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Defending Hugh Jackman: Don’t Be a Fitness Snob!

Last week, Hugh Jackman tweeted a picture of himself deadlifting. Since then it’s been retweeted over 9,000 times and favorited by over 6,000 followers.

Hugh Jackman Deadlift

I’m a big Hugh Jackman fan, so when I saw the picture, I instantly thought to myself, “What a badass,” and, “I knew that son of a bitch deadlifted.”

This is the mindset that we should have with fellow lifters. Sadly, many of my fellow lifters did not share the same sentiment. My Facebook and Twitter feeds were littered with haters mocking his “chicken legs” and subpar deadlift strength. Most critics scoffed at his estimated 350-385 lb deadlifts, bragging that they could easily out-pull the actor. A Google search yielded dozens of hits to forums that poked fun of him as well.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The internet era, especially the “YouTube era,” has rushed in thousands of critics sporting self-proclaimed 20″ pythons and 600 lb squats and deads. But for some reason this struck a chord with me.

At 44 years of age, Hugh Jackman is a freakin’ stud.

Hugh Jackman Physique

Regarding the picture he tweeted, if you look closely at the pic, you’ll notice that the red bumper plates are Rogue. These weigh 55 lbs. Blue bumper plates can weigh either 35 lbs, 20 kgs (44 lbs), or 45 lbs depending on the manufacturer. I think they’re 45 pounders. The 12-sided black plates appear to be either 35 lbs or 45 lbs – it’s hard to tell, but they look like 45’s too. And the small black plates on the end are either 5 pounders or 10 pounders – they look like tens to me. Therefore, on the low end, he appears to be using 415 pounds, and on the high end he appears to be using 465 pounds!

So I’m pretty sure that every hater out there understimated the load Hugh was lifting. Moreover, by the way the bar is loaded, it appears that he was pyramiding up in weight and that this could have been his final set of medium-high rep deadlifts. His great friend and personal trainer Michael Ryan has stated that they general stick to 6-12 reps and often employ supersets (David Kingsbury is his more recent trainer). They like their squats, walking lunges, deadlifts, leg presses, and bench presses. In fact, Hugh can bench press 315 lbs and leg press 1,000 lbs, which is very impressive for a 6’3″ lifter weighing 195 pounds at under 10% bodyfat.

Furthermore, Hugh does this while also employing cardio several times per week and staying incredibly lean year-round. And shall I repeat that he’s 44 years old! Jackman’s goals are to look jacked and shredded on camera, not to pull the most weight as he possibly can.

Let’s say that Hugh’s workout consisted of 4 sets of squats, 4 sets of walking lunges, and 4 sets of deadlifts supersetted with stability ball leg curls. Lets say that the picture was snapped on a final set of a 6-rep deadlift with 465 lbs.This would be incredibly impressive – better than what most of his critics could do. My point is that I doubt that Hugh simply warmed up and went right to deadlifts and worked up to a 1RM – if he did he could probably lift even more. And even so, who cares? He’s obviously very strong and incredibly fit!

I realize that human beings love to criticize celebrities, but bear in mind that Hugh looks better than 98% of his critics! And if Hugh ever decided to compete in a powerlifting contest (which he wouldn’t because that’s not his goal), I bet that within a year he could be pulling 545-585 pounds – again, more than 98% of the critics out there (and even more if he beefed up to 245 pounds or so).

Hugh Jackman

Can’t we all just be happy that Hugh is deadlifting? And can’t we be proud that Hugh is confident enough to post a picture of himself pulling, which will undoubtedly encourage some of the millions of fans who saw the picture to embark on a strength training program and not shy away from deadlifting? Don’t be a fitness snob my friends!

Haters Gonna Hate


  • criss says:

    Thank you so much for this!!

  • Jennifer says:

    Hugh Jackman is a super fit, super hot, bad ass. No question. And you’re awesome for writing this.

  • David Morales says:

    Well said Bret. I think his trainers name is David Kingsbury if I’m not mistaken

  • Jennifer says:

    And P.S., if only women were this kind to each other, think about how good we’d all feel about ourselves!

  • Mike says:

    Great thoughts on this.

    Keyboard warriors gon’ keyboard war.

  • Jim says:

    Great stuff, Brett! Hugh is the man and put himself (and his lifting) further in the public eye. Haters will rip cause they’re strongest behind a keyboard. It saddens me that so many have so few nice things to say. But I’m with you, Hugh’s a stud and congrats to him for bustin’ his backside in the gym!

  • Patrick says:

    Imagine the response if he was doing Crossfit! HAHA

  • Alex says:

    Well said Brett

  • Brad says:

    To be fair, I’ve heard that Hugh is on TRT (not mere anonymous internet speculation, but a source that’s highly believable). I’m not hating, when I hit my 40s I’m heading straight to the endocrinologist, but that also should be considered when assessing his physique and performance at that age. I do support your defense of his pull though, that’s a solid lift for anyone and it’s not like he’s trying to be a powerlifter.

  • Stephanie says:

    I tried defending him myself and was the laughing stock of the internet trolls. I think he’s gorgeous and has a phenomenal body.

    • Jeremy clark says:

      Based on the bend of the bar that is definitely above 415. When i squatted 425 the bar had simalar bend

  • Derrick Blanton says:

    How much the plates weigh, or whether he could pull 545 with dedicated training is so peripheral to me as to be irrelevant. I don’t care if he’s 24-years old, and that’s a 225-lb. 1RM on the bar. He looks great. He’s doing work. Look at his face. He gets it. He’s putting forth effort. That’s what it’s all about.

    I studied sociology back in the day. The worst of the broseph meathead crowd is the equivalent to teenage “Mean Girls”. High, high conformity levels mixed with rampant insecurity, the kind that burns a hole in the soul like acid through cotton, and the kind that won’t be cured no matter how many plates you throw on the bar.

    Hating on Hugh Jackman to try to extract a few seconds of fleeting self esteem, before that persistent, dull ache of living with yourself inside your own skin settles in once again.

  • Jamie says:

    Thank you so much for this!! You are setting the best example by leading people to rally in support & appreciation of others who share common interests and goals, despite cultural or social differences. Where’s the satisfaction in trying to one-up the next guy or make him look bad, whether you know him personally or not? Regardless of his lifting stats, Hugh looks amazing and is clearly working hard, training at a level high enough to support his goals.

    The negative attention this photo has garnered is a shame, but I know there are just as many people out there who looked at that photo and thought, “Would you look at that? Even Hugh Jackman goes hard at the gym!” And I’d bet they were encouraged to know that celebrities have to work just as hard as the average person to achieve their aesthetic/performance goals–it’s not just good genes and airbrushing!

    As a woman, I can really respect & admire certain female celebs who I know dedicate time & energy to fitness & nutrition, relying as much as possible on those (rather than starvation and drug abuse) to achieve their physiques. Many men probably have a parallel appreciation for a male celeb (like Hugh) who is real, dedicated & down-to-earth.

  • Joe says:

    Wow, that bar looks scary heavy — kudos to Hugh for setting such a good example for the rest of us 40somethings (I’m 46).

    I’ve never understood the haters — always have to tear someone down to feel better about themselves. It’s sad really, because in the end they have only themselves to live with, just like what Derrick said.

  • Mike says:

    Hugh Jackman cares about 1 % what haters say – He’s a movie star people…not a guy who has been in a movie or two…no…he’s a movie Star….He’s Wolverine and the haters are not…..he is friends with people like The Rock and other legends…we are dorks reading about this on the internet….two different planets….haters go hate…he just made another million

    • Josh says:

      I”m all for this article first of all but, just because Hugh Jackman is a movie star doesn’t make him better than anyone else. So what if he makes millions of dollars, there’s so much out there more important than rectangular pieces of paper. Just because he plays characters onscreen doesn’t mean he’s better than you or I. I work at a mine, supply energy to the whole of the United States which allows people to watch his entertaining movies and I have some equally non-famous friends that are pretty cool too. They might not be the Rock or other legends as you put it, but they’re awesome in their own right. My best friend is a Master Sergeant in the Air Force that’s spent more years overseas than people spend in High School. My brother is an awesome Chiropractor, healing people of back issues every day. The only thing separating celebrities and us as human beings are the other humans that grovel at their feet and treat them like some they’re Gods. They’re just regular people like you and me. This being said, I’m also happy that he posted himself dead lifting. Since he IS a role model to so many out there, maybe he can help the ladies get over this fad of Beiberite body types being sexy and get them back on track with fit muscular men being more attractive, like it should be. Cuz you know, zombie apocalypse, man.

  • Kevin says:

    I agree with you 100%–Jackman has the type of physique that many guys are trying to achieve. I thought the picture was pretty cool.

  • wickets says:

    first off, anyone that pulls – one pound or a thousand pounds – is a star in my eyes, but this dude has attitude too as in: if the bar aint bending, you’re just pretendin….thats a douche thing to say.

  • Stew says:

    Nice review of the Twitter picture, Bret. Haters gonna hate no matter what/who/etc.

  • Emily says:

    Thank you Bret!!!!! I knew that I loved you for more than just those damn glute bridges!!! I am not too much of a fan of Hugh Jackman (not for any reason except that I just don’t follow his work) but I APPRECIATE hard work when I see it….from anyone. People just want to bitch about anything and everything. Jealousy. Pure and simple. Thanks for speaking your mind. You rock. As always.

  • Charlee says:

    Awesome post! I LOVE that you state the fact he is an ACTOR and is trying to look ripped and hot on screen for fans. NOT trying to be the worlds strongest man. I LOVE Hugh Jackman and ALL the movies with Wolverine! As we (should) all know he also performs on Broadway and that second pic you posted was after he purposely lost a ton of weight and he even stated he would stop drinking water for days before a shoot because in Les Mis. He had to look tiny and malnourished, so to go from Wolverine to that back to Wolverine in such a short time is no small feat! Takes a huge toll on his body and the fact that he can lift that weight is just damn impressive in my book.

  • Jody says:

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this article and defending Hugh on this topic!. Hugh has been snubbed as being on steroids and so many other harsh remarks for years. I have been a fan and follower of Hugh since he filmed the first X-Men movie in 2000. Following him that long, I have seen interviews and read articles and know he tells the truth when he says he sticks to diets and exercise to get this body we see today. He has done several TV interviews that show him lifting in the gym and let me tell you, this man is strong! Not to mention I have seen him in person and there is no way he is lying about what he lifts. Yeah I am sure some are going to say, oh she is just a love struck fan, you know what, Yeah I am a fan and I admire him, You never see anything bad about him, he is a family man, does a lot for charity. Yeah I can go on and on, but this article is really about what he can lift so I am just going to say this, Jealousy is a nasty thing that so many people have. Hugh has the body he has at 44 years old because he is determined and strict. He works extremely hard to achieve that mountain of muscles and not many people could even come close to sticking to the harsh regimen he requires to stay that physically fit. Stop knocking what you can’t be. Become determined and do what he does! It is not like there isn’t a bunch of magazines out there with his workout in it, give it a shot! Then you will see what determination and dedication can get you!
    Once again, Thank you SOOO much for writing this. I am linking this to my Hugh page with a ton of thanks!
    Take care!

  • No matter what the actual weight (from 350 – 465), this still makes Hugh far far stronger than the average man! Oh sweet internet, full of guys who should just stay in their Parent’s basement playing video games and stop annoying us with their meaningless, uninformed comments.

  • Christian says:

    Well said!!!!

  • Ventura says:

    Well said Bret, I hope is not a problem for you if hereafter, where appropriate, I will be using your ethical considerations as an example against every Jackman haters, your intelligence opposite to their stupidity…a very embarrassing contrast. Thank you.

  • Debra says:

    I met Hugh Jackman on a photo shoot several years ago and he was the epitome of classy. Of all the actors I have worked with he was, by far, the most gracious, the most humble and the most charming! He was kind and completely unpretenious. And he was as sexy in person and he is on screen! Thanks for defending him…because, from my limited experience he is just a hard working guy committed to his craft! And rocking his 40’s in the process!

  • Sue says:

    Very nice article, Bret. I think your kitty meme says it all…haters gonna hate! It’s a sorry state of the modern world that we have people with sad, small lives using the internet to give themselves a few moments of self importance by knocking down others. It’s usually someone like Hugh Jackman who works twice as hard as most people to achieve the things he wants while still taking time to give back with all the charity work he does. The haters would do better to aspire to be half the man he is…but of course they won’t…

    One note…he has another trainer these days, David Kingsbury. He started working with him for Les Miserables & he’s the guy who helped him lose and then regain weight while still looking & being strong for his role as Jean Valjean. I saw an interview a few days ago where Kingsbury was asked about that picture that Hugh tweeted and he said it was around 500lbs so your 465 estimate is probably correct.

  • JG says:

    Great article, but I have trouble with your weight calculation. In larger versions of this photo, it is very clear that the red plate on the floor next to him is labelled 45lbs.

  • David Kingsbury says:

    Hi Bret, firstly wanted to say I am a big fan of your blog and all your writing.
    Secondly great article/view point.
    I took this photo when we were training in New York, we pulled 5×5 building up to this 5 reps at 210kg/462lb.

    David Kingsbury

    • Bret says:

      I was right!!!!! Made my day haha. Thanks for taking the time to respond here David. On the forums the haters were estimating 350-385 lbs. 5 x 5 ending with 462 lbs is a hell of a lot harder than pulling singles of 365 lbs. Thanks again my friend, BC

      • David Kingsbury says:

        No problem Bret, thanks for being a positive voice to the lifting game.
        I haven’t seen the other forums, but I can never understand why other people that lift would try and bring someone down who trains, let alone trains as hard as Hugh.

        • Dunkman says:

          I agree, Bret does a great job mentoring and staying positive.

          And BTW, great work on your training with Hugh Jackman. There are a lot of ways to look good, but I respect the way you and he have gone about it.

  • Joe says:

    Nearly 2.4x BW for 5, Adamantium @ work!

  • kate says:

    Hows about we see all those trolls lose all the weight Hugh did for le mis and gain it back in six months and then let’s see what they pull?

  • Drew says:

    Internet is full of guys who are 7% bf squat 500 dead 600 and run 4.3 40s. Which is why they sit in the internet all day right? Great article. People forget he is working out to look good and get paid. I’d say it worked

  • Jason says:

    As of late, your blog has been gold, Bret.

    That dead was definitely 465lbs. Wolverine is beastly.

  • Kris says:

    Bret, I have loved your posts and found you through Marianne Kane, who I found on Youtube when I was looking to learn about kettlebell workouts. I am a scientist and like the hypothesis tests you offer. I have gone through your Booty-ful beginnings workout and both 30 day challenges. I genetically have great glutes but have developed back problems and an anterior pelvic tilt; due to injuries and pregnancy. I didn’t do the program advanced lifters because I can’t do a chin-up and never tried a deadlift with more than 80 lbs, I’ve been lifting since the 70’s. (I farmer’s walk with 80lb. dumbells all the way around the gym,my grip is my failing point). I did do these workouts with cardio, a few of my own exercises and Marianne’s workouts. After this post I am feeling old, you mentioned 44 twice and Hugh is 16 days younger than me. I am not happy with my post twin body but I’ll keep plugging away and hope 44 isn’t really old. I made it a goal to do a chin-up by January 1. My husband was born in 1950 he wanted to bench 300 on his 50th birthday this year he did 360X5 after cardio. I still haven’t convinced him to do any leg exercises besides cardio machines. We do carry a 40 lb 4 yr old plus tools on our back to do paleontology, it was close to 100 degrees.

    • SoCalBonnie says:

      Kris, don’t feel old. You’re not old, girl.

      I did my first chinup at age 52, after working at it for a long time. When I started, I sat under a racked barbell and could barely lift my butt off the floor. It seemed impossible to be able to do a full chinup, not to mention pullups.

      But I got my first chinup from a dead hang last June and within the month I was able to do a couple of them. Then I accomplished a pull up!

      Sometimes I wish I was ten years younger — just to have those extra years of experience and muscle memory so my 50s would be rocking even better than they are now.

      Just keep plugging away at it and you will achieve your goal. I’ve been sidelined recently by health issues and surgery and I’m a lot weaker now than I was last year. I’m not allowed to do chinups or pullups…. yet. But I’m eager to get back into the gym and start again.

      Ah, to be 44 again. LOL.

  • Sean says:

    Not a troll but I was able to Pull 450 at 165 lbs, after being in the gym for 10 months. I expected Hugh to lift way heavier than that at 6’0+ 200+ lbs. Also don’t skip leg day Hugh, Leg workouts will help your entire body not just your legs.

    • Bret says:

      Sean, I believe that you’re not trying to be a troll. But I wrote this post specifically toward folks like you, hoping that it helped evoke sympathy.

      Most people have certain weak parts that are incredibly stubborn. Based on what I’ve heard, Hugh trains his legs week in and week out very hard. But they don’t respond much, despite gaining much strength at the various lifts.

      Most people have certain lifts that they excel at and others that they suck at. Just because you quickly reached advanced levels of strength in the deadlift very quickly doesn’t mean that everyone else will.

      So try to have some compassion for other lifters – I can relate to Hugh’s problem as I have a lot of trouble building my squat and bench press, along with my quads and lats. If you’re genetically gifted, then you have trouble relating to normal individuals.

      • Gus Snarp says:

        One thing about Hugh, being 6’3″ he has long legs. I’m the same way at 6’4″, though I just started lifting. Being in my forties and starting this, Hugh’s a huge inspiration. But our long legs can be extremely powerful without a lot of bulk because the muscle mass is there, it’s just long! Appearances can be deceiving. And I don’t get how anybody thinks he’s skimping on leg workouts and deadlifting 462lbs. You can’t deadlift heavy with weak legs.

    • Derrick Blanton says:

      Oh yeah, Sean? Well I got second place at the science fair when I was in 3rd grade…How do you like them apples?

      (whispers…) “validate me….please..must.. feel special….must….”(voice trails off)

    • Rozin says:

      There are plenty of people who have done similarly but they have the advantage of great leverages. Give them a lift where their leverages aren’t so great and they suddenly aren’t so “strong.” Not saying you’re the same, but anthropometry plays a significant role on how well you can do in a specific lift.

    • Kyle says:

      We all believe you, Sean, really.

    • Neill says:

      Sean, you may well be able to but I work off the mantra of “if there’s no photo, it never happened”.

  • Hans says:

    Considering his allround fitnesslvl that deadlift is nothing short of impressing. Fat fuckers that can’t run 200 meters without huffing and puffing have no business comparing their deadlifts to a guy that clearly has them beaten in every other aspect in life. If you don’t believe me – ask your wife who she’d rather bone 🙂

  • what a necessary post. and i heart that kitty!

  • kaz says:

    He’s Wolverine.. He’s Van Helsing.. He sang so beautifully on Les Miserables… He is basically an Angel of destruction and beauty. Hugh Jackman is my man crush and Im straighter then a fucken arrow. I wish I was Hugh Jackman

  • ggs says:

    A very heavily muscled man once told me there is no such thing as a little weight.. weights used properly and with good form and concentration will give you a good sure looks like to me that Hugh is working hard here regardless of his weights…..this post made my day … Hugh Jackman deadlifting what a treat…Bret’s blog post icing on my cake….Thanks… I have been offline for a several weeks nice to be back reading your positive commentary….

  • cmon says:

    Regardless of what reps/sets/weight he used, it seems everyone on here is disregarding the fact that Hugh Jackman was a fitness snob first: “If the bar ain’t bendin, then you’re just pretendin.” How is that not him saying that if you can’t lift enough weight to literally bend the bar (like him), then you aren’t worthy of being considered a respectable exerciser?

    • Kyle says:

      It’s called “humour”, cmon. Since you don’t get humour, I can only assume you are American.

      • cmon says:

        Or, it could be called narcissism, insecurity, or desperation. Since you “don’t get” (I love the superfluous use of quotation marks) that kind of reflection, I can only assume you are an American who likes to use British spellings of words because you share those traits with Hugh Jackman.

        • Max W. says:

          @cmon Kyle is right. Your reaction in style “Miss Contemptuous” is a strong evidence…the truth hurt.

          • cmon says:

            Oh Max W, I’m beginning to think I’m not the one who doesn’t understand humor (however you choose to spell it). More importantly, though, is my concern regarding how worthwhile it is to try and engage in a dialogue with people who aren’t capable of anything more than groupthink, clichés, and offensive generalizations (be they jingoistic or misogynistic).

    • Peter says:

      Cmom, why not get a sense of humour? 🙂

    • Jana says:

      lol, I’m 2 years too late on this, but I can’t believe people couldn’t tell Hugh was joking. Good God, have you never seen the man in an interview? He is self-deprecating and humble. He doesn’t take himself seriously and doesn’t think he’s better than anyone else. I’ve met him before, and he is a total sweetheart and didn’t seem in the least bit egotistical. A great majority of things he says or posts are jokes or for humor. Lighten up, people!

  • Ross Enamait says:

    Nice work Bret. The world would be a better place if the haters spent as much time worrying about themselves. Wishful thinking I suppose

  • Leona says:

    Bret!!! I did not know I could love what you do even more than before.
    Freaking awesome post. Love the Hugh 🙂

  • Perryn Lord says:

    I’m 39 and right I can’t do it, holla at me I 6 months 500lbs yeah. But like you said Bret haters!!!!!

  • JC says:

    Huge Jack-Man… ‘Nuff said! dig the kitten pic

  • Tom says:

    Bret, another interesting and really motivating article! I am going towards 40 myself and I am very impressed with the poundage Hugh is using apparently. I have to admit that I was thinking as well that he MUST HAVE used drugs to attain that sort of physique for the new wolverine movie (with the veins popping out like that etc.). I might have been mistaken (some doubts still remain 😉 although the movie pics are surely photoshopped. But the thing is I do not know what’s possible when you just have to focus on getting lean and strong as an actor does with a personal trainer and diet guru 24/7 at hand and do nothing else, like we “normal” people have to. Anyway, thanks for the insight and again I want to ask you kindly to write another article for the guys on how to attain a physique like Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Jason Statham etc as you did with Jessica Alba and Zoe Saldana. What are your thoughts on that, I am very, very curious to know!! Thanks man and keep up your great work! Gotta go to the gym now and work on my version of the wolverine 🙂

  • Jason says:

    The guy is a Hollywood actor worth millions upon millions. How many people like that are out deadlifting at all? Most physically fit actors do pansy assed workouts. This is quite impressive. Hugh Jackman kicks ass, and workouts like this expain why he’s able to look like he does at his age.

  • Jim Robinson says:

    Bret, you missed the fact (unless I wasn’t paying attention) that Jackman is also a better singer, dancer and actor than 98% of the haters (and non-haters).

  • Ash says:

    This is why I don’t use Twitter. No reason to listen to hater trolls who probably live in Mama’s basement.

  • kelly says:

    Great Post Bret,

    I’m 46 and it takes determination and a strong will to hit the gym at any age, but especially after 40.
    I’m in the mindset to look good to set an example for my 13yr old son. When I take him to the water park I look better than 90% of the 20-30yr olds.
    I want to show my son and other teenagers that by eating healthy and exercising that it can benefit anyone.
    And I don’t have to wear a tee shirt proclaming that I can bench 1.8x my body weight and DL 2.5x my BW which I can!

  • Dave Madarro says:

    Haha, if anything, all these pathetic haters should be impressed that Jackman can pull 485 lbs, even with “chicken legs”.

    It’s one of the worst side effects of the social media phenomenon, people getting a kick out spreading negativity and trying to put others down, even when they do their best to improve their physique and inspire others.

    Hugh Jackman is a stud, enough said.

  • Honestly, seeing that picture made me start lifting. I have only gone 5 times now, but it motivated me to stop just running and work in strength training (and not just dumbbells and calisthenics at home). There are a lot of haters in lifting, and I hate that part of it. You’re right, though, Bret. He did a good thing by posting it, and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with my measly 150 newbie deadlift who thinks so.

  • Ciaran says:

    great article. its a shame but its a simple fact that some people out there are just small minded and jealous and try to put successful people down any oppurtunity they get.

    keep it up bret i love your stuff

  • Drew Sheffield says:

    Hugh Jackman’s thighs are the same size as my forearms

    • Tony says:

      Hey Drew “Envy” Sheffield, explain to us: did you get a meter and measured Jackman’s thighs? Did you personally measured it live? Shut up and run to the gym, I bet your belly is the same size as the Yankee Stadium…

  • Getoutofhere says:

    In the age of deception and Photoshop.
    In the age of Hollywood’s light and magic.

    This photo proves nothing.
    I doubt he can lift over 200 kg for 5 reps.
    For God’s sake..
    If his trainer had the balls, he could video shoot the proper ROGUE plates before the lift and ofcourse he could VIDEO SHOOT the 5 DAMN REPS his client was supposed to perform.

    In the age of deception I don’t believe without visual, formal or scientific evidence. Period.

    • Zaidat says:

      Why would Hugh have to prove anything to us? His fitness seems to be in vp check and it shows. He looks amazing and he is healthy. That is all that matters.

  • That’s some serious weight and I’m glad to see he’s doing some real exercise and not Bosu ball squats or jumping jacks

  • Aaron Manning says:

    I am a huge hugh jackman fan, any actor like him that busts their ass to get bigger to be more believable on screen is awesome in my book. he gets bigger and more ripped in each wolverine portrayal. I’ve read a few articles about his workout routine, online and in magazines, and apparently when he has done low reps, like 3 reps, he regularly does 500+ pounds. I have the same problem he does with the legs, like him, my legs are cut and very separated, but they hardly grow at all! ive been trying to gain my old highschool weight back ever since i had to cut 50 pounds for college wrestling, and it has been hard as hell. my deadlifts and squats are back up to the mid 400’s, but legs still look tiny! i was doing low reps, heavy weight for a while, but im currently trying trisets and supersets. heavy squats with leg press and extensions, straightlegged deads with leg curls and tons of heavy lunges, and a full day devoted to heavy deads, 300 reps of calf raises every other day, both donkey, and standing, and ive seen a little improvement, but not much. the only thing that seems to grow much is my butt. so after busting my ass harder on legs than anything else, people still comment and say stuff like “everyday is upperbody” day to me, or just straight up tell me im lying when i say how much i squat. ive interrupted an arms day, just to take some punk to the squat rack and show him up. he shut up when i stopped at 455, and he stopped at 365. ive just come to look at it that my muscles are just more efficient than theirs, lol. i sure wish they showed more of their strength though, so i definately sympathize with hugh. im lucky im not famous and only have to deal with frumpy, chubby lookin douchebags in the gym, and not these keyboard warriors. id probably lose my mind!

  • will says:


    I have a weird problem. When I deadlift, the bar crushes my testicles upon lock out. My arms are short and just so happen to hang right around my genital area. I don’t know if there is anything that I can do. Maybe you know of some tips. If not, I guess I can always do good mornings and trap bar deadlifts. #healthytesticles

  • Scott says:

    I calculated 418 pounds assuming a 20 kilo bar. He should change his name to Huge Jacked-Man. Anyone hating on Mr. Jackman’s post needs to re-evaluate the way they are “acting.”

  • Kevin in SF says:

    I just saw this, very impressive (I was researching 5×5 for my DL).

    Anyone who does regular DL’s at any age should be commended. They’re difficult when done correctly relative to strength, and relativity is the point most miss.

    The weight that sends my nervous system into a tizzy is different than the weight which impacts another. The weight is irrelevant, it’s the the suffering that is the constant we all share.

    As an aside I’ve always enjoyed his movies. He looks like he spends many hard hours in the gym, which is something I think most here can relate to.

  • Tony says:

    I support Hugh, totally. Naysayers grow up.
    I am 53, started lifting a year and a bit ago, and deadlifted a 1rm of 405lb at a bodyweight of 190lbs. However, progress on my upper body is slow, and I max on bench press at 235lbs, so I have a weak aspect, too.
    So, what evidence do I need to supply to shut certain ppl up? It will never satisfy them anyway, so who cares?
    Being an armchair critic should be a sport of its own- leave them to it, ignore their contributions.

  • Philip Vincent says:

    As a 42 year old Aussie, I am a big fan of Hugh and see him as a very positive role model. So much so that at this years Supanova “pop culture” convention in Sydney, I have decided to go dressed as Wolverine. It gave me a goal to aim for and a reason to get in shape. I only WISH I was able to lift as much as Hugh, the guy is phenominal. It is sad that people seem to have to knock down those in the public eye, I have found myself online defending Hugh on a few occasions, from his lifting to his sexuality – by the way people the ability to dance & sing does NOT make you gay.

  • derek says:

    Hugh Jackman is the man. Period. What I find hilarious is that even after reading an article about commenting like a dbag troll readers still post dbag troll comments on said article…. No self awareness whatsoever.

  • 191-193 says:

    Couldn’t care less how he looks, but great to see he’s actually lifting big weights. Pretty much all other actors don’t say a peep about their training weights, it’s usually just 5×6-12 of this and that. Weighted chin pic(my fav) next, please!

  • Amzar says:

    For 40’s , Hugh body’s are awesome. But to make it clear , the plate that he using for deadlift are most likely to be Osaka’s,
    I’m running my own gym and using equipment exactly like this.
    Red : 25lbs Blue : 20lbs Black: 10lbs.
    That gonna make the total weight that he deadlifted was 160lbs.
    Well i’m not saying that its not good enough . But remember when its come to training , we not only talk about weight , concentration and rest time are the key part. Even if he deadlifted with 160lbs , with focus and minimal rest time , he can get even better result.
    Body building training and weight lifting training are two different things fella.

  • Toni Adwell says:

    Show me a picture of a star deadlifting over duck face selfie any day. Way to go, Hugh!

  • Dominique says:

    Hugh has posted an honest pic of himself lifting. He is strong for a guy not aiming to powerlift. I don’t know how much the critics lift and I don’t care; I focus on my own lifting and value qualities such as honesty and of course, man-like strength (physical and other as well). Thanks to Bret for the high-frequency advice; I am now squatting 400+ and deadlifting 450+ and enjoying every session.

  • Chris says:

    On account of his thin legs, what people fail to realise is that they see only a small part of the quad here. I’ve seen his legs at their full length. He has thighs that get a lot thicker towards the top. His legs are actually built much like a sprinter. Not huge, but also not tiny, but certainly very strong. I like Hugh, he’s not only a boss of an actor and a fitness demon, he’s also a very awesome and easy going guy. Very approachable and easy to talk to. I think he’s doing pretty damn well for himself.

  • Greg post, Bret!

    This may have already been said but in addition to everything you mentioned can you imagine if he was a competitive lifter and he went about lifting the same way he does with his roles as a “triple threat” performer. He’d probably crush most!

    I checked out the Instagram feed….and wow! So much insecurity in that thread.

  • matt says:

    It was pretty cool 400lb feels real heavy there is always someone who lift heavier. I think it was a top effort 45 no less. Chicken legs well he is not training as a bodybuilder less food, power lifting deadlifts so he would mix it up some bodybuilding and some power lifting and cardio, CF training . But he is strong on less food, higher endurance at fighting weigh . That is what JSOC want and 45.

  • Dominick says:

    “And if Hugh ever decided to compete in a powerlifting contest (which he wouldn’t because that’s not his goal), I bet that within a year he could be pulling 545-585 pounds – again, more than 98% of the critics out there (and even more if he beefed up to 245 pounds or so).”
    Very well put! He’s an actor, not a competitive lifter. There is one big actor we all know who’s outlifting 99.9999% of all men out there, but he’s also a top-5 World Strongest Man Competitor!
    As for the bar he’s using, I think 465 or 455 is very likely, just by looking the way the bar is bending… And I don’t think he’s the kind of person to use a light women’s bar!

  • Alain says:

    I like the guy and this is definitely a feat of strength, well above what I can pull despite being heavier. But let’s not take this as a basis for what you can achieve at 44yo NATURALLY.
    If you look at his physique before X-Men, he’s far from looking how he is today. Hell, even if you look at the first movie, he is today way more shredded and muscular than he was. If you look at his delts, shoulders and lats, he’s starting to look like Sylvester Stallone with very big veins and that “leaf” look.
    I don’t think that’s achieved using purely a good diet and thorough training when you’re past 40 yo and have no history of hard training before 35. Of course there’s no denying the guy is putting in the work. But don’t try to pretend he’s natural here, that’s just not true.

  • Dale says:

    Hugh, Don’t even listen to the negative comments people sometimes get jealous stick to it your doing great. I’m 55 & have been lifting for 3 years now & remember all the negative comments saying your too old, you can’t build muscle etc. I just ignored all of this & now today they say wow did you see Dale he’s ripped lol. Anyways, I remember the 1 st year I couldn’t even do a pull-up I was so embarassed & frustrated Until one day I came upon an article called the Farmer Walk well everything changed when I added this wonderful exercise as a finisher. When I started doing the Farmer walk I walked with 30 lb. dumbells in each hand for 3 sets of 100 steps if I could achieve 100 steps for all 3 sets I would than go to the next set of 35 lb. dumbells. Well today I now use 110 lbs. in each hand this was exactly what I needed to propell me to the next level. Now I do every tuesday Back & Bicep I do 4 sets of pullups between 12 -15 & 4 sets of bicep curls supersetted with 4 sets of chin-ups with static hold on the last rep. They say if you can walk with your body weight in your hand it’s a game changer well they are correct. I way 196 & I’m 5′ 11 inches tall & I walk with 110 lbs in each hand at 55 years of age never thought it was possible so ignore all the negative comments & keep on going you look fantastic.

  • John says:

    Kinda weird full circle here , I just put around twenty kilo on my deadlift after switching to mixed grip strapless and just pulled this weight 180kilo (slightly under) this week as a pb.
    I was looking for videos of people pulling the same and found this .
    About a year ago at 43 I started lifting I’m now 44. I remember now seeing this at 43 and being inspired as to what was possible . So full circle ! Will keep keeping on – thanks Bret and Hugh for the inspiration.

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