Hugh Jackman’s Rowing Machine Workout: How Wolverine Sculpts His Superhero Body

May 1, 2024

From dad bod to super bod – how did Hugh Jackman do it? The ‘secret’ to his success is a rowing machine.

The wait is almost over - Deadpool & Wolverine hits the theaters in July. Will it save the MCU from the downward spiral it's been on since the end of the Infinity War saga? Who's to say, but one thing's for certain: 'Your little cinematic universe is about to change forever'.

What hasn't changed though is Hugh Jackman's Wolverine physique - at least it doesn't look like it has, and that's thanks to his superhero body workout routine.

In reality, however, Jackman wasn't in the perfect Wolverine shape for 24 years. He has been posting gym Shorts since 2023, sharing his progress as he once again develops the Wolverine physique, now at age 55. To reprise his iconic role - for the 11th time! - Jackman went from what is commonly known as 'dad bod' to his now-incredibly sculpted physique, fitting of Wolverine.

But how did he do it? Right? That's what everyone wants to know.

While diet certainly contributed to his impressive results - as is always the case - the one thing on everyone's mind is Wolverine's workout routine. Fitness Gear Scan, an online fitness resource, believes Jackman largely owes his impressive superhero body to his rowing machine workouts - and they're sharing insights on the benefits of rowing machines.

Low impact, big gains

For those of us with healthy joints, intense HIIT sessions with a lot of plyometrics, running, and kicking are enjoyable - if grueling at the same time - but that's the point. For those with joint pain though, burpees, sprints, and squat jumps are just not an option, or at least not a very good and comfortable one.

Similarly, lifting weights can be too hard on the wrists, knees, or back, especially for someone who has yet to build muscle.

Rowing, on the other hand, is a very gentle exercise when it comes to the joints. So much so that it's often recommended for people with arthritis. But that's not to say that it's not effective; on the contrary, rowing is a very effective and efficient full-body workout which improves both muscle definition and cardiovascular endurance.

Target all muscle groups

Contrary to popular belief, rowing isn't just for the arms or upper body. While it's obvious where the misconception comes from - after all, you are rowing with your arms - it is nothing more than a misconception.

Fun fact: rowing engages 86% of the body's muscles. It's a full-body workout that targets all major muscle groups - from glutes and quads to abs and obliques.

Because it's so efficient, trainers usually recommend rowing to those who are short on time - in just 15 you can work all muscles.

Build muscle and burn calories

And in those 15 minutes, you won't 'just' hit all the major muscle groups for toning and strength building, you'll also get all the benefits of a HIIT workout - burn calories, improve aerobic performance, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and so on.

Because rowing isn't easy. Have you ever tried to row, row, row your boat none-too-gently down the stream? It's hard. You work up quite the sweat, your heart starts racing, your lungs have to keep up - so naturally your VO2 max improves too.

Rowing has been proven to improve cardiovascular health and endurance, burn calories, and build muscle - all in the same workout. It's no wonder so many celebs swear by rowing machines - from Hugh Jackman and Conor McGregor to Brie Larson and Kevin Hart. And that's just to name a few.

A great option for home workouts: adaptable and convenient

When you're working out at home - and especially if you don't have a whole lot of space - you have to consider many factors before you invest in equipment. How much space does it need? Is it too loud? Will I stink up the whole house? (though this is sadly unavoidable) How much will it cost? Do I need a whole set of dumbbells or kettlebells or a barbell?

And those are all valid questions that you should ask and that only you can answer for yourself.

Dumbbells are great if you don't have a whole lot of space for an actual machine. But you'll need to 'upgrade' every now and then as you build strength. Treadmills are, obviously, great for cardio workouts - and let's face it, nothing compares to running. But if you're worried about the noise, you might want to go with an elliptical or a rowing machine instead.

But while the rowing machine builds both cardiovascular endurance and muscle, an elliptical is mainly for cardio workouts. So if you're looking to combine convenience and adaptability, and get all the benefits from one machine - then a rowing machine is probably the right choice for you... whether you're looking to build a Wolverine body (minus the Vibranium, I hope!) or just to get in shape.

Getting ripped like Wolverine with ‘The Rowing Machine Massacre’

If you are hell-bent on building a body like Hugh Jackman, you can always look up workout routines online. Fitness Gear Scan recommends a structured 8-week program - which they're calling 'The Rowing Machine Massacre'.

Hugh Jackman incorporated these 45-minute rowing sessions into his workouts which also consisted of cardio and weight lifting sessions. Jackman also credited his 8,000-calorie-per-day diet and a positive mindset for his superhero transformation.

Lastly - and this is totally optional - while you're rowing, play the opening theme from X-Men: The Animated Series. The upbeat rhythm and those iconic high hats should, hopefully, inspire you to build that Wolverine body.

This content is provided in partnership with Fitness Gear Scan and is intended for informational purposes only. The views, opinions, and advice expressed in this article are solely those of Fitness Gear Scan and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of any other individual, organization, or entity.

Web Analytics