Jon Bernthal grew up in Washington DC. He was always a bit of a troublemaker. Bernthal attended Skidmore College but dropped out, and an acting teacher suggested he join the Moscow Art Theatre. It was smart advice because Bernthal got discovered in Russia. After receiving a graduate-level certificate, he moved to New York and acted in plays. He also landed small roles on tv. In 2006, Bernthal moved to LA but his breakout didn’t come until 2011 with The Walking Dead. Bernthal then took the lead in The Punisher and has earned praise for his performance. Bernthal has also appeared in films such as The Wolf of Wall Street and The Accountant. He and his brother run a charity called Drops Fill Buckets, and he is also a spokesperson for the Animal Farm Foundation which rescues pit bulls. Bernthal is married and has 3 children. He has millions of followers on Instagram alone. Bernthal is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 180 lbs.
Jon Bernthal’s Diet
Bernthal is a method actor, which means when he lives like his character. For The Punisher, this means eating a very simple diet of meat and veg, and avoiding all processed, sugary, or otherwise junky foods. He says it’s important to keep himself in his character’s mindset by not allowing himself to ‘escape through food.’
- Low-Medium carb 30% 30%
- Medium Fat 40% 40%
- High Protein 50% 50%
No Cushy Meals
While Bernthal says it’s not good for his character to relax and enjoy a big meal, he says it’s also not good for himself either.
A K.I.S.S. Plan
Bernthal keeps things as simple as he can: lean meats such as chicken, and vegetables like salad, broccoli and spinach.
Kill for a Pizza
When Bernthal was in full Punisher mode, he said one of the things he craved most was a pizza.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Bernthal on his Diet Philosophy
‘I’m pretty strict about what is going in the body.’
Bernthal on his Punisher Diet
‘It’s about fuel that will get me through the day.’
Bernthal on his Punisher Diet, Take II
‘I’m on the “No Anything” diet plan.’
Bernthal on Cheats
‘I would do anything for some pizza right now.’
Jon Bernthal’s Fitness Routine
Bernthal would do 3 separate workouts each day as part of his training for The Punisher. Tack on filming and eating, and he barely had time for anything else.
Supersets for a Superhero
Bernthal’s Punisher routine was pretty tough: lots of supersets and bodybuilding practices.
Bernthal did a lot of MetCon or metabolic conditioning, which means doing as many rounds as you can trying to get the movements right.
Full Body Workout
In the afternoons, Bernthal would head back to the gym for a session of boxing or jiu-jitsu. Bernthal loves to box.
Bernthal’s third daily workout was weapons and fight training. Even he says it was a lot.
Bernthal would get up at 4 am to start his routine. He’d often begin with strength, such as doing squats and benchpresses.
A Jon Bernthal Routine
Squats/bench presses: 3×5 sets max weight
MetCon: 5-6 pull-ups, cleans, etc. x as many rounds as you can in 20 min.
Box/jiu jitsu/other martial arts/military training.
Try new techniques to keep things interesting.
Bernthal on his Training for The Punisher
‘It’s a beast.’
Bernthal on Being in Shape for his Role
‘It may not necessarily be all about aesthetics, but [the character] needs to look a certain way.’
Bernthal on Keeping Things Fresh
‘It’s important to mix it up…There is always something to be learning.’
Bernthal on Boxing
‘I always want to box, but they really try to keep me working my whole body as much as possible.’
Jon Bernthal’s Supplements
Jon Bernthal isn’t giving up any info on supplements he might take, but here are some supplements that would be beneficial to develop a physique like Bernthal.
Protein powder can help compensate for protein deficiencies and help you build muscle faster.
Another good supplement that boosts energy is creatine, and it also builds muscle.
Given Bernthal’s punishing routine, a collagen supplement can help rebuild cartilage and reduce pain in joints.
If you eat a limited diet like Bernthal, a multivitamin is also a smart choice, along with probiotics to get the most nutrition out of your food.
He may also use a pre workout such as beta-alanine to combat fatigue and improve gym performance.
Glutamine and BCAAs are more pro picks to grow muscle and decrease muscle wasting.
Omega-3s are another good choice because they help reduce inflammation and lubricate joints.
Jon Bernthal’s Lifestyle
(Not So) Beautiful Baby
When Bernthal was born, the doctor recommended plastic surgery to reduce the size of his earlobes. His parents said no, but worried for a long time that his looks would be a problem.
To fulfill his arts requirement at college, Bernthal mistakenly signed up for Intro to Acting rather than Intro to Theatre. He made up a fake story about his mother being dead and had everyone crying, including himself.
Going for Broke?
Bernthal’s nose has reportedly been broken 13 times. But that doesn’t stop him from loving to box.
No Lazy Bones in This Family
Bernthal’s brother Tom is a former producer for NBC, current CEO of Kelton Global consulting agency and engaged to billionaire Sheryl Sandberg while his brother Nicholas is a surgeon.
To Russia, With Love
Bernthal not only acted over in Russia, he also took ballet and acrobatic classes and played professional baseball.
Bernthal wasn’t keen on becoming a comic book hero, but says he related to the character of the Punisher because he is tortured and angry, and because he doesn’t wear a cape or have superpowers.
Bernthal owns 3 rescue pit bulls, 2 of which appeared in the movie Rampart. His father is the chairman of the board of the Humane Society.
Bernthal on his Earlobes
‘In India, I guess, big earlobes are a sign of wisdom — that’s what my mom used to tell me. But then I was getting s*** grades and getting kicked out of every school I went to, so I was like, “Ma, I don’t think that’s what it means.”’
Bernthal on his Looks
‘My older brother always says that if I had his looks, my career would [have taken off sooner.] But I have no interest in being pretty.’
Bernthal on Acting in Russia
‘In Russia, they say acting is actually a feminine profession, which is funny because they come at it in such an unbelievably masculine way.’
Bernthal on his Reluctance to Play a Superhero
‘The guys that I really, really respect as actors seem to have kind of purposely stayed away from that.’