Jared Leto Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Jared Leto, besides being known for his superb acting skills and nomination for Academy Awards, is also known for defying his age. He won 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1996 and 1997, that’s two times in a row by the People magazine. With a slender and athletic physique like his, it was quite sure that he will win several accolades.

What makes him different though? It is the kind of dedication that he puts in for his work that involves wide fluctuation in his weight just to suit his character in the movie. For instance, he made headlines for his 60-pound weight gain in Chapter 27 and his painfully skinny look in the movie, Dallas Buyers Club.

His weight loss story: But how does he do it? It is working out 6 hours a day in the gym? or eating on a super restrictive diet plan? And most importantly, how much time did it take for him to prepare for this role? The answer for Jared Leto was none f the above because he literally starved himself. Playing a man with AIDS, a toned body wouldn’t have worked out for him. The look demanded him to look frail, skinny, pale, and withdrawn–almost sickly. He had no other way but t starve himself. He looked emaciated, his waist shrunk and his six-pack abs were gone. He was reduced to skin and bones.

Naturally, a thing like that takes a huge amount of commitment, even though it is not healthy or would be prescribed to anyone. In an interview, he himself said, “I stopped eating”. It was not an easy thing to do for him. He started with watching his weight but after losing 30 to 40 pounds, he stopped calculating. At that point, he was 114 pounds (51.7 kg) with a height of 5 foot 9 tall (175 cm). His body mass index was at an unhealthy range of 16.8, that is, underweight.

It led to a lot of changes in him. He himself quoted in an interview that, “It changes the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you think”. He told in the same interview that losing weight might seem like just a visual experience when in fact, it changes you inside out. Some people experience clear thinking or vivid dreams. Others may feel more alive or could sense everything more effectively. The negatives of the diet include that it is plain unhealthy. Starving your body can cause serious damage to the health and immune system. Throughout his journey, though, Jared Leto had a team of professionals who guided his whole process.

His weight gain story: Another drastic period for him was when he gained an incredible amount of weight. Although losing and gaining such huge amounts of weight does show his commitment level and willpower, but Jared shares the immense plight of doing both things.

The sunning actor shares his period of being overweight and how it was next to living in hell for him. It took him one year afterward to get back to his usual lean self. He had to suffer from several health issues during the process. In addition to this, he suffered from other psychological problems like anxiety and depression. He has now seen both sides of the coin and he says that he would never tread on the same path again.

That’s pretty wise. But here are some of the key information about his diet and workout which he usually does when he tries to maintain his weight.

Jared Leto Body Statistics

Height: 5 ft 9 inches or 175 cm
Weight: 69 kg or 152 pounds
Chest: 43 inches or 109 cm
Biceps: 14 inches or 36 cm
Waist: 32 inches or 81 cm

Jared Leto Workout Routine

Here are some essential tips that Jared Leto keeps in mind:

  • He takes warm-ups seriously

Leto makes sure to warm up for at least 10-20 minutes with a bit of bike, push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups. It makes him ready for his intense workout routine and works up those muscles. It also helps him to prevent injuries.

  • Frequency of Exercise

Although he has a busy schedule, he tries to work out at least 5 times a day. He does weight training, cardio, and yoga sessions during the week.

  • Being outdoor is important

He loves working out outdoors. Thus, he likes to go for a bike ride, a run, surfing, or hiking. He likes to keep it active throughout the week.

  • Meditating and getting Zen

Leto makes sure to meditate for 15-30 minutes every day. It helps him to be aware of his own body and focus on his work.

Training Volume:
5 days a week
3 days of weight training
2 days of cycling/yoga/outdoor activity

Day One: Weight Training – Chest and Triceps


20 minutes low-intensity bike

3×10 Pull-Ups

3×15 Push-Ups

3×20 Sit-Ups

The Workout:

5 sets of Barbell Bench Press: 10-8-5-5-3 (Max occasionally)


3 sets of both Tricep Pushdowns and Triceps Overhead Extension on Cables

One after another, all at 10 reps each.

3 sets of Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 10-8-5

3 sets of Skull Crushers: 10-10-10

4 sets of Weighted Dips the first set being an unweighted warm-up: 15-15-15-15 (Using 45-75-90 as the weights if you’re able)

Ab Routine:

3 sets of Circuit:

50 Crunches

25 Leg Lifts

50 Crunches

25 V-Ups

Day Two: Cycling/Yoga/Outdoor Activity

Option One: Bike 10 Miles

Option Two: 1 Hour of Yoga

Option Three: 1-2 Hours of Semi-Strenuous Outdoor Activity (Tennis, Hiking, Surfing, etc.)

Day Three: Weight Training – Shoulders and Legs

The Warm-up:

20 minutes low-intensity incline walk

3×10 Pull-Ups

3×15 Push-Ups

3×20 Sit-Ups

The Workout:

5 sets of Barbell Squats: 10-10-5-5-3

3 sets of Arnold Presses: 10-10-10

3 sets of Leg Presses: 10-10-10

5 sets of Military Press: 10-8-5-5-3

3 sets of Calf Raises: 25-25-25


3 sets of both Shoulder Front Raises and Lateral Side Raises with light dumbbells

One after another, all 10 reps each.

3 sets of Heavy Shrugs (barbell or dumbbells): 20-15-10

Ab Routine:

3 sets of Circuit:

50 Crunches

25 Leg Lifts

50 Crunches

25 V-Ups

Day Four: Cycling/Yoga/Outdoor Activity

Option One: Bike 10 Miles

Option Two: 1 Hour of Yoga

Option Three: 1-2 Hours of Semi-Strenuous Outdoor Activity (Tennis, Hiking, Surfing, etc.)

Day Five: Back and Biceps

The Warm-up:

20 minutes low-intensity bike

3×10 Pull-Ups

3×15 Push-Ups

3×20 Sit-Ups

The Workout:

5 sets of Deadlifts: 10-5-5-5-3 (occasionally max when comfortable with form)

3 sets of Weighted Chin-Ups: 10-10-10

3 sets of Barbell Bent of Rows (can use Smith Machine if needed): 10-10-10

5 sets of Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 10-10-8-8-5

3 sets of Lat Pulldowns (cable): 10-10-10


3 sets of both Cable Bicep Curls and Cable Hammer Curls

One after another, all 10 reps each.

Ab Routine:

3 sets of Circuit:

50 Crunches

25 Leg Lifts

50 Crunches

25 V-Ups

Few other things besides gymming that he does:

  • He loves to practice sparring:

His training sessions are no joke especially when he is training or some roles in the movie. His workouts are intense and definitely no for everyone. He has a crew of professionals who are helping him out with such transformations. He also practices sparring to help himself get into shape. He added other boxing techniques into his routine to him a bit more when it comes to sculpting. It was during the shooting of Suicide Squad that he started to practice this. It also helped him to know his co-actors well because they all practiced it together.

He practiced under the instruction of Kemo Karate instructor, Richard Mesquita, who did not go easy on him and put him under intense sessions. So much so that Will Smith tore his calf muscle and Joel Kinnaman injured his knees. But they did not give up and by the time the sessions were over, they were trained as yellow belts. Since then, Leto practices sparring now and then but it is a fun workout.

  • He trained as a bodybuilder

Besides sparring, he makes sure he is working out in the gym intensely. He currently works out under the guidance of his personal trainer, Brendan Johnston, who through him under what he calls a “boot camp”. Johnston had very specific exercises for Leto to work all his muscles. His goal during the movie roles is to look something like an MMA fighter and that’s what they worked out for.

Even now, Leto’s workout schedule consists of a lot of bodybuilding exercises and weighted calisthenics to provide him with both strength and endurance. He was also practicing sparring which allowed Leto a boost. His trainer said that Leto was “throwing a lot of punches throughout the day.” But to achieve a body like a fighter it is also necessary to do some cardio exercises. The frequency of the exercises was four days after which he got a day off.

  • Split Workouts and Supersets

Leto workouts are split into different sets and supersets. He includes a lot of joint exercises and compound moves that allow several muscles to work at one time. This results in muscle growth. For example, on his chest and tricep day, his exercises included four supersets: triceps pushdown and overhead extension, dumbbell press, skull crushers, and weighted dips.

Other days included supersets like during legs and shoulder routine but the frequency was fewer because the emphasis was on heavy lifting and lower repetitions to gain power. His legs and shoulder workouts comprised basic exercises like barbell squats, Arnold presses, leg presses, military press, and calf raises. His back and bicep routine also included a lot of heavy lifting and comprised of exercises like deadlifts, chin-ups, and bent-over rows to gain strength.

  • He made yoga a part of his routine

When he was not working out in the gym, he was busy in “active recovery”. This means he was not resting it off on the couch. Instead, he indulged himself in low-intensity exercises that would keep the blood flowing and would give the body a chance to relax and rejuvenate. He, therefore, switched to yoga which includes a lot of strength, mobility, and flexibility exercises.
Stretching and holding yoga poses are a great way to destress by finding a balance. It needs a lot of concentration too. It can either be easy or even difficult if you moved to advance poses. But overall, yoga is a great form of exercise to keep the blood flowing. Yoga, as Leto describes, helped him to gain a mind-body connection which helped him to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Relaxation is an essential part of any workout routine and yoga seems to be the best way for an active recovery program.

  • He was inspired by his role models

Just like we have our role models, in this case, Jared Leto himself, he looks up to his role models for a little dose of inspiration too. He decorated his home gym with pictures of his role models like Bruce Lee and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Looking at their photos would inspire anyone and it really worked out for Jared Leto too. This is a great way to work out as it helps many of us to push a bit harder during the training session. A little encouragement and motivation can lead anyone far.
Besides, Jared Leto describes himself as someone who loves the home premises and he, therefore, spend a lot of time at his home gym. Training with a co-star is also beneficial for him because they both motivate each other to finish strong. Both cases are a win-win situation for him.

  • He makes sure to sleep well

Well, one of the biggest secrets that Jared Leto shares are getting adequate sleep. It is not drinking tons of protein shakes or going vegan or working out 6 hours in the gym. It is as simple as just sleeping for a good amount of time. “I would tell everyone to sleep as much as you can,” Leto once remarked in a Rolling Stone interview. He further states that “It’s probably just down to sleep and diet. If you travel long-haul a lot or don’t sleep much, it’s not going to last very long.”

A good night’s sleep helps the body to recover for the next intensive day of workouts and a busy schedule. It also helps the muscle to recover from the tears and damage and helps them build up. He makes sure to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.

  • He meditates daily

Jared Leto has been through suffering with mental conditions when he was both losing and gaining weight and it is quite natural that he gives it a lot of importance. Meditation is a non-negotiable part of his day and he likes to meditate every single day without any excuses. He even tells that he follows a guided meditation from an app because sitting in silence can be quite challenging. This way, with guided meditations, he stays on track and practices mindfulness and balance.
It comes to us as no surprise that how Jared Leto manages to look so calm thereof. Meditation is an extremely important part of his day and it also keeps him creatively inspired. Jared needs creative ideas for his music career and that’s the time for inspiration for him. It is thus helpful to block out all the distractions and focus on creating something worthwhile.

  • He loves to go rock climbing

When he is not slogging in the gym, he is definitely hitting the rocks and by that we mean, he is out climbing them. Rock climbing is one of his favorite activities and whether he is engaged in training for a role or not, he makes sure to give it a go every once in a while. For him, it is also a stress reliever and to feel better. Besides it keeping him in great shape helps him with his thought process too. “Any day I have at least a few moments in nature, I kind of feel better,” he told Rolling Stone.

One of his memorable moments includes climbing the 3,600 foot-tall El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He loves to challenge himself by increasing the intensity levels. He also encourages his friends to join him on such excursions. Rock climbing is also great for someone looking to build upper body strength. Overall, it is a great workout.

  • He incorporates a lot of cardio exercises in his schedule

If you have seen his social media handle, especially Instagram, you will notice that Jared Leto shares a lot of cardio workouts on his posts. He does everything from using the elliptical machine to going out on bike rides, climbing mountains, or even going for a jog or a walk. He makes sure he is doing cardio even when he is traveling. During that time, he walks a lot which helps to balance his workout schedule.

Currently, Jared Leto is shooting for his movie, Moribus which will release in 2020. But the actor is constantly posting a lot about his workouts during the time period. However, we will just have to wait until the movie comes out to know more about his new look.

Jared Leto Diet Plan and Nutrition

We have discussed how Jared Leto went to extremes to lose a lot of weight and then to gain at least 60 pounds for his roles. However, in both cases, he ate pretty clean. His diet is mostly vegetarian or vegan. He avoids all kinds of animal products like meat, fish, dairy products, oil, and eggs, He has replaced them with vegetables, fruits, lentils, whole foods, nuts, complex carbs, etc. He makes sure all his food is organic because he feels that only a healthy diet can help him cope with tiring schedules and training. He is not really a big eater, so he had to distribute his meals throughout the day. For his weight gain, he had to force-feed himself.

Here are some of the quirks that Jared Leto shares with his fans:

  • Cheatarian

Leto is a vegan or a vegetarian for over two decades but he still likes to cheat once in a while. He does not go straight away for a hamburger but likes to eat homemade cookies. He sees cheating on his meals as an important part of his routine. In an interview, Jared Leto said, ‘If someone’s mom made a cookie and handed it to me, I’d probably take a bite, or if I’m in Alaska and there’s wild salmon out of the river, I’d probably eat it.’

  • Cutting processed foods and alcoholic beverages

Any processed food or artificial flavoring is a strict no-no for Jared Leto. He does not fill himself up with empty calories which have no nutritional value. It is the only way to sustain a busy lifestyle and stay active. He has a vegan chef who even travels with him whenever he is on tour with his band. The chef whips up his favorites like hot chocolate which is of course vegan.

  • Jared says no to unhealthy means of gaining or losing weight

Having experienced it all, Jared is against the unhealthy measure to lose or gain weight. He tells that he had to chug down things like butter, mayonnaise, and ice cream with olive oil to gain weight for his role. During those days, he revealed in an interview, “I’m trying to gain a lot of weight. It means I have to eat every couple of hours — and I’m terrible at eating a lot.” It not only took him more than a year to get back to his original shape, but it also disturbed his mental health. He suffered from anxiety and depression during those stages. Now, he makes sure to meditate enough. This is what Jared said in the interview, ‘It took about a year to get back to a place that felt semi-normal…I’d never do it again; it definitely gave me some problems.’

  • Eating a plant-based diet most of the time

We have our doubts about eating solely chicken and fish for our dose of protein but it seems like Leto is breaking the trend. He is living proof of how one can build muscles even on a vegan or vegetarian diet. He gave up meat and dairy when he was just a teenager. He has now been a vegan for two decades. He eats a low-fat and high carbs diet that keeps him energetic throughout the day. And it is quite apparent that t is working out very well for him. He believes it to be the best decision of his life. He is so much committed to being a vegan that his chef tags along with him whenever he is on tours. Even when he did the Carnivore Tour with Linking Park, he consumed a lot of fruits and vegetables. That’s quite an oxymoron, isn’t it? He was also named the sexiest vegan by PETA in 2014 and we can’t agree more.

His favorite vegan foods and snacks include popcorn, veggies, vegan hot chocolate with almond milk, and buckwheat pancakes. He also admits to having cheat meals once in a while and indulges in treats that have milk or eggs in them. He stays away from meat at any cost–even if it includes any special occasions.

  • He is all about protein shakes. Vegan ones.

Protein is one of the main components of his diet and because he works out a lot, he makes sure to have it sufficiently. As a vegan, he needs to be a little more creative about his protein choices. He does not eat meat or fish or even eggs, so there are no qualms about that. He does not add whey protein or collagen in his smoothies or shakes.

He is still focused on plant-based proteins throughout the day and especially during intense training sessions. He revealed that he drinks a vegan protein smoothie. The recipe is pretty basic with some water or almond milk, ice, vegan protein powder, almond butter, any fruit of his choice, and a bit of stevia to sweeten the smoothie. This does sound tasty but even it might be hard for Jared to stick to it for a long period of time. It might get tasteless after a while.

  • He ate every two hours

He makes sure to eat every few hours to keep his metabolism running. He is not a big eater, he divides his meals into small portions and makes sure to eat after some time. During the time of intense workout sessions, it s especially important to eat consistently for the muscles to build and for energy. He even advises his cast members to do the same.

For him to eat frequently was also important because his meals are not too calorie-dense as compared to others. One of his favorite vegan meals is vegan tacos. He also shares that he is very terrible when it comes to managing his diet but vegan tacos are something he wouldn’t ever want to miss out on.

  • He stays away from alcohol and smoking

It is usually presumed that all actors and actresses because attend a lot f social gatherings, indulge in drinking and smoking. Some even indulge in these practices to blow off some steam because of their busy routines. But it is not true for Jared Leto. Een when he had to act like an addict for his role in Requiem for a Dream and live on the streets, he didn’t take any such substances. Although there was a time when he used to drink a bit of alcohol but it has been years since he has left that too.

Leto even reveals that it has caused him to get into trouble before during his younger days when he abused the drugs. He has changed his ways ever since and he says, “I guess at some point, too, there’s a decision: Is this going to be my life?” Leto told Rolling Stone. “I chose to pursue other dreams… the risk versus reward is out of line. I just saw too many examples of what not to do.”

What Jared Leto Eats on His Diet

  • Organic Veggies
  • Organic Fruit
  • Whole Grains
  • Unsalted Nuts
  • Almond Milk
  • Olive Oil
  • Egg Substitute
  • Popcorn

What Jared Leto Tries to Avoid on His Diet

  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Salt
  • Processed Foods
  • Artificial Ingredients
  • Refined Foods
  • Alcohol

Jared Leto’s Extra Supplements

Besides following a healthy diet, Jered Leto takes a lot of supplements due to his intensive schedule and his vegan diet. Here is a list of them:


B12 is a bit difficult to get from a vegan or vegetarian diet but the vitamin is very healthy for the heart and nervous system. It is also essential for metabolism and producing red cells in the body. Because many plant-based foods do not contain sufficient amounts of iron, it is difficult for the body to absorb B12.


Although calcium can be found in vegetables and nut milk, studies still show that most vegans lack this vitamin. It is one of the most essential nutrients required by the body as it helps the bones to stay strong.

  • ZINC

Zinc is known for boosting immunity but scientific studies show that most vegans and vegetarians do not get a sufficient amount of zinc from their diets. Therefore, it is wise to switch to zinc supplements especially if you have a busy schedule like Jared Leto.


Although there are other sources for getting sufficient Vitamin D and one of the myths is that sun exposure can provide you with it. However, most people do not get it this way.

  • OMEGA 3S

Omega fatty acids are very essential for our body to function properly. The vitamin helps to protect our brain and reduces inflammation. The best source of Omega is fish, walnuts, chia seeds yet, the EPA and DHA come mostly from having animal-based foods. Therefore, if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet like Jared Leto, you need to consume this supplement.

Jared Leto Shares a Vegan Recipe

Jared is very active on his social media and even shared a recipe for his favorite food, buckwheat pancakes! Here’s a recipe:

Organic Buckwheat Pancakes


2/3 cup Arrowhead Mills buckwheat pancake and waffle mix
1 egg substitute
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup almond milk (For thicker pancakes, use less liquid. For thinner pancakes, use more liquid.)


  1. Combine all ingredients and stir only until lumps disappear.
  2. Cook on preheated (375 – 400 degrees) lightly oiled griddle or pan, turning when bubbles appear on the surface and the edges begin to dry.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about Jared Leto’s lifestyle–his fitness secrets and workout plans.

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