hugh jackman as wolverineGetting abs like Hugh Jackman has in the upcoming movie, The Wolverine, is no easy task.  It takes a lot of training and even more eating.  While achieving such a superior aesthetic sculpture is an accolade worthy of envy, it’s a testament to yesterday’s post on burning calories less efficiently and makes for some great follow-up writing.

In training for The Wolverine, Jackman confesses to eating 5,000 calories a day. The goal was to add more muscle while decreasing fat.  He states his diet consisted primarily of steamed foods such as chicken breasts and spinach.

If you’ve never engaged in calorie counting while eating healthy, let us assure you that consuming 5,000 calories a day is a difficult task. You can only eat so many grilled chicken breasts before eating becomes a laborious chore and you feel like you’re chewing sawdust. In contrast, eating 5,000 calories worth of pizza, ice-cream and candy bars is relatively easy. Just ask 7 out of any 10 Americans.

If you’re considering emulating the diet of Wolverine, consider first the amount of time you can allow for working out.  Being the Hollywood Star who is getting paid nicely to sport this physique, Jackman is able to spend several hours a day training.  That’s crucial to the success of ingesting this many daily calories and not having them converted to body fat.

hugh-jackman“What I do is I eat in an eight hour period, it’s all the rage this diet now. It’s called the 16-8 diet. For sixteen hours of the day, I fast, so I don’t eat. Between ten in the morning and six o’clock at night … I eat 5,000 calories. And then I eat nothing … it’s more about, ‘This is a disgusting amount of food, I can’t eat another bite.’ I literally talk to myself like I’m training – ‘One more mouthful, c’mon man! You can do it! Just one more mouthful! Half a chicken breast to go and then you’ve got it! Just two meals left!'” — Hugh Jackman

If the average middle-aged man consumes 5,000 daily calories and makes it to the gym four times in a week while working out for 45 minutes, the body simply has too many calories that aren’t being converted and used as energy.

Yesterday, we talked about the body’s response to low calorie diets and how a prolonged deficit forces the body to become more efficient at using calories, thus lowering the metabolism in an attempt to save energy and store calories as fat. In Jackman’s scenario, the body will become less efficient at storing calories and burn fat faster… so long as as energy expenditure (exercise) needs keep up with calories consumed. When energy expenditure becomes less than total energy consumed (calories eaten), the body will also react by storing calories as fat. After all, the body has to do something with excess energy.

The best place to put yourself is at a slight surplus of calories while then creating a deficit with exercise if weight loss is the goal.  Maintain the slight surplus to add weight and pack on muscle without fat. This is how to get Hugh Jackman abs.

Jackman’s Wolverine physique is admirable. The combination of high calorie and intense exercise is always a successful formula for an impressive body transformation but if you don’t have a higher than average metabolism or the time to workout several hours a day, you might want to shave a couple thousand calories off of Wolverine’s diet. His energy needs demand more because he has steel claws and fights a lot of bad guys. If you do have the extra time and the desire, you now know how to get ripped like Wolverine.

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