Matthew McConaughey Workout & Diet: Get His Weight Loss Routine

The Matthew McConaughey workout is designed to get the body you see in Magic Mike. When not in the gym with Gunnar Peterson, Matthew McConaughey also had to spend time rehearsing his dance routines.

Matthew McConaughey was already in great shape, but his workouts were about circuit training to give his physique that extra “polish.”


Matthew McConaughey choose celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson to help train for his role in Magic Mike. This meant showing up to “The Compound” (aptly named because it’s hidden from the paparazzi), in Beverly Hills at 6 in the morning.

In the 2 weeks leading up to the dance filming, Matthew McConaughey even worked out with Gunnar Peterson twice a day. The two have worked together since Sahara in 2005.

Matthew McConaughey Workout Routine Monday- Legs, Abs & Cardio

Here’s the Monday Matthew McConaughey workout routine. McConaughey does legs abs & cardio as part of his workout routine for Monday. Do Circuit 1 and Circuit 2, then repeat each circuit 2 more times. Then, move on to Circuit 3 (cardio). Gunnar Peterson will switch up the rotation of each exercise in the circuit. Do that if you wish to keep your body on edge through the workout routine.

Do Circuit 1 & 2 (then repeat 2 more times), then proceed to Circuit 3.

So, do:

  1. Circuit 1
  2. Circuit 2
  3. Then repeat each 2 more times.
  4. Circuit 3

Rest 1 min between circuit, but don’t rest between each set

Circuit 1 – 3 sets total

Circuit 2 – 3 sets, 30 secs per exercise, 15 secs rest every 2nd exercise.

Circuit 3 – Cardio (Repeat this circuit 9 times)

  • 5 minutes on any Cardio Machine
  • 1 minute Jumping Rope (Get a Jump Rope on Amazon)

Matthew-McConaughey-workout abs

Now, why repeat the Cardio circuit 9 times? Because Gunnar Peterson splits his clients’ cardio circuits that way. He finds that people work harder when asked to train for short bouts of time. If he were to say, “go on that cardio machine for an hour,” his clients would take it easy. Matthew McConaughey was motivated to work his lower body hard for Magic Mike:

Vanity, baby! You get a bunch of guys who are already in shape, make sure they get in peak shape, tell them that you’re going to be in a stripping movie. That your backside is going to be 40 feet tall and wide in the center of the screen.

Matthew McConaughey Workout Routine Tuesday Routine – Chest, Shoulders, Cardio

Here’s the Tuesday Matthew McConaughey workout routine. McConaughey does chest, shoulders, & cardio as part of his workout routine for Tuesday. Do Circuit 1 through Circuit 3, then repeat each circuit 2 more times. Then, move on to Circuit 4 (cardio). Gunnar Peterson will switch up the rotation of each exercise in the circuit. Do Circuit 1 – 3 (then repeat 2 more times), then proceed to Circuit 4.

So, do:

  1. Circuit 1
  2. Circuit 2
  3. Circuit 3
  4. Then repeat each 2 more times.
  5. Circuit 4

Rest 1 min between circuit, but don’t rest between each set

Circuit 1

Circuit 2

Circuit 3 – 3 sets total (time permitting)

Circuit 4 – 4-5-6-6-5-4 Cardio (30 mins)

  • Machine 1 – 4 minutes
  • Machine 2 – 5 minutes
  • Machine 3 – 6 minutes
  • Machine 1 – 6 minutes
  • Machine 2 – 5 minutes
  • Machine 3 – 4 minutes

matthew-mcconaughey workout2

Gunnar Peterson’s 4-5-6-6-5-4 Cardio routine may sound strange, but it makes sense. He has found that people tend to slack off if he tells them to hit the treadmill for half an hour. So, he has you pick 3 different cardio machines (or plyometric exercises), and you alternate doing 4-5-6-6-5-4 minutes on each of them.

Gunnar Peterson has found that his clients get much better results this way. It keeps the mind fresh as well. Speaking of minds, what did Matthew McConaughey have his mind on, while working out for Magic Mike?

Matthew McConaughey told GQ Magazine:

 Curls for the Girls! They say that the average football player starts going downhill at  26. At 30, they’re saying Roger Federer is old. I’m working on having my debut in the UFC at 45. Nah…not really. But I am just trying to stay limber.


  1. Is this only for weight loss or you can also get in shape with this workout? (and gain weight if you r skinny)

    • The Matthew McConaughey workout is better if you’re trying to get skinny. He used this workout to get in the best shape of his life. The reason this is better for losing weight, is because of all the cardio and high intensity weight lifting.

      If your focus is more on gaining muscle, you can still do this workout. Adjust it so that you’re lifting heavier weight, and give yourself more time to rest in between sets.

  2. Ok, and what did he do for warms up before workouts? And what workout would you recomend for gaining weight, to look like Matthew (something like in Fools Gold)?

    • Matthew McConaughey never talked about what he did for warm ups. However, most Gunnar Peterson routines use 5 minutes on any cardio machine as an ample warm up. So, I’d go with that. 5 minutes of cardio on your favorite machine.

      The key to gaining weight is diet. Matthew McConaughey even said in the article that as he gets older, he realizes just how much everything depends on diet. Check out The Rock Workout and Diet here for an example of a diet to gain weight.

      You don’t necessarily have to change the Matthew McConaughey workout routine to gain weight. Lift heavier, and take more time to rest between sets. The 8-12 rep range is key for size gains. You can cut down on the cardio in Circuit 4. Don’t go past 30 minutes. Also, take BCAA supplements while you’re training to minimize muscle cannibalization.

  3. When I’m doing Circuit 1, then Circuit 2, do I have to repeat Circuit 1 two more times and then Circuit 2 two more times or do i have to do it like the first time, always Circuit 1 then 2 all three times? And what does time permitting means?

  4. The idea is to work different body parts to really get your metabolism going. The best way to get your heart pumping and the fat burning is to constantly change it up. This is why Gunnar Peterson constantly has Matthew McConaughey going from one exercise to the next.

    So, it’s best to do each circuit one time, then go back through each one again. I realize that if you’re in a gym, it is very hard to do the circuit training this way. In the case of a crowed gym, you’re more likely going to have to do each circuit 3 times, then move to the next circuit. This type of workout is better for strength training (even better if you use heavier weight and rest more in between sets). You won’t burn as many calories this way though.

    When Matthew McConaughey was training with Gunnar Peterson, they often had to cut things short due to movie production schedules. If this was the case, then the abs/core circuit was the first thing to do. Matthew McConaughey says that diet is what really gives you abs anyway.

  5. What kind of BCAA supplements would you recomend(i mean what brand is the best)? Do you recomend any other supplements besides BCAA?

    • Cellucor is my favorite brand. A pre-workout can help motivate you, and has creatine. BCAA’s are great during the workout. I also like to take Animal Pack and Animal Pump.

  6. Why some much cardio at the end of workout? Because most people at the gym dont even go on cardio at the end or just a litlle bit and they say that its wrong, that im going to louse weight. And i believe that on wednesday you forgot to write that he also does triceps.

    • Matthew McConaughey’s goal was to lose weight. If your goal is simply to gain muscle, then feel free to cut down on the cardio. Since McConaughey knows that he’s going to be seen on-screen by millions of people, he and his trainer, Gunnar Peterson, are going to make certain that he is as lean as can be.

      This is the reason for all the cardio. He was trying his best to get in the best shape of his life. Even if your focus is on gaining mass, I would still recommend doing some cardio. Just not as much. Or, work your way up so you do a little more each week. The BCAA’s are the reason its OK to do cardio after a workout. Your body won’t go catabolic if you’ve got all those amino acids floating in your system.

  7. When you say 15 reps on planks, what do you mean? And do i have to change this program or can I go like this untill summer?

    • For planks, do 15 reps till failure. Go for as long as you can with proper form. If you find that you can hold for 30 secs, then count that as a rep. Otherwise, just do 15 reps to failure.

      Make sure the workout continues to challenge you. Always look for ways to improve both your fitness level and your diet. If this workout continues to challenge you, great! Stick with it. But, I suggest trying out a new workout every 3-4 months to avoid a plateau.

  8. So, I did some research into the supplements McConaughey was taking. Some have been proven to be beneficial, some have shown no benefit. Here are summaries and links to current studies (last four years on the five major supplements he was taking:

    Ubiquinol supplementation enhances peak power production in trained athletes

    “both forskolin and rolipram stimulated lipolysis and inhibited body weight increase by increasing cAMP levels. Also, combination therapy using the two agents may be more effective in preventing diet induced obesity than either agent alone.”

    7-Keto DHEA
    “7-Keto’s efficacy is supported by two randomized, double-blinded, placebocontrolled (RDBPC) weight loss clinical trials. The first study indicated that 7-Keto increased weight loss over an eight-week period by 200 percent more than placebo. A second trial confirmed these results. The second trial, also RDBPC, confirmed that weight-loss over an eight-week period could be increased by a factor of three times. Importantly, each of these studies confirmed that majority of the weight lost was body fat.”

    fenugreek extract
    Fenugreek Extract Supplementation Has No effect on the Hormonal Profile of Resitance-Trained Males

    D-aspartic acid
    d-Aspartic acid supplementation combined with 28 days of heavy resistance training has no effect on body composition, muscle strength, and serum hormones associated with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in resistance-trained men

  9. For the Wednesday abs circuit is it 30secs on an 15 rest for each, like the leg day work out?

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