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How Rain Build His Body For Ninja Assassin?

November 28th, 2009 · 34 Comments ·


If you are an avid fan of action movie, you probably know that “Ninja Assassin” movie has hit the cinemas worldwide on the last week of November 2009.  It features one of the most famous heart-throbs in Asia, Rain.  Rain is also known as Bi in Korea and his full name is Jeong “Rain” Ji-hoon. Many of my friends have mentioned about his ripped body shape in Ninja Assassin, so, today let’s look at how Rain has built and transformed his body for his role in Ninja Assassin.

Rain’s Workout Approach

Before taking up the role, Rain looked more like a fashion model.  For his 6 feet height (184 180 cm), he is definitely considered tall among Asians.  So, to build a hero look alike of body shape, Rain has hired trainers who trained the actors in “300” movie.  Remember the Spartans who want to dine in hell?

In summary, here are how 300 folks were trained:

  • 25 pull-ups
  • 50 deadlifts at 135 pounds
  • 50 push-ups
  • 50 box jumps with a 24-inch box
  • 50 “floor wipers” (a core and shoulders exercise at 135 pounds)
  • 50 “clean and press” at 36 pounds kettle bell (a weight-lifting exercise)
  • 25 more pull-ups

To find out more about the workout routine in 300 movie, check out my article on How To Build 300 Warrior’s Body with Gym Workout?

Video below will give you a glimpse on what Rain has done in his workout.  I do not think the intensity level was as hard as the cast in 300.  After all, his ninja role is slightly different than those muscular Spartans.  Ninja had to be agile because he had to jump a lot and he had to fight with style.



Sparring with trainer






In the video above, you may realize Rain used much his body weight in the compound workout.  Kettlebell workout is a must too.

You may think he must have enjoyed to get paid for the training.  Not really.  He trained about 8 hours a day for 8 months to build up his body for the action thriller in which he played the deadly killer.  He has so much to complain, not only about his workout routine, but also his diet plan.

He forewent his rice and ate only skinless chicken breast, raw fish, potatoes and salad.  He prepared the meal himself during off days.  If he wanted spice, he would add some black pepper.  Once in a while, he got to eat beef cooked in plain boiling water which he would have appreciated it very much as if he has won a lottery.

After the transformation, he has reduced his body fat from 12% to 5%.


Rain posing shirtless for his own clothing line (six to five) in year 2005



With lighting effect and much computer touch up, he appeared to have 6-packs in his album cover of “Rain’s World” released in year 2006.


Rain in year 2008 to Rain in year 2009 (above from left to right)


Working out for the role in Ninja Assassin


Showing off his rock solid wash board abs in year 2009.

Can Rains maintain his 5% body fat after the movie? I doubt so.  In an interview, Rain has confessed that he would definitely spoil himself with junk food like burgers, pizza, french fries and soft drink right after the shooting ended.  In fact, he hates workouts.  Unless Ninja Assassin is a box office hit (which Rain will have to back to the gym for the training), otherwise, he will be back to square one.

Let’s wait and see.


Buy Ninja Assassin from Amazon.



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34 responses so far ↓
  • Devil's Advocate // Nov 28, 2009 at 12:28 AM

    I’ve always wanted to have a job where I can actually TRAIN all day to look good and get paid for it. *sigh* some people get all the luck I guess.

    Is 5% body fat something that CAN be maintained?

    I’m trying to reduce mine to below 12-15% and I’m struggling!!

  • gagreflex // Nov 28, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    We all love what Cross Fit (similar to 300 workout ) does to us, don’t we?

  • edward // Nov 28, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    he’s not 6 ft, he’s 185cm

  • jay // Nov 29, 2009 at 12:57 PM

    25 pull-ups
    50 deadlifts at 135 pounds
    50 push-ups
    50 box jumps with a 24-inch box
    50 “floor wipers” (a core and shoulders exercise at 135 pounds)
    50 “clean and press” at 36 pounds kettle bell (a weight-lifting exercise)
    25 more pull-ups

    is this every day?

  • siegfried // Nov 29, 2009 at 7:32 PM


    No, I don’t think so. This is just the 300 challenge the 300 actors did at the very end of their training to show who could past the 300 “test”.

    I read somewhere that they trained different types of workouts every day so that their bodies do not adapt to that exercise.

  • jay // Nov 30, 2009 at 6:07 AM

    thanks siegfried. hmmm just wondering where i can find their programs?

    looking at the pictures (Rain in year 2008 to Rain in year 2009 (above from left to right)

    my physique is at middle. so pretty close on the third pic thts why im quiet despirate to try his program.

  • Dave // Nov 30, 2009 at 11:42 PM

    These workouts are super demanding and is not for the faint of heart. I have done all of the major big workouts from famous movies, fightclub, troy, 300, etc. I am in pretty good shape but struggle to be under 8% body fat. You have to have the genetics for it, or be so commited to a diet that will cause any man to go insaine after a week or two, and oh by the way, do the diet at least 6 weeks before seeing results. So, if you think you have the ability (I’ve tried for 4 years and eventually break down, alcohol and burgers are just too good) go for it, be sure to have someone watching you like a hawk, and eat nothing but fish, veggies, nuts and maybe some beef. Only downside, once you get below 6%, it is very unhealthy to keep that body fat % for more than a month or so, fat is actually important for your body and keeping it so low can cause health problems, no joke.

  • Ade Particia // Dec 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    Thank you for the article.
    Just wondering if I train and eating like that. Can I make my 20% body fat to10% in a mounth?

  • Mark // Dec 6, 2009 at 8:18 PM

    Well. Ninja Assasin was a dudd. Looks like rain’s going to go back to looking chubby.

  • jwan84 // Dec 10, 2009 at 3:46 AM

    great article =)
    as a personal trainer who maintains 4% body fat and have tried the ‘300’ test, its not just to look good.

    the ‘300’ test’s primary benefits are total body conditioning. endurance, stamina, strength, power. looking sexy is just a side effects.

    currently some military branches have adapted the routine to test their soldiers in performance

    and to looks of the picture of ‘bi’ his body fat is below 7%. the definition of obliques doesn’t generally show w. 7% or above.

    Great article!

  • baz // Dec 14, 2009 at 3:36 AM

    This is great. Does anyone know how much muscle he actually put on? What weight he started at and what he weighs now and how long it took him to get from the before shot to the after shot.

    How did he develope so much muscle without an increase in body fat but he actually lost body fat while gaining muscle. I keep hearing that to buid muscle you need to eat more calories which in turn leads to an increase of a little body fat but he has done the opposite.

    It also states that he trained 8 hours a day. How is this possible when you need to rest to buid muscle? It seems lıke 8 hrs a day is way too much.

  • Carmen // Dec 18, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    8 hours training a day!?! Is this possible?
    Also eating only skinless chicken breast, raw fish, potatoes and salad seems a bit boring. You would go crazy after a few weeks.

    Still can’t argue with the results. Absolutely amazing body!

  • Christian // Dec 27, 2009 at 6:50 AM

    Do u got his exact workout ? not the 300 one but the exact one he did :)?

  • Daniel // Jan 6, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Yeah is it possible to find both the full workout & the diet plan ? looking exactly like that is my goal for the summer !

  • Lewie // Jan 25, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    The trick to not going crazy with a strict diet is using a cheat day to trick your metabolism and letting you eat all the delicious sugary carbs you want. Of course you need to work out super hard that day and follow it the next day with a fasting day. On the fast day you dont eat nearly as much as you would normally. This keeps your body from storing that fat from the cheat day and actually kick starts your metabolism to burn fat more than if you just ate normally those two days.

  • Obikashi Fall 2011 // Mar 1, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    I have actually meet him in person and we have the same agent I have the same trainer for an upcoming movie audition. Its not easy…,.,. simple as that
    This is what I do

    Diet ( 6 small meals )
    Oil ( Not Required) use Cocunut Oil/ Boil all meats and veggies
    Raw fish/ Sushi
    Sweet Potatoes
    Nuts/ almonds
    Peanut Butter
    Egg Whites
    Salads/ Spinach
    Fruits and Vegetables
    Protein shake
    Low fat cottage cheese
    Low fat yogurt
    Protein Bars
    Olive Oil as Salad Dressing
    Soy Beans

    Workout- Dumbells and tower 3 days a week Monday, Weds, Friday….. 100 pushups 100 crunches in morning
    Workout- Dumbells 300 workout- Tuesday and Thursday….. 100 pushups 100 crunches in morning
    Workout- Sat, Sun 200 pushups, 200 crunches and or Cardio workouts
    Tower refers to a resistance tower….. Specific workouts are to long to explain

    3 hours of martial arts training- Jiu Jitsu/ Muey Thai and Ninjitsu 5 days a week

    2 hours of yoga 3 days a week


    creatine– Muscle Growth
    L-Glutamine- Nitrogen Balance/ Amino Acids
    Congulated Lionecic Acid ( CLA – Metabolism
    L- Cortinine- Red Meat fats
    Beta Alanine- Energy
    Mens sport Multivitamin
    Green Tea Pills- Meatbolism
    Whey Protein- 1 shake a day/ Or Muslce Milk- Muslce Growth

    Obviously im on a strict diet and but this is pretty much what rain did in order to get his body to where it is.
    Obviously its not safe to have that low of body fat percentage and Remember he had a nutritionist and trainer with him at all times. Also remember this is for a movie just as I have to for this movie audition. Im not going to keep my body like this after shooting im going to go back to normal eating. This is very hard to achieve by yourself because the work outs are very intense because your trying to gain muscle and lose every ounce of body fat possible. So if your only motivation is to have the perfect body….. I hate to break too you, but your probaly not going to stick with it. Eventually you will give up. The supplements are the most important attribute in achieving your goal because the diet isn’t full of calories and your body needs calories to build and repair muscles. As a result your not going to gain huge amounts of muslce but more like 12 to 15 pounds of straight lean muscle. All the supplements provide the necessary amino acids to build lean muscle without gaining bulk muscle and fat. Anyway hopefully this helps anyone who wants to get into shape

  • Anomoly // Mar 15, 2010 at 4:18 AM

    when they say he trained 8 hours a day that doesn’t mean he ‘worked out’ 8 hours a day… i think he might have worked out 1 to 2 hours a day and the rest of the ‘training’ was on sword, martial arts and choreography work which is all still demanding on the body.

  • Raymond // Mar 20, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    I’m confused. So did Rain put on weight or lose weight, because I;m not sure if I’m suppose to be taking Weigt gaining proteins which minimise excess body fat or one of those hydroxy ripped type proteins.

  • desmond // Mar 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    how to lose my tummy fat fast my tummy cant come out fat soo what should i do??

  • Hayden // Jun 1, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    I only have one comment.. To the person who said Ninja Assassin was a “dudd”. That movie was absolutely fantastic. Beautiful. The choreography was stunning. The skill shown in the fight scenes, the way it goes through and describes how Raizo came to be, and its intensity all the way through.. In my opinion this movie was gold. The only two things I did not 100% approve of is:
    1. Raizo’s assassination of the man with the gold watch. I do not 100% approve because it was not a very stealthy assassination. It was so messy. Awesome fight scene, but I think they could have shown off his skill to stealth assassinate a little better.
    2. At the end when all of the Ninja are being blown away by guns. Man! It was like works of art being pissed on. But in a way, if you are a gamer, I guess it is reminiscent of video games.

    Still an awesome, spectacular movie. (Obviously a fan here)
    Rain was perfect for the part.
    I hope they make another one.

  • Eric // Jun 5, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    That’s exactly what I eat, apart from the Oatmeals, Protein Bars and Sweet Potato. I however, would not count on that much supplement to do the job. But your trainer must know better what your body type and its needs are.

    Very well said buddy, not too many people know about Fasting when it comes to bodybuilding. Although it is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life, it is proven to have great benefits on the body. It is important to remember you only get these benefits after 16 – 18 hours of fast though. And I wouldn’t use a cheat day, you better off having 4 random cheat meals throughout the week (if you happen to eat 6 times a day).

    Rain’s body is what I see as the perfect body, but in my opinion it wouldn’t kill to add just a bit more bulk to that.

  • Keoma // Jun 19, 2010 at 4:01 AM

    I loved this movie. Rain is perfection in itself. To look at him, he is a piece of art. His body, his motion, he is a balance between grace and strength. I saw this bit about his kettle bells and just decided to try it. RESULTS! I was sore in places I had never even thought of! Just adding this bit into my everyday routine has added so much to my complete workout – not to mention my everyday life. My stamina is heads and tails above what it was, my circuit training class is a breeze for me. I cannot say enough good about this workout. If you are trying to step up your game, THIS will do it.
    And the movie rocked :D

  • Jay // Jun 19, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    @keoma, what kettlebell workout are you referring to?

  • Mick // Oct 18, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    The way I work out is somewhat similar, if not even more extreme. I can drop 15 lbs and 3 inches off my waist in 2 weeks pretty much. What I do for one phase is I cut my carbs drastically and protein (skinless chicken breast, etc) is my main food source, so I can lose body fat quickly. Its tough because those carbs are your energy. But it works FAST. To supplement it, I do INTENSE cardio (Shawn T’s Insanity) in the morning–without breakfast. That speeds up results even more. In the day time I do a tad bit more cardio but focus on resistance training. So my day of workout–6 days a week–is something to the tune of 3 hours at most. Diet is definitely the most important part though, I’ve watched my best friend workout for the better part of 5 years and he sees NO results because his diet is so terrible and his workout regimen blows. Its not intense enough and he’s not creating a calorie deficit to lose body fat%. He thinks that if he works out for 30-45 minutes 2-3 days a week is gonna offset all the sodas and Burger King he eats ALL through the week.

    Myself, I’m what you’d have called ‘skinny-fat’..a really thin figure but my body fat% was around 25%..that’s really high for someone who is 5’11” and 150 lbs and 25 yrs old. Getting a vacuum tight, cut physique means you need to be at most 10% body fat, but ideally 5% for that athlete level.

  • oalexz // Nov 23, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    I take exception to the comment that Ninja Assassin was a Dud. The onlky reason it did not get the attentiuon it deserved was because it was overshadowed by two “love story” movies, Twilight and Avatar which were released at the same time. And let’s face it, without a love interest, and I don’t mean a hint of one like in NA, a movie will not attract the teenage girl market. If it was such a Dud then how come the DVD sold over 500,000 copies in the first month. NA made it’s money back at the box office with a small profit of 20m. However aftermarket sales top 90m which is not bad for a movie that had no merchandise to offer. I had to make my own action figures for my children who saw the movie 6 times. The poster looked like a comic character and when they took him to Comic Con, perhaps they should have taken him as shirtless Raizo and had martial arts demos and a mini comic to hand out with that cover. I’ll bet that would have attracted everyone’s attention. It would be great if they had a sequel with Raizo as an entertainment exec during the day and a good ninja at night fighting against the bad ninjas in the other tribes. And he wouldn’t have to go on a diet again. Look at him in Fugitive Plan B Eng Sub clips on youtube. His body is in great shape and he wears his athletic shirt well :). I became a fan of Rain in Speed Racer and thought he would make a great martial arts hero and Viola!, NA came to be. And he won the best action hero (Badass)of 2010 award, so come on Hollywood, take a lesson from Fugitive Plan B and make him our next martial arts hero, like Jet Li and Jackie Chan. Allow him to win over the hearts of America and complete his worldwide star status. We need our heros and Rain is definitely one of them.

  • Vitorre // Apr 10, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    If you want to look close to this guy I would recommend boxing training. It is possible with an 9 to 5 job. Right after waking hit the treadmill 3 to 5 miles daily. After work do the actual boxing workout 20 to 40 rounds with body weight exercises, plyometrics and a a few whole body movements. When I was competitive I would do 2 boxing workouts daily. Example instead of running in the a.m. I would shadowbox, drill the the heavy bag, double end bag, speed bag and jump rope. Evening I would shadowbox again spar, punch pads, double end bag, speed bag,jump rope, plus str training. My total daily training time was only around 3 hours.

  • jamezy // Apr 11, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Can anyone tell me or guess his weight in the final pics. If he is 6ft tall and low bodyfat he must be like between 165-175 right?

    Im 5’10 140lbs low bodyfat and would like to achieve a similar physique. I wodner how much muscle I need to gain. Prob between 150-160lbs ripped will be similar at my hieght?

    I also wonder what his flexed arm measuremnt is?

    I am 12 inches flexed and have read people estimating his arm to be somewhere aroudn 13.5 inches. Which does not seem that big at all.

  • Josh // Jul 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Was hoping someone who knows a lot about workout can give me some opinion. I’m at like 5″10 and I’m really thin. “Hard gainer” would be the right term. I like to bulk up and put some muscles on, but I heard Rain’s method isn’t ideal for bulking up. So do I bulk up first and then switch to his program or what? I like to look like that too and I think I have the mental discipline for it, just don’t know which program to do because there are so many different system out there and can be confusing. So for a relaly thin guy like me, would it be possible to put on a lot of lean muscles like him following this system?

  • Oalexz // Jul 17, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Hi John,
    First let me say I am not a “fitness” person, but I have followed Rain since Speed Racer. Rain did not BULK UP, he starved down while exercising. In the out takes of NA, you will see him standing with the stunt men and acrobats and realize just how thin he is there. He doesn’t look happy either. He looks drawn (sullen). If you look at the stretching photo here, you will see the sadness in his face. This is not only due to the vigorous workout but the stringent diet he was on to LOSE weight. No one should have to go through that type of diet. His contract said he had to because the powers to be wanted him to look like Bruce Lee. The only thing is, BL was 5’7″ and probably weighed 140/150 while RAIN is 6 feet and fluctuates between 170/180. Also Rain loves to eat, so he has gone through quite a bit of body styles. Right now he is in the army and at his heaviest. Must be serving good food there ;) Rain also said “never again” in his training video in Germany.
    I don’t know how old you are, but if you are in your 20’s, I would suggest you bulk up while exercising and find someone who knows how to get the sculpted body you want and comfortable with. Believe me you would not want to go through what he did to develop that “Raizo” body. Listen to his interviews where he says he was allowed no salt and only certain vegetables and chicken for 8 months. The camera makes him look better than he really was in person. I know, because I saw him in Germany while he was making NA and walked right past him. I did not know until someone pointed out to me it was Rain, so we drove around the block and yes, it was him. If you want to model after one of his body types, look at the 2 photos for Giordano Jeans.
    Rain took a big chance dieting like that since Diabetes runs in his family, so please remember to eat healthy and do not go to extremes, get a blood test before starting, as a base line, and keep hydrated. Good Luck :)

  • Oalexz // Jul 17, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Hi Josh,
    I apologize for calling you John. I was really answering you.

    Hi jamezy,
    I read somewhere that his weight in NA was…are you ready for this? 145/150 pounds. You can keep up with Rain at I believe they had a whole area on NA a while back.

  • Lloyd // Oct 10, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    I’m around 5’7 and really gunning for rains body. I believe I have the will to do it :) but i just have a problem with the biceps. do i need fat to get biceps the same size that he does or do i just need to up the weight on my bicep curls up to like the 30 lbs he does in the picture? *I almost have no fat in my arms btw, when i pinch it all i get is skin :))

  • David // Nov 15, 2012 at 5:27 AM

    LOL im naturally single digit body fat. You guys are crazy for thinking its hard to get down to single digit.
    sigh… no im not trolling.

  • mrmuscles // Nov 15, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Same i been about 9-12% bodyfat all my life just by doing sports and eating normally. Im an ectomorph and skinny naturally though so its genetics. For some people its hard to be low bodyfat whereas for others like me its just natural but its hard for me to gain muscle/weight at all cant have it all :(

  • Ole // Apr 4, 2017 at 7:54 AM

    For those who think it is about genetics, learn Biology! No just don’t eat simple Carbs! Rain’s program, of replacing Rice with Potatoes, didn’t make a difference, they’re both just Starches, and your body burns Carbs / Starch, before it burns Fat, which is why 1/3 of the planet is now Obese! Unused Carbs stores as Fat! And before some retard comes along, saying: “But your body needs Carbs” no it does not, that is a horrible untrue myth, if anything, Carbs are making your body Inflammatory, which is the main cause, of all known folk-diseases, which are not diseases, simlpy just easily reverted conditions, and yes this includes Cancer, Diabetes, Asthma, Artheritis, you get the picture…

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