Yo-yo dieting celebs are not great role models. Instead take exercise tips from the likes of Hugh Jackman who worked hard to bulk up for his latest movie

Another week, another wave of celebrities make headlines for their activities on the weighing scales. On some occasions, one is going up, while another is going down.

The world of yo-yo dieting is alive and kicking and this is especially the case with our alleged role models from the world of celebrity.

Jessica Simpson, who once topped the polls for having the world’s hottest body as she famously paraded around in a pair of denim hot-pants, has now apparently shot from a size four to a 14.

Not fat by any means but when she re-wore an outfit recently with her new body shape, before and after photo comparisons are bound to be made. On the other hand, Mischa Barton has dropped a reported three dress sizes to become the picture of malnourishment.

As role models go, women need to look at females who possess health and vitality. Meanwhile men need to look at the new role model in town and what a picture of health he is. The Australian actor Hugh Jackman is in awesome shape for his latest movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Hugh Jackman

In it, Jackman plays the role of Wolverine and since this particular film focuses on how he became that character, Jackman was asked to add 20 pounds of rock-hard muscle to his already impressive build. Jackman went to his old friend and personal trainer Michael Ryan to prepare for this most demanding role.

In my role as a coach, I frequently hear people complain that they can’t lose weight, that they’ve tried everything to be “that” size again or that they are a hard-gainer of muscle. Motivational guru Tony Robbins explains that success leaves clues, so if we mimic the methods used by someone like Hugh Jackman, we too may enjoy a new body shape. So what was the actor’s radical approach to achieve his hot body?

He made a plan and he started his training 12 months prior to filming. It wasn’t a quick fix. Masterpieces like Hugh’s physique take time to create. He trained one-and-a-half hours per day, five days per week, and his trainer changed his programme every three weeks. By consistently changing the programme’s variables like exercises, repetitions, tempo and rest periods, you can continually confuse the muscle.

Hugh told himself that he would go into the gym every day and work as hard as he possibly could, and if he couldn’t he would go back in the next day and work even harder. This mentality let him do something he had never done before — a 143kg bench press.

His food was strict. It takes determination and dedication to stay disciplined on your diet and Hugh ate six meals per day religiously. They consisted of lots of fresh food, steamed vegetables, lean meat (mainly boiled chicken) and one small serving of brown rice per day. He recently commented, saying: “I wasn’t a great dinner party guest.”

Jackman’s weights programme consisted of compound movements like the typical bench press, squats, deadlifts. These exercises are like kicking a man in the groin; they are hard, very anabolic — to build muscle — and they get results.

His cardio was mostly running, utilising a high-intensity interval-training format. There was no jogging and he supplemented his workout with a high quality protein shake to help his body recover quickly.

Now this may be a bit much for some and I’m certainly not saying that we all should adopt Hugh’s regimen. But there are some important things in there that we can all use to achieve success. The more often you train the more calories you burn but you should limit your training to under an hour in order to avoid catabolism, which is a breakdown of muscle tissue.

You should train every second day and use weights at least three of those days to get lean muscle tissue: muscle is the engine that uses fat for fuel.

Eat consistently, analyse what you eat using a food diary and change your training programme every three to six weeks, depending on your experience. When you place your body under a new stress, it changes, so we need to keep it in a state of confusion.

Always think like Michelangelo: my masterpiece will not be created overnight, but through consistency and dedication I can create and design the body I crave.

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