How Jake Gyllenhaal Transformed His Body

How Jake Gyllenhaal Transformed His Body

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is almost unrecognizable in his newest role.


If you remember Jake Gyllenhaal as the slender star from Brokeback Mountain, Donnie Darko, and Bubble Boy, you are in for a rude awakening. The actor is virtually unrecognizable in stills from his new movie Southpaw. Gyllenhaal plays a boxer, and you can clearly see he was committed to the role. How did Jake Gyllenhaal end up with his stellar physique? Telegraph has his workout secrets.

Dramatic Weight Change

Gyllenhaal was actually coming off another dramatic weight change from his last movie, Nightcrawler, when he began prepping for Southpaw. To play a sociopathic videographer, Jake Gyllenhaal dropped 30 pounds. His gaunt figure only enhanced his unsettling performance, but meant he had to add on a lot of weight to convincingly play a fierce fighter. And he succeeded; by the time Gyllenhaal’s training was complete, the actor had gained back his regular weight, plus 14 pounds of pure muscle mass.

Constant Training

Jake Gyllenhaal spent some serious quality time at the gym preparing for Southpaw. The actor endured rigorous training sessions seven days a week, twice a day. That adds up to six-hour daily sessions in the boxing ring. This extreme routine helped Gyllenhaal bulk up fast.

Real Boxing

To convincingly play a boxer, Jake Gyllenhaal learned how to fight in the ring. He trained like an actual fighter preparing for a match, sparring in real fights with seasoned professionals. And no one was pulling punches in that ring. Gyllenhaal had to endure real hits as he toughened up and took his training head-on.

Weight Training

As if constant boxing wasn’t enough to get Jake Gyllenhaal into fighting shape, Telegraph‘s fitness expert Scott Laider theorizes that the determined actor also engaged in regular weight training at least three times a week. These workouts would focus on compound moves to impact the most muscle groups in the least amount of time. The combination of rigorous boxing and building muscle through grueling repetitions gave Gyllenhaal the bulk he wanted, and the boxing moves he needed.

Protein Overload

All this working out won’t do much good if you’re not maintaining a steady diet, and Jake Gyllenhaal obviously has the nutritionists to help him out. Make no mistake about it: dropping and adding this much weight this quickly (over a period of just a few months) can have disastrous health consequences if you’re not taking care of yourself. To ensure he wasn’t doing permanent damage to his body for a film role, Jake Gyllenhaal was no doubt putting a heavy emphasis on protein. Telegraph‘s nutrition expert Ross Edgely believes he was probably supplementing his carefully-maintained diet with additional protein powders, to quickly boost his bulk. And to make sure that this extreme diet wasn’t damaging his body long-term, it’s safe to assume that Gyllenhaal was also taking a plethora of vitamins and supplements in addition to his high-protein diet.

Realistic Expectations

Look, unless you’re Jake Gyllenhaal you shouldn’t embark on this sort of speedy extreme body transformation. As we’ve stated, it can lead to long-term consequences and leave you feeling miserable. And most of us simply don’t have six hours a day to devote to the gym. But if you’re looking to transform your body into a fighter’s physique, check out your local boxing ring. The right trainer could lead you to the best shape of your life!

Lauren Saccone/Pazoo