Rugby player James Haskell reveals his intense fitness regime in the run-up to his MMA debut at Bellator

I’m A Celebrity star James Haskell’s body transformation comes from extreme training regimes and diets.

Published in The Sun newspaper: 19/11/2019

I’m A Celebrity! star, James Haskell’s incredible body transformations and intensive workout regimes have been revealed.

The retired rugby player – who signed for MMA promotion Bellator in August – is looking to become King of the Jungle after signing on to appear in the hit ITV show.

The 34-year-old amassed 77 England caps during his 17-year rugby career, featuring in two World Cups.

Haskell – who announced his retirement from rugby earlier this year – was even named “man of the series” during England’s famous 3-0 series victory against Australia in 2016.

And now the ex-Wasps star is pursuing a new sport, with his first MMA fight inside the Octagon expected to take place during the first half of 2020.

The heavyweight has got his fitness regime and nutrition down to a fine art, but that doesn’t mean the celeb has always had abs of steel.

Over the years, Haskell has consistently shown his ability to cut weight and transform the look of his body.

In his own words, Haskell went from a ‘melted wheelie bin’ to being in fine shape by following his own 12-week Lean Gains programme in 2016.

He suffered a toe injury which kept him out of action, during which time he ballooned to 19st.

At the time he said: “The idea is to come back fitter, more mobile and powerful.

“I have enjoyed my down time and allowed myself to put on weight and sadly not good weight at that.”

Over the next nine weeks he shed the excess weight and turned his body into a vision of ripped muscles.

The Lean Gains programme uses German Volume Training (GVT), a system for bodybuilders, powerlifters and Olympic lifters to increase muscle, mass and strength.

It also involves Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST), a method of strength training to induce muscle growth quickly and effectively.

On his YouTube channel, the sportsman demonstrates his other workout routines to shift the extra pounds.

He showcases a plethora of workout ideas including blast workouts, cross fit and HIIT (high-intensity interval training).

The athlete combines a mixture of workout routines to maximise endurance, strength and agility.


Combining strength and cardio work also allows Haskell to accelerate calorie burning whilst maintaining muscle mass.

To refine his MMA skills, Haskell trains at London Shootfighters in Wembley, the same training facility as Bellator superstar, Michael ‘Venom’ Page.

There the former Northampton Saints ace trains with a mixture of MMA pros including Sam Showering, who also switched to fighting after retiring from rugby.

Haskell maintains a peak fitness regime outside the gym too, with his wife Chloe Madeley on hand to prepare meals.

His 6ft 4 in, 18.5 stone frame is sustained with six meals a day – totalling a whopping 3560 calories.

To maximise performance, Haskell gets through six-to-eight litres of waters per day while also consuming 310g of protein daily.

Like most of us, the 34-year old loves junk food, but he eats rice cakes and nut butter to curb any cravings.

With Haskell now in the Australian jungle, he will have to adjust to a new physical challenge in the form of bushtucker trials and surviving on just 700 calories a day.