Hugh Jackman is hailed for his buff physique, but few people are aware how much work it takes to look that way.
Jackman undertook a strict 6,000-calorie-a-day diet, did CrossFit workouts and lifted heavy weights for three hours every day to achieve his rippling Wolverine body.
Hugh, who followed a diet regimen suggested by his friend, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, said transforming his body for The Wolverine required Herculean efforts, but was necessary to depict the troubled superhero.
“I kind of like the challenge, but it is important to externalize that internal struggle, that animal versus the human that [Wolverine] embodies,” Hugh told MovieFone. “It’s [an] important theme in the character and the story, the control versus chaos, and having that very lean, muscular body with veins.”
While some may dismiss Jackman’s desire to hone the insanely ripped Wolverine physique as vanity, Hugh said Wolverine’s feral look communicates volumes about his personality.
“[Wolverine’s vascular physique is] not pretty or, ‘Hey, cool, it looks like he goes to the gym,’ but more worrying,” said Jackman. “I think that says a lot, particularly [for] a character who doesn’t actually speak a lot.”
Jackman, who has demonstrated his unprecedented versatility by playing both Wolverine and the tragic hero Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, tries to ensure he has enough time between films to change his body.
“I do it in a healthier way now,” said the strapping 6-foot-2 Jackman, who lost 15 pounds, then regained 30 pounds for Les Misérables. “I do it with intermittent fasting, so there’s periods where I’m not eating and periods when I eat a lot.”
Jackman’s 16/8 intermittent fast involved consuming 6,000 calories during an eight-hour window and then fasting for 16 hours.
“I’m on this 16/8 [intermittent fasting] diet,” said Hugh. “I eat about 6,000 calories for eight hours from 10 am to 6 pm and then fast for 16 hours a day. Sometimes I would to have wake up in the middle of the night to eat. All the science shows that you burn fat at night, and by fasting you build lean muscle.”
Jackman added: “There is a lot of science behind intermittent fasting or having a period of each day when you are not eating. So you eat for an eight-hour window and then don’t eat for 16 hours.”
Intermittent fasting has been touted for its ability to produce rapid weight loss and burn fat more quickly than conventional dieting. It has also been called a powerful anti-aging diet because it reduces the oxidative and metabolic stresses that damage cells. The health benefits of IF was detailed extensively in the bestselling health books, The Fast Diet and The Every Other Day Diet.