Training from the movie “Lefty”. How did Billy Hope prepare for his toughest fight yet?
Jun 19, 2023 10:15 am UTC Audio Version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
We reviewed the film together with a professional wrestler.
A sports drama isn’t always just a classic story about an underdog who loses everything, but through perseverance makes it through. Sometimes it is also a story about the colossal work of an actor in preparation for a role. The Jake Gyllenhaal story is one of those.
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Preparation for the role
The film’s director wanted Gyllenhaal to shoot the film as an actual boxing match, so the preparation was supposed to be adequate. Jake came to the audition with a weight of about 70 kg, and this was not enough to fill the role of a welterweight boxing champion. The American actor has a very eminent trainer – Terry Claybon, a well-known professional wrestler in the past. For six months, Jake gained 6 kg of muscle mass, dried up and generally changed a lot in appearance.
Five months of preparation for the role turned into a nightmare for Gyllenhaal. In the morning he ran 12-13 km, then went to the gym and spent there, without exaggeration, half a day. He practiced striking, sparred in the ring, did CrossFit exercises and jump rope. Well, where without 1000 squats at night for a sound sleep! He paid special attention to preparing Jake to work on defense during fights, he had to learn to dodge punches, as boxers do.
Photo: Frame from the film “Lefty” / “Kinopoisk”
Billy Hope Training
The protagonist of the film, Billy, a boxing champion, a successful athlete. He has everything for the life of a superstar, glory and love from fans, and everything for the peaceful life of a family man: a wife and a daughter. But her wife dies, Hope retires from boxing, and then custody of her children is taken from her. At one point, the hero loses everything. A classic sports drama, but no less moving for that. The last hope for a reunion with a child is a return to the ring.
In order to become who she was, Hope re-enters the world of sports and begins preparing for the toughest fight of her career.
An excerpt from the film is Gyllenhaal’s character preparing for a duel. Everything is perfect here: Billy is in excellent shape, aesthetic bandages on his hands, beautiful light, cool soundtrack, dynamic frame shift. Much of Jake’s training in the film was repeated in real life in preparation for the role. But there are also many interesting elements, such as working with a bus. We asked a pro wrestler how effective this workout is and what it lacks.
professional wrestler of the league “Our business”
“The complex shown in the video is really very similar to the training of a professional fighter: sparring, bags, working with a trainer. I would add more OFP. Not the one shown in the video, but CrossFit – circuit training, ropes that all athletes use in classes. If we talk about efficiency, when you practice combat and use a jump rope, you can burn 1500-2000 kcal per hour.
Why do wrestlers jump rope?
An interesting detail that you might notice in the training of professional athletes is jumping rope. Not everyone understands how an exercise from school physical education lessons has gained such popularity in the world of martial arts.
Damil Sharafutdinov: This is an effective cardiovascular load that builds muscular endurance and improves coordination. You will begin to feel more comfortable during combat, lightness will appear in your legs. Boxing stamina will develop, since our largest muscles are in the legs, and during jumping rope fatigue comes faster. In addition, this exercise is very similar to the footwork that the athlete performs in combat.
For an analysis of Patrick Bateman’s training, check out the link:
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