How Jake Gyllenhaal Got Fit for ‘Prince of Persia’

Most news related to an actors’ looks as it relates to a role they are taking on has to do with them gaining or losing weight to fit the character. But occasionally you get an actor who gets buff for their role. The most notable fitness transformation on the big screen right now is Jake Gyllenhaal in his role in “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” And, what sword-and-sandal male lead isn’t cut out of stone anyway? So, the pressure was on to live up to the genre standards.

But, in an interview with Moviefone, Gyllenhaal downplays the difficulty of his physical transformation.

“There was nothing hard about it, man, I was paid to get in shape,” he said.

Gyllenhaal’s trainer, Simon Waterson, is a former Royal Marine (The UK’s Marine Corp.) who has helped other big-name actors put on the lean muscle mass, including Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig for their roles in James Bond.

While you may not be able to afford a celebrity trainer, it would be kinda cool to know what they put their high-profile clients through to get their super hero-like physique.

Waterson revealed some of his recommendations for Gyllenhaal, but advises most people to follow it at a more moderate pace. The trainer also had a few other pragmatic words of wisdom:

“He had the luxury of having me around 24/7 for almost a year and even while he was filming,” Waterson says. “I made sure he trained when he needed to train. He was fed when he needed to be fed. And rested when he needed to rest. You have to bear in mind, this was an intensive four months of training. He was living an athlete’s life.”

So, here are some of the diet and fitness elements that Gyllenhaal used to get into shape:


– He put on a 20-pound flak jacket and ran 3-5 miles in the sand at 5:15 a.m.
– Resistance training at 5 p.m. for an hour, including cable exercises that simulated sword fighting movements


– Each day, Gyllenhaal would eat six times – three meals and three snacks. Each of these contained a lot of protein, electrolytes and carbohydrates. No foods containing refined sugar.

– Before his 5:15 a.m. workout, the actor would have a piece of fruit and espresso.

– Breakfast included an egg-white omelet, rye toast, and an omega 3,6, and 9 supplement.

– Morning snack may be celery, carrots, hummus, and a protein shake.

– Lunch at noon may be chicken, broccoli and brown rice.

– Dinner is soup and a protein shake, or a lean protein dinner.

– Lastly a 9:30 p.m. protein shake, then bed.

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