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Wolverine Workout: How To Get As Jacked As Hugh Jackman

The Wolverine Workout shows you how to get you as “Jacked” as Hugh Jackman. His trainer shares all the details about the workout, below. The Wolverine Workout includes superset weight lifting, two methods of cardio, and a rotating diet.

Hugh Jackman starts by lifting weights first thing in the morning. He follows this with cardio, both done on an empty stomach. For The Wolverine, he then does another cardio workout in the afternoon. It focuses on interval training to burn fat.

The primary goals of the Wolverine workout are to improve size and strength, while reducing body fat. The workout comes straight from Hugh Jackman’s The Wolverine (2013) trainer, David Kingsbury.


For The Wolverine, Hugh Jackman worked out with David Kingsbury for 6 months prior to filming the movie. Hugh Jackman revealed he had been working out with celebrity trainer David Kingsbury via Twitter: @RealHughJackman.

David Kingsbury created a workout plan tailored to The Wolverine’s goal of getting jacked while reducing body fat. He combined the workout with an advanced fasting diet.

The diet uses advanced fasting and days of high carb intake during high activity, followed by lower carb and activity days. Now, it’s time to learn how to get as jacked as Hugh Jackman with the Wolverine Workout:

The Wolverine Workout Monday Routine – Chest & Shoulders

The Wolverine Workout Monday routine starts with a Chest & Shoulders workout, followed by 45 minutes of low-impact cardio on an empty stomach. They would start the workout by dynamic stretching and foam rolling of the chest & shoulders. Hugh Jackman and David Kingsbury would then end each routine with static stretching and more foam rolling of the chest & shoulders.


Monday Workout: Chest & Shoulders Routine

Bench Press45150 secsSee Below:4 Top Exercises
DB Shoulder Press41060 secs
Behind-the-Neck Press41060 secs
Cuban press31030 secs
Dips3100 secsSupersetSSet #1
Tricep Pushdown31260 secsSupersetSSet #1
Lat Raises380 secsSupersetSSet #2
Front Raises380 secsSupersetSSet #2
Rear Shoulder Flys380 secsSupersetSSet #2
Overhead Press3860 secsSupersetSSet #2
Total40 292 Diet:A1

Detailed Tutorials of the Monday workout:

  1. Bench Press: (see below: 4 sets of 5 in week 1, etc.) Rest: 150 secs between sets.
  2. Dumbbell Shoulder Press: (4 sets of 10) Rest: 60 secs between sets.
  3. Behind-the-Neck Press: (4 sets of 10) Rest: 60 secs
  4. Cuban press: (3 sets of 10) Rest: 30 secs
  5. Dips (3 sets of 10) with Tricep Pushdown (3 sets of 12) Superset (do both, then rest 60 secs).
  6. Lat Raises (Superset with next 3 exercises, 3 sets of 8 reps, and then rest 60 secs between Supersets):
  7. Front Raises
  8. Rear Shoulder Flys
  9. Overhead Press

Wolverine Workout trainer, David Kingsbury, says he would sometimes put a slight incline on the bench press. Kingsbury says this minor change to the routine allows you to work your chest, more than your shoulders. Finish each workout by doing the last 4 exercises #6-#9 all at once as a superset. Rest 60 secs after the Superset, then do all four exercises again.

The Wolverine workout is not only about training hard, but eating right. Hugh Jackman says:

I workout for three hours a day. Two hours in the morning. Then, wherever I can during the day I fit in another hour. The most important thing of the training is the eating. In fact, 70% of how you look is how you eat. Only 30% is the training.

Monday Cardio

For Monday cardio, Hugh Jackman would do cardio up to twice a day. Just starting out, Hugh would only do one morning, fat-burning cardio workout. During the (Advanced) parts of the Hugh Jackman workout, he would do an afternoon HIIT session of cardio, as well. This afternoon workout was to get him shredded for the shirtless scenes.

After lifting, trainer David Kingsbury would have Hugh Jackman do a 45 minute low intensity cardio workout. Lifting and doing cardio in the morning burns more fat than working out later in the day. By working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, your body burns more fatty acids. If you workout in the afternoon, your body burns glycogen instead.

You don’t want your heart rate to exceed 65% of it’s max, during the morning workout. By keeping your early morning workout at low intensity, your body burns more fatty acids. If you go too hard, your body has to scramble to find more energy. If it can’t find much glycogen (because you’re working out on an empty stomach), it is likely to break down your muscles for energy.

For both cardio sessions, choose from:

  • Treadmill
  • Elliptical
  • Running/Jogging
  • Spinning
  • Rowing
  • 45 min AM low intensity cardio, PM high intensity interval cardio.
  • (Advanced) 30 min sled, spinning bike or rowing session (1-2 total per week).

Workout Supplements & Afternoon Cardio Workout:

The Wolverine workout uses 5-10g of BCAA supplements before and after the workout. This prevents muscle breakdown by infusing your body with amino acids. Use your afternoon workout to go all out. Use high intensity interval training for optimal fat burning. Because you’ve consumed a meal 30 minutes before your afternoon cardio workout, you don’t have to worry about muscle breakdown. Your body pulls energy (glycogen) from the meal you’ve just ate.


Hugh Jackman’s trainer talks about afternoon high intensity workouts:

The Wolverine Workout often uses Rowing Intervals. Here, you do 1600m of sprints. Start with a warm up at a moderate pace for 500m. Then, sprint 100m on the rowing machine. Now, you get to go slow for 100m. Repeat both sets 7 more times. This will get you to 1600m.

For the afternoon high intensity workouts, Hugh Jackman does 30 secs of all-out rowing. This is followed by 60 seconds of recovery speed. Continue for as long as you plan to go. Hugh Jackman also does spinning bike intervals. Here, you do a warm up, then sprint for 30 secs followed by 60 secs of slow speed (just like the rowing).

Hugh Jackman’s personal trainer, David Kingsbury says:

Cycle for 3 min as a warm up at a steady pace. Sprint with maximal effort for 30 seconds. Row very gently for 1 minute. Repeat this eight times. Then, row a couple minutes as a cool down.

The Wolverine Workout Tuesday Routine – Legs & Abs

The Wolverine Workout Tuesday routine starts with a legs & abs workout, followed by 45 minutes of low-impact cardio on an empty stomach. The Wolverine workout adds muscle and burns fat at the same time. The fat burning comes from low intensity cardio in the morning on an empty stomach.

This is coupled with an afternoon high intensity cardio workout on most days. The muscle building comes from the workout itself, along with a proper diet. The diet is contingent on knowing how much you need to eat.


They would start the workout by dynamic stretching and foam rolling of the legs & abs. Hugh Jackman and David Kingsbury would then end each routine with static stretching and more foam rolling of the legs & abs.

Tuesday Workout Routine: Legs & Abs

Back Squat45150 secsSee Below:4 Top Exercises
Front Squat41060 secs
Leg Press41060 secsSingle Leg
Calf Raise4120 secsSupersetSSet #1
Leg Raises4120 secsSupersetSSet #1
Ab Wheels41060 secs
Knee Raises41030 secs
Decline Sit-Ups41030 secs
  1. Back Squat (see below: 4 sets of 5 in week 1, etc.) Rest: 150 secs between sets.
  2. Front Squat (4 sets of 10) Rest: 60 secs between sets.
  3. Leg Press Machine (Single-Leg) (4 sets of 10) Rest: 60 secs.
  4. Calf Raise / Hanging Leg Raises Superset (4 sets of 12) Rest: 60 secs after each superset.
  5. Ab Wheel Roll-outs (4 sets of 10)
  6. Hanging Knee Raises (4 sets of 10, only done 4 weeks from shirtless scenes)
  7. Decline Resisted Sit-Ups (4 sets of 10, only done 4 weeks from shirtless scenes)

Tuesday Cardio Routine

For the Tuesday cardio routine, you only do one cardio routine. This is because you rest for the rest of the day (after your legs workout). For early morning cardio–done after the workout but before first meal–Hugh Jackman does steady pace rowing, elliptical, walking, or spinning (bike) while staying in the 60-65% of his max heart rate (MHR). This heart rate keeps you at a fat-burning cardio pace.

Hugh Jackman’s trainer says that you can use a treadmill, but Hugh Jackman did not because there is a higher risk of injury when using treadmills. They could not afford Hugh Jackman to get hurt while doing the Wolverine workout. You wouldn’t want to see The Wolverine hobbling from scene to scene in the movie.

  • 45 min AM low intensity cardio, no PM cardio on leg day (rest).

Hugh Jackman says:

I workout for three hours a day. Two hours in the morning. Then, wherever I can during the day I fit in another hour. The most important thing of the training is the eating. In fact, 70% of how you look is how you eat. Only 30% is the training.


  1. With all of these celebrity workouts, would it be safe or beneficial to do a hybrid of them all? Like do the Thor shoulder workout for monday, the Rock’s chest routine for Tuesday etc. etc. Something along those lines

    • Yes, you can. It’s all about having fun, but training hard. There are things you can pick up from each workout. On the flip side, if you find a workout that matches your goals, then you may want to stick to that for a few months and see how it works out.

      I tend to stick to The Rock’s workouts, but do lifting first as detailed in The Wolverine workout. I like the Wolverine diet, but sometimes The Rock’s as well. I also do a lot of kettlebell swings for cardio, because they’re really fun (use proper form). That’s something I picked up from the Thor workout.

      • Awesome! Thanks for the advice, I’m really looking forward to tackling these workouts!

    • Here’s The Wolverine supplement guide:

      BCAA’s (5-10g in the morning)
      Animal Pump
      Animal Pack (1 per day with any meal)

      The labels will guide you on proper use.

  2. Hey, I noticed that you listed PM Interval cardio for 45 min. Isn’t that a bit long for interval training? Is it combined with low intensity? Thanks for any info!

    • Good catch. I’ll fix that. Interval cardio should only take 15-20 minutes at the most, including warmup. A few examples are included in the workout. Sprinting on a treadmill is usually a 3 minute warmup, 12-15 minutes of 1 minute sprinting/1 minute slow pace, and a cool down.

  3. Hey Chris,

    Are you going to do a Captain America Workout? or is there not enough information to do a workout article on?

  4. Hi, how do you fit in 2 lunch and 2 dinners in an 8-hour window for feeding? Because that could get you to feel bloated or you might get indigestion?

    Also, how do I apply this intermittent fasting when I do my workout during the afternoon or evening?


    • Training for The Wolverine, Hugh Jackman had to eat a lot. It’s fine to cut out 1-2 of the meals if you don’t have a 4500 calorie count. If you do, then remember that the fasting will cut down on the possible bloating/indigestion. Also, Jackman’s trainer uses a 15-9 (9 hour feeding) on training days, and a 17-7 (7 hour feeding) on non-training, lower calorie days. You’re right, it can be difficult to fit all those meals in. But, at least you do have 9 hours to eat on those training days.

      For intermittent fasting, just make sure that your window coincides with your workout. The MAJOR difference is that you have to switch the meals, so that carb intake is highest during the workout part of your day. So, if you workout in the afternoon, eat the high-carb meals pre and post workout. If you work out at night, flip the meal plan entirely on it’s head. This way, you’re eating carbs when you’re working out. That’s the most important step.

    • Sure! The major consideration would be diet. You may not want to do intermittent fasting. You could try the fasting, but it would likely lead to muscular breakdown. Instead, you would want to eat 5-6 times a day to keep your muscles fed.

        • Morning workouts are where you focus on slow and steady (60-65% of max heart rate) cardio. You don’t have any glycogen in your body (empty stomach), so your body will burn fat. The idea is that the most fat burning comes from cardio done on an empty stomach.

          Doing this type of cardio works best in the morning, before you’ve had anything to eat. Once you’ve eaten, then HIIT cardio workouts are better for fat burning.

          Afternoon workouts are done 30 minutes after eating. You have glycogen running through your veins. The idea is to use a HIIT workout to burn these calories as quickly as possible, so that your body returns to a fat burning state.

  5. After these four weeks what can be done to keep the defined body?
    Thank you and congratulations for your great work.

    • Hi,

      After the 1st 4 weeks, the plan is to go through it again. Every month, you aim to get 5-10% stronger on the main lifts. For the other exercises, you can try to go up 5-10%, or just gradually increase strength over time. The Wolverine trainer’s advice:

      The goal is to increase your working max for the top 4 exercises by 5-10% each month. Reps for exercises other than these 4 stay in the 6-10 rep range. This is a rep range that focuses on muscular growth, size and fat burning. For these other exercises, increase the weight as you can over time.

  6. Any substitute for the Multi angle Incline Dumbell Press because the gym that i am going doesnt have that type of adjustable bench

    • Ale,

      Using a Stability Ball and Dumbbells will also do the trick. That’s the best substitute I can think of. Stability Balls are used by many top trainers because research shows using one increases the amount of muscles you use. Otherwise, skip the multi-angle Incline Dumbbell Press, and only do what is safe.

  7. Do you go lower calorie on days where you work out less? You mention carbs, but no mention of calories.

    • Hi,

      Yes, you go high carbs on big days. Then, you go lower carbs on low energy days. This carb cycling helps with your metabolism. It trains your body to use food for energy on big days.

      A quote from Hugh Jackman (page 4) states that he eats 3500-4000 calories on an average energy day. He also reduces his caloric intake if he’s in a slimming down phase (like before a shoot). Remember to use an online calculator (or the Harris Benedict scale) to find what’s right for you.

  8. Hi i want to know something Chris Davis , for his diet he eat 6 full eggs or 6 eggs white ? Because 6 full eggs it maybe too much ? Thank you :)

    • When bulking at (4000-4500kcal), he would eat 6 whole eggs. The reason is that the fat in whole eggs has the cholesterol that you need to produce testosterone. Testosterone, of course, helps your muscles to get bigger by promoting natural human growth hormone to occur, etc.

      Hugh Jackman's trainer is big on eating healthy fats, especially on rest days. Even though we've been conditioned to think fat=bad, it's actually an important part of getting bigger. When in the leaning phase, to get ready for filming (3000kcal), it's likely Hugh may have just had egg whites some of the time. When cutting, fats are one of the first things to go.

        • It's important to get your cholesterol checked with your doctor. However, cholesterol has gotten more bad press than it deserves. If you're cholesterol conscious, then opt for eggs sourced from chickens that are eating a quality diet. Cholesterol is an important building block for your body. If you're looking to get bigger, like Hugh Jackman, you require some cholesterol, which your body needs to produce testosterone.

  9. Hi..Chris. My body is medium skinny.I going in gym last 1month.I want make my body muscular but I don’t want too big then how to achive this and how much time rest between sets
    Thank you

    • When lifting heavy, try to rest 30-1 min between sets. If you’re doing supersets, don’t rest until you’ve finished them all. However, if you’re lifting lighter then don’t rest between sets unless you need to. The key to getting more muscular stems from eating protein/carbs before and after every workout session.

      It sounds like you’re looking to burn fat while lifting. For this, you want to increase reps and decrease rest. Ideally, you’ll be doing 2-3 exercises as a superset. Then, rest 15-30 seconds as needed. Check out the Joe Manganiello Workouts for more on this, and let me know if you need anything.

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