Thursday, May 13, 2010


Times Online has a fascinating article on how movie stars transform their bodies to suit particular roles, but the most interesting thing about it is that it details Jake Gylenhaal’s current diet and fitness routine for his newest movie, “Prince of Persia”:

5.30am Pre-workout snack: half a banana, some nuts and an espresso.

6am An hour-and-a-half cardio outdoors workout while wearing a 20lb flak jacket to simulate the weight of armour. Interval training - 10min uphill sprint, followed by abs exercises, eg, sit-ups, at the top of the hill. Repeat sequence five times, then a 10min run, followed by stretching exercises.

7.30am An egg-white omelette, a small protein shake and an isotonic drink to replenish salts lost during training.

Lunch Baked potato with tuna and salad.

6-7pm An hour of resistance training using cables to simulate sword fights, pull-ups, press-ups, abs exercises using weights; finish with stretching.

7-8pm: An hour-long deep tissue massage

Dinner: Soup and a protein shake

Snacks/supplements Two litres of water, protein bars, dark chocolate, supplements rich in omega-3, 6 and 9. No foods containing refined sugar, occasional glass of wine allowed."

Fascinating stuff. Some of you may be wondering what an “isotonic drink” is, though. Well, they’re basically sports drinks like Gatorade, but I believe that a homemade fruit shake is better since it serves the same purpose but delivers more vitamins and minerals. Read more about this in my article about keeping properly hydrated.

Also curious to see what that “hour of resistance training” specifically is? Well, Weight Loss & has an excellent article that simulates what specific exercises Gylenhaal would have done to get the body he has in the movie, complete with detailed pictures!

I’d also assume that the supplements would be taken at different, set times throughout the day as prescribed by Gylenhaal’s nutritionist (or team of), and that the snacks would be consumed throughout his training schedules. Please take note that not only did Gylenhaal perform the routines here on (what I assume is) pretty much a daily basis, he also regularly did stunt training such as horseback riding, sword fighting and so on, mostly under the burning sun, as the film is largely set in a dessert environment, burning up a tremendous amount of calories. The snacks would make up for the extremely lean diet he has described here.

If you want to try this out yourself, though, please be wary of the snacks since too much of those can be counterproductive of your calories losses. Energy replenishing though they may be, too much calories are still too much and will ruin your energy balance, which will thus make you fatter, instead of leaner.

I’d also like to caution against those uphill sprints because, despite the fact that they are indeed an excellent form of exercise, too much of them can cause too much strain on the joints and can result in injuries, especially if you plan on suiting up with armor like Jake did. Gylenhaal obviously has a team of experts to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t get injured and that nothing else goes wrong, as well as daily massages and such, which, I’m sure, not everybody has access to, unfortunately.

In any case, I personally feel that it’s a tremendous and effective fitness regimen if monitored closely and carefully. I also am personally very much hyped about this particular movie. I played the original game back when I was a kid, but didn’t play any of the more modern iterations, so I completely lost touch with the franchise. This movie could be a perfect reintroduction to it, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Check out my other features on celebrity workouts here!

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Hello, I'm Noel Blanco and I write Fitness Philippines. I have been involved in physical fitness for more than 10 years now and am currently taking up graduate studies on Exercise and Sports Science at the University of the Philippines. You can contact me at
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