How Jake Gyllenhaal Bulked Up For Prince of Persia – Diet and Workouts

Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia posterJake Gyllenhaal is starring as Prince Dastan in the new fantasy movie Prince of Persia. Jake’s movie career started in 1991 with City Slickers and has included the cult movie Donnie Darko, action blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow and most famously Broke Back Mountain. None of these roles required him to be a muscle bound action star. In fact he has always had a slim and lean body. So how did Jake Gyllenhaal beef up for Prince of Persia?

In 2004 Jake almost clutched his first action super-hero role when Tobey Maguire’s poor health almost prevented him from playing Spiderman for the second time. He also just missed out to Christian Bale to play Batman.

Jake Gyllenhaal Workout

Jake’s personal trainer for Prince of Persia was Simon Waterson who is the former Royal Marine that has worked with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig on the James Bond films.

For his role in Prince of Persia Jake had to ensure that his training created the physique of a warrior and not a bodybuilder. He trained to build athletic muscle that was fast and agile. This form of training places more emphasis on muscular endurance.

For several months before shooting Prince of Persia Jake worked out 3 times a day, 6 days a week. Here is his daily workout routine that Simon Waterson set him:

  • Wake up at 5.30am and eat a banana and some nuts and drink a strong black coffee.
  • At 6am he would do 90 minutes of intensive cardio training and core workouts. He would do hill sprints while wearing a weighted vest, followed by crunches at the top of the hill, and then gently run down the hill and repeat. Hill workouts are fantastic for building leg strength and endurance.
  • Post workout breakfast: Omelette and protein shake to help with muscle repair.
  • For lunch Jake would eat a meal that included a healthy protein source, such as tuna, a leafy salad and potato.
  • In the evening he would do one hour of specific resistance training including pull ups, press ups, core exercises and plenty of stretching.
  • The workout would be followed by a massage and then a light dinner, usually soup and another protein shake.

As Jake was a slight build before the training it was vital to ensure that he did not over-eat while building muscle. It is very easy to eat too much when doing strength training which can lead to increased fat levels. Your diet still needs to be lean and calorie controlled to ensure that you provide your muscles with the fuel they need without giving your fat reserves a boost. However, as part of the training regime some healthy treats are allowed, such as dark chocolate and some wine. An absolute strict rule is no refined sugar.

Simon Waterson has written 2 books on fitness training, 30-minute-a-day Body Challenge and Commando Workout: 4 Weeks to Total Fitness.

These books are also available from Amazon UK and major book stores.

5 Comments on “How Jake Gyllenhaal Bulked Up For Prince of Persia – Diet and Workouts”

  1. MotleyHealth says:

    Jake just mentioned on the Jonathan Ross show that he still runs. He went for a run in Hyde Park during his stay in London. He is still in great shape, although refused to take his shirt off.

  2. I like this article.

    I particularly like the fact that I have an honest approach of what a Hollywood actor actually goes through. I can’t stand the articles saying do “30 minutes, 3 times a week” and you will be ready to be Batman etc.

    Ridiculously tough training that would require full-time commitment. Not possible for me but makes me feel better that my hour-long daily workouts which mix a 6km run with a mixture of stretching and pull-ups/press-ups are useful. I don’t look like the Prince of Persia and this article re-inforces to me why I don’t (and makes me feel good about it, oddly)

  3. MotleyHealth says:

    Yeah, many of the Hollywood actors work incredibly hard for the roles they potray. Often people are fooled into thinking that actors are just genetically advantaged, but it actually always comes down to a lot of hard work. But they do get paid more than professional athletes which helps motivate them a bit!

  4. Hello. Could I get some sort of routine like this? I am aiming for the body jake has.:)

  5. MotleyHealth says:

    Probably best to get hold of one of Simon Waterson’s books.

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