The Michael Jai White Workout Routine


With the kind of body most Hollywood leading men would give up an arm for, Spawn star Michael Jai White is more than just an actor, he is an inspiration to thousands of gym goers who are eager to replicate his incredible results.

White began studying martial arts at the age of seven while growing up in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York and went on to earn black belts in seven different styles of kung fu and karate. Now well into his forties, he continues to work out intensely to maintain his amazing physique. He also works hard to maintain his flexibility and speed, combining elements of bodybuilding, athletics and martial arts training into his regime.

The Michael Jai White workout ensures his body never gets used to any one routine by repeatedly switching the focus of his training. As well as working on different portions of his body during each session, White also mixes in martial arts moves and cardio exercises to his bodybuilding routines.

Variety Is The Key

This level of variety is key to his success. A biological condition known as ‘accommodation‘ means that if muscles are only subjected to the same type of stress over and over again – like lifting the same weight – they will get better at that one task until they reach the point that they no longer need to be any larger or stronger. What this means in practical terms is that if you start lifting weights, your muscles will grow at first but once they get used to the weight you want them to lift, they will stop developing.

focus-t25-systemWhite’s approach is identical to that of the extremely popular workout system called Focus T25 (you can get it here on Amazon – with over 1,168 Five Star reviews already you know this thing gets serious results).

It’s known as the ‘muscle confusion’ system – which includes many martial-arts based exercises as part of its regime. Just the kind of stuff Michael himself uses.

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Typical Routine

A typical Michael Jai White workout routine will begin with a stretching session – essential to maintain a flexible frame – followed by warming up with push-ups and pull-ups.

He then works on pairs of muscle groups such as chest and triceps.

Explosive Movements Are His Secret

Using dumbbells for pressing, he concentrates on inclines and shaping movements rather than just flat bench work. For each movement, he pushes forward hard and fast, then holds, working on his fast-twitch, explosive muscle fibers.

He makes use of these same explosive movements when doing curls – raising the bar fast enough for it to leave his hands so he has to catch it – and even with his lower back, pulling up on the back-extension machine so hard that he is almost standing up.

Keep It Balanced

White believes the lower back is too often ignored, pointing out that guys at the gym will regularly ask one another how much they can bench press but rarely ask how much they can row. Balancing front and back musculature is important as too much emphasis on bench presses can make your shoulders pull forward and ultimately create lower back problems.

To prevent the muscles in his 6′ 1″, 215 pound frame from getting too used to any one routine, White also switches workout routines between lighter weights for toning and heavier weights for building bulk, depending on whether he is close to filming or not. He usually does three to four sets per muscle group with a maximum 15 reps per set or a minimum of five or six depending on the weight.

A decathlete in college, White believes it’s vitally important that muscle be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Working out for up to four hours each day, he combines his weight routines with speed kicking drills, punching practice and dozens of kata – a series of choreographed martial arts movements in which you fight an imaginary opponent.

Don’t Overlook Diet

As with any training regime, proper diet is critical to success. White limits fats, avoids complex carbohydrates and anything containing processed sugars. Around 70% of his diet consists of protein and he drinks around 3 gallons of distilled water every day. His diet becomes even stricter during filming to the point that it is incredibly dull, so he usually celebrates the end of a movie by eating several pizzas.

Another Training Option

As a fan of White’s training style, the Focus T25 system will serve you very well. It has a huge fan base now with incredible reviews from pretty much everyone – just look at the 1,168 5 Star Ratings here on Amazon. It really does challenge your muscles to work differently.

But if you don’t fancy that one, I also really like the Muscle Building Secrets program from Jason Ferrugia (you can get it from Jason here). This is another awesome program, and Jason is a well-known personal trainer who advises, amongst others, Schwarzenegger and Men’s Fitness.

Michael Jai White doesn’t sell a workout program himself, although it would be great if he did (maybe one day!). But these are the 2 options I would recommend to give you that similar routine and approach.

Finally, A Cool Video

I’ll leave you with a nice video of Michael Jai White and Kimbo Slice talking about punching. Enjoy 🙂