Step Up Your Workout Game: Train Like Aquaman

Jason Momoa shirtless

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Jason Momoa’s Aquaman physique.

While celebrity workouts for most Justice League superheroes are being kept under wraps, our team at Self-Himprovement was fortunate enough to dive deep into the ocean and ask the most terrifying deep-sea creatures about Momoa’s workout plan for Aquaman (we risked our lives for you, fellas!).

Turns out, in order to achieve Momoa’s superheroic body, you will have to climb. And we don’t mean onto the couch…

To get an Aquaman bod, you’re going to have to spend some serious time scaling rock walls. Why? Because climbing at the indoor rock gym gives you a killer workout for the back, biceps, and forearms.

To prepare for Aquaman and become a quintessential superhero with the rock-solid V-taper, Jason Momoa didn’t go after low-hanging fruit. He combined functional, whole-body movements like climbing, swimming (among other aquatic activities; he’s Aquaman, after all), and ropes exercises with weightlifting in the gym. 

Jason Momoa’s Workout for Aquaman: Plan, Diet… and Aqua!

As revealed by celebrity fitness trainer Mark Twight, who is responsible for the body transformations of countless Marvel and DC actors and actresses (including Momoa’s), Momoa’s workout for Aquaman consisted of two phases:

  • getting lean muscular definition to prepare for Momoa’s shirtless scenes or exhaustive fight scenes, and
  • putting on muscles and building up the mammoth Aquaman physique.

For the first phase, Jason Momoa would carry less weight when rock climbing, focus on low-intensity volume exercises, and impose high-intensity peaks to drive up the post-workout metabolic rate for a few hours (think: high-intensity interval training, aka HIIT).

Momoa would climb at the indoor rock gym 2-3 days per week during the shooting of Justice League and Aquaman.

Also, Momoa reduced his caloric intake during this stage. Eating carbs before and after training was still vital to make gains, but the Aquaman actor would restrict them to achieve that shredded look in shirtless scenes.

More importantly, Momoa stopped drinking alcohol for the period of shooting shirtless scenes. And for Momoa, who has his own signature Mano Brew in the Guinness lineup, alcohol, and particularly Guinness, can be pretty damn hard to resist.

For the second phase, Momoa would train hard in the gym for 2 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. The phase included hitting all muscle groups with a mix of functional, whole-body movements; resting and repeating.

As for the diet, Momoa adjusted total calories and macros (carbs, fats, and protein) according to his workouts (training day, rest day, bulking, shredding, etc.).

When bulking for Aquaman, Momoa would eat more carbs, proteins and high-quality fats to fuel his workouts and keep his mind sharp during rock climbing.

Bonus: Momoa takes his meal prep very seriously when transforming his body for roles.

Note: dieting when working out can be a slippery slope for most fellas trying to achieve a superhero physique, as the key to staying on track is monitoring your caloric intake and macros.

Oh, and… Drink more water. While it may seem like a no-brainer, if you want to look like Aquaman, you have to live like one. So be sure to increase your water intake to keep your body hydrated after the Aquaman workout (FYI, Guinness doesn’t count as ‘water’, as excessive solid carbohydrates in your diet could throw your gains down the tubes).

Another factor that could mess with your superheroic body is lack of sleep. So make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of your ZZZ’s every night.

Bonus: (no surprises here, but…) Momoa has a personal massage and physical therapist to improve recovery and prevent injuries with training volume so intense. If post-training massages won’t put a tremendous amount of strain on your budget, go for it.

Jason Momoa’s Chest Workout for Aquaman

According to Men’s Health and Momoa’s fitness trainer, the actor’s chest workout for Aquaman looked like this.

A triple set of 5 rounds:

  1. Incline bench press (6 reps)

  2. Standing dumbbell press (12 reps)

  3. Pushup (24 reps)

Drop set:

  1. Cable Crossover (6 reps with heavy weights; lower the weight to do 12 reps; then lower the weight again and do 18 reps)

  2. Chest Fly (2 sets each of high-angle, mid-angle, and low-angle cable flies)

Jason Momoa’s Back & Arms Workout for Aquaman

According to numerous Instagram posts by Momoa, his back and arms workout plan could look like this:

Rock Climbing (because it gives you a badass workout for the back and arms)

Weighted Pull-Ups

One-Arm Cable Pull-Downs

Lateral Raises

These exercises will give you a Justice League-ready back and arms workout, but you can add more variety to your routine by adding in the following exercises (which were part of Momoa’s Conan workout):

  1. (back) Reverse-Grip BB Bent-Over Row
  2. (back) Seated Pulley Row
  3. (biceps) Biceps Curls
  4. (triceps) Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
  5. (shoulders) Barbell Military Press

Jason Momoa’s Core & Legs Workout for Aquaman

According to Momoa’s fitness trainer and his Instagram posts.

Sled/Quad Extension Triset

(do each exercise back-to-back, resting 2-3 minutes between each round for a total of five rounds. Add one more plate to the sled for each set)

  1. 20-meter sled push with two 45-pound plates
  2. 20-meter sled pull using rings or handles
  3. Seated quad extension (6-12-18 drop set)

Lunge/Split Squat Superset (5 rounds)

Dumbbell walking lunge (40 meters with two 40- or 50-pound dumbbells)

Bodyweight Bulgarian split squat (10 reps each leg)

Walking Dumbbell Rows

Throw in the mix:

  1. (legs) Barbell Back Squat
  2. (legs) Stiff-Legged Deadlift
  3. (abs, core) Kettlebell Swing
  4. (abs, core) Medicine Ball Slam
  5. (abs, core) Burpees

Remember: use Guinness (or anything else ‘cheaty’ that you enjoy) as your motivation to build Aquaman’s supernatural body, strength, agility, and speed. Momoa has previously revealed his workout secret to Men’s Health: “Eat as much lean meat and green veggies as I can, and save the calories for Guinness.”

Check out this video of Jason Momoa’s workout to get fired up for your next training session:



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