For those of you who are looking to compete in the future, James Clewlow is…
At 45 years old, Hugh Jackman, aka The Wolverine, never ceases to impress me. The conditioning he manages to achieve for his films is incredible, drug usage or not.
Many guys (and women) LOOOOOVE to complain about their ages, and how Life Sucks™, and My Metabolism Hates Me™, and Just You F***ing Wait Until You’re Older™ (my personal fave).
However, Hugh Jackman is one of several examples of why excuses are indeed merely excuses. The only reason I’m using him as an example is because we can all relate to him. I know many guys with good physiques in their forties and fifties, and you probably do too, but I can’t use them as specific, universal examples.
The guy is an absolute beast, and boasts a real-superhero-badass-who-could-rip-your-head-clean-off kind of look to him. He’s capable of deadlifting well over four plates, and peaks for his films at around 6-7% body fat.
Granted, these accomplishments are not performed simultaneously, but that’s not the goal.
So, how does he actually do this, and what does this mean for YOU?
The Wolverine’s Method
The working max starts off as 95% of his actual 1 rep maxes in the following basic compound movements that every man should perform regularly:
- Pull Ups
Although the overhead press is missing (and rows too), it’s still a great selection. According to the popular catchphrase “No rows, no hoes”, the lack of rows might mean no hoes for the average Joe, but I’m sure Hugh has no problems in that department.
Maybe you should add some rows in…?
Using these exercises as the base of the training structure, three weeks were heavy, low-rep workouts, and the fourth was high-rep, “pump-style” stuff.
By the way, I know you may not necessarily want to look like Hugh Jackman (but you kinda really do ;)), but we can all learn something from his success. Getting ripped is the same thing as “losing some fat”, it’s just a bit harder and often more restrictive.
These four week blocks also tied into his diet plan; a bulking period, followed by a cutting period. Simple prioritisation of goals.
Contrary to popular belief, he did gain some body fat in the process, like you always do when pursuing muscle growth. You kinda have to, at least a little bit.
But in terms of fat loss, he cut down quite aggressively. Now, the difference between you reading this and Hugh Jackman, is (probably) drug usage. So yes, he has a huge advantage when it comes to retaining muscle.
However, he is also very lean already, and in a far more catabolic state than you are, I’m assuming. So you could, in theory, do something similar to him, diet-wise. In theory.
It was very clean, and he cut quite aggressively. The fact that his diet was “clean” allowed him to feel good most of the time, and stay relatively full. But then again, we all know the inherent problems you face with overly restrictive diets now don’t we (I hope!!)
In theory, you could follow his regime to get to you goals. I have a feeling though, that you wouldn’t be able to sustain your new bodyweight.
And when I say “feeling”, I actually mean millions of data points (individual dieting failures) pointing towards a 97% chance that you wouldn’t sustain it in the long-term.
Wolverine vs You
Hugh Jackman’s goal, as the mighty, heroic Wolverine, is of course probably different to yours.
His goal is to peak for his film. To become as ripped as humanly possible for the cameras. Your goal probably doesn’t involve any peaking whatsoever. Therefore sustainability is key.
We can all learn from his success, as he is an older guy with a truly mutant-like physique. But we need to tweak his approach to suit our goals.
Excessive rules and restrictions always result in the “Yo-Yo Effect”. You always want what you “can’t” have. If you want to live a lifestyle of consistent happiness, arising from a supreme level of confidence in yourself that never falters, you would be wise to avoid this phenomenon.
Hugh Jackman DOES NOT maintain his strength or leanness year-round.
However, with a less restrictive approach, this is possible. Maintenance, as always, is different to progression. But in order to maintain, we can’t tax ourselves too much in the first place.
So, we need to reduce the restrictions, in order to get ripped, and stay ripped:
- Eat whatever food you want (within your caloric budget). However, if you have a bit of a sugar addiction, avoid sugar entirely. It will get easier after the first week, so don’t fret. Apart from sugar, you can literally eat whatever the hell you want.
- Add some extra exercise variation as you see fit. This could be a small variation of one of the key compound exercises (front squat, for example), or it could be some fun isolation stuff at the end of the workout. Up to you as you see fit.
There you go. Be a little more flexible in order to actually enjoy life, and you will be able to maintain your results. Take a diet break every now and then if you’re really struggling and stressed out in other areas of life.
This may take slightly longer, but you will get ripped, and stay ripped. It’s nice, I would know 🙂