Most people incorrectly assume that if they don’t like what they see in the mirror, in terms of muscle size…that they need to bulk up to look better. What they don’t realize is that they probably already have enough muscle mass and they would be better off focusing on losing fat and getting super lean.
This will make the muscle that’s already there look larger and much more defined…and can help to make you look more symmetrical as well.
Clearly, Brad Pitt and his trainer realized this concept and developed a strategy that would sculpt him into a lean, muscular and well-proportioned bad-ass that really did look like he could ‘open up a can’ with some underground street fighting. Let’s take a look at the exact workout routine Pitt used for this ripped look…
Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout:
–> Pitt used a split strength training routine, where he focused on just one muscle group each day.
–> He performed 3 sets per exercise and used 60 second rest periods in between sets.
–> Brad Pitt Workout reportedly used a weight that would allow for 15 reps with proper form, where failure would be reached on the last repetition (body weight exercises were done for slightly more reps, however).
–> He lifted 4 days in a row and then performed 2 days of cardio work, before resting for one day and repeating the weekly cycle.
Monday – Chest
3 – 75 push ups
3 – bench press – 25, 15, 8 reps (165, 195, 225)
3 – nautilus press (80, 100, 130)
3 – incline press (80, 100, 130)
3 – pec deck machine (60, 70, 80)
Tuesday – Back
3 – 25 pull ups
3 – seated rows (75, 80, 85)
3 – lat pull downs (135, 150, 165)
3 – t bar rows (80, 95, 110)
Wednesday – Shoulders
3 – arnold press (55, 55, 55)
3 – laterals (30, 30, 30)
3 – front raises (25, 25, 25)
Thursday – Biceps & Triceps
3 – preacher curl machine (60, 80, 95)
3 – ez curls cable (50, 65, 80)
3 – hammer curls (30, 45, 55)
3 – push downs (70, 85, 100)
Friday – Cardio
Treadmill – 60 minutes at 80-90% MHR
Saturday – Cardio
Treadmill – 60 minutes at 80-90% MHR
Sunday – Rest
Maxin’ and Relaxin’
My thoughts on Brad Pitt’s workout routine Like other celebrity workout routines I’ve done, it’s pretty easy to tear these workouts to shreds. You see, I’m giving my thoughts based on what’s best for my readers…and what a lot of people don’t understand is that what’s best for Brad Pitt in preparing to get lean for Fight Club, isn’t always the best for Joe Blow off the street.
If you look at older pictures of Brad Pitt before Fight Club came out, you can see that he’s extremely thin naturally. It’s not like he lost 30 lbs of fat to get shredded for his role as Tyler Durden in this awesome flick.
Many of my readers will need to lose anywhere from a few pounds to many pounds of fat before they could ever achieve a body like this…and because of that fact, Pitt’s workout routine is nowhere near the best choice for the average person to follow.
The only time I like to see my clients use split routines is when they’re already fairly lean (preferably 10% body fat or less for guys and 20% body fat or less for girls) and they just want to put the finishing touches on their bodies. If you still have some fat to lose, however, you need to stick with advanced total body workouts that will help to boost your metabolism and speed up the fat loss process.
Also, I’m not a big fan (to say the least) of using machines during strength training. I suggest using only dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells and body weight exercises to promote maximum muscle recruitment and calorie-burning effects. Free weights are also a lot more practical for improving your functioning in everyday life.
Next, 3 sets of 15 reps is pretty damn generic. Now, I’m not saying this can’t be effective…I’m just saying I like to mix it up and use heavier weights that are lifted based on time (not reps) whenever possible. To achieve maximum fat burning, I suggest you shoot for 45 seconds under tension for each set. You can read more about lifting for time, as opposed to lifting for reps, by checking out his post: 7 Ways to Torch Fat Faster.
Lastly, I like to base the majority of cardio workouts around high intensity interval training, rather than steady state cardio. Although Pitt does work quite hard during his cardio sessions (60 minutes at 80-90% of maximum heart rate is definitely brutal), he could save time by performing several shorter and more intense interval cardio workouts throughout the week. This will give you a better boost in metabolism and help to burn through stubborn belly fat at a faster rate.
Obviously, this workout regimen worked for Brad Pitt…but that doesn’t mean it’s the best workout plan for you. Unless you’re already lean, in decent lifting and cardiovascular shape and are following a squeaky clean nutrition plan, you’ll want to take my critique above and apply that information to develop a more suitable workout program for your own specific body, given your current starting point.
By doing this, you’ll be able to lose fat and get ripped like Brad Pitt in a much shorter amount of time…because the workout program Pitt was doing in preparation for Fight Club wasn’t designed for fast fat loss… it was more of a ‘put the finishing touches on an already lean body to make it look extraordinarily impressive’ type of workout plan. Okay, let’s move on to the most important factor in building a Brad Pitt body – DIET…
Brad Pitt’s Fight Club Diet Plan:
–> Pitt used a very strict and typical bodybuilder’s diet to get lean and ripped for his role in Fight Club.
–> He consumed 6 meals per day and his only supplements included a whey protein powder and occasional use of protein bars.
–> Most common protein selections included lean turkey and chicken, fish, eggs and fat free dairy products, such as cottage cheese.
–> Carbs were kept to a minimum and included wholewheat choices, grains, various vegetables, oats and rice cakes…all of which were tapered off toward the end of the day.
–> Breakfast: 6 egg whites (a few yolks added in) and 75 grams of oatmeal with raisins for added taste. Pitt also substituted a protein shake for the eggs if he was short on time.
–> Morning snack: canned tuna in wholewheat pita wraps.
–> Lunch: 2 chicken breasts, with 75-100 grams of brown rice and green vegetables.
–> Afternoon snack: protein bar or whey protein shake and 1 banana (this was pre-workout time).
–> Post-workout snack: another whey protein shake and 1 banana.
–> Supper: grilled fish or chicken, more brown rice, veggies and a large salad.
–> Bedtime snack: low fat cottage cheese or a casein protein shake.
My thoughts on Brad Pitt’s Diet Plan:
This is where all celebs get it right. It’s no coincidence that despite having piss-poor workout programs, celebrities like Brad Pitt are still able to build extremely lean and tone bodies by following a clean diet plan. After all, I always say that you can’t out-train a poor diet…and conversely, you can sculpt an amazing body with nearly any workout plan, as long as your diet is on point.
Pitt eats exactly how I would suggest you eat 5 days out of the week. The only change I’d recommend is for you to strategically use a cheat day, followed by a fasting day for the other 2 days out of your week. This helps keep your metabolism high and prevents a potential starvation mode (where your body fights against you and tries to store more fat) that would otherwise slow down your progress. I saw this same problem when I reviewed Ryan Reynold’s diet and workout plan.