Bear Grylls Shares Survivalist Fitness Tips, Reveals 'Man Vs. Wild' Adventure With Jake Gyllenhaal: 'He Was Incredible'

June 9, 2011
Bear Grylls Shares Survivalist Fitness Tips, Reveals 'Man Vs. Wild' Adventure With Jake Gyllenhaal: 'He Was Incredible'

Bear Grylls is in a different kind of wilderness this week, the urban jungle of Los Angeles to help launch the revamped version of his own survivalist-themed iPhone app at the E3 convention. But for those who aren't quite as adventurous as the "Man vs. Wild" Discovery channel star, there's plenty to dive into, including a fitness section.

"It's a mix of what I do for cardio training, the type of runs I do... and then the strength circuits I do... and some yoga stuff. Then, some of the nutrition thing as well - how to eat for good health and strength," the very-in-shape Brit, and dad of three, told on Wednesday of one of his Chillingo app's features. "It's done in a kind of adventure format. Instead of using weights, it's like me hanging off a branch or lifting up logs. It's kind of meant to be in that outdoor survival mode."

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The survivalist tips, instructional videos and the fitness section are based on Bear's military training and the adventures he and his crew have gotten up to on his survivalist reality show.

Bear said that while filming, he and the "Man vs. Wild" staff find ways to stay in shape whenever they can and with whatever they find.

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"It's a myth isn't it -- people think if you buy the right workout shoes and gear, you're gonna get fit, but we train all over the world from when we're shooting and [if] we have a day off at the end and all the crew are there... we'll find ourselves in some little dusty airfield in the middle of the jungle," he said. "We'll work out a little training circuit of logs and branches and running over [that], jumping over this and ... I love that type of training, the rocky style training, but it's very functional. It's why the crew are all incredibly fit."

A number of "Man vs. Wild" viewers from around the world have saved themselves from perilous situations using the techniques Bear used on his program, but his app goes one step further.

"This is very much a survival tool and then we have a really cool SOS feature to this app... where you can shake it and it'll launch a survival mode. If you're in trouble, you hit shake, you hit a button [and] it'll send out emails or SOS to whoever your pre-assigned contacts are," he explained. "It'll give exact latitude and longitude and GPS position and it will just say you're in trouble, you'll need assistance."

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While there were no apps around in the early 1980s when Bear was beginning his earliest adventures, the Brit received a helping hand from a rescue organization.

"I remember when I was about 7 trying to cross a harbor at home and getting stuck about 100 meters out in quicksand, quick-mud and having to be rescued by the Coast Guard," Bear said when Access asked if he was a little wild as a youngster. "My mum was so mad she made me do odd jobs and chores for the Coast Guard for the next three weeks."

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Like father, like sons, Bear revealed his own three boys definitely take after their dear dad.

"They're crazy about all of this stuff and I'm always trying to play it down for them. I mean, theirteacher rang me up the other day and said, 'It's all very well and good your five year old knowing how to take a helicopter door apart, but you've got to concentrate more on mathematics,'" he laughed.

Presently, Bear is gearing up for more "Man vs. Wild" on Discovery, and he confirmed that one of the upcoming episodes would feature a fellow in-shape star - Jake Gyllenhaal.

"He trains hard as well, you know. He's meant to be the fittest man in Hollywood so I was a little bit nervous taking him on a 'Man vs. Wild,' but he was incredible," Bear said of the episode, which is currently being kept under wraps.

While the reality star wasn't able to reveal where he went with Jake - rumors on the web suggest it was to Iceland - he did admit it was a tough adventure.

"We were both stretched to our limit, there's no doubt," Bear laughed.

Copyright 2011 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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