Jake Gyllenhaal’s Workout and Diet to Become the Prince of Persia

by Mike

in Celebrity Diets, Celebrity Workouts, Featured, Role Preparation

Jake Gyllenhaal Workout and Diet to Prepare for Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time came out this weekend.  The movie remake of the popular game stars Jake Gyllenhaal, who also remade himself with an incredible workout and diet.

Initially, the casting of Jake Gyllenhaal for the role of Prince Distan surprised many. However, Jake took preparation for the role seriously as he told Entertainment Tonight. “I over-prepared myself [physically] because I never knew how much they were going to ask me to do, so I just made sure I’d be hopefully able to do anything. I guess I’ve gotten buff. It’s going to turn into fat [when we wrap] and I’m going to be happy.”

To prepare for Prince of Persia, Jake Gyllenhaal worked with Simon Waterson, a former Royal Marine. Simon Waterson is best known for transforming the latest James Bond, Daniel Craig, for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.  According to Waterson, “there’s an increasing fusion between the worlds of fitness and film. Most actors are athletes nowadays. Their fitness is a big factor in whether they get cast or not.”

Jake gyllenhaal prince of persia BEFORE AFTER Jake Gyllenhaals Workout and Diet to Become the Prince of Persia role preparation featured celebrity workouts celebrity diets

A Before and After Comparison of Jake Gyllenhaal

“Jake [had] to look like a warrior capable of sword-fighting, not like [he'd] been hitting the gym.”

Indeed, Jake’s diet and workout was nothing short of brutal. “He [worked] out twice, sometimes three times a day, six days a week, for three to four months on top of stunt rehearsals before filming [began],” said Waterson.  Thanks to his hard work, Jake Gyllenhaal transformed his light frame into a muscular body with a strict routine that included cardio, resistance training, and a calorie-restricted diet.

Prince of Persia Workout:

Workout #1 (Cardio) (6 am): A 90-minute outdoor workout while wearing a 20-lb weight vest (to simulate the weight of armor).

  • Interval Training Circuit
    • 10-minute uphill sprint.
    • At the top of the hill, Jake did a series of ab and core exercises. For an extra challenge, you can do these exercises on the slope of the hill to simulate an incline bench to hit those abs harder.
    • Run or jog down the hill. Repeat sequence five times.
  • A 10-minute run.
  • Stretching exercises.

Workout #2 (Resistance Training) (6 pm): A 60-minute resistance training routine (to simulate sword fighting).

Deep-Tissue Massage (7 pm): An hour-long deep-tissue massage (or sports massage).

Prince of Persia Diet:

Pre-workout snack (5:30 am):

  • Banana (1/2, unripened (but not green)). Jake’s workout will make you sweat – a lot. In turn, you’ll lose a lot of salts. Bananas have lots of potassium, and will help in advance. Avoid ripe bananas as these contain too much sugar.
  • Handful of nuts. Protein and healthy fats.
  • Espresso. Caffeine will get ready for your workout and help with fat loss.

Breakfast (post-workout meal) (7:30 am):

  • Egg-white omelet. We recommend using 3 to 6 eggs and 1-2 slices of Ezekiel bread.
  • Protein shake. We recommend a shake containing about 15 to 30 grams. Ideally, you want a shake with fast-digesting protein, such as whey protein.  Your body can absorb this type of protein in less than one hour so that your body can start building muscle promptly after your workout.
  • An isotonic drink to replenish electrolytes (potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorous) lost during the workout. Gatorade is probably the most-recognized isotonic drink, but contains too much sugar. Try adding electrolytes to your water with Elete‘s Pure Electrolyte Add-In. Alternatively, you can get your electrolytes with their Tablytes mineral supplements


  • Baked potato. Potatoes, which contain many carbohydrates, have got a bad wrap lately. However, after a workout, these carbs will help restore your glycogen reserves depleted during your workout.
  • Tuna. A can of tuna easily provides 30 grams of lean protein with a complete amino acid profile. Other than eggs, this is one of the cheapest (and best) source of protein (but with much less cholesterol than eggs).
  • Salad or other greens.

Dinner (post-workout meal) (~8:30 pm):

  • Soup.
  • Protein shake. Again, a 15- to 30-gram shake would be helpful here. Ideally, you want a shake with a slow-digesting protein, such as casein (pronounced “kay-seen“). This allows your body to have a supply of protein for its use while you sleep.  Also, You want to minimize carbs before bedtime. Ideally, no carbs during the 3 hours before bedtime.


  • Water. Lots of water! At least 128 oz. of water.
  • Dark chocolate (all natural only to avoid refined sugar). Dark chocolate provides at least 3 benefits. First, chocolate reduces stress.  Second, chocolate has flavonoids (antioxidants) to prevent free radical damage induced by working out. Third, psychologically, it is easier to keep up with your workout regimen when you are able to reward yourself on occasion.
  • No refined sugar!
  • Occasional glass of wine. Like chocolate, wine has lots of antioxidants.


  • Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9. You can get these fatty acids in a supplement, but also by eating fish (Omega 3), seeds, and nuts (Omega 6 and 9).  Among other benefits, they can help to strengthen your heart, regulate blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, stabilize metabolism, improve the immune system, and reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Protein bars. These are an easy and convenient way to satisfy your protein requirements. Avoid protein bars containing processed ingredients (e.g., refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.).

As you can see, if you want to build muscle and cut fat simultaneously, like Jake Gyllenhaal, there are 2 keys you need to follow.

  1. Eat multiple times a day (whole food meals are best, but protein bars and shakes are convenient).
  2. Provide your body with protein all day (including while you sleep).

Did you see Prince of Persia yet? How was it? How did Jake Gyllenhaal look? Did his diet and workout pay off? Was he the right man for Prince of Persia?

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