The Secret to Jake Gyllenhaal's Bulging Biceps

04/06/2010 at 09:49 AM ET

Disney/Everett

Forget the treadmill and free weights. Jake Gyllenhaal, who got noticeably buff for his role in this summer’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, has revealed how he got ripped for his role –and a gym membership wasn’t involved. Gyllenhaal’s secret to achieving the hulking build of his character Prince Dastan? The French martial art of Parkour (also known as “freerunning”). “[I] never did anything this intensive before [to change my body]. It’s a physical role. And when I commit to playing a part, it’s 110 percent,” said the 29-year-old actor. “We worked really closely with David Belle, who invented Parkour.  I worked with a lot of gymnasts. I started jumping off of a lot of things that were padded and learned the fundamental stuff, and then slowly started working on harder surfaces, really carefully. And I’d say, ‘OK, I’ll try it,’ and then I’d say, ‘OH GOD. OH, please.’ But then I’d get it, and we’d go a little further and a little longer and a little higher and just kept it up,” explained Gyllenhaal, who did many of his own stunts during filming, even scaring himself at some points. “It got a little bit dicey there near the end, when they saw that I liked doing things that were dangerous. I tried my hand at things that were pushing it a little bit. There was this big 35 foot jump that I did that got a little hairy.” So now that the movie’s wrapped, is it just a matter of time before the big guns disappear? Says Gyllenhaal, “I enjoy being active as part of my daily insanity anyway, so I’ll keep doing that.” – reporting by Susan Young

FILED UNDER: Fitness , Jake Gyllenhaal

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Jake Gyllenhaal’s ‘Prince of Persia’ Workout on

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Tennis Mom on

Hi Jake,
Did you bulk up using HGH or steroids or any other drug or hormone?
If so (and IMHO I think you did) I think I know why reese dumped you. But more importantly you would need to fess up because young people think a little Parkour and they will have bulging biceps like yours. I do not think it is possible. I don’t want young people to feel pressured to use HGH to look like you.
I don’t care how many millions of dollars are on the line. A lot of young athletes’ health is at stake.

Lisa on

Haha, what? You don’t work with your arms during parkour? Um, the people saying that have obviously never seen anyone practice parkour. Just jumping and running? How about climbing, and jumping to catch yourself by the fingertips on a ledge? Yeah, that won’t require arm muscles at all. Check out Jump London, Yamakasi and B13.

Jake Gyllenhaal Hits the Shower for His Fitness Routine – People Magazine on

[…] bulking up for his role for the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Jake Gyllenhaal‘s body has been […]

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What Is Parkour, and Why Are the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Pros Doing It? | Sykose on

[…] for his role in the flick “The Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time,” Gyllenhaal told People, “We worked really closely with David Belle, who invented parkour. I worked with a lot of […]

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