Hugh Jackman’s The Wolverine Leg Workout

(Image credit: Unknown)

‘I got Hugh to stick to the six-to-12 rep range in our mass-building phase,’ says his trainer, Mike Ryan. ‘He’d do four sets, with the third usually being forced reps, where I’d help him get through the last few. Then he’d reduce the weight by 25% and go for 15-18 reps in his last set.'


Do 20 minutes of intervals on the exercise bike, alternating 30 seconds at a fast pace with 30 seconds’ recovery.

Back squat

Holding a barbell across your shoulders with your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive up through your heels.

Weighted lunge

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, take a big step forward, lunging so that your trailing knee brushes the ground.

Don’t let your front knee go past your toes. Return to the start position, and repeat on the other leg.

Stiff-leg deadlift

Holding a barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart, bend forward at the hips, keeping a natural arch in your back. Don’t bend your knees.

Straighten up to finish the move.

Weight plate get-up

Lie on the floor, holding a weight plate against your chest.

Tuck your knees in to your chest, then roll up to your feet as if you’re doing the last part of a forward roll. Lie back down and repeat.

Lower-body finisher

‘We’d often do bodyweight sets to failure to finish a workout,’ says Ryan. This makes sense: it’s difficult to mess yourself up through poor form.

Jump squat

Descend into a squat quickly, then explode upwards off the ground.

Go to failure – or until your jumps are pitiful – then rest for two minutes before doing a second set.

Static jump lunge

Step into a lunge, then explode off the ground, switching legs in mid-air and landing in another lunge.

Go to failure – or until your jumps are pitiful – then rest for two minutes before doing a second set.


Do a 20-minute walk on a 6˚ incline at 6.5km/h. ‘We’d do this regularly,’ says Ryan. ‘All of your blood is pooled in your legs and lactic acid builds up. Obviously you don’t want the DOMS kicking in – this actually helps you recover faster.’

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.