Athlete/Celebrity Workouts

Hugh Jackman's 'Days of Future Past' 5-Day Routine

The man behind Wolverine dialed up his training yet again for the latest X-flick. Here’s a full week of Hugh Jackman's program, straight from his trainer.

Hugh Jackman
20th Century-Fox/Getty Images
20th Century-Fox/Getty Images
Duration 5 days
Exercises 41
Equipment Yes

This feature originally appeared in a 2014 issue of Muscle & Fitness

X-Men: Days of Future Past marks the seventh time Hugh Jackman takes on the role of the uber-jacked, adamantium-clawed mutant Wolverine. Of course, he’s once again in the best shape of his life. Needing to reach peak physical condition for the screen, Jackman doesn’t fall back to training templates that worked for past films, says personal trainer David Kingsbury.

“I wanted to adapt and improve the previous plan to take Hugh to the next level,” Kingsbury says. “The new plan follows similar principles, but has a couple of major changes from what we did on The Wolverine. This plan utilizes two percentage systems—one aimed at strength, the other with a focus on hypertrophy.”

The following workout represents one week out of the hypertrophy (muscle growth) phase of Jackman’s program. Give it a try, and don’t forget to check out the The Wolverine Workout program that Kingsbury wrote for Jackman when filming 2013’s The Wolverine.

Before each workout, start here:

  1. Warm up and cool down each day with dynamic stretching and foam rolling.
  2. Perform any exercises labeled A and B as supersets, resting only after exercise B is complete.
  3. For any exercises labeled as "50 Club," use the following rules:
    • Pick a weight you can use for 12 reps.
    • With a partner, take as many turns as necessary to reach 50 total reps, going to failure on each turn. If you’re training alone, use rest periods no greater than 35 seconds.
    • If you reach more than 12 reps on your first set, it still only counts as 12—this is a clear indicator that you should have gone heavier, so more work is your punishment.
    • The 50 Club isn’t a drop set, so whichever weight you use in the first set is what you need to use for all 50 reps.

Day 1

Exercise 1

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
4 sets
5 reps
120 sec rest

Exercise 2

Barbell Front Squat You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Barbell Front Squat thumbnail
-- sets
50 Club reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Single-leg Press How to
Single-leg Press thumbnail
4 sets
12 each reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 4A

Hanging Knee Raise You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Hanging Knee Raise thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4B

Leg Press Calf Raise
leg press calf raise thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 5

Russian Twist You'll need: Weight Plates How to
Russian Twist thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
60 sec rest

Day 2

Exercise 1A

Incline Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Barbell, Bench How to
Incline Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
8 sets
6 reps
60 sec rest
Take 4 seconds to lower the weight.

Exercise 1B

General Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Pullup thumbnail
8 sets
8 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 2A

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 2B

Inverted Row You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Inverted Row thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 3A-1

Standing Zottman Biceps Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Standing Zottman Biceps Curl thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 3A-2 & 3A-3. Curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders, then rotate your wrists out so that your palms face away from you before lowering the weight.

Exercise 3A-2

Dumbbell Hammer Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Hammer Curl thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 3A-1 & 3A-3.

Exercise 3A-3

Cross-Body Dumbbell Curl
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 3A-1 & 3A-2.

Exercise 3B-1

Skull Crusher You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Skull Crusher thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 3B-2 & 3B-3.

Exercise 3B-2

Weighted Dip You'll need: Ankle Weights, Dip Station How to
Weighted Dip thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 3B-1 & 3B-3.

Exercise 3B-3

Narrow Pushup
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
8 reps
60 sec rest
Perform as circuit with 3B-1 & 3B-2.

Day 3

Exercise 1

Dumbbell Shoulder Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Shoulder Press thumbnail
8 sets
6 reps
120 sec rest
Take 4 seconds to lower the weight.

Exercise 2

Behind-the-Neck Shoulder Press
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
15 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 3

Upright Row and Press
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
50 Club reps
-- rest
Use a fixed or loaded EZ Curl bar and pull the weight from your waist to your chin as you would during a normal upright row, then flip your elbows below your wrists and press the weight overhead.

Exercise 4A

Overhead Lateral Raise
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 4B & 4C. Perform a normal lateral raise, finishing with the weight as high overhead as you can manage.

Exercise 4B

Weight Plate Front Raise You'll need: Weight Plates How to
Weight Plate Front Raise thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 4A & 4C.

Exercise 4C

Dumbbell Rear Delt Flye You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Rear Delt Flye thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
60 sec rest
Perform as circuit with 4A & 4B.

Exercise 5A

Seated Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
Seated Lateral Raise thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 5B, 5C & 5D.

Exercise 5B

Seated Front Raise
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 5A, 5C & 5D.

Exercise 5C

Seated Rear Delt Flye
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Perform as circuit with 5A, 5B & 5D.

Exercise 5D

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
60 sec rest
Perform as circuit with 5A, 5B & 5C.

Day 4

Exercise 1

Barbell Front Squat You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Barbell Front Squat thumbnail
8 sets
6 reps
90 sec rest

Exercise 2

Romanian Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Romanian Deadlift thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 3A

Leg Extension
Leg Extension thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3B

Barbell Hack Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Hack Squat thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
60 rest

Exercise 4A

Weighted Decline Situp You'll need: Bench How to
Weighted Situp thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4B

Leg Press Calf Raise
leg press calf raise thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 5

Windshield Wipers You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Windshield Wiper thumbnail
4 sets
10 each reps
60 sec rest
Lie on the floor with your legs in the air so that they are perpendicular to the floor. Rotate your legs left and right, not allowing them to touch the ground; your abs and obliques will have to work overtime to keep them stabilized.

Day 5

Exercise 1A

General Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Pullup thumbnail
8 sets
6 reps
-- rest
Take 4 seconds to lower your body.

Exercise 1B

Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Incline Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Incline Bench Press thumbnail
8 sets
8 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 2A

Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Incline Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Incline Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
8 each reps
-- rest
After 8 reps, drop the initial incline a few notches, perform 8 more reps, make one more drop, then hit a final 8 reps. That’s one set.

Exercise 2B

Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Row thumbnail
3 sets
6,6 reps
60 sec rest
Perform as drop set.

Exercise 3A

Cable Rear Delt Flye
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3B

Pushdown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine How to
triceps pushdown thumbnail
3 sets
12 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 4A

Narrow-Grip Eccentric Chinup
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
1 reps
-- rest
Take 30 seconds to lower your body.

Exercise 4B

Barbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
bicep curl thumbnail
3 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest
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