Jake Gyllenhaal Workout: Prince of Persia

Jake Gyllenhaal Workout Routine

The Jake Gyllenhaal Workout Routine for Prince of Persia consisted of a two-a-day workout. While Jake Gyllenhaal worked out twice a day while preparing for Prince of Persia, he narrowed it down to once per day while filming.

The combination of compound strength training and cardio helped Jake Gyllenhaal transform his body quickly. The morning cardio sessions were designed to burn fat. The morning is the best time to do cardio (on an empty stomach), as your body will focus on fat stores.


The Jake Gyllenhaal workout routine didn’t look the same every day. They would often sub in (or add) the following exercises to prepare Jake for the stunts in Prince of Persia:

  • Wall climbing
  • Sand running wearing a suit of armor
  • Sword fighting
  • Fist fighting
  • Cable workouts (to gain strength for sword training)

Waterson also says they did a lot of ab work in their routine (see Monday workout for exercises) to get ready for sword training:

We did a lot of core work to build the stability Jake needed to wield a sword.This involved a high number of reps to help build muscular strength and endurance.

Afternoon Workouts

Afternoon workouts for the Jake Gyllenhaal workout routine were focused on strength training. The afternoon/evening is a better time for strength training because you’ve had time to deliver high energy food sources to your body.

Jake Gyllenhaal would cool off after every strength workout with stretching and a short treadmill session. Stretching is not good to do before a workout. Studies show that stretching actually impair how much you can lift.

However, stretching after a workout is a good way avoid injury. The treadmill session at the end of every strength workout helped keep Gyllenhaal’s heart rate up. Extending Jake’s increased heart rate for a long period of time burns fat. During heavy lifting sessions, it’s important to elevate your heart rate if you want to look like the Prince of Persia.

Prince of Persia’s Stunt Coordinator explains Parkour:

Parkour is about using your environment to get from point A to point B. If it’s a rope, you use a rope. If there’s a wall, you jump over the wall.


To get Jake Gyllenhaal ready to play Dastan in Prince of Persia, director Jerry Bruckheimer flew in David Belle, the French creator of Parkour. Belle helped Jake Gyllenhaal train for all the action scenes. Talking about the workout as a whole, Jake Gyllenhaal says:

It was all about functional fitness, being able to do everything that was asked of me. So I got into the best shape I could, with a whole lot of running, parkour training, circuit training, and horseback riding

Jake Gyllenhaal Workout Quotes

Jake Gyllenhaal Workout quote about the development process he undergoes for Prince of Persia:

The development of the character was massively physical at first getting in shape and learning parkour, sword-fighting and the mentality of a warrior. There’s no reason to do a movie like this if you can’t do the stunts.


The focus of the Jake Gyllenhaal workout for Prince of Persia was functional training. They didn’t just want Jake to look the part, they wanted him to do the movements usually relegated to stunt doubles. His trainer, Simon Waterson, says:

The ultimate goal with Jake’s training was to provide a functional, strong and agile physique which would enable him to carry out the huge workload and stresses.

Gyllenhaal’s trainer decided to use compound exercises. These are most movements aimed at working multiple muscle groups at the same time. Simon Waterson, Jake Gyllenhaal’s trainer, says:

We concentrated on movement rather than muscle so his body would perform naturally. Jake is methodical; he has a vast understanding of fitness and he made every workout count, always giving 100%

Simon Waterson, Prince of Persia workout trainer, says that due to all the stunts and action scenes:

We had to build a functional, strong and agile physique capable of dealing with a huge workload and stresses.

Talking about the Jake Gyllenhaal Workout for Prince of Persia, Waterson says:

My main aim was to build athleticism but he also had to look amazing, too.

Source/More Reading Jake Gyllenhaal Workout

Sources/More Reading for the Jake Gyllenhaal Workout:


Jake Gyllenhaal Workout Videos For Prince of Persia

In this video, Jake Gyllenhaal talks about his workout for Prince of Persia. It included horseback riding, sword training and Parkour with gymnasts.

Stunts and Parkour used during filming Prince of Persia:

Jake Gyllenhaal Prince of Persia interview:

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Looking for Jake Gyllenhaal’s other workouts? Find the Jake Gyllenhaal “Southpaw” Workout here.


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  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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