“The Perfect Specimen”: Celebrity Trainer of Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, and Others Reveals Why Jake Gyllenhaal Was Easy to Train Ahead of “Road House”

Published 05/22/2023, 2:43 PM EDT

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Celebrity fitness and transformation coach Jason Walsh has a stacked resume. He has coached leading men like Matt Damon, Miles Teller, and Bradley Cooper. Walsh has also trained leading ladies like Jessica Biel and Brie Larson. However, the fitness coach has worked with few celebrities as much as he has with Jake Gyllenhaal. According to the personal trainer, working with the prolific actor has been easy.

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Making his debut as a child actor in City Slickers (1991), the 42-year-old has molded himself into one of the most famous and acclaimed actors in the industry today. Over the years, the Nightcrawler star has also taken on physically challenging roles like Southpaw (2015) and the upcoming Road House remake. Walsh, who has trained the actor for his upcoming film, recently revealed why it’s easy to train Gyllenhaal.

Jake Gyllenhaal is constantly challenging himself

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Fans attending UFC 285 got more than their money’s worth. Not only did they witness the much-anticipated return of Jon Jones, but they also saw Gyllenhaal film a fight scene inside the octagon. The 42-year-old also showed off his ripped physique during the UFC 285 weigh-ins, again, to shoot a scene for the Conor McGregor starter, Road House.

 

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The actor already had experience training like a fighter while preparing for the boxing film Southpaw. Since then, the Donnie Darko star never stopped physically challenging himself. “If he’s not in the gym doing strength training and conditioning, he’s swimming, he’s outside playing paddle tennis,” his trainer. Jason Walsh also said the 42-year-old “cycles like crazy.” 

According to the celebrity trainer, Gyllenhaal puts the same dedication to achieving the physical requirements of a role as he does with acting. Hence, it took the actor only three weeks to nail the diet and get conditioned for the shoot. Walsh told Insider that Gyllenhaal is “the perfect specimen,” who always stays in shape. So what did Gyllenhaal do to train for the upcoming Amazon Prime film?

Going beyond the training

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Training to look like a world-class mixed martial artist is only part of the job. Like real fighters, the BAFTA award winner also had to pay attention to his diet. According to the transformation coach, the actor also worked with a dietician and chef to replicate a fighter’s weight-cutting diet to look ripped when UFC 285 happened.

 

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While Jake Gyllenhaal had made Jason Walsh’s job easier, the duo still had to fine-tune his physique. So for three before the filming, the trainer and client worked on strength, conditioning, and combat training. Are you excited to watch Gyllenhaal duke it out with Conor McGregor in the former UFC double champ’s acting debut? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Sagnik Bagchi

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Sagnik Bagchi is a sports writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in American sports. He has a deep understanding of combat sports, gymnastics, and weightlifting. He holds a Master's Degree in English Literature from a top university.
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