Brad Pitt is one of the most iconic actors of our generation. If you haven’t heard of him, then you probably have been living under a rock or from another planet. One of the most famous movies of his career was “Fight Club” which debuted in 1999. The movie itself was a work of art, but it was not the captivating character of Tyler Durden or the plotline that had viewers clamoring. It was Brad Pitts’s body that had everyone in the theater in awe.
There is no denying that Brad Pitt had the body of a god in Fight Club, in fact, I guarantee this role propelled his acting career, getting cast in films such as “Troy” where he plays Achilles, who also has muscles on top of muscles. His body in Fight Club is so mesmerizing that 20 years later, it is still a topic of discussion on popular bodybuilding, and nutrition websites, and among regular people such as us.
So, what was Brad Pitts secret? Did he sacrifice a lamb and pray to a Viking god? Was it muscle CGI before CGI? It couldn’t have been old fashion hard work, could it? His body looked inhuman! Well, it was! During the filming of the film, Pitt was sitting at a spectacular 5-6 per cent body fat. Pitt stands at 5’11 which means he probably weighed around the 155 range. Keeping that weight, while continuing to chisel out muscle is a very hard thing to do. Now let’s dive into his routine!
High Reps with Low Weight; Concentrating on One Muscle Group a Day
When Pitt was cast as Tyler Durden, he states he didn’t want to build a lot of muscle mass like Arnold Schwarzenegger but rather wanted to be shredded and punchy. Edward Norton is a smaller guy and Pitt was playing his badass double, so it made sense to keep Pitt around the same size and not try and bulk him up too much. Thus,
Brad Pitt’s Fight Club workout routine was born.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to weight lifting is: the more muscle you want to build, the heavier weight you lift with fewer reps. If you want to build lean and tone muscle, you lift a lighter weight with more reps. There is obviously a lot more to look like Brad Pitt than just doing that, but that’s the basics.
Pitt chose to lift less weight and more reps when he worked out, but he also concentrated his workout on one muscle group per day. According to Highsnobiety Mondays were chest day, Tuesdays were all about back, Wednesdays were shoulders, Thursdays were arms (biceps and triceps), and the rest of the week was dedicated to cardio and resting. His exact routine was this:
(*No reps Mentioned)
Monday — Chest
Push-ups — Three sets of 25 reps
Bench press — 25, 15, and eight reps at 165, 195, and 225 lbs
Nautilus press — 15 reps at 80, 100, and 130 lbs
Incline press — 15 reps at 80, 100, and 130 lbs
Pec deck — 15 reps at 60, 70, and 80 lbs
Tuesday — Back
25 pull-ups — Three sets to fatigue
Seated rows — Three sets at 75, 80, and 85 lbs
Lat pull downs — Three sets at 135, 150, 165 lbs
T-bar rows — Three sets at 80, 95, and 110 lbs
Wednesday – Shoulders
Arnold press — Three sets at 55 lbs
Laterals — Three sets at 30 lbs
Front raises — Three sets at 25 lbs
Thursday – Biceps & Triceps
Preacher curls — Three sets at 60, 80, and 95 lbs
EZ curls cable — Three sets at 50, 65, and 80 lbs
Hammer curls — Three sets at 30, 45, and 55 lbs
Pushdowns — Three sets at 70, 85, and 100 lbs
Friday & Saturday – Cardio
Treadmill — one hour at 80-90 percent of maximum heart rate
(Obtained from Highsnobiety)
Pitt put his fair share of work in the weight room, but as I stated above, he was sitting at 5-6 percent body fat and you don’t get to that number unless you do a lot of; Cardio, Cardio, Cardio! If you have ever been serious about working out, you probably know that getting yourself down to 5-6 percent body fat is no easy feat. Six-packs generally begin to show around 13 percent body fat and you start to look really shredded when it gets to be around 10 percent. You don’t get your body fat percentage that low by doing just weight lifting and dieting. You need to accept early on that if you want a lean shredded body type, cardio will be a huge factor. As you can see from his weekly workouts, Pitt was doing 2 hours on the treadmill per week, but he was also getting his heart rate up to 80-90 percent during those two hours for maximum results.
Diet is Important
Once again, if you wanted to gain a lot of muscle mass, you would probably need to consume a lot of calories to supplement your muscles. Pitts Fight Club’s diet secret was eating extremely clean food. You may ask yourself, what is clean food? Pitt was eating mainly chicken and fish, brown rice, whole grain pasta, oatmeal, and green veggies. As you probably know from experience, eating this way isn’t easy and it takes extreme discipline and moderation. Here is Pitt’s alleged average day of meals:[
Breakfast: Eggs (six whites, seven yolks) and 75g of oatmeal with raisins. Occasionally, Pitt would replace the eggs with a protein shake if his schedule was tight.
Midmorning Snack: Tinned tuna in whole wheat pita bread
Lunch: Two chicken breasts, 75-100g brown rice or pasta, and green veggies
Mid-Afternoon Snack [Pre-Workout]: A protein bar or whey protein shake and a banana
Post Workout: whey protein shake and a banana
Dinner: Grilled fish or chicken, brown rice or pasta, vegetables, and salad.
Evening Snack: Casein protein shake or low-fat cottage cheese (slow-release protein).
(Obtained from Highsnobiety)
As you can see there wasn’t any room for ice cream or cotton candy. Pitt consumed approximately 2,000 calories a day and ate only as much carbs and protein as his body could handle. You might say to yourself “this workout plan seems impossible and a lot of work.” Well, it is! Pitt did not do it all on his own though. He had some excellent personal trainers that helped him draft his workout routine and manage his nutrition. But above all else, these personal trainers kept Pitt consistent, and consistency is the real secret to anything you want to achieve.
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