2014’s Oscar nominated film Nightcrawler showed us Jake Gyllenhaal like we’ve never seen him before, and I’m not talking about the fact that he played a creepy sociopath who went out and maimed people for the sake of his career – I’m talking about how Gyllenhaal dropped from his usual 180 lb. self to a mere 150. While many roles require weight losses and gains, Gyllenhaal’s next role, the part of down-and-out boxer Billy Hope in the upcoming film Southpaw, meant he didn’t just have to gain weight…he had to put on muscle.
A lot of muscle.
Even before the film began shooting, Gyllenhaal trained with former professional boxer Terry Claybon for an intensive six months in order to get prepared for the role, bringing him back to his usual weight of 180 and then adding an extra 15 pounds of muscle on top of that. According to Claybon, he even taught him how to box.
“I wanted Jake to learn how to box so he wouldn’t be out there on the set trying to act like a boxer,” the 52-year-old trainer tells Yahoo Movies. “I pushed Jake to the limit.”
But how did Gyllenhaal transform from the gaunt Louis Bloom…
…to the muscular Billy Hope?
It wasn’t easy. According to Yahoo,
Gyllenhaal was burning so many calories through rigorous workouts that his diet didn’t need to be terribly strict. He did stick to carbs in the morning and protein in the evening.
Claybon started him off with three hours of workouts a day: An hour-and-a-half in the morning and an hour-and-a-half in the evening. After two months, the workouts got pushed to six hours a day: Three hours of boxing in the morning and three hours of strengthening, conditioning, and cardio at night.
Among the physical feats, the actor would do 1,000 sit-ups in the morning and 1,000 at night. “Gradually we built up, day-by-day, to 2,000. It takes time to do that,” says Claybon.(Via)
However, thousands on thousands of sit-ups wasn’t enough, as Gyllenhaal reportedly never stopped training, even on his lunch breaks.
Even when his fight scenes were complete, Gyllenhaal kept training to stay in the mindset and physical shape of a fighter for his acting scenes. “He wanted to box on his lunch break,” Claybon remembers.
The end result in the film is clear, says Claybon: “You see a guy who knows how to box.”(Via)
Judging from the trailer for Southpaw, Gyllenhaal’s work paid off.
The film hits theaters on July 24th.
[h/t YAHOO Movies]