Jordan Buhat: How CrossFit Plays a Part in an Acting Career
Ever since Jordan Buhat was a child, he loved one thing–fitness–a love that came from his father, a bantamweight bodybuilding champion.
Growing up in Canada, Buhat modeled his fitness after his dad with a focus on strength and health.
As he got older, a passion for performance, specifically acting and teaching, found its way into Jordan’s sphere, and he headed off to University to major in Education and Acting. Fitness was never far behind, though, and CrossFit was right around the corner.
Jordan: “All I knew up to University was bodybuilding until I found the 2015 CrossFit documentary. It was amazing–I kept watching it and falling asleep to it every night. I kept thinking about how fun everything looked–they were working out, but it was this sport. It was so cool how they turned working out into a sport. It was so flashy!”
It was the heyday of CrossFit, with Games athletes rocking the highlighter colored jerseys and shoes. After being wowed by the documentary, Jordan did what many people did; he hopped on the Crossfit website and looked at the programming. We all remember our first CrossFit workout, and so does Jordan. It was Murph.
- “I basically did a strict Murph. I had no idea how to kip or butterfly my pull-ups, and it got really spicy. I did it unpartitioned, and it took over an hour,” he remembered.
But Jordan was hooked. He first leaned into CrossFit’s weightlifting and powerlifting portions the hardest.
- “I was doing deadlifts, overhead squats, and trying to snatch because I had worked with weights before, but I had never done anything like that. So I started trying to teach myself how to do that stuff. Back then, there were fewer videos to watch; now they are everywhere, so I just started piecing it together,” Buhat said.
He pushed a lot of weight quickly and sprained both of his Achilles. He shook it off like water off a duck’s back, even in the thick of acting school and a dance program.
- “I just kind of hobbled around, even when people told me to rest. I didn’t know how to recover properly, and I just wanted to get back in there.”
Jordan graduated from acting school, immediately moved to Vancouver, and quickly got the call that all young actors dream of–he had booked a show.
Buhat was cast in Grown-ish, and the 24-year-old picked himself up and headed off to Los Angeles. Fitness continued to be the steady undertone in Buhat’s life as he attempted to navigate production in LA where schedules are brutal, and finding a gym that is open when he anticipated he would be off from filming was a challenge. He ultimately found a gym that offered early morning classes and a weekly Olympic lifting class, so he could quickly train, shower and make it to set.
Jordan had been prepared his entire life to balance the extreme workload that is production with CrossFit. But it didn’t make it any less difficult.
- “My University acting program prepared us very well for the schedule we would experience on a job. I was at school at 7 AM and finished between 9:30 and 10 PM. That meant I was absolutely sure that I was at the gym every day at 4:45 AM before school to get my workout in.”
- “When I moved to LA, I was entirely without anyone. And I was super green because I’d never had a job acting before. And I think I was known, at least on set, as the guy who went to the gym a lot. CrossFit and working out gave me my outside identity. While everyone else was a musician or a child star, or they all had their things, this was kind of my thing that I can constantly bring to every single production.”
Buhat, the CrossFitting actor, often heard the same thing on set from fellow cast and crew, “I could never do that,” and he acknowledges that the balancing act is not easy, especially when he utilizes CrossFit as a tool to look a certain way for a part.
- “I grew up going to the gym daily; that was normal for me. But the longer I worked, the more I had to think more about recovery, sleeping, eating, etc.”
- “Early on, when I was just doing Grown-ish, I was just pretty willy-nilly, you know, I would just make sure I was eating a certain amount and working out. But now, where I am in my life and career, I have to dial in how much I’m eating, how much I’m training, specifically, to make sure that if I go away for a month to shoot, like I just did for my movie, I can sustain working out hard especially if I’m trying to look a certain way. I wasn’t doing that as much on Grown-ish, but I was doing that on my recent project. I am much more on top of every minute detail, specifically my training. I’m keeping track of every rep and every pound.”
Sometimes Jordan might only have 45 minutes to squeeze in training in the middle of a packed shooting schedule. He simply falls back on his much-rehearsed fitness routine–it is close to muscle memory at this point. He opens his notes and knows precisely how to fill his most precious time. His meticulousness in planning training helps him quickly tap into whatever body physique or look he needs to have for a part.
The continued balance requires the presence of mind and preparedness. Buhat preps all of his meals and knows exactly when he should be eating, and this preparedness aids him in staying away from craft service on set.
- “Of course I want chips. Chips are my favorite things in the world! But they aren’t meant to make you feel good. I want to feel good working these long hours.”
Buhat understands how vital the tool of fitness is in his toolbox and utilizes CrossFit for his job. Actors’ bodies are their tools–you can think about actors like Christian Bale and Jesse Plemmons who use their bodies and weight as another part of their character, and how incredible it is to see transformations. And is he willing to go the other direction and drastically drop weight for a role?
- “Lucy (Buhat’s wife) always asks me if I would be willing to just lose a whole bunch of muscle for a role. And absolutely, I would, depending on what it is! It’s just unbelievable what some actors can do with their bodies, and I take a lot of pride in being able to control what my body looks like getting ready for something.”
One day Buhat dreams of the opportunity to ultimately marry his love of acting and performance with his love of CrossFit.
- “I want to show people that CrossFit isn’t scary. Maybe we could get actors in to attempt their version of the event on Friday or Saturday night at the Games before the heavy hitters come in. Like an All-Star game! Who wouldn’t want to see Ryan Reynolds try to handstand walk?”
Paging Dave Castro–if you have a time block to fill in Madison, Jordan Buhat is ready to take the call.