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The Joker Workout: How to Get Jacked Like Jared Leto

Everything you need to know for pulling off the perfect Joker-inspired Halloween costume.

The most maniacal and iconic villain in the DC universe is back on the big screen, but this time, the Joker is jacked. Academy Award winner Jared Leto portrays the sociopathic madman in the summer blockbuster, Suicide Squad. Leto, who isn’t particularly well known as a bulked-up freak, has undergone an extreme workout regimen to satisfy the newest interpretation of Batman’s arch nemesis.

How did Leto get jacked for his self-proclaimed role of a lifetime? His powerlifting regimen incorporated a heightened focus on split workouts, supersets and rest time.

The Joker Workout

Leto’s exercise regimen to prepare for his iconic role included five workouts per week split between weightlifting and cardiovascular activity. Each split workout included an emphasis on two major muscle groups. All weightlifting workouts were succeeded by semi-strenuous cardiovascular activity the following day. Leto’s workout routine was appropriately complemented with a diet plan that enhanced his ability to burn fat and build lean muscle mass. Leto’s high-protein diet consisted of less obvious food choices, given that he’s been a vegan for several years. The culmination of his diet plan and workout regimen enabled him to cultivate massive results.


Leto’s weightlifting portion of his Joker regimen included three split workouts: chest and triceps, shoulders and legs, and back and biceps. Each workout included three segments: warm-up, training, and core work. All warmups included low-intensity cardio activity, pull-ups, pushups and sit-ups. Each segment of training required performance of five-to-seven exercises, some of which were performed in supersets.

Leto’s core work included multiple ab exercises, like crunches, leg lifts and V-ups, to be performed in a circuit. The concept of combining supersets which require minimal rest time with circuit training, cardio and weightlifting is to optimize the body’s metabolic output, while simultaneously building muscle mass.

Split Workouts and Supersets

Leto’s split workouts included several multi-joint exercises, thus enhancing the body’s natural ability to strengthen fast-twitch muscle fibers, which result in muscle growth. His chest and triceps workout required execution of four supersets: triceps pushdown and overhead extension, dumbbell press, skull crushers and weighted dips.

Other workouts, like Leto’s shoulders and legs routine, included fewer supersets, but ramped-up emphasis on heavy lifting and low repetition. This particular split workout included performance of barbell squats, Arnold presses, leg presses, military press, and calf raises. His back and biceps workout also included a healthy dose of heavy lifting, and included exercises such as deadlifts, chin-ups and bent over rows.

Cardio With Options

Leto maintained a strict cardiovascular regimen in between days of split workouts. Each day that emphasized cardio activity included a variety of options for exercise, like cycling for 10 miles, or semi-strenuous outdoor activities, such as hiking and surfing. Leto also included yoga into his off-day workout platform. The concept of maintaining consistent rest periods in between split workouts is to give the body sufficient recovery time, which is sometimes neglected by active gym-goers. His strict regimen and devout method of weightlifting is no joke, which is why the Joker now appears jacked on the big screen.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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