James Franco Workout and Diet

Born: 1978

A Californian native, James Franco was a good student who was great at math and landed an internship at Lockheed Martin. He acted in plays in high school, but also got in trouble for underage drinking, graffitiing, shoplifting and other criminal activity and wound up a ward of the court for a while. Franco studied theater at the CSSSA in 1998 and enrolled at UCLA as an English major, but dropped out after a year. He later returned and graduated in 2008 with a 3.5 GPA. Franco attended 5 different grad schools and has an MFA from Columbia University and has taught film classes at NYU, USC and UCLA. Franco took a job at McDonald’s to support himself while he took acting lessons at Playhouse West. He found small guest roles on tv and in ads, and his first break came in 1999 with Freaks and Geeks. Next came the lead in James Dean for which he won a Golden Globe, followed by Spider-Man in 2002 which catapulted him to international recognition. Franco produced and directed the documentary Saturday Night and has made several other short films. He is also a painter; his first exhibition took place in 2006. Franco has also exhibited a show of drawings, sculptures, and videos, and in 2010, he published a collection of short stories. He is the face of Gucci’s men’s fragrance. Franco is considered to be a sex symbol and has made it onto several ‘Hot’ lists, including Sexiest Man Living by Salon.com in 2009. He has a limited presence on social media but still has hundreds of thousands of followers. Franco is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 165 lbs.

Known For:

James Franco’s Diet


Franco is naturally lean. He varies his diet based on his acting roles, which might mean loading up on veggies for The Deuce or hitting the protein hard like for Annapolis. He’ll eat literally anything to get into a role, and considering how varied his roles have been, that means he’ll eat essentially anything at all. While this may work for Franco, it’s best to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh, whole foods like vegetables, clean protein, and water.

Estimated Macros

  • Variable Fat  30% 30%
  • Variable Carb  50% 50%
  • Variable Protein  50% 50%

Diet Details


From Vegetarian to Big Macs

Franco had been following a vegetarian diet for a year prior to taking a job at McDonald’s to support himself while trying to launch his acting career. His first acting gig was for Pizza Hut.


Say No to Farmed Food

Franco has spoken out against factory farmed animals. While he was once a vegetarian, he never followed a vegan which involves avoiding all animal products including eggs and dairy.


Eat Your Veggies

For more recent roles like the Disaster Artist and The Deuce, he loaded up on vegetables which provide lots of nutrients but not too many calories.

What to Eat


Anything For a Role


Clean Protein


Leafy Greens


All Vegetables




Whole Grains







What to Avoid


Anything that doesn’t fit his character


Franco on his Annapolis Meal Plan

‘I recommend it if you need to lose weight.’


Franco on What he Likes About a Meal Delivery Service

‘They mail you food that has some flavor and they give you portions, and you know what to eat.’


Franco on Vices

I don’t consider weed to be any worse than having a beer.’

James Franco’s Workout Routine

Weekly Routine

Train Like You Mean It

Franco took his role of a boxer seriously and trained for 6 months prior to filming Annapolis. His 5-minute action sequences for Spider-Man took more than a month to prepare for.

Veteran Help

Franco worked with Wild Card Gym’s Macka Foley for 4 films. Franco has also trained with Liberian flyweight boxer Toy Stewart who is known for speed.

More Help

For 127 Hours, Franco worked with Australian personal trainer Damon Bell who had him doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight work.

Train Like a Champ

Franco was basically a blank slate when he began training in boxing, and his trainer was impressed at how he fast he picked it up.

Step By Step

Franco mastered boxing concepts in a way his trainer described as ‘fearless.’

The 300

By the time filming began, Franco could do 300 push-ups. He doesn’t do anything halfway.

Exercise Style


A Sample James Franco Annapolis Routine

Do at least 3 circuits of following. Start with 10-15 reps, working your way up to 100+ for each exercise:



Speed bag

Heavy bag

Jump rope


Franco on His Level of Commitment

‘I’m not going to be the guy who’s not pulling his weight.’


Franco on Getting Great Abs

‘If I’m working on a film, I’ll do sit-ups before I shoot, like 100 in the morning, or something.’


Franco on Authenticity in Fight Scenes

‘[His character] really develops his skills and his tenacity and his devotion.’


Franco’s Trainer On His Transformation

‘He was just a skinny kid when I got him, but then he was all cut up and could do 300 push-ups.’


Franco’s Trainer on His Work Ethic

‘If I could get half the fighters I train to work this hard, I might be in the Hall of Fame one day.’

James Franco’s Supplements

Franco doesn’t have much to say on the topic of supplements, so below are supplements that can benefit anyone following a similar diet.



 For someone who is willing to go to extremes to get into character, a multivitamin is a must.

Get it here

Protein Powder

protein , BCAA, AND Creatine

To get ripped like a boxer, protein is essential, while BCAAs and creatine will also improve overall strength, explosive force and recovery.

See best products

Omega 3 Fish Oil


If you’re hitting the gym hard or eating a whacky diet, adding omega-3s is a good idea because they are anti-inflammatory and also boost brain function.

Get it here

James Franco’s Lifestyle

No Rest for the Driven

Franco says downtime feels like a waste of time and that there’s always something else he thinks he should be doing.

It Runs in the Family

Franco’s brothers, Dave and Tom, are also actors. Dave had a recurring role in Scrubs while Tom appeared in The Disaster Artist with his bros.

The Ultimate Method Actor

To play the lead in James Dean, Franco went from being a non-smoker to smoking 2 packs a day. He also bleached his hair, learned to ride a motorcycle and play guitar and bongo drums. He even stopped seeing his family and girlfriend. For other roles, he has slept on the streets and gotten into fights with other actors.

Sex Scandal

Franco was criticized for attempting to meet a 17-year-old girl at her hotel room when he was 35. While not illegal, it was considered inappropriate due to the nearly 20-year age difference. Several other women have accused him of exploitive behavior, including actress Ally Sheedy, and he has been sued for sexually exploitive auditions.

Better Late Than Never

Franco held a Bar Mitzvah in 2015 when he was 37, a coming-of-age ceremony traditionally celebrated at age 13. It was organized by his pal Seth Rogan as a fundraiser for his Alzheimer’s charity, Hilarity for Charity.

Giving Back

Franco is involved with various charities, including Art of Elysium, Japanese tsunami relief, AIDS research, and other humanitarian causes.


Franco on Sleep

‘I don’t even like to sleep. I feel as if there’s too much to do.’


Franco on his Buck Teeth

‘My mom said I couldn’t be an actor if I didn’t get braces. So I got braces.’


Franco on Painting

‘I’ve actually been painting longer than I’ve been acting.’


Franco on his Image

‘I’ve decided that I can’t really control people’s perception of me. All I can do is decide on what I work on and how hard I work on it.’


Franco on Feeling Blue

‘Sometimes I get a little sad, and I feel like being alone. Then I talk to my cat about it, and he reminds me that I’m James Franco. Then we dance.’


Franco on His Sexuality

I’m gay in my art life and straight in my life.’


Franco on his Fashion Sense

‘My style is casual-chic? Casual-messy?’


Franco on his Sex Scandal

‘I learned my lesson.’


Franco on Giving Back

‘Aiding others is the key to life.’

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Speed bag
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Heavy bag
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Jump rope
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