I tried Jonathan Majors’ workout — here’s what happened

a photo of Jonathan Majors and Jonathan Majors in the gym
(Image credit: Getty/Paras Griffin / Contributor/YouTube/Men'sHealth)

There’s a reason why Jonathan Majors’ workout is trending — over the past year, the actor has undergone an awe-inspiring transformation. First, he packed on ten pounds of muscle to play Kang in the upcoming Marvel film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, then another five to play Damian Anderson in Creed III, and then another six for his role in bodybuilding drama Magazine Dreams. He’s in seriously good shape, and he’s worked hard to get there.

In an interview with Men’s Health (opens in new tab), Majors spoke about his training regime, saying “training and working out are very important to me — I try and challenge myself to get to a place, to express things in the gym as I do in my line of work.” The actor also shared an insight into his workouts in a video (opens in new tab)filmed with his trainer, Mark ‘Rhino’ Smith. To find out what it takes to get in superhero shape, I jotted down Majors workout, and headed to the gym to give it a go. Read on to find out what happened. 

You don't have to be an expert in the multiverse to know that what works for Jonathan Majors might not be right for you and your body. The actor has trained with professionals to get in shape, and if you’re new to an exercise, or returning to exercise from injury, it’s a good idea to get a trainer to check your form before adding weight, or repetitions to the movement. 

Looking for more workout inspiration? Here's what happened when this writer did 30 Supermans a day for a week, plus what happened when we tried Chris Hemworth's 250-rep dumbbell workout

What is Jonathan Majors’ workout?

In the video, Smith says, “the way we train Jonathan is we split our muscle groups, we normally do conventionally two muscle groups together. It’s very intense, very productive.” The workout goes as follows: 

2A: Close grip pull-ups: 10-12 reps, 3 sets 

Smith mixes in hangs and holds to the sets to challenge Majors.

“He’s taking the pressure off his back by bending his knees, he’s got full extension, full stretch and he’s inhaling then exhaling on the hardest part of the movement,” Smith says. 

2B: Leg raises: 8-10 reps, 3 sets 

“This is very intense,” Smith says. The leg raises really force Majors to work his core. Again, Smith works in holds. (Read what happened when I did 50 leg raises a day for 14 days.) 

2C: Oblique knee raises: 8 reps, 3 sets 

“He’s exhaling as he’s pulling up,” says Smith. 

3A: One-arm dumbbell rows: 12 reps each arm, 3 sets 

“The benefit of this is the thickness in your lats,” Smith says. Check out the best adjustable dumbbells for weight lifting at home, and what happened when our fitness writer tried this 15-minute dumbbell ab workout

3B: Dumbbell shrugs: 12 reps, 3 sets 

These work the trapezius muscle that starts at the base of the neck and runs across the shoulders. 

I did Jonathan Majors’ workout — here’s what happened 

Ready to find out whether this workout is the secret to superhero strength? Here’s what happened when I gave it a go. 

My abs burned like never before

As Smith points out, Majors splits his muscle groups, with this workout focusing on his back and ab strength. This workout really torched my core within a few minutes of the second superset. I’m not a fan of pull-ups, and only managed a couple before I was arching my back, so I grabbed a long resistance band (shop the best resistance bands here), to assist me with the movement. Next up, the leg raises, which I completed on a captain’s chair machine, then the oblique knee raises — I only managed one set of these before switching to reverse crunches with a twist, as my grip strength wasn’t in superhero shape. 

I enjoyed the superset format

Majors uses supersets in his workouts to sculpt strong muscles. If you’re new to strength training, the idea of a superset is to do two exercises back-to-back, followed by a short rest, to increase the demand on the muscle group. I enjoyed doing this format and found I worked much harder, without needing to spend as long in the gym. Like many gym-goers, I’m guilty of taking long rests scrolling through Instagram, but this workout didn’t give me time to do this.  

It’s not one I’ll be repeating in a hurry

There’s no doubt about it — Majors works hard to get his impressive physique. This workout worked me hard, and my core and back muscles were aching as I left the gym. While it’s one I’m in no rush to repeat, it reminded me that it’s always fun to try new exercises in the gym — dumbbell shrugs and hanging oblique knee raises were completely new to me. It also emphasized that when trying something new, it’s always a good idea to reduce the weight and get a trainer to check your form to ensure you’re not putting yourself at risk of injury. Now, to work on my leg raise technique.

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.