Want to have a highly successful article post? Then just call it something like ‘The Hugh Jackman Workout’, or maybe ‘How Brad Pitt Got His Abs’. See, people are somewhat obsessed with getting the bodies of their favourite celebrities and for good reason too: many of these guys are absolutely jacked.
Thus, magazines and blogs can become instantly successful by claiming to share the secrets of said celebrities. They offer to make people look like those famous buffly dudes and shapely women and so the readers come flocking. You may have been among them.
If that’s the case though, then I’m afraid I’m here to rain on your parade. You can follow their diets and advice all you like… but you probably aren’t going to look like them any time soon.
The Problems With Copying Celebrity Diets and Routines
I don’t say this out of malice and I take no pleasure from dashing your hopes. The reason I say this is that it’s better to know now so that you can lower your expectations and avoid disappointment. There are a lot of very good reasons that it’s mostly impossible to mimic celebrity bodies…
The Investment: The first thing you can to consider is just how much time, effort and money goes into building a body like Stallone’s or the Rock’s. For these guys, looking ripped is actually part of their job. If they get out of shape, then not as many people will go to see their movies and they’ll lose a lot of money. When you’re paid several million per movie, that’s a pretty big incentive.
As such, these guys will do things like training for 2, 3 or even 4 hours a day. They will stick to highly strict diet plans that prevent them from eating bread, or that involve dieting for half the day (Jackman and Johnson have both at some point followed plans where they stop eating after 6pm). These kinds of rules are not only very restrictive and thus very difficult to stick to, they’re also unsociable. You can forget going out for dinner with friends if you don’t eat after 6pm, and you’ll hardly be able to fit 3 hours of weightlifting in around your work plans.
On top of that, these guys will use the very best supplements and will have expensive coaches who have many years of experience and tons of expert knowledge. So how are you going to compete with a few hours a night and a much smaller budget?
Genetics: Then there’s the fact that different people have different genetics which determines how they can look. There’s a good possibility that your genes are just too different from Hugh Jackman’s for you to really have any shot at building the same kind of body.
Some people will build muscle much more quickly and easily than others, while some people will lose fat faster. Whether you’re an ‘endomorph’ or ‘ectomorph’ will have everything to do with this.
But likewise, it also comes down to smaller things and more fundamental things. The ‘eight pack’ is a great example of something that is completely dictated by genetics. Some people have six separations in their rectus abdominis, other people have eight. If you have six, then there’s no way you can get eight, which speaks for the vast majority of the population.
Similarly you can increase shoulder width a little by building your lateral deltoids (the muscles on the side of the shoulder), but the bone structure isn’t going to change. Likewise, you’ll find that some of your muscles have a tendency to grow much more quickly than others (I have huge pecs, a friend has huge traps). Your height will also have a lot to do with what you look like as this is the frame that all the muscles will be situated on after all.
And if you want to look like someone like Stallone or Hugh Jackman, then note as well that even their age plays a role as it leads to thinner skin resulting in more vascularity and definition. And we haven’t even mentioned the fact that they’ve been working out for years.
Tricks: You also need to bear in mind that there are a lot of tricks at play that make celebrities look even more impressive than they really are. We’ve all heard about the amount of air brushing that gets used in order to make celebs look blemish free and even more perfectly proportioned. But did you also think about the lighting that is used in the movies? Even the filters on the lens? Everything here is designed to show those bodies in the best possible light and they wouldn’t be quite as impressive therefore if they were just relaxing at home.
But it goes even further than that too. Did you realise that in order to prepare for his topless scene in Days of Future Past, Hugh Jackman actually dehydrated himself first? This creates thinner looking skin, which increases the definition but it’s not something that even Hugh Jackman could maintain for more than a day. In other words, even Hugh Jackman doesn’t look like Hugh Jackman.
The Right Approach
So after that you may be feeling a little depressed… apologies if that’s the case. You shouldn’t do though. Rather than letting this put you off of building the amazing body you want, it should simply inform your strategy and mean you go about doing it in a slightly different way.
One of the best things you can do for instance, is simply to find yourself a role model who is a little more attainable in terms of their physique. This means someone who is a similar body type to you, who leads a similar lifestyle perhaps and who doesn’t work out as part of their job. Even better is if this is someone you know so that you can just ask them how they train and eat to get the precise advice first hand.
Likewise you should look at your own strengths and weaknesses and factor these into your workouts and expectations. Some muscles will grow quicker than others, so how can you maximise your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses? Similarly, if you are very tall or very short, how might this impact on your approach to the training?
Lastly, give yourself a break and recognise that it will take a long time to see huge changes. Don’t expect to get the body you want overnight: persevere and recognise that to build your perfect body will take time and effort.