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‘Exercise Scientist’ Mike Israetel Dissects Jake Gyllenhaal’s Workout for ‘Roadhouse’

Radha Iyer

Dr. Mike Israetel Reveals the ‘Simplest Diet Ever’ for Optimum Training

Dr. Mike Israetel has built up a reputation for being an exercise scientist and critic. Analyzing various training programs of Hollywood stars and fitness icons, he attempts to highlight the nuances of every exercise and its purpose in the plan. Recently, he covered Jake Gyllenhaal’s transformation and routine for the newly-released ‘Roadhouse’, going through every single exercise group to understand their role.

In collaboration with Men’s Health, Gyllenhaal’s trainer, Jason Walsh, took fans on a journey through the actor’s prep to become a UFC athlete for the role. His plan was divided into different groups of exercises that focused on various goals specific to the sport. Their goal was not only to make him look like a fighter but also to behave like one. They included several workouts that helped him nail the body language.

They began the workout by spending a few minutes warming up with core movements, which Dr. Israetel approved of, and mobility drills for not more than a few minutes could be beneficial. Similarly, when Walsh whipped out the Proteus Motion Drill machine used to simulate the movements of a fighter. Mike was impressed with the machine’s range and abilities. The star trainer then began the actual workout that helped Gyllenhaal with the movie.

Mike Israetel weighs in on Isometrics

Walsh talked about including Isometrics as a part of Gyllenhaal’s workout to increase his strength and stamina at different joint angles. However, Dr. Israetel immediately disapproved of this technique. He was blown away, especially with the inclusion of isometrics for focusing on oddly specific parts of the body. As an actor, the training focus for him should be holistic and general.

Work capacity

Walsh then showed Gyllenhaal training with a sled pushing exercise to increase his work capacity. However, Dr. Mike Israetel pointed out that instead of overcomplicating workouts for aesthetics, simple exercises like regular cardio and treadmill running could provide much better results at improving work capacity, burning more calories, and enhancing joint strength.

Heavy primitive work

Walsh’s purpose in training Gyllenhaal to perform squats and deadlifts is to ensure muscle coordination. However, Israetel suggested that combat workouts, something that the actor was already training for, would suit better for the purpose. Heavy workouts helped gain size rather than enhance muscle coordination.

Offset loading

Going off-balance with a heavyweight on one end to do lunges was next on the list for Gyllenhaal’s prep to become an MMA fighter. While the exercise scientist acknowledged that it was okay to perform this exercise to get a sense of balance in the body, he firmly believed that MMA-specific training sessions with fellow fighters would have benefitted the Hollywood star more than this workout.

Swiss press

Reiterating how combat athletes have to train with full range of motion for their sport, Dr. Israetel disapproves of an exercise like floor press. In the video, Walsh focuses on chest-heavy movements with the Swiss bar press. However, instead of limiting movements through exercises, Dr. Israetel calls for dynamic exercises focusing on mobility.

Push-pull rips

Another exercise that Walsh deemed fit to maintain balance was met by apprehension from the exercise scientist. This was followed by climbing springs that he finally acknowledged, which were useful for actual MMA fighters to get through multiple rounds. Dr. Mile, however, wasn’t sure why the Hollywood star was doing it.

With this, Dr. Israetel wrapped up his critique, presenting both positives and negatives on the celebrity workout plan. In conclusion, he suggests that if you wish to have athletic ability, it’s better to do more conventional lifting. And for MMA abilities, he suggests sticking to training with MMA people. All in all, he recommended keeping this simple and foundational, which would help achieve the fitness goal right away.

Post Edited By:Brandon Gabriel Isaacs

About the author

Radha Iyer

Radha Iyer


Radha Iyer is a US Sports writer at The SportsRush. With a Master's degree in Media and Communication, and a background in content creation and production, sports journalism has been a part and parcel of her demonstrated history in the said field. Olympic sports hold a special place in her heart, and she is particularly interested in sports like track and field, gymnastics, and swimming. She also draws inspiration from legendary athletes like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Simone Biles, and many more.

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