JAKE GYLLENHAAL caused a stir earlier this year by stepping into the UFC octagon to film his upcoming movie, Road House. But the reaction of spectators wasn’t in regard to his acting skills—it was focused on his lean MMA fighter physique.
Gyllenhaal, 42 will play the lead, Dalton, in the 1989 remake of Road House as a former UFC fighter who accepts a job as a bouncer. The role required some considerable hard work in the gym with his trainer, Jason Walsh.
The key behind his lean physique is the vertical climber (more commonly known as the VersaClimber). Walsh told Insider that training on the VersaClimber was a major part of Gyllenhaal’s workout regime while getting into MMA-fighter-shape for the upcoming film. Walsh owns Rise Nation, a boutique studio that runs VersaClimber classes which Gyllenhaal regularly went to while training for the movie. ‘Babies learn to crawl, right?’ said Walsh ‘That’s exactly what you’re doing on a VersaClimber.’
Vertical climbers have had a recent resurgence in popularity, with many boutique gyms featuring the machines in their classes. The cardio-focused equipment works by alternately working the limbs to simulate an upward climbing movement, and can be used in a variety of ways for intervals and endurance in order to increase calorie burn and aerobic capacity. They’re the perfect alternative if you’re bored of plodding along on the treadmill. Or, apparently if you have a movie role to get ready for, as a ripped UFC fighter.
Kate is a fitness writer for Men’s Health UK where she contributes regular workouts, training tips and nutrition guides. She has a post graduate diploma in Sports Performance Nutrition and before joining Men’s Health she was a nutritionist, fitness writer and personal trainer with over 5k hours coaching on the gym floor. Kate has a keen interest in volunteering for animal shelters and when she isn’t lifting weights in her garden, she can be found walking her rescue dog.
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