Brad Pitt’s Fight Club body is one of the most revered physiques of all-time. Running an underground fight club, Brad Pitt was in the best shape of his life. Use Pitt’s workout routine to get in the best shape of your life. Here’s how Brad Pitt transformed his body to play ‘Tyler Durden’ in the movie Fight Club.
Monday – Chest Routine
Training for the movie, Brad Pitt would spend each day focused on one body part. The workout charts are sourced from his interviews with Men’s Health UK. Each workout chart shows the routine he used for that day. Brad Pitt starts with Monday, his chest day. If you’re interested in learning about the correct form needed for each exercise, click the links to learn:
Tuesday – Back Routine
On Tuesday, Brad Pitt’s routine focused on his back. For each day, the instructions remain the same. Regarding how much weight to lift: find a weight where you can complete at least 15 reps. You should be fatigued at this point, and need to rest for 30-60 seconds before continuing. If you find the 15 reps to be too easy, you’re not lifting enough weight. Make sure to go up in weight, (heavier) the next set.
Brad Pitt rested for 60 seconds between sets, to allow his muscles to recover. If each set feels a lot harder, then you know you’re not resting long enough. On the contrary, you’re resting too long when you lose “the pump.” (The pump is what weightlifters call it when blood flows into the muscles you’re working). If you rest too long, you begin to lose this support, as less oxygen can get to the muscles you’re working.
Wednesday – Shoulders Routine
Thursday – Arms Routine
For arms, Brad Pitt used a Nautilus curl machine. If you don’t have access to that equipment, simply substitute the exercise with E-Z Bar Curls (inner grip) as shown. Then, move onto the 2nd exercise (switching to an outer grip) and using cables, to change the resistance method. Using multiple grips helps work all your biceps muscles, making them grow bigger over time.
Friday – Cardio Routine
Treadmill for 45+ minutes at 65%-75% maximum heart rate
Brad Pitt only did cardio once a week. Yet, cardio is listed at the end of each routine. This is because everyone requires a different amount of cardio to achieve a lean body. Pitt found that he only needed one cardio workout per week. This is atypical. Most people will need to add more cardio to their workouts to lose weight. So, it’s advised to do 15-20 mins of HIIT cardio at the end of your workout routine.
Brad Pitt Fight Club Routine
Because he had a hard time adding muscle, Brad Pitt’s Fight Club routine spent each day on only one body part. He found working multiple body parts per day was counter-productive, because of his body style. If you have a hard time adding muscle, then Brad Pitt’s Fight Club routine is the type you should be using.
Getting A Brad Pitt Body
As you can see, you don’t have to spend a ton of time in the gym each day. You don’t have to train like a maniac. It’s more important to obsess over what you eat. Any excess calories will make it harder to get a body like Brad Pitt. See here for more on the Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout & Diet.
If you find it easy to gain body weight both muscle and/or fat (“easy gainers”), then it may be harder to achieve a body like Brad Pitt’s. You will have to reduce your caloric intake to match his body’s metabolism. Getting a Brad Pitt body will also require more cardio for “easy gainers. See the Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout & Diet: Tyler Durden Routine for more details on this.
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Know Someone Trying To Get A Brad Pitt Body? Share The Fight Club Workout Chart With Them, Now!
Earlier this year we took a brief look how Brad Pitt’s and Daniel Craig’s training methods differed. Daniel Craig trains to develop larger and bulkier muscles, whereas Brad Pitt looks more like a lean, mean, fighting machine. Brad Pitt’s ripped body is most evident in the films Fight Club (1999), Snatch (2000) and Troy (2004).
His appearance in Thelma and Louise in 1991, as JD, was his first main Hollywood role, and also where his body was first seen and admired, but his role as Mickey O’Neil, the gypsy boxer in Snatch, and Tyler Durden in Fight Club, really got people excited about his toned and ripped body.
By the time he appeared in Troy in 2004, he had beefed up a little bit, and looked more athletic then in previous roles. However many people criticized his poorly defined calf muscles, so his workout was certainly not complete. But Arnold Schwarzenegger had the same problem in the early days of his bodybuilding career, so we can forgive Brad for not focusing on calves over pecs and biceps.
So, how does Brad Pitt stay in such great shape? Many people, when asked which celebrity they would most like to look like, still say Brad Pitt. We also get asked the question here: “how do I workout like Brad Pitt?“.
Brad Pitt’s Fight Club Workout:
Many of us have been inspired by Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden in Fight Club, so this is what we shall take a closer look at today. How to build a lean and powerful frame, which is essential for a lightweight boxer, Brad Pitt followed this style of workout.
To get a body like Brad Pitt, a combination of intensive interval training and some quality weight training is required. The weight training needs to be specific and also intensive, so it is vital to split the routine up into separate sessions to avoid overtraining and injury.
It is thought that Brad Pitt splits his training into four weekly sessions, each focusing on a separate area, in his case a chest session, a back session, a shoulders session and an arms session. Weekends would be rest days and Friday just cardio. There are no rest days in between the weight training days, as weight training is done Monday to Thursday.
Boxing Training With Bobby Frankham
Brad received boxing training from a real life gypsy bare knuckle fighter, Bobby Frankham. In an article in the Sunday Mirror (Sep 19, 1999) some of the training was discussed.
Monday – Brad Pitt’s Chest Workout Day
- Flat Bench presses
- Incline bench presses
- Chest Flyes
Tuesday – Brad Pitt’s Back Workout Day
- Bent over rows
- Lateral Pulldowns
- Upright rows
Wednesday -Brad Pitt’s Shoulders Workout Day
- Arnold presses
- Shoulder shrugs
- Lateral raises
- Front raises
Thursday – Brad Pitt’s Arms Workout Day
- Preacher curls
- EZ-bar curls
- Hammer curls
- Tricep kick backs
- Triceps extensions
Intensive cardio training:
Criticism of Brad Pitt’s Workout
It is thought that Brad Pitt followed this routine from his Snatch and Fight Club days. However, by the time he was working on Troy, he had bulked up quite a lot, but this routine had neglected his legs. A good all round weight training session really should have much more emphasis on the larger compound weight training exercises, such as the squat, lunge and deadlift. Also, if calf muscles are not responding, adding calf raises is essential to avoid have disproportionately large thighs compared to calves. No one wants to see chicken legs on a guy, with giant rugby player calves above skinny stick thin calves!
Also the above workout does not include any core training. Brad Pitt has an excellent set of abs, and must have done some serious six-pack training routines. We must assume that in addition to the weight training routine above, he also did a range of sit-ups, crunches, leg raises and side bends to work his abdominals. Most likely these were incorporated into his Friday intensive interval training routines, and maybe he also used some core bodyweight exercises to warm-up. We recommend that if you want to look like Brad Pitt, also focus on core conditioning exercises.
Brad Pitt’s Fight Club Diet
Some say that Brad Pitt is a vegetarian and that he would consume healthy proteins from pulses and dairy plus supplements to help him beef up for his more athletic roles. However, we have not been able to confirm whether Brad eats meat or not. What follows is a diet that will help you put on muscle, and it includes lean meats, which Brad Pitt did not necessarily eat. Brad, if you are reading this, please let us know if you ate meat when bulking up for Fight Club or Troy. Cheers!
- Breakfast: 6 eggs 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 pitta breads
- Lunchtime Meal: 2 x Chicken breasts, 75-100g brown rice or pasta and green vegetables
- Mid-afternoon Snack: This is the pre-workout meal: A banana plus a protein bar or whey protein shake
- Post Workout: Whey protein shake and a Banana.
- Evening Meal: Grilled fish or chicken, brown rice or pasta, vegetables, and salad
- Evening Snack: Casein protein shake or low fat cottage cheese (provides a slow release protein).
Also, as Pat mentions below, this is about as much as you should eat every day to be as lean as Brad Pitt.
- Two bowls of protein – beans, nuts, meat
- Three bowls of grains – oats, rice, wheat germ
- The rest is fruits and veg – spinach, oranges, etc.
Web references and resources on Brad Pitt
“The strange friendship of superstar Brad and the gipsy bare-knuckle” by Andrew Buckwell, Sunday Mirror, Sep 19, 1999.
In 2005 Askmen.com wrote an article on celebrity workouts which included a section on Brad Pitt that included his weight training routine. http://uk.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding_100/139_fitness_tip.html
Jon Wade studied Health Sciences at the Open University, specializing in Nutrition, Obesity, Diabetes, and COPD, and also has a BSc. from Coventry University. He has been researching and writing on fitness, diet and health since 2006, and has published an eBook, The Low GI Diet Plan.
29 Comments on “Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout”
Oh, the other thing I forgot to say is that when your blood sugar levels are low, your insulin levels are also very low. This leads to a release of another hormone, glucagon. This hormone aids the breakdown of triglycerides to release the energy for use in the body. Only by limiting sugar can you increase this process. Basically the purpose of glucagon is to raise blood sugar levels so that the brain does not starve of energy.
How do you think i could get a physique like Brads without weights
Well, a lot of bodyweight workouts and isometrics. Will not be the same, but will at least develop a lean and athletic build.
Hey, i do ALOT of ab workouts, crunches, leg raises etc etc and i cant seem to get anywhere, i do have a six pac but its not as “sculpted” or ripped as i want it to be, im naturally lean and have a high metabolism so fat isnt the problem, any advice? the workouts i do are 3-4 times a week and are quite intense and i include core stability eg the plank held for 5mins. so any advice or workouts you can share will be appreciated
You probably need to add resistance – do weighted sit ups, hanging leg raises, weighted crunches etc. Also increase protein if you do not get much in your diet.
Do you know how much brad pitt weighed at the time of filming fight club,snach and troy i have a very similar body type [im 2 inches taller] and weigh in at 66 kilos thanks
Not got that info to hand, will have a hunt around – it is bound to be out there on the web somewhere.
I’ve been following this diet plan for a few days now and I have no problem with it except for breakfast. That is SO MUCH breakfast. I’m 6′ even, 175 lbs, and athletic; I’m just trying to get over this plateau I’m at/trying to tone up a bit more. I wake up hungry, but I can’t seem to make myself eat that much. How would cutting it in half affect the rest of my day? I.E. instead of eating six eggs and two cups of cooked oatmeal, eating three eggs and one cup of cooked oatmeal? Would it be better to do that, divide it up into two breakfasts, something else? Any help would be appreciated. The rest of the meal plan is great!
Try it and see. There are really no hard and fast rules here, do what works for you.
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(Photo: ‘Fight Club’/20th Century Fox)
It’s been 20 years since the release of 1999’s Fight Club, and Brad Pitt’s fighting physique remains an extremely lofty fitness goal for men the world over.
Pitt reportedly whittled his body fat percentage down to an absurdly low five to six percent for the David Fincher-directed classic. That means at 5’11", he would have weighed in at around 155 pounds of pure muscle.
There were no shortcuts (that we know of). His insanely shredded abs and chest were the result of training with high repetitions and low weights—a surefire vehicle to a lean and mean physique. On the contrary, those looking to bulk up are advised to lift heavy for low reps.
Per Highsnobiety, here is Brad Pitt’s exact Fight Club workout routine.
- Push-ups: Three sets of 25 reps
- Bench press: 25, 15 and eight reps at 165, 195, 225 lbs
- Nautilus press: 15 reps at 80, 100, 130 lbs
- Incline press: 15 reps at 80, 100, 130 lbs
- Pec deck: 15 reps at 60, 70, 80 lbs
- 25 pull-ups: Three sets to fatigue
- Seated rows: Three sets at 75, 80, 85 lbs
- Lat pull downs: Three sets at 135, 150, 165 lbs
- T-bar rows: Three sets at 80, 95, 110 lbs
- 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, 95 lbs
- EZ curls cable: Three sets at 50, 65, 80 lbs
- Hammer curls: Three sets at 30, 45, 55 lbs
- Push downs: Three sets at 70, 85, 100 lbs
Friday & Saturday: Cardio
- Treadmill: One hour at 80-90 percent of maximum heart rate
Still, abs, as they say, are made in the kitchen. Below is a sample of Pitt’s reported protein-heavy, low-carb Fight Club diet.
- Breakfast: Eggs (six whites, seven yolks) and 75g of oatmeal with raisins
- Midmorning Snack: Tinned tuna in whole wheat pita breads
- Lunch: Two chicken breasts, 75-100g brown rice or pasta and green veggies
- Pre-Workout Snack: 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).