What Is Keanu Reeves’s ‘John Wick’ Training and Workout Routine?

Keanu Reeves is at an age where many actors settle comfortably into supporting roles. But for Reeves, he’s found new life as an action star headlining the John Wick series. For these movies, Reeves has to perform complicated fighting maneuvers at breakneck speed. This obviously requires him to stay fit. So how does he do it? 

The astounding acting career of Keanu Reeves

Reeves has had a wide-ranging career spanning decades at this point. He first came to prominence playing across from Alex Winter in the fun comedy Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in the early 90s. The silly film became a cult classic and led to two sequels, one of which just came out last year.

From there, he skyrocketed to A-list status with a starring role in 1994’s action blockbuster Speed. In that film, Reeves played a cop trying to stop a bus that would blow up if it went below 50 miles per hour. 

Reeves’s next big break came when the Wachowskis cast him as Neo in The Matrix. That movie led to two sequels and was another big hit at the box office. Since then, Reeves has had a steady career of hits.

It wasn’t until 2014 that he found himself starring in yet another massive hit. 

How ‘John Wick’ revitalized Keanu Reeves’s already impressive career

Keanu Reeves discusses 'Replicas' during 2017 New York Comic Con
Keanu Reeves | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Reeves has played Wick in three films. The premise of the original was devastatingly simple: a retired assassin, still grieving the loss of his wife, receives a puppy from her as a posthumous gift.

When rival gang members break into his house and kill the dog, Wick goes on a ridiculous revenge spree, killing everyone in his path. The fallout from the first film led to two successive sequels in which the stakes are raised each time out. 

What makes the films so brilliant is that Reeves’s barely speaks. So much of the film’s meaning is communicated through the impressive fight choreography.

For Reeves, the role has been revelatory. In an era in which many middle-aged actors attempt to make comebacks in simple shoot-em-up flicks (Liam Neeson in Taken, anyone?), Reeves’s effort stands out. John Wick’s simple story succeeds because, despite Reeves doing some terrible things to people, the audience sees his actions as justified. It also doesn’t hurt that Reeves is likable. 

The role of Wick requires a lot of physicality, which demands Reeves be in tip-top shape. Here’s how he stays that way during filming. 

What is Keanu Reeves’s training regiment for ‘John Wick?’


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Reeves is kicking butt in his iconic action roles. He does this through the help of a disciplined training regimen.

Reeves’s personal trainer, Patrick Murphy, spoke to Esquire about his training and workout routine, and it is quite intense. Below are the exercises Reeves has in his repertoire (repeated for as many sets as possible): 

  • Band external rotation (10 reps)
  • Band row (10 reps)
  • Band reverse fly (10 reps)
  • Wall press (10 reps)
  • Push-ups (10 reps)
  • Superman maneuver (10 reps)
  • Plank with hip rotation (10 reps)
  • Tuck crunch combo (10 reps)
  • Hip thrust (10 reps)
  • Deep body weight squat (10 reps)

Murphy said that the key to Reeves’s success can be explained by discipline and commitment: 

“KR is always ready to go and kick ass in the gym…I put together huge rep schemes and he does it without blinking an eye. There isn’t any magic to it; KR puts in the work and reaps the benefit.”

That’s Reeves for you: the consummate professional, willing to do what it takes to get ready for any role.