Sunday 11 December 2016

Jake Gyllenhaal's trainer reveals he couldn't even use a skipping rope before gruelling boxing training for Southpaw

Independent.ie newsdesk and agencies

Published 20/07/2015 | 15:20

Fightclub: Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw.
Fightclub: Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw.

Jake Gyllenhaal couldn't even use a skipping rope properly when he began training for Southpaw.

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The 34-year-old actor stuck to a gruelling regime to portray boxer Billy Hope in the upcoming sports flick, doing 2,000 sit-ups a day as well as running eight miles five times a week. Although he is in the shape of his life on screen, his trainer Terry Claybon was initially worried about whether he had it in him.

"He wasn't in any shape at all," Terry told E! News. "We met at a boxing gym, and he was jumping rope. Just the way he was jumping rope, I knew we had a lot of work to do."

In six months Jake went from a svelte 147lbs. to a giant 175lbs. The key to the regime was getting the star working as if he was really preparing for a boxing match, which meant a lot of time showing him how to defend himself in the ring. It wasn't an easy ride either, with the star putting in six hours a day for six months.

Although he has been praised for how believable he is on screen, Jake was initially worried about stepping into the ring.

"I was wrapping his hands and getting him prepared to go out for his first fight scene, and he kept complaining about his hands... He kept complaining, because he was nervous," Terry said. "Until, I really just got frustrated, and just put the gloves on him, and told him we had to go, because we were already 30 minutes behind and they were waiting on us.

"But I knew he was nervous. Once we got out there, after the first take, I couldn't get him back to the dressing room!"

It was the push Jake needed and eventually he decided to do everything himself, meaning that although there was a stunt double for him, he didn't use him.

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