John Cho Workout Routine and Diet Plan: Train like our new Spike Spiegel!


Cowboy Bebop live action is finally about to hit Netflix and we’re ready for it.

We have had our Spike Spiegel Inspired Workout and even our Faye Valentine Inspired Workout within our Anime Workouts Database, with Jet Black on the way.

We have seen HUNDREDS of other celebrities here at SHJ, but most of them have come from celebs looking to transform their physiques to represent our favorite superhero characters, or even elite athletes and the world’s top performers in other categories.

But now we’ll be able to add a live action anime to our list of celebrities within our Workout Database!

Along with John Cho we have Mustafa Shakir, who we’ve seen here before at SHJ, as Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda as Fate Valentine.

We know Cho from roles like Harold & Kumar, Star Trek and Searching!

John Cho Stats:

Real Name: John Cho

Height: 5’10

Weight: (approximate) 155 lbs.

Age: 49 years old

John Cho comes in technically a bit below average height range we’ve seen among our male celebrities at SHJ.

That height range is usually at 6’1-6’3, but it’s beginning to even out a bit as we see more athletes and performers join our hundreds of actors.

The average height falls in the range of 6’1-6’3 with celebs like Chris PrattChris HemsworthChris EvansAdam DriverStephen AmellClive Standen and so many more.

Guys around 5’10-6’0 are dudes like Brad PittMatt Damon and Jason Statham, but the ACTUAL shorter range is filled with guys like Mark WahlbergZac EfronKit HaringtonTom Holland and more.

Even taller than them are guys like The MountainJoe ManganielloBen AffleckJason MomoaRay FisherWinston DukeAlexander Skarsgard and a few others.

But, don’t worry either way.

We write these routines to be utilized by any shape and size.

John Cho Workout 2

John Cho Diet and Nutrition

John Cho has always been rocking more of a slim, athletic physique.

For that reason we won’t be seeing him come in with some insane transformation (especially considering Spike, who he portrays in Cowboy Bebop is not big and jacked and is more slim and toned as well), BUT we do see Cho rocking more shredded aesthetics and even some toned abs.

Cho didn’t have to do some of the nutrition prep we’ve seen for transformations like Kumail Nanjiani and Rob McElhenney, but he does share the fact that he had to watch what he ate a bit, on top of his training regime.

Here’s what he told Vulture:

At the time [their first interview in 2016] we talked about superhero movies and you said you wouldn’t really want to have to “diet and work out like crazy” for a part like that. I get the sense that there was probably some dieting and working out.

[Laughs.] Yes. The regimen was to become functionally athletic rather than show-horse athletic. But, yeah, I had to watch what I ate. I did have to take my shirt off in the first episode, which was really stressful.

He continues on to this point by saying:

Was it?

Yeah. I mean, you get really self-conscious. I guess I’d rather eat the sandwich at lunch, that’s all. In a lot of ways, Cowboy Bebop was my entrée to that world, but in a character that suited me — and a tone or a posture that felt close to my personality. When I watched the anime, I was like, I wish I could have invented this. This is tremendous. It’s really interesting and smart and funny, and it’s all the things I wanna make. All the characters are coming from places of loss, and there are a lot of defense mechanisms to deal with that sense of loss that informs the whole show.

We see a lot of celebs opt for a sustainable approach like this.

That’s why our Academy Nutrition Classes (Monks, Minimalists, SuperHumans, Vikings, Spartans, Hunter Gatherers, Greek Gods, Samurais, & Eat Fat, Lose Fat) revolve around helping you find the specific diet that is right FOR YOU.

Of course, there are a lot of reasons to HAVE the strict guidelines.

We’ve seen a lot of celebs opt for specific restrictions. 

For example: Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart incorporate 80/20 dieting with big weekly cheat meals, Hugh JackmanBenedict CumberbatchTom Hopper, and Terry Crews utilize intermittent fasting(something I use daily as well), Mustafa Shakir and Madelaine Petsch are vegansBrandon Routh and Frank Grillo opt for paleo, and tons of others utilize their own variations as well.

And, that’s just to name a few celebs from each, by the way.

You can check out our Nutrition Pillars for more information and articles on all of the above and more.

Curious what the Top Diets Among Celebrities actually are?  Check it out.

John Cho Workout 2

John Cho Workout Routine Research

Moving on from John Cho’s diet for Cowboy Bebop we can work our way into the real reason many of you are here: John Cho’s workout routine!

Similar to his nutrition, Cho’s workout wasn’t anything insane. 

We already saw a quote from him to Vulture about how he told them in 2016 that he wouldn’t want to have to “diet and workout like crazy”, but he also continues on to tell us about how this role was definitely the most physically demanding role he’s had.

Here’s the conversation between him and Vulture:

Is it the most physically demanding role you’ve had?

[Inhales.] Yeah. It was actually a cool lesson. As a nonathletic person, I was kind of a dick the other way. I didn’t give that kind of acting enough credit. I was a … nerd snob. For this role, everything came from training; my character decisions came from that. Training is also a more accurate parallel to how to get a good performance. When I was younger, I thought I could tap into some sort of muse and have the thing strike me. But it’s actually more banal and harder than that, which is you just drill it, drill it, drill it until it’s muscle memory. That’s something, when I was 19, that I wouldn’t have wanted to hear. I fancied myself an artiste — that if I could hear the right piece of music before a scene, I would get into character.

Unfortunately that’s the majority of what we hear about Cho’s actual training other than what he said regarding his goal for training:

“The regimen was to become functionally athletic rather than show-horse athletic”

From there the interview moves into a conversation about physical therapy because even though Cho did train pretty intensely to prepare for his role, he did have a bit of a slip one night during shooting and tore his ACL.

They talk about it a bit here:

There was news that production shut down because of a knee injury. What happened?

For some reason Netflix originally didn’t want to publicize what happened, but I [tore] my ACL.

Oh, shit.

It was real wonky. We had been shooting all night, and I was doing kind of an athletic move as the sun was coming up. It was probably a lack of sleep. Just a little move and [I was down]. So that was a low moment. It was 5:30 Saturday morning when I arrived at the emergency room and it was filled with people who had gotten super drunk on Friday night and then got in a fight or fell and cracked their heads open. Ironically a sobering experience. Then you have your surgery and you go into rehab. I’m at home doing these knee exercises, and coming off the drugs, I was thinking about Cowboy Bebop. Doing those knee exercises, I was like, I gotta put my focus into this. So I think that’s also fueling my fear. [Laughs.] This interview is all about me freaking out. But the amount of thought and worry and effort and number of days I’ve logged thinking about Spike is now equaling the fear I have about the reaction.

They finish off this bit about his rehab and torn ACL with this:

What was going through your mind as you’re in physical therapy?

I wanted to shore up any deficiencies in my body. It’s really hard to tell what precipitates a freak injury like that, so I was determined to come back stronger. I felt very guilty that I had let the production down, and my cast, and the crew in New Zealand that had had a job, and then they didn’t the next day. And I didn’t feel that I could come back and half-ass this role. I had to take it deadly seriously. It was people’s livelihoods and I wanted every single person on the set to know that I was doing my best every single day. Which sounds Boy Scout-ish, but it was the truth. Maybe it was an apology that took a whole season for me to express. Because I felt so responsible for that upheaval in a whole crew’s lives.

We know Cho trained a bunch to become more “functionally athletic” more than he trained to become “show-horse athletic”, which is what likely means his training was to improve performance more than aesthetics – but we know (and could clearly see by Cho’s physique) that aesthetics will automatically come as well

So for this one we’re going to be building a routine based on the hundreds and hundreds of other celebrities we’ve researched and have routines for within our Workout Database and pulling pieces from other celebs and their trainers that have also built their regimens around functionality.

We actually recently saw something like this from Daniel Craig’s workout – who swapped from more heavy lifting that he had done in the past to more of a functional form of training.

Be ready for some intensity, but don’t worry all too much about your fitness level because this one will be easy to scale in either direction.

John Cho Workout Routine

John Cho Workout Routine (1)

Training Volume:

3-5 days per week

Explanation:

For this one we’re going to be training with 3 days a week devoted to functional strength like Cho described and then two days a week we’ll utilize optional endurance and HIIT work to burn any extra fat and unlock the Spike Spiegel style physique we see Cho has in Cowboy Bebop!

Want To Upgrade This Workout?

The Superhero Academy now comes with an Upgrade Your Workout Tool that allows Academy members to turn any SHJ workout into a 4-8 week fully planned regime detailing exact weights to lift and including reverse & traditional pyramid training, straight sets, super sets, progressive overload and more.

John Cho Workout: Sample Schedule

Monday: Functional Strength Training A

Tuesday: Fat Burn Endurance or HIIT

Wednesday: Functional Strength Training B

Thursday: Fat Burn Endurance or HIIT

Friday: Functional Strength Training C

Saturday: Active Rest Day

Sunday: Rest Day (or Active Rest Day)

John Cho Workout: Functional Strength Training A

Agility and Functionality Phase

Circuit: 3 Rounds for Time

Slider Mountain Climbers x 30 seconds

Light Bulgarian Split Squats x 10 reps each leg

Jump Rope x 50

Dumbbell Clean and Press x 20

Box Jump x 10

Push Ups x 25

Battle Rope Waves x 30 seconds

Strength Phase

Strength Superset A

A. Low Cable Fly

3×25

B. Rear Delt Flys

3×25

Strength Superset B

A. Bicep Curls

3×25

B. Tricep Pushdowns

3×25

John Cho Workout: Fat Burn Endurance or HIIT

For your endurance, HIIT or MMA/Parkour days you have quite a few options.
You can utilize enforced endurance training that I will program for you based on your fitness level like we do with other workouts here at SHJ…OR you can do 45-60+ minutes of varied cardio (bike, treadmill, elliptical, stairs, row, swim, etc.)…OR you can even use the HIIT resources I’ll provide.

I’ll break it down in that order:

Option One – Run Based on Overall Fitness Level:

Beginner: 1-3 Miles

Intermediate: 3-5 Miles

Advanced: 5+ Miles

Endurance Work Resources:

Option Two – Varied Cardio for 45-60 Minutes:

Split your cardio up however you’d like but complete 45-60+ minutes using:

  • Treadmill Walk/Run
  • Rower Machine
  • StairMaster
  • Elliptical
  • Swim
  • Bike

Option Three – Complete HIIT Training Using SHJ Resources:

John Cho Workout: Functional Strength Training B

Agility and Functionality Phase

Circuit: 3 Rounds for Time

Bicycle Crunches x 30 seconds

KB Goblet Squats x 10 reps each leg

Jumping Jacks x 50

Dumbbell Thrusters x 15

Weighted Step Ups x 20

Chin Ups x 10

Battle Rope Waves x 30 seconds

Strength Phase

Strength Superset A

A. Incline Bench Press

3×25

B. Standing Overhead Extension

3×25

Strength Superset B

A. Cable Pullthroughs

3×25

B. Weighted Lunges

3×26

John Cho Workout: Fat Burn Endurance or HIIT

For your endurance, HIIT or MMA/Parkour days you have quite a few options.
You can utilize enforced endurance training that I will program for you based on your fitness level like we do with other workouts here at SHJ…OR you can do 45-60+ minutes of varied cardio (bike, treadmill, elliptical, stairs, row, swim, etc.)…OR you can even use the HIIT resources I’ll provide.

I’ll break it down in that order:

Option One – Run Based on Overall Fitness Level:

Beginner: 1-3 Miles

Intermediate: 3-5 Miles

Advanced: 5+ Miles

Endurance Work Resources:

Option Two – Varied Cardio for 45-60 Minutes:

Split your cardio up however you’d like but complete 45-60+ minutes using:

  • Treadmill Walk/Run
  • Rower Machine
  • StairMaster
  • Elliptical
  • Swim
  • Bike

Option Three – Complete HIIT Training Using SHJ Resources:

John Cho Workout: Functional Strength Training C

Agility and Functionality Phase

Circuit: 3 Rounds for Time

Bicycle Crunches x 30 seconds

KB Goblet Squats x 10 reps each leg

Jumping Jacks x 50

Dumbbell Thrusters x 15

Weighted Step Ups x 20

Chin Ups x 10

Battle Rope Waves x 30 seconds

Strength Phase

Strength Superset A

A. Upright Rows

3×25

B. Lateral Raises

3×25

Strength Superset B

A. Kettlebell Swings

3×25

B. Weighted Lunges

3×25

John Cho Workout Routine: Optional Additional Training Resources

Parkour Training Resources:

Main MMA Training Resources

Other MMA Training Resources:

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