Hugh Jackman “The Wolverine” Diet Plan

Embodying the iconic Marvel Comics superhero “Wolverine” on the silver screen for over a decade has made Hugh Jackman a legitimate, recognizable – and bankable – Hollywood action hero.

The multi-talented Jackman (N.B. he’s a Tony and Golden Globe award winner, plus he’s hosted the damn Oscars!) admits that turning into the rabid Wolverine takes real dedication.  And massive exercise and training sessions alone aren’t enough.

OK, we get that.  So, what’s the secret to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Diet?

Hugh Jackman says that you’re going to need a formal diet action plan, which means eating the right foods at the right times.  More likely than not, you’re going to have to eat a lot – almost to the point of puking.

Sounds drastic, but that’s the only way to avoid becoming showbiz “roadkill”, i.e. a bony corpse that can’t deliver the goods and is forced to wait tables – instead of pursuing dreams – his entire life.

Harsh statement, but true…

Listen, I’m not the type to throw tons numbers at you, e.g. diet should be 70% or 80% of your overall lifestyle equation.  However, if a veteran like Mr. Jackman was willing to take advice to prepare for his fifth turn as the Marvel mutant superhero, then I’m all ears.

That being said, what did Jackman do diet-wise to make “The Wolverine” come alive again on the movie screen?

For starters, he followed the fasting plan outlined in David Zinczenko’s best-seller “The 8-Hour Diet which divides each day into an 8-hour “window” for eating (stuffing your face?) and a 16-hour fat-burning zone without food.

Inside the eight-hour feeding zone, Hugh used personal advice from none other than fellow Hollywood actor and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) icon Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  In order to pack on twenty-five pounds of lean muscle mass in six months, Johnson told his fellow forty-something to “eat natural, and eat 6,000 calories per day.”[1]

Six-thousand calories a day!  That’s crazy eating, kind of like Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps!

Combining Johnson’s nutrition ideas with trainer David Kingsbury’s “The Wolverine” workout plan meant a lot of personal sacrifice and effort on Jackman’s part, given that the actor was transitioning from his complex, Oscar-nominated role as Jean Valjean in The Miserables (2012).  Following the “carb-cycling” diet concept meant that, according to Kingsbury,

“On weight-training days we’d do carbs, and on non-weight training days we’d have very low carbs and add more fats, like avocado, nuts, and seeds, so Hugh was still getting the calories in, but without as many carbs.”[2]

Specific meal suggestions?  Well, why not turn to “The Rock”?  After all, he’s having to bulk up for the title role in “Hercules: The Thracian Wars”.  Johnson’s protein-rich meals include the following:

Meal 1: 10 scrambled egg whites, 3 servings cream of rice or 1 cup oatmeal, 3 rice cakes

Meal 2: 6oz skinless grilled chicken breast, 1 cup grits, 6oz yams, 1 cup of steamed asparagus

Meal 3: 6oz tuna, 1 cup brown rice, 1 sliced cucumber

Meal 4: 6oz perch fillet, 1 cup barley, 6oz baked potato, 1 cup steamed green beans

Meal 5: 6oz pork tenderloin, 1 cup brown rice, 6oz sweet potato, 1 cup peas

Meal 6: 10 scrambled egg whites, 1 cup oatmeal.[3]

Very important: Enough water (e.g. 18-24 ounces) with each meal and carb avoidance after 3 PM even on “carb” days.

Other items high on Hugh Jackman’s list:

  • Slices of avocado, almonds (healthy fats)
  • Steamed chicken breast without salt
  • Steamed spinach
  • Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids)
  • The occasional steak (prime cuts).

In past years, Hugh Jackman has not been averse to the odd espresso (caffeine boost) to get an extra kick in the morning.

Conclusion.

Hugh Jackman, People’s “Sexist Man Alive” in 2009, is more than just a pretty face with an Adonis-like physique.  At forty-four years old, this industry veteran is widely recognized in Hollywood as a genuinely nice guy and true professional whose accolades and peer recognition are well deserved because of his dedication and hard work.

As the Wolverine, he personifies the brooding loner who struggles to find inner peace and meaning in a tortured life.  Following the “Wolverine” diet plan is not for the faint of heart, and even a partial attempt requires strict supervision by a certified personal trainer and ideally, a registered dietician.

Oh yeah, you young bucks out there need a family physician’s OK, even if it means a complete physical that reveals something that may count against you.

Give it your best effort, and be smart about it!

Sources:
[1], [2] Dean Stattman, “No more Mr. Nice Guy.”, Men’s Fitness, July-August 2013.  pp. 82-89.
Sirius XM (sirius), “My Hardest Role was…” [Video file], (2013, May 22).  Retrieved from   http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CPwDVd32pcI
[3] Brian Enk, “Dwayne Johnson Works Out Like a Demi-God for ‘Hercules’ Role”,  24 June 13         http://ca.movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/dwayne-johnson-works-demi-god-hercules-role-205123613.html

Henry Cavill’s “Man of Steel” Superman Workout Routine

Did you say Superman is dead?  Check this out:

“Man of Steel” soars again… $226 million worldwide gate breaks June record!

The reviews and box office receipts are in, and British actor Henry Cavill is proving to be a worthy successor to George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, and Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel.

Perhaps the best Superman ever…

Prior to donning the famous red cape and S shield as Superman, Cavill (born May 5, 1983) was best known for the role of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk in Showtime’s The Tudors (2007-10).

Even before his turn as Kal-El/Clark Kent, viewers were impressed with Cavill’s killer bod.  However, under the guidance of Mark Twight, owner of Salt Lake City’s Gym Jones, he was able to take it to next level – gaining fifteen pounds of muscle over ten months of training – to chisel out an even more amazing physique.

“It was tough, really tough. When you feel you can’t push any harder or you can’t lift any more weight, you think, ‘Well, hold on a second, I’ve got to look like Superman’.”[1] ~ Henry Cavill

So, what did it take for this mild-mannered actor – passed over for the roles of James Bond (Daniel Craig), and Twilight’s Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) – to take the Superman physique to new heights?

Certainly, some traditional muscular strength exercises (e.g. Olympic presses, wheelbarrow runs, etc.) were part of the overall package.  However, under Mark Twight’s “tailpipe” training routine, Henry frequently used a killer four-exercise, one-hundred rep routine that did not include rest – just eight (8) deep breathes through the nose between the sets and at conclusion.

Nothing like a destabilizing workout to burn fat, kick up the metabolism, and get super-ripped!

Here are the details of the program.  Warning – this is an advanced workout, especially with heavier weights and the no-rest requirement.  Beginners should start with 10-15 repetitions and a one minute rest between sets.  As they get stronger, ramp up the intensity to ‘Superman’ heights…

So without further ado, here it is:

Henry Cavill “Man of Steel” Superman Workout

1. Goblet Squats (25 repetitions): Quadriceps.

There aren’t many better quadriceps exercises that the Goblet squat, also called the Kettlebell squat.

Using a kettlebell or dumbbell, stand with your feet just beyond shoulder width (N.B. With the kettlebell, hold handle with both hands; with dumbbell, cup the upper bell with both hands.).  Hold vertically next to your chest, elbows pointing down.

Squat down between your legs until your hamstrings are on your calves. Keep your chest and head up and your back straight.

At the bottom, pause briefly and use your elbows to push your knees out. Rise back to the start position, and repeat for all twenty-five (25) repetitions.

Remember, keep your back naturally arched, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as far as possible.

2. Kettlebell Swing (25 repetitions): Hamstrings.

Contrary to popular belief, the kettlebell swing is not primarily a shoulder exercise.  There is some shoulder action required, but the “hammies” and lower body (calves, glutes, lower back) benefit most.  Once you have the technique down pat, look forward to a tightened core, more speed and increased flexibility!

Bend at your hips and hold the kettlebell (or dumbbell) with both hands at arm’s length down in front.  Rock back slightly and “football hike” the kettlebell between your legs. Then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward forcefully, and swing the weight to shoulder height (about 90° rotation). Allow momentum to swing the weight, don’t over-swing the shoulders, and avoid lunging forward!  Reverse the move between your legs, and keep swinging.  Don’t over-swing or arch your back on return – that will cause lower back pain!

3. Squat Thrust (a.k.a. Burpee) (25 repetitions): Full body.

This exercise and its burpee variations cover the killer ‘C’s of fitness in one shot: cardio, core, and conditioning.  Stand with your feet slightly beyond shoulder-width apart. Bending at your hips and knees, squat and lower your body until you can place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward into the regular pushup position, then immediately reverse the move and quickly stand up from the squat.

To add difficulty, perform one push-up before returning to the standing position.  You can also turn the squat thrust into a jump squat by jumping out of the squat position before landing on your feet.

4. Jumping Jacks (25 repetitions): Calisthenics and cardiovascular system.

This primary and high school gym class favorite never goes out of style, even with movie stars!  Stand with feet together and hands by your sides. Raise your arms above your head and at the same time kick your legs out to the sides.  Without stopping, reverse the movement and keep going until reaching your goal.

I’ve always worried about my weight, I like feeling fit. I just don’t want people to start saying, ‘Oh no Superman’s put on a few pounds’. That suit is tight!”[2] ~ Henry Cavill

Bullied as a youth for being overweight, Henry “Fatty” Cavill has risen to unprecedented heights as the latest Hollywood superhero.  No doubt his ripped physique has the approval of his gorgeous girlfriend, ex-MMA fighter and actor Gina Carano (“Fast and the Furious 6”).

Rumored to be next in line after Daniel Craig for the James Bond series, the tall, dark and handsome Brit will undoubtedly look to stay in shape as meatier roles keep coming his way.

Sources:
[1],[2] Emma Brankin, “Superman’s Supergirl: Henry Cavill’s New Love is American gladiator Gina Carano.”,
http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/supermans-supergirl-henry-cavills-new-1955898  http://www.mirror.co.uk  16 June 13.
Adam Campbell, “The Superman Workout: Discover how Henry Cavill sculpted the body of a superhero.” http://www.menshealth.com/deltafit/superman-workout  http://www.menshealth.com 18 June 13.
Mark Jefferies, “Henry Cavill’s workout revealed: Watch Superman star get his muscles into peak condition”, http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/henry-cavill-workout-revealed-watch-1962095
http://www.mirror.co.uk 18 June 13.

High-Intensity Interval Training, Tabata Method, Little Method, & Turbulence Training Explained…

Came across this awesome info-graphic that covers high-intensity interval training (HIIT), the Tabata method, the Little Method, and Turbulence Training.  Not matter which one of these you choose, you can’t go wrong to get a nice efficient, fat burning workout.

If you think it’s cool (I’m sure you will) then be sure to share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

The Complete Guide to Interval Training

More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

Don’t forget to share this post with others!

Healthy Juicing for Losing Weight, Increasing Energy, & Improving Health

by Chris Cannon

Thanks to the award-winning, breakout documentary film “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” (2010) starring Australian Joe Cross, the idea of juicing has come to the forefront as a superior dieting and wellness alternative for people looking to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Simply stated, juicing is the extraction of juice (liquid) from an assortment of fruits and vegetables.  It can be done manually (e.g. with an inverted cone) or with sophisticated, specialized equipment most often powered by electric motors.

Mr. Cross himself has parlayed use of a Breville juicer in “Fat, Sick” into a lucrative cross-promotional marketing deal with the aforementioned appliance company.

Even people who do not practice juicing regularly laud it as an admirable “bridging” activity for those who normally shun fruits and vegetables in their diet.  Let’s face it; many Americans have a hard time getting the 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Harvard School of Public Health, and other prominent nutrition advocates.

Some juicers claim to retain up to 95% of food nutrients from the original source.  In this case, it would appear logical and reasonable to make juicing part of everyday life.  However, what are the practical reasons for justifying the purchase of a two, five or even eight-hundred dollar juicer, every two to three years?  Here are some positive aspects to consider:

  • Increased energy and accelerated weight loss.  For example, Joe Cross’ sixty-day (60) juicing diet helped him lose one-hundred pounds!
  • Eliminate the need for expensive dietary pills and other supplements that actually worsen your long-term health.
  • Reduces your environmental footprint, especially when you adopt “Green” juicing methods.
  • Retains leftover pulp to ensure that you do not lose all the benefits of healthy fiber intake.
  • Detoxifies the liver and improves overall cellular health.

Juicing is regarded by some, including health experts Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Joel Fuhrman, as an excellent tactic in the battle for improved cellular health.  It is one way of ensuring that we quickly receive the necessary micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) and enzymes so critical for fighting off diseases and maintaining a healthy body mass.

In particular, cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts, watercress, etc.) should be consumed on a daily basis to help fight off the onset of various diseases.  Juicing these vegetables offers several benefits, including a ready source of chlorophyll, believed to possess many anti-cancerous and skin health properties.

Juicing versus Blending.

Juicing offers people a number of potential benefits: concentrated nutrition, a convenient system for absorbing nutrients, weight loss and healing.  However, some critics invoke over-nutrition, too much sugar, and a loss of fiber as reasons for limiting or avoid the practice altogether.  If juicing does not suit your food consumption habits, blending may be a suitable alternative.

Blending is known to keep whole foods whole, which helps you absorb the right amount of nutrients and eat their fiber content.  Recall that fiber has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
  • Maintaining a healthy colon; preventing colon cancer
  • Helping to avoid overeating, constipation.
  • Helping to maintain sugar levels, especially critical for people with diabetes.

Both juicing and blending are great options for people who lead active, fast-paced lifestyles.  We encourage you to try out both methods to see what works best.

Some Sample Juicing Recipes.

The Internet is full of juicing recipes that cry to be tried out.  Here we present three that seem well-tailored to beginners and long-time juicing advocates alike:

1. Spinach-Blueberry-Apple-Lemon

One to two ounces of spinach.
One pint of blueberries.
One apple.
One lemon.

Wash spinach, blueberries, and apple. Core the apple and cut it into quarters.  Cut the peel away from the lemon. Put the ingredients through the juicer. Run any wet pulp back through the juicer.  Scrape off the foam and serve.

 2. Dr. Oz’s Green Drink.

On the January 7, 2013 airing of NBC’s Dateline, Dr. Mehmet Oz reveals his formula for the ultimate green drink:

Two hands full of Spinach

Half head of Parsley

Two Sprigs of Mint

Orange

½ Lime

½ Lemon

Carrots

Cucumber

Apple with skins

Pineapple (upgrade from ginger in Dr. Oz’s previous recipe!)

3. Kale Green Juice.

Three Carrots

One Apple

Three or four Celery Stalks

Three cups of Kale (N.B. Kale is considered to be the most nutrient dense of the green, leafy vegetables).

You do not need a certificate or specialized training to begin juicing.  All it takes is reasonable juicing equipment and the motivation to make two (2) glasses of healthy, nutritious juice every day.  You can combine juicing with your current good eating habits, or if you’re like Joe Cross, adopt a thirty or sixty-day juicing diet to get immediate weight loss results.

Mind you, even if you’re not like Joe, you can still derive meaningful benefits from regular or semi-regular juicing.  Introduce yourself to it today to discover how tasty and nutritious fruits and vegetables can be in liquid form!

Sources:

http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com/2012/11/01/3-simple-green-juice-recipes-from-the-founders-of-blueprint/# (3 Simple Green Juice Recipes from the founders of BluePrint)

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/dateline/50357684#50357684 (How to make Dr. Oz’s Green Drink)

http://www.omegajuicers.com/juicing-recipes (Recipes for juicing | Omega Juicers)

Single Set Workouts Build Strength and Muscle?

If you’ve spent any amount of time going through body building magazines or talking to “expert” gym rats then you already know the mainstream advice…

– do X sets of Y reps (3 sets of 10, 5 sets of 5, etc.)
– use free weights not machines
– more time in the gym will give you better results
– etc., etc…

The scary thing is that not only do you hear this type of advice from magazines who have a financial interest from their advertisers and uneducated gym goers…

But a lot of trusted organizations pump out bad advice that’s based on limited, or no scientific evidence at all.

At least that’s the argument made by James Fisher and James Steele in their peer reviewed article which appeared in scientific publication Mecina Sportiva.

The article is very academic, so I’ll provide a link to it at the at the end of this article, but here are some of the key takeaways from their research along with my comments:

1.  Monitor progress with a training journal

This one should be obvious, but I’m surprised at how few people do it.  Most people have a set “routine” that they memorize and just duplicate over and over.

You should be continually monitoring your what you’re doing and seek to improve each time at the gym.

But how do you remember what you did last time and beat it?  With a training journal!

2.  Train to Momentary Muscle Failure Rather Than Using Predetermined Number of Reps

I actually found this interesting because you constantly hear conflicting advice.

Half the people will tell you to train to failure, while others will say to use a predetermined number of reps and sets (ie 3 sets of 10).

According to the research, the best practice is to stop lifting because you can’t lift anymore; not because you hit an abritrary number that you decided you were going to stop at before the set started.

This is something that I’m guilty of; constantly stopping at the magical number of 10 reps even though I know I could have lifted more.

3.  Lift at 80% of Your 1 Rep Max

Pretty self explanatory and an easy way of solving the “I could have done more than 10 reps without failing” problem.

4.  Machines or Free Weights – Doesn’t Really Matter

So the first three points may have not been that controversial, but this one should stir up some reactions.

According to the research, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the benefits of lifting with free weights over machines.

They also note that lifting with free weights actually had more adverse effects in the form of injuries and improper form and technique.

When I first started lifting in college I started with machines.

Once I built up core strength I went to free weights and today I work out exclusively with body-weight exercises and dumbbells.

5.  No Fast Paced / Ballistic Type Movements

With the popularity of ballistic type training (think clapping pushups) this one may ruffle some feathers too.

Obviously experts always point out the importance of using good form, but how many people do you actually see doing it?

I always see gym goers changing form, or moving at a faster than normal pace just to “get out that last rep”.

Lifting should be done at a consistent pace, without changing form or using speed to do it. Note: you’ll probably find that you fail at a lower rep than normal without cheating, that’s a good thing!

6.  Single Set Exercises 1 – 2X Per Week

Probably the most shocking to come up of the report, the researchers found that doing a single set of an exercise 1 to 2 times per week was just as effective as doing high volume training.

Sticking to the principles outlined above, I can realistically see this being possible.

No more using, “I don’t have time” as an excuse not to get in shape.

7.  Workout When You’re Mentally and Physically Ready

I’m a true believer in this.  Working out at peak performance is just as much (if not more) and mental game than it is a physical one… especially when you’re pushing that last rep.

How many times have you given up and dropped the bar knowing that if you really pushed harder, you could have gotten out that last rep.

Overtraining is another barrier to success that we all know about and can be attributed to high volume workouts (see point number 6).

Final Thoughts

Though much of this can be counter-intuitive, I think a lot of it is accurate and backed by science.

I’m a huge advocate of training and nutrition based on scientific evidence and am looking forward to more research relative to these points from the authors (note:  this was James Steele’s first peer
reviewed published article).

Let me know if you agree / disagree with the finding and what you think in the comments below.

Also, here is a link to the article published in Medicina Sportiva titled: Evidenced-Based Resistance Training Recommendations

– Chris Cannon

P.S. I’d really appreciate it if you could give me a “Like”, +1, and helped spread the word :-)

Seven Dynamic Muscle-Building Must-Haves for Long-term Success

OK, let’s cut to the chase.  Gaining lean muscle mass takes a lot of dedication and discipline, but it does not have to be rocket science.  For your efforts, you will get that strong, washboard physique that keeps women’s eyes on you all the time.

There are a number of critical steps that guys must follow to get six-pack abs, bulging biceps, and a massive back.  While we can argue about their relative importance, here are seven (7) important concepts that newcomers and experienced fitness fanatics alike need to put into practice:

1. Moderate Red Meat Consumption and other Protein Sources for Muscle Mass.

Red meat has been taking a beating in the mainstream press lately, but there is no denying that it can be a great source of protein so crucial for muscle repair and the transport of oxygen and nitrogen to muscles.

Low to moderate consumption of beef, pork, and lamb is nutritious, and should not increase your risk of heart disease or cancer.  Chicken, lean turkey breast, and lentils are also good sources of protein.

2. Floor-based, Multi-joint Compound Exercises.

Sure, it’s cool to use your gym machines from time to time.  Unfortunately, most of them only target one muscle group, which is not what you want.  So, to maximize growth, it’s important to have a healthy mix of squats, lunges and presses that work to increase the size of your muscle fibers and promote size and spacing.

3. Different Exercises to Keep Things Fresh.

Beginners and veterans in the weight room all have favorite exercises.  However, it is smart to change things up every 2-4 weeks to test and apply new stresses to your body.  We reach plateaus quickly regardless of our routine’s quality.

4. Planned Workouts to Eliminate Muscle Deficiencies.

What are your weaknesses?  Maybe you’ve got huge biceps, but have been neglecting your legs, right?  Having a well-proportioned physique not only looks good, but guarantees maximum growth because all muscle groups are being worked on a regular basis.

5. Focusing on the Negative (Seriously!).

Everyone knows that you build muscles during the contraction phase of pulling and pushing exercises.
However, we neglect the negative phase at our peril.  For example, did you realize that during a power lift, when muscles are stretched out and being lengthened, maintaining a “negative” stress can further boost your muscle gain?  It’s a simple concept that effectively stresses muscles and leads to accelerated mass gain.

6. Don’t Overtrain – Ensure Proper Rest and Recovery Time!

Even if you follow a split-training schedule, avoid working out for more than five days per week.  Your muscle fibers need time to repair themselves, heal, and then grow.  Take a week off every three months and you’ll return to the gym refreshed and rejuvenated.  That’s why people who spend too much time in the gym tend to remain skinny and frustrated with their lack of growth.

7. The Right Supplements.

You may not want or need them, but proper supplementation can be the missing ingredient for serious muscle builders.  Keep an eye out for gluatamin (insulin release), branched chain amino acids to counter low glycogen levels, and creatine to improve strength and adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Having the correct diet strategy, and combining it with a rigorous workout routine and body supplementation is a surefire formula for muscle-building success.  We have revealed some of the details here, and encourage you to discover more through personal research or a meeting with a qualified certified personal trainer.