Since Nick Hilden of Looper can give you the rundown on just how Keanu Reeves gets in shape for his various roles, I’ll go ahead and summarize it by saying that he does spend hours in the gym for each role, but he doesn’t do quite as much as one might think when it comes to lifting weights and sticking to a super-restrictive diet. In reality he doesn’t eat nonstop, much as any action star wouldn’t, but he does enjoy a nice steak the night before an action scene and he does enjoy a glass of red wine now and again, so he’s not so restrictive in what he consumes that one might think it’s borderline crazy. As far as how he works out, he opts for exercises that get him right into the actions he’ll be performing in the movies and works on speed and endurance as much as strength and the needed movements that will get him in shape and looking fit. There are plenty of tried and true methods that actors have used over the year to look ripped, but a lot of them have sounded absolutely insane when it comes to what they can and can’t eat and how often they have to be in the gym. One thing that’s fairly obvious is that unless he actively tries to put on more body mass, Keanu isn’t likely to turn into a walking hulk that could flatten a beer can with his fingertips, but he’s definitely solid and carries the weight well since he’s become an all-around badass through the training he has endured.
It does help that he wants to be able to do a lot of the stunts in whatever movie he’s in, as he’s been trained more like a stuntman and less like an actor, meaning that whatever paces he’s being put through are very real and are designed to toughen him as well as educate Keanu on just how to take a hit, a fall, and various other impacts that a stuntman might have to deal with. Jessica Rawden of CinemaBlend has something to add to this. Learning that he’s done some of his own stunts is rather impressive since when he started out in the movies it was hard to predict just where he might go later on in life and what his career might look like. Before he became such a big action star though it was easy to think that he would be someone that might be there to look good and then let a stuntman take the heavy lifting. Nope. For Point Break he actually learned how to surf alongside Lori Petty and Patrick Swayze, for The Matrix he and Laurence Fishburne were learning Kung Fu to make it look more legit, and for John Wick he beefed up and made certain that he worked extra hard to make the part of the most feared assassin come to life in a way that a lot of people might not have expected.
Keanu puts in the work, there’s no doubt of that, and he does so in a manner that’s entirely dedicated to whatever project he’s working on. He doesn’t go halfway on anything since he gets in there and he trains to the extent that he can make it look absolutely realistic while also making it look entertaining. Before the Matrix he was convincing enough as Johnny Utah in Point Break, but by the time he became Neo he was even better since he wasn’t exactly a huge and muscled individual, but he was quick, tough, and intimidating in a way that wasn’t noticeable until he really started moving. It almost felt as though he wasn’t bound to do much after the Matrix movies, as 47 Ronin wasn’t exactly a great test of his acting ability, but eventually John Wick came around and really took off as the first movie, then the second, started him down the current path he’s on now. With a fourth John Wick movie and a fourth Matrix movie coming out eventually, whenever people can get back to work, it’s likely that he’s going to be one busy individual since both movies are quite physically demanding and both feature fighters that are very different in their approach. This is another facet of Keanu Reeves that’s kind of fascinating, the fact that he’s able to keep all this knowledge and the differing styles in his head and not get them mixed up. Imagine if Neo started fighting like John Wick and vice versa. Such a development would leave fans wondering just what the heck they were watching.
His workout routine is definitely something that would leave the average person hurting like hell for the next few days if not longer, but then Keanu hasn’t been considered to be an average individual for a while now, so it’s pretty fitting.