After spending three seasons meticulously shaping both his physique and his psyche while playing an MMA fighter on Kingdom, Jonathan Tucker has transitioned into roles on an array of shows set in different eras. He’s gone from the simulated Old West of HBO’s Westworld to the 1980s Los Angeles of FX’s Snowfall to 1990s-era Boston for the Ben Affleck/Matt Damon—produced Showtime pilot City on a Hill. For each role, Tucker carefully studies and prepares, both in body and mind. And he’s more than willing to share a few of his preferred tools for staying sharp.


“In The Talent Code, author Daniel Coyle says the most effective way to learn is through what’s called deep practice,” Tucker says. “Setting a goal, reaching for it, struggling, recalibrating, and reaching again. And you certainly see that in the gym, right? It’s less to do with how many sets and what kind of weight you use and more about how you use the gym as a crucible for testing yourself and your mental fortitude. What does that inner gain look like to you?”

Jonathan Tucker

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“My role on Kingdom was considered a physical role. But every role is physical. We’re all physical creatures. With Westworld [in which he plays an android ex–Civil War soldier], I wanted a really loose neck. So no traps, and lots of neck massages. Once you set the goal, you don’t really have to think about it again. You’re finding these goals organically.”

Tucker’s Top Fitness Essentials


“I’ve gotten really into Kiss My Keto’s collagen peptides. They dissolve in liquid, so I put them into some Bulletproof coffee or tea after a workout.


“I love these Power Grabs Lifting Grips for doing deadlifts and pullups. I don’t have great grip strength. They’re essentially wraps, but they’re thick foam.”

Catch Tucker in Season 2 of Snowfall, airing Thursdays on FX.

Transformation Tuesday: Jonathan Tucker's fit-to-ripped routine

Transformation Tuesday: Jonathan Tucker’s fi...

Diet and training are only a piece. The mind is what makes or breaks success.

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