Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout & Diet: Tyler Durden Routine

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brad pitt weight loss fight club

Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout Saturday and Sunday = Rest

Brad Pitt would typically rest on Saturday and Sunday. Rest is crucial when you are trying to build muscle. As an ectomorph, it is especially hard without rest. If Brad Pitt felt he was not losing enough weight, he would add more cardio into his routine on Saturday and Sunday. The Fight Club workout requires rest, especially if you’re an ectomorph. If ectomorphs don’t get enough rest, they’re the most likely to burn muscle.

Turn The Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout Up a Notch

If you feel that 3 standard sets aren’t enough, then you can turn the Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout up a notch. Do this by timing yourself for 30 minutes. Complete as many circuits of the day’s workout as you can for 30 minutes. Do not rest between sets, but make sure you breathe well and use proper form.

This type of circuit training is geared more toward fat burning, than muscle-building. Feel free to use lighter weight, as you are going to be going for a long time.

  • Warm up before lifting to get your heart rate up.
  • Keep the circuit going non-stop for 30 minutes.
  • Count how many circuits you can do, then beat your record next time.
  • Like a fighter in the ring, you want to make every move count.

brad pitt fight club abs workout up a notch

A New Weight Loss Trend: Intermittent Fasting

The most important factor in the Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout is losing body fat. The reason Brad Pitt looks so good is because his lean muscle is noticeable. Brad Pitt achieved this by getting down to 6 percent body fat. To lose this much weight you have to find a diet that works for you.

A new method is intermittent fasting. A popular form of intermittent fasting is to use the lean gains guide.  This method demands that you devote 16 hours a day to fasting and 8 hours a day to eating. Since you sleep for a large portion of those 16 hours, it is easy to get used to. Dr. Andrew Weil (famous doctor and author) even supports intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting leads to fat loss by giving the body a lot of time to burn fat. Notably, it burns fat around your lower abs and love handles. When you eat 6 small meals throughout the day, you are giving your body no reason to burn these areas. Instead, your body gains energy from constantly eating. It never needs to burn fat.

Giving your body 16 hours of fat burning time allows your body to lose weight in those hard to lose areas. Losing weight in those areas was crucial for Brad Pitt to get the Tyler Durden look. Eating throughout the day maintains cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the main hormone involved in storing body fat. Your body tends to peak cortisol and reduce insulin sensitivity 30-45 minutes into waking up.This is problematic because you tend to eat breakfast around this time.

Fat loss is hard to achieve after eating breakfast. The main reason to skip breakfast is that eating breakfast often makes you more hungry. You still want to maintain a normal amount of calories while intermittent fasting, but only eat in an 8 hour window per day.

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  1. Wow, I thought it was impossible to look that good. I guess the Brad Pitt workout does exist. It just takes a ton of work if you wanna look Brad Pitt.

  2. Yea, I wish I had a Brad Pitt body, where I could just workout and get that skinny. Mesomorphs FTL

  3. Brad Pitt workout looks crazy. I want his physique, but I don’t have his body style. For me, I gain weight no matter what I do. I still want to try this, and that fasting, to see what happens though.

  4. I am an ectomorph so this is perfect for me but I can’t do 25 pushups or 5 pullups. What should I do then?
    Do as much I can every set so until failure?

    • Yes, you could just go to failure. Even better, find a way to use less of your body weight each lift. For pushups, do 25 while on your knees. This will give you the support you need. After a few weeks, try elevating your legs on a small platform. This will help you use your shoulders and upper chest.

      For Pullups, there is a machine at most gyms that allows you to change the resistance to a comfortable level. If you are at home, you will need a partner to hold your legs. Otherwise, you can rest your legs on a chair until you gain enough strength. Your back muscles will gain strength quickly over time.

    • If you cant do full pushups, do half pushups until you can do 20-25, then increase your range of motion until you are doing full pushups. If half-pushups prove too hard, then progress from kneeling pushups (leave feet in contact with the ground at all times). For pullups, you can start with half pullups. Jump all the way up and then lower half way down and pull yourself back up. over time, increase your range of motion. if half pullups are too much, then jump yourself to the top of the bar and work on building up to a ten second negative. then, add a pause after each second during the negative. If you can hold yourself for 10 seconds on the way down AND pause in 10 different places on the way down, it is time to try the half pullup again. there is no shame in working from a quarter pullup to eventually moving all the way through. Everyone starts somewhere. Everyone pays their dues before they can do the heavy/impressive techniques. I hope these tips really help.

  5. Great article, thanks!
    So should a faithful follower complete 3 sets of each exercise before moving onto the next? For example: finish 3 sets of 15 reps on flat bench before moving onto incline and so on…
    Thanks for your time!

  6. Great article! But does anyone have any advice as to how a mesomorph should change/revise this workout/diet to best suite his/her body type? Thanks!

    • Mesomorphs have more work to do, if they want to look like Brad Pitt. Opt for a protein intake of 1.5 grams per pound of your body weight. Eat slightly more carbs than that, but stay away from refined (flour, sugar) carbs.

      For training, mesomorphs want to keep their body guessing by changing up everything about their workouts. This is because mesomorphs require intense workouts in order to shed pounds. Change which cardio machines you use to compound this effect.

      Also, change the amount of reps you do while lifting. Use the Brad Pitt workout routine listed above, but change the number of reps each time. The Hugh Jackman Wolverine Workout gives you an idea of how to change up your reps efficiently.

      Most importantly, you can turn this into a circuit training workout. Do 1 set of each exercise without rest, then immediately move on to the next. Once you’re done with an entire circuit, rest 1 minute. Then, perform the circuit again at least 2 more times. This will prioritize fat-burning over strength training, which is what you will need to look like Brad Pitt.

  7. what about legs ??.treadmill dosnt pass for training legs,gonna have classic built up top body combined with chicken legs,seriously needs a leg workout in there !!.

    • I agree it would be nice to have a legs workout, since they’re 60% of the muscles in your body. However, Brad Pitt never mentioned a leg workout for Fight Club. As a result of not working out his legs, it’s very likely Brad Pitt had chicken legs for Fight Club. It’s hard to tell, because he’s wearing pants for most of the movie.

      In Fight Club, Brad Pitt said he wanted to emphasize his chest and shoulders, at the expense of the rest of his body. However, for the movie Troy, Brad Pitt certainly has a leg workout (and it shows!). See Brad Pitt’s Achilles workout for Troy here.

  8. Yes he does where pants alot in the film,hence why he probs never trained legs,anyways i myself currently started this routine this week and boy and i sore,but il shall be adding a leg workout at night on the friday and still do the cardio run friday morning,along with 3 other runs during the week,i also suggest for people to kalories at 12 kals per 1 pound bodyweight example a person weighing 170 pounds would take 170 x 12 = 2040 per day do this for 2 weeks then further reduce to 11 kals per pound for the next 2 weeks then down to 10 kals per pound for the last 2 weeks,and further week could be added to a low 9 kals per pound for 1 week only,keep protein high around 0.8 – 1.2 per pound and plenty of healthy fats and veg,lots of water,diet is key to this programme,and by keeping to this will ensure fat loss along with the programme and cardio,myself would do more than the 1 suggested cardio on a friday but does say brad would do extra if needed on weekends but i do 2 HITT sessions per week along with a long jog,also recommend to buy some wrist straps for back routine on this programme seriously when trying to do all the rowing exercises with heavyish weights at 15 reps each with only 1 min rest in sets,dosnt give your forearms alot of time to recover and your forearms will be exhausted and tire out before the 15 reps unless your lifting like 5 kg lol i do 60kg for the first week on both seated row and pulldowns anyways thansk for the routine wish i could post after pics,anyways hopefully people will take onboard my advice more to so of the diet side and the results will come.

    • Robert, Good idea on adding in more HIIT training. Most people will need that to get in better shape. The only reason Brad Pitt didn’t run more, is because he’s a hard gainer. He found that too much exercise would prevent him from gaining muscle. Therefore, Brad Pitt would focus just on weights and diet during the week.

      Let me know how your progress with the Brad Pitt workout goes. And, if you want a place to post your progress, I recommend the Google+ Fitness community I belong to:

    • Just a side note, that would be 12 calories per pound of LEAN bodyweight. you must subtract the bodyfat percentage before using this method. Otherwise, you are taking into account that your bodyfat can burn calories, which in the long run, it pretty much doesn’t. Dont forget that or your math will have you overeating!

  9. Hey, I am following this routine as we speak, actually 2 weeks in, but i got to thinking: I’ve always been a lean guy, im about 135lbs and 5’10 or so. Now the problem is I can only bench about 5lbs on each side on a 15lbs barbell so that gives you an idea of how my strength is. My question is should I be going for 15 reps on each exercise? Ive heard that lower reps and larger weight helps build muscle, should I be trying to build up to where I can bench 165lbs / 15reps? Or will the routine actually help me build up to that point? I’m just starting out and needing some advice because I’m not too terribly sure.

    • Kyle, I agree it would be smart to do lower reps/higher weight for your case. Traditional bodybuilding uses the 8-12 rep range. I suggest this range, as it will help you develop mass and definition. Once you’re a bit stronger, experiment with going up to 15 reps. The Brad Pitt workout was more about definition, than mass, so he used that upper range to get in shape.

  10. That is completely wrong. Brad Pitt is a total Mesomorph. You can see that just by looking at his body type. Look up the definition.

    • I disagree. I think that Brad Pitt is clearly an ectomorph. He has admitted that it is very hard for him to gain weight. He admits to having a very fast metabolism, and really wanted to focus on getting more lean muscle mass for Fight Club. He had a very scrawny body before training for Fight Club.

      Brad Pitt’s physique for Fight Club clearly shows that ectomorphs, or “hard gainers,” can get muscular if they do things right. Brad Pitt had to focus on diet and weight training to get muscle on his body. He skipped cardio most of the week, because it is hard for ectomorphs to gain weight if they’re doing a lot of aerobic exercise.

      Still, current research is supporting the idea that no one is just one specific body type. Instead, we are likely a combination of 2 different body types with multiple genotypes affecting the body. In this sense, maybe we can agree that Brad Pitt is a mix of ecto/meso.

      The takeaway is that if you find it hard to gain muscle weight, then focus on weight training with rest between each set. Skip cardio most of the week, so that your body can focus on repairing muscle. Eat a lot during the day, even before bed.

      If you find it easy to gain muscle, but also fat, then focus on turning your weight lifting routine into circuit training. Do one set of each exercise listed above without stopping. Rest one minute, then perform the circuit at least 2-3 more times. Limit your caloric intake.

    • I agree, it would be nice to have a leg workout. But since Brad Pitt did not mention doing one for Fight Club, I can’t list one here. If you look at the pictures from his movie, you can see that it shows. Since he’s a hard gainer, he may have been focusing on definition in the upper body. If you’re looking for a good leg workout, I like The Rock Workout and The Wolverine Workout.

  11. And what about the diet at the weekends? What did he eat in the pre and post work out time if he didn’t work out that days?

    • It’s best to stick to the same sort of diet. But, you don’t need the whey protein shake or banana, unless you’re feeling sore from the previous workout days. Stick to the rest of the diet for the weekend. Starting out, it’s okay to have a weekend cheat day once in a while. Brad Pitt was very intense, and stuck to the diet all week long.

      • So, I should still drink the protein shake at the weekend? And if I don’t feel sore from the previous workout, what do you recommend to eat during that hour period (thinking that I can’t be without eating for more than 3 hours)?

        • The opposite–don’t drink a whey shake on the weekend, unless you’re still sore and need it for recovery. The key to a perfect diet is to eat a mix of lean protein (fish, chicken, tofu), healthy fats (flax, chia, almond, walnut), plus green (vegetables) and brown (steel cut oatmeal, sweet potato, brown rice) carbs.

  12. I did the two first days of this work out and it seems to be very short . (about 30 minutes per day) is it alright ? or maybe i didn’t understand you ?

    • You’re right, this is a pretty short workout. Still, make sure to follow the directions:


      Do 3 sets of each exercise, 15 reps each time.
      Make sure to rest for 60 seconds between each set.
      Find a weight that allows you to complete at least 15 reps.
      Make sure that you use good form, and are fatigued at the 15th rep.
      If you find 15 reps easy, make sure to go up in weight next set.

      Many people don’t lift heavy enough, and don’t need the full minute to rest. Make sure, if you have a spotter, that you’re lifting heavy enough so that you can’t do more than 15. Go up in weight if you can do any more than 15 reps with good form.

      Also, the Brad Pitt workout is short because he is a hard gainer. This means he would focus on just one muscle group, then get out of the gym and onto the recovery phase. If you’re not a hard gainer, you’re free to add to the Brad Pitt workout. But I think you understand just fine.

  13. Would it be ok if i can only train 3 times a week to do 2 workouts back to back seen as they only take 30 mins,?eg chest followed by back in the 1 session?

    • Yes, that’s a fine way to do it. The reason that Brad Pitt focused on only 1 muscle group a day is because he’s a hard gainer. He wanted to only work a muscle group once, then give it the rest of the week to recover.

      If you find that your body is able to recover quickly–and you’re able to train just as hard–then go for it.

    • For strength, 1-6 reps at a very heavy weight is optimal. For size, 8-12 reps with heavy weight is what science says is best. For lean muscle, 12-15 reps is the way to go.

      Brad Pitt’s goal for the Fight Club Tyler Durden workout was lean muscle. This is why he used the 15 rep range. If your goal is pure strength, go for 1-6; size 8-12; lean muscle 12-15.

      At each of these rep ranges, the key is to make sure that you’re absolutely fatigued by the last rep. If you can do more (with precise form), then you aren’t lifting heavy enough. Also, diet is the key to the Brad Pitt workout. If you’re not eating properly all week long, then your gains are going to show it.

  14. with intermittent fasting.. since im 100% ectomorph.. is it possible that ill lose a bit of muscle mass? thankx

    • Intermittent fasting is for people looking to lose weight. I would not use it if your primary goal is muscle gain. If you’re 100% ectomorph, then I would stick to the Brad Pitt diet. Still, you can look at the Hugh Jackman workout. He’s not a 100% ectomorph, but he is a good example of an actor that got amazing intermittent fasting results.

  15. three reps of 15 on each exercise means actually doing the weight 45 times?
    I’m not to strong at all. Can I lift ligher weight so that I reach that number?

    • Yes, 45 reps total. You can go down in weight if you need to. Also, the important thing to remember is that we’re all guilty of trying to get our workout done too fast. The best thing you can do is give yourself 60-90 seconds of rest between sets. This should give you the strength you need.

  16. I’m a very easy gainer. Can I do too much cardio and fat burn on a daily basis? Seems to me I’d have to crush the cardio equipment to get that chiseled (in addition to following the routine and diet).

    • Yea, easy gainers would have to do a lot more cardio work to get that chiseled. The key to it all is diet. A chiseled body is 20% workout and 80% percent diet. There is no limit in theory to how much cardio you can do. But, I would suggest 20-30 min of intense HIIT interval training each day (in addition to the workout). Doing a lot more is just going to burn you out over the long haul. So, just worry about sticking to your diet and taking it a day at a time.

    • Since Brad Pitt just works one muscle group per day, you can add a leg workout wherever you want. I suggest you do it on Wednesday. That will give you extra time to recover between the back and shoulder workouts. You might also want to do it before/after the cardio.

  17. There is no source for this article, where is the proof that this is even the routine pitt used to get in shape for fight club?

    • Sorry if it’s unclear. On page 1, it does say:

      “The Brad Pitt workout comes from his interviews with Men’s Heath UK. Here is the exact workout”

  18. I’m somewhat confused on the fasting and diet thing. I am also an ectomorph and feel following the diet would be the most beneficial route to achieve my goal of this but I’ve never dieted before and I’m unsure how to breakup meal times in eight hours between the fasting for 16. It said he never went more then three hours without eating but in the diet instructions it said to only eat during an eight hour window so then he had to have consumed all meals then, right? Of there were an example schedule or a rough idea of when I could plan eating or whatnot that would be greatly appreciated.

    • As an ectomorph, you don’t want to use the intermittent fasting approach. You want to eat every 3 hours, like Brad Pitt did. Just focus on eating clean food, as listed in the Brad Pitt Fight Club diet section.

      The intermittent fasting approach is only for people who need to lower their total caloric intake to lose weight. Only consider it, if you’re looking for a new approach to weight loss.

  19. As far as the diet is concerned.. what do you recommend if your workout time falls after diner. Do you have a small snack in the mid afternoon and still have the protein shake in the evening?

    • Yes, you want to keep your metabolism stoked. Drink a protein shake post-workout for sure. The only reason not to would be if whey protein affects your sleep. This is usually not the case, as casein protein is usually the culprit. So, as long as your sleep is not affected, drink one post-workout.

  20. Does the protein shake have to be whey? I was talking to a personal trainer recently who told me that as long as you eat protein (i.e. chicken, fish, etc.) directly after your meal you can stick to just using casein protein in your protein shakes. I ask mainly because eating healthy can be expensive and I wonder if I can avoid buying both whey and casein protein.

    • I meant to write “as long as you eat protein (i.e. chicken, fish, etc.) directly after your workout…”

    • Sure, you can avoid both if you want to. Whey protein is a staple in bodybuilding, because it is already broken down for quick absorption. Using whey protein, post-workout, is the quickest way to bring your body back into an anabolic (muscle-building) state.

      When it comes to absorbing protein, here’s a brief chart:
      Whey: 30 mins
      Eggs: 2 hours
      Lean Meat: 3-4 hours
      Casein: 7+ hours

      As you can see, whey is best when it comes to keeping your body in a muscle-building state. If you don’t use it, then you had better eat a meal right after working out. The longer you wait, the more your body will break down it’s own muscle for energy.

      If you’re having a hard time gaining weight, I highly suggest whey or BCAA’s as a supplement. Hugh Jackman’s trainer has Hugh take BCAA’s instead of whey because whey protein can lead to bloating/inflammation in some people. If you’re still having trouble gaining weight, then take casein, so that you stay in an anabolic state while you sleep.

  21. How come Brad Pitt seems to have such nice abs, but I have not seen any abs workout? And I am wondering if you can workout before lunch and what is time of the day it is decent to start with breakfast. Thank you.

  22. Brad Pitt didn’t do much abs because you need a low body fat percentage, more than anything else, to get visible abs. You can workout anytime you like. If you’re a hard-gainer, eat 1/2 hour before you workout. Make it a meal of carbs/protein. If you need to lose weight, then you can do empty stomach, early morning steady state cardio. This is the best way to burn fat and get your abs to show.

  23. I have been doing this exercise for about a week now, and I feel I could always be doing more than what I am doing, as I only spend about 35 minutes in the gym. Should I do 2 workouts in one day? So I do Chest and Back on Monday then do Chest and back again on Tuesday? and do the same with the workouts on the 2 other days.

    • The Fight Club workout is easy for some people. Brad Pitt is a hard gainer, so he didn’t require too much lifting. Instead, it was about focusing on one body part per day. For Pitt, diet is the key to the Fight Club workout. If you want to stick to this workout, then make sure you’re lifting as heavy as you can, with proper form and breathing.

      If it’s still too easy, I suggest trying a harder workout. Check out The Rock workout, The Wolverine workout, or the Magic Mike Joe Manganiello workout.

  24. I want to have his look but have size, he looks like he does have pretty alright muscles, not just ripped small ones. 1. Should I follow it, but with 12 reps for more size.
    2. Eating every three hours in theory for always protein and carbs?
    3.Also my go to carb is brown rice how much of that i don’t want to overdo it? Can i over do the protein or carbs?
    4.Do you recommend a suitable leg workout to fit this routine?
    5. HOW LONG DO WE DO THIS ROUTINE FOR, months? weeks? how long did he do it, don’t your muscles get used to it and not gain?

    • 1. The science says optimal rep range for size is 8-12 reps (where you can’t do anymore after that). Brad Pitt is a hard-gainer. With hard-gainers, it is sometimes optimal to go further, but I haven’t read any good science on it.
      2. Yes, protein and carbs every three hours. Again, this is if you’re a hard-gainer. You can go longer if you’re not.
      3. It’s easy to overdo the carbs. The answer is different for everyone. Some experimentation, and maybe even getting My Fitness Pal app will help find the sweet spot for your individual case.
      4. See below for other workouts I suggest.
      5. Three months is a good time to stick to, and perfect, a routine. After that you want to start looking for something different. You can always come back to it later.

      I highly suggest you check out The Magic Mike workout (which, I’m doing right now) and the Wolverine Workout. They are both similar to the Brad Pitt workout, but are more focused on adding size. They both also have great diet plans. Let me know how it works out.

  25. Thanks for the quick feedback, I’m gonna do the magic mike instead it looks good. I just think maybe the cardio before every workout is too much?

    • At least do 10 minutes. The goal is to get your heart rate up into the fat burning zone (130 or higher), then maintain that by lifting back-to-back supersets. You see people in the gym sitting there for way too long, bringing their heart rate back down. You want to keep moving. You can also do some cardio afterwards.

      • Im lean already, just not my stomach, got a little belly, well maybe just a layer covering abs, cardio everyday? before and after a workout too? what about the high intensity it suggests on page 2 where does that fit in? Seems like Joe said he was already pretty big and just cut down fat, I want to purely gain a good amount of lean muscle, will this still work, seems like too much cardio, ill end up and olympic marathon runner

        • Feel free to cut down on the cardio. His goal was to get a six-pack, while getting even bigger. Cardio and diet are the recipe to six pack abs. If you’re primary goal, for now is to just bulk up, then you’re fine doing cardio 2-3 times a week at most. Most of the cardio he is doing is at a low pace, for fat burning. HIIT is the best way to burn fat (excluding early morning workouts on an empty stomach).

          • OK, well i have the same goal to gain muscle and get abs, but i dont want to be as big as him, im trying to get to a body for modeling, not huge, but lean and defined. So if i did only HIIT for cardio and the workouts would it work? The diet is fine, but i wonder if im eating enough?

            • Also thanks so much for replying, no one ever does, so I’m asking anything i doubt about it, my problem has always been structure and if I feel i dont know stuff i get very unmotivated, I was thinking maybe i would do the HIIT workout suggested before weights? would this suffice?

              • The cool thing is that the Magic Mike workout is a 2-week program, so you get a little variety going back and forth. Do cardio whenever you prefer it. I generally like to hit the iron first, then cardio after. As long as you eat a meal of protein/carbs a half hour before your workout, you’re fine doing either part first.

            • The ratio of cardio/diet is a little different for everyone. Brad Pitt is a hard gainer, so he only does cardio once a week. Joe Manganiello puts on weight easily, so he has to do a lot of cardio, and eat sweet potatoes as his main/worst carb, in order to get a six-pack. Since everyone’s different, you have the challenge of finding what’s right for you.

              The way to do it is to log your cardio/diet and see the results. Get the My Fitness Pal app, so you have an accurate system of knowing your intake/cardio, to really know what’s right for you. HIIT is probably fine, but if you want to lose more, then do the slow-cardio, too.

              • Hi, I’m 19 years of age. My diet is fairly irregular and I don’t eat as
                Much as I should due to lack of time. My metabolism, I’m guessing is through the roof and my body fat was measured on a machine to naturally be 6.5 percent, he said it may be worth adding 2 percent if you doubt it. My abs however don’t look like this so I’ve fitted in an abs day, if my body fat percentage is indeed 6.5 why don’t they look like this and how important is diet still? It seems no matter what I eat I stay the same size. But there is a layer over my bottom abs. Also after finishing 3 sets are we meant to rest? It seems impossible to jump straight into incline chest press from normal chest press for example

  26. I am 5′ 4″, 121 pounds, work at office from 9 am to 7 pm (3 to 4 meal time), no so good diet, I do not do weight-lifting, I do similar of the to get ripped six pack abs try this workout with Rob Riches, 3 times a week for one week and 2 next week, ants ( 120 every week. I´ve been doing this a year and a half, I am lean and my abs feel good and strong but not visible yet. I am an easy gainer and I do not want size, however I´d really like to get a six pack, should I do HIIT and intermittent fasting, but for how long? Or maybe just trying the fight club diet for a few months and keep on my routine could help?

    • Make sure to get up every hour while at work, just to walk around a little bit (if you’re in a sit-down job). The fun is trying different diets until you find the one you like.

      I would highly recommend HIIT plus Intermittent fasting. Stick to chicken, vegetables, and healthy fats. Try it for three months. See how it goes. And remember, abs are made in the kitchen!

  27. Hello I was reading your article and it is very informative and helpful. My question is how long should we stick to this workout before we know if it is really working or not and change to Circuit Training?

    • If your main goal is getting bigger, I’d take Brad Pitt’s approach. If you’re looking to burn fat, opt for circuit training. If you’re not sure, I’d say try the normal approach for a month. If you don’t like the results, kick it up a notch to circuit training.

      Having fun while you pump iron is the key. You should stick to the approach you enjoy more (as long as it fits with your goals). Remember though, that diet is the most important thing. So no matter which approach you take, it is your diet that will determine your body composition.

    • Brad Pitt never mentioned anything about his abs routine. He may have done them, but I can’t say. In general, abs come from great genes and/or a stellar diet. In addition, you need to find a way to burn fat. Steady-paced, empty stomach cardio workouts first thing in the morning, coupled with HIIT workouts in the afternoon, are the best way to burn fat.

  28. Hey, thanks for the great article. I will be taking up this workout starting next week; I already started the cleaner diet to lose some fat preemptively.

    I just have a couple of questions. I heard that doing the same exercises every week will result in the body not gaining muscle; is this true, or would just raising the weight help to fix that? And also, I don’t have access to a gym four days a week, so it is possible to compress the workout into two days, or would that be too much?



    • A lot of people (including personal friends) stick to this exact workout, and totally swear by it!. They have found the workout provides a challenge, and the diet keeps them lean. The idea that the same workout will stop working over time is a bit overblown.

      You’ve got the idea–if you never increase the weight, you’re going to hit plateau. If you increase weight, that gives your body a reason to react to the stimulus. So, adding the weight to a point where you’re constantly challenged is the key to any workout.

      That doesn’t mean you should stick to this workout forever. Try different ones, depending on which actor you want to look like/follow. Changing things up is a good idea over time to stress your muscles in different ways. You can always learn new things by trying new workouts.

      When I started doing The Rock’s workout, I was always sore. That’s where I realized just how important diet is when you’re constantly overtraining. Overtraining is generally a bad idea, but if you give yourself a lot of rest, and eat 8 times a day, your body has time to recover.

      On to your next question, yes you can combine this into a 2 day split. Eat more on these days to give yourself energy/recovery ability. Also, find something to do on the 4 days you’re not in the gym. I suggest looking at bodyweight workouts such as The Stephen Amell Workout for Arrow or the newly finished Jake Gyllenhaal Workout for Prince of Persia.

      • Thanks for clearing that up. Sorry for all the questions, but I was just wondering as to why there are three bicep exercises and only one tricep workout? And also, if I were to compress the workout to two days, would I make one day chest/back the other shoulders/arms, or another way? Thanks!

        • I don’t have Brad Pitt’s answer to that question, so I can only speculate. The biceps are a much longer muscle, so hitting from different angles is needed to really work the bicep. The triceps are much smaller, and more easily targeted. The triceps get used on Monday, too, from those chest exercises.

          Brad Pitt’s Fight Club workout centered on training a different muscle group each day. He would then allow the muscle group to rest for the rest of the week. If you’re an ectomorph (hard-gainer) like Brad Pitt, I suggest sticking to his workout the best you can.

          If you find it easier to gain weight, then it’s okay to combine splits like you mention above. It really just comes down to whether or not your body can pack on the pounds, or if you’re a hard gainer. Sometimes, trial and error/experimentation is what you need to do to find out what is right for you. Of course, diet is important here, too. You’ll find that diet is the key to the Brad Pitt or any other workout you embark upon.

  29. And just one final question: for the pre and post workout snack, would that mean both a protein shake and a banana before and after the workout?


    • Thanks for the question. It helps to know when readers don’t find something clear. I have updated Brad Pitt diet section briefly to elucidate my response.

      In sum, eat a banana before your workout. (Some celebrity trainers also have their clients take coffee/espresso (energy), or creatine (most proven supplement for lean muscle building), but never both because of…some science about mitochondria I won’t get into unless you want me to).

      Take a protein shake right after your workout. You have somewhere between 30-60 minutes to drink a shake, but I suggest sooner rather than later. If you really want a Brad Pitt body, I’ve found that the best protein shakes are just “Pure Whey,” not loaded with sugars or artificial sweeteners. (It’s MUCH harder to find a good brand than you would think).

      Artificial sweeteners in protein shakes (like sucralose sweetener) are just as bad. They kill off your stomach bacteria (the kind that assures your brain that you’re eating healthy). When you kill off good bacteria, you become more hungry because your brain thinks it’s not getting the nutrition you need. This leads to sweat temptations of the bad kind.

  30. Hi Chris,
    I read the article and tried reading as many questions and answers.
    I am a hard gainer.
    If I start doing this 15 rep thing, will size of my biceps/triceps chest etc will decrease?
    I want the lean look but also want to add some size. So while doing this workout will I gain the size too?


    • Hey,

      Research shows that 8-12 reps is the best rep range for most people. If this rep range isn’t producing results, then I would aim for 15 reps. Higher reps won’t make your biceps/triceps or chest decrease.

      The 15 range is typically more used for people who want to look cut, and/or get conditioned. If your primary goal is to get bigger, start with 8-12 reps. For some, 15 is a more successful rep range, so you may want to experiment. Alter your workouts between the two, use the one that taxes your muscles harder.

      One thing I’ve found from the latest research is that it shows we’re all really a mix of body types (our genes are a combination of hard gainer/easy gainers). What this means is that we should focus less on body type, and more on the main thing that matters: Diet.

      Diet is always going to be the key to your results. Look at The Rock Workout & Diet or The Wolverine Workout to see what they had to eat, to gain weight. Again, feel free to stay around 8-12 reps and focus on diet. If you don’t see results, this means the 15 rep range is more likely for you.

  31. Hey thanks for the great information! I can’t wait to get started. A few questions though. Due to extensive work + school hours, I won’t be able to find time to workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays. However, I’m willing to trade my Saturdays and Sundays with those days instead. Will this be okay since it won’t be back to back rest days? What exercise should I do in-between on Wednesdays? For example, I was thinking of considering Friday as my Monday, then doing the exercises Friday-Monday in the same order, with cardio on Wednesdays (Tuesday and Thursday as rest days).


    • Yes, it’s important to find a schedule that works for you. I like the idea of using Wednesday as a cardio day. You can also add in more cardio, if you find your body can handle it. Gaining muscle is harder for some, which is why Pitt only did cardio once a week.

      You may want to increase your dietary intake on days your active, and cut back on days you’re too busy. Although it’s more complex, check out The Wolverine Workout: How to Get as Jacked as Hugh Jackman to see how his trainer tailors his diet to match his days of activity/inactivity.

      • Thanks for the reply! I’ll definitly go with the cardio on Wednesdays. I failed to mention that I am the epitome of an ectomorph (6’1″ and only 145lbs.), so I’ll keep the cardio to just the one day and see about adjusting the diet as needed, as you suggested.

        Thanks again!

  32. Hi, im an ectomorph, with chicken legs and at the border of being underweight and a balanced BMI. Since Brad Pitt was initially heavier before this workout, is this applicable to hard gainers who want to build mass and lean muscle??

    • Yes, just remember the key is providing your body with the best nutrition. The book I’m currently reading, Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition, (by Ivy & Portman) takes this a step further with the crucial point that: it’s not enough to just consume protein. Timing when you consume protein is the key to muscle building. They suggest 3 “Nutrient Interventions” in order to build muscle and gain weight.

      Making sure you eat protein at the time your body needs it the most will help you the most. The crucial period is during and right after a strength workout. They recommend a drink with 20-26g of highly digestible carbs (glucose, sucrose, maltodextrin) and 5-6g of whey protein before a workout. During the anabolic phase (0-45 mins) post-workout, consume another shake with 40-50g of high glycemic carbs and 13-15g of protein.

      Have a 3rd shake up to 4 hours after a workout (this time consisting of just whey–and a bit of a casein if you can–without the carbs). When you start consuming protein in the right amounts and at the time, the results will come. Of course, you will have to add a legs day to your routine, as well. In terms of diet, (beyond the protein shakes) aim for 40-48% carbs, 20-26% protein and 33% fat. Check out The Rock Workout & Diet for a bigger picture on what to eat. Good Luck!

  33. Hello Chris,

    I really like your website. I'm gonna try out this workout and diet, let's see how it works for me =)

    A couple of questions, I will have to modify it due to my schedule (on Tuesdays I have martial arts training and on Sundays I play tennis), which means I will only be able to do one day of the cardio routine.

    I'm not an ectomorph, I'm I guess between an endo and a mesomorph, do you think that removing one day of cardio but adding one day of martial arts training and one day of tennis be enough for cardio? Or should I try adding a bit of extra cardio in one of the days (say, Friday, which for me would be the biceps/triceps day)?

    Also, on cardio-only days, would you also take the protein shakes?

    • Hi,

      It sounds like the cardio you're doing should be enough. However, it never hurts to add cardio "finishers" to your workout (Friday, for example). Adding cardio at the end of your workouts would be smart, if your goal is to lose weight.

      Whether trying to gain muscle or burn fat, diet is by far the most important thing. No need to take protein shakes on cardio days. Instead, try to make sure you're getting some carbs in before your workout. This will help ensure high intensity throughout your workout. Good Luck!

  34. Hey Chris Davis!

    I got a some questions:
    1. Is this training either good for easy-gainers?

    2. Would it be bad to do this training for 1,5 month instead of 3 months, since I am 16 years old which means it's the best age for fast gaining.

    3. Isn't ''Whey'' a dangerous kind of proteinshake? There are some dangerous kinds I understood.

    4. I understood that not only diet is important, but good sleep is very important either. Is that true?

    • Hi!

      1. Yes, easy-gainers will do well with this training, but they have to think more about their goals. Do you want to get bigger? Then, you will have to lift more (and eat) more. Do you want to burn fat? Then, you'll want to do a lot more cardio (and eat less).

      2. Do it for as long as it makes you happy. Finding a workout you enjoy is the best route for an optimal outcome. At 16, soak in all the info you can about proper form/nutrition. (try new things, find what you like, but don't just do stuff that's easy)

      3. No, whey isn't dangerous (unless you consider milk to be dangerous, it's just the protein from milk). Whey is the most popular kind of protein shake because your body digests the protein from whey faster than just about anything (except eggs maybe). The quicker your body gets protein, the better your recovery.

      4. Of course, good sleep allows your body to build the good hormones, like testosterone, that you need for big gains.

  35. Hey Chris Davis!

    One more question:
    Is the diet only good for ectomorphs? Or is it either a good one for not-ectomorphs?

    What would you recommend to me (16 yrs old, hard-gainer):
    Fasting or like eating every 3 hours?

    • At your age, don't do any fasting. Your metabolism is already good where it is. There's a book called "Nutrient Timing" that's the best book for hard-gainers I've ever read. It's really science-y, so I'll try to summarize it quickly by saying:

      1) The most important aspect in gaining muscle is giving your body the protein it needs to grow.
      2) Have protein and carbs in your system before a workout.
      3) Drink a protein shake after your workout. (It needs to have simple sugars in it, most popular brands do).
      4) Have another protein shake, or other easily digested form of protein 2 hours after your workout.

      Good Luck!

      • Hi!
        Thanks for the reply!

        Sorry I made a little mistake there, I meant: (16 yrs old, easy-gainer).
        Do you maybe have any recommandation for that?

        Okay, so no fasting for me.
        But is there anything else I can do to remove the fat from my body except cardio (which I do too)?

        • Diet is the #1 way. Keep sugar, flour and processed food out of your diet for best results. You can also add reps, reduce rest or increase the amount of sets for a more fat-burning workout.

  36. Hey,
    So I just tried this for the first time today and where I usually lift in the 8-12 range, I found that going to the 15 on the first set fatigued my muscles far quicker and I wasn't able to lift half as much weight wise as usual on the subsequent sets. Should I come down on the weight and build up or is it more effective sticking to this routine but staying on heavier weights within the 8-12 rep range. Thanks

    • Hi,

      It depends on your goals. Stay in the 8-12 rep range if muscle building is your primary goal. Research shows this is the best rep range for maximum muscle growth. But, your goal may be similar to Brad Pitt. If you want to get lean, while building muscle tone, strive for the 15 rep range.

      It's okay if you don't get there every time. Experiment with lowering the weight, so you aren't fatigued by the 2nd-3rd set. You may need to rest a bit more between sets. Doing so will help you a lot. It helps combat the fatigue you're experiencing. Make sure you eat carbs/protein before a workout, to make sure you have the energy you need for the workout.

  37. Hey Chris,

    I have always been a little on the chubbier side. Im 5′ 7- 5′ 8 and 160ish. I want to lose the extra body fat but get shredded like brad pitt. How should I alter the diet and workout for me? I also have diabetes but the carb intake is manageable with insulin (unless you recommend something else). Would you recommend the Zac Efron workout over this one since he is about the same height as me. I would like to have a body like there’s. Not bulky but more like the GQ look. What do you think? Thanks a bunch! Cant wait to start this!

    • Having a body like Joe Manganiello would be awesome too. I guess I would like a combo of all three. Thanks in advance for the help!

      • Yes, take what you can from each celebrity workout. What I get from Brad Pitt and Zac Efron I learned diet is the key. From doing Joe Manganiello’s workout, I realized the amazing power of supersets. By super-setting everything, Joe’s constantly lifting something (as opposed to all the people you see in the gym sitting around).

        Manganiello is always breathing heavy, in order to take advantage of the cardio impact of circuit training. By working two different muscle groups each day, he allows one muscle group to rest while working on the other.

    • You’ll find diet to be the key, no matter which workout you decide on. You can take a few pointers from each celebrity workout. I suggest starting with Brad Pitt’s workout. After a few weeks, try Efron’s workout. There may be things you like from each. Brad Pitt and Zac Efron both teach us that diet is the key. Both actors eat really well when trying to lose weight. You really want to focus on green vegetables, etc. for sure.

      I’m not fully qualified to talk on diabetes–Yet, I think you can take the general advice, and apply it well. Give your body the carbs/protein it needs. Having fuel in your body before and after your workout is the key. If you have those two energy sources in your body during the workout, your body has what it needs to build bigger muscles. The same is true post-workout. Get a protein shake/carbs in your body. This further signals to your body that it has what it needs to grow those muscles.

  38. I just want to thank all of you for your questions and to Chris for all his replies, which are very helpful. I’ve learned a lot.

    Just need to learn more about supplements. What type of protein shake to drink (low-zero carb o high carb), when if any to drink amino acids drinks, when to consume bcaa and when to have creatine or other supplements with this Brad Pitt workout.

    Thanks again

    • Think of using using supplements as a way to make sure your diet is on track: Give your body the carbs/protein it needs. Having fuel in your body before and after your workout is the key. If you have carbs/protein in your body during the workout, your body has what it needs to build bigger muscles. The same is true post-workout; Get protein/carbs in your body as soon as you can. This gives your body everything it needs to grow those muscles.

      I used to think that a low/zero carb protein shake was the way to go. But, the latest research shows that you want a higher carb fuel source. Most protein powders on the market already use this approach. The reason is you get bigger muscle growth when your body has everything it needs (carbs/protein). If you run out of energy during a workout, your body doesn’t go into muscle-building mode. If you have enough energy, it signals to your body everything’s a “GO.”

      Drinking amino acids is a way to get protein in your body. But, make sure you’re getting some carbs, too. Drinking just amino acids may be good when your cutting (celebrities use them right before filming), but it’s hard to grow muscles when your body has no source of energy. Creatine is another great supplement, just use the directions on the label. it has more research backing it up than any other supplement (except coffee–for fat-burning). Thanks for the kind words. Good Luck!

  39. Been following this programme roughly for 2 1/2 weeks and I’m seeing some amazing results, I bulked up quite heavily and it really affected me health wise. Im 5’11 and this workout really does suit me being an ectomorph an all aha, been getting to the gym for 6 o’clock train (find that the workout is very quick and to the point) I’ve added ab workouts to the routine plus leg strength training.
    Monday – Chest/Legs
    Tuesday – Back/Abs (also added 1×10 reps of a deadlift to the back routine)
    Wednesday- 45 minute run with and altitude mask
    Thursday – Shoulders/Abs
    Friday – Arms/Legs
    Does feel really weird not eating as much as when I was bulking i was eating anything and everything now I’m having;

    Breakfast –
    4 egg Whites
    Bowl of Porridge

    Mid Morning snack-
    Greek Yogurt with honey

    Chicken Breast or Grilled Fish, Sometimes have Quorn due to the high Protein levels
    Brown Rice
    Lots and lots of Veggies

    Cashews and mixed nuts

    Evening Meal-
    Chicken, Fish, Lamb either one with just veggies

    Before bed a protein shake, also have one after a workout to

  40. Thanks Chris, great article!

    But is it either possible to put those 4 days (no cardio) into 2 days?
    Would it have the same effect, or is it better to spread it to 4?

    (Cardio isn’t needed because I already do ”Krav Maga” twice a week. A sport where you definetely lose at least as much fat as cardio)

    • Yes, you could transition Brad Pitt’s workout into a 2-day-a-week program. The key for hard gainers/ectomorphs is to remember to 1) eat good food constantly, 2) add in cardio to burn fat, and 3) realize that your ideal physique is more of the Brad Pitt Fight Club version (vs. The Rock’s). I like the idea of you weaving in Krav Maga 2x-3x per week, as it gives you the cardio you need. It sounds like you’re enjoying it, too. Combining (Mon/Thurs) & (Tues/Wed) looks to work the best. Make sure to eat good protein/carbs throughout the day.

  41. Hey Chris, I’ve a question.
    I am doing this all for about 2 months right now, but don’t come even close to Pitt’s result.
    I sport 5 times a week, do exactly the things you describe here, drink those shakes and (almost) didn’t skip a day.

    What do I do wrong?
    Is it because of my age that I can’t get the same results (16 yrs)?

    • I was about your age when I started lifting. It can be frustrating at first, but put in the work and you’ll get the results. The major thing to consider is if you’re a hard-gainer like Pitt (25% of the population) or an easy-gainer (75% of the population). If you find that eating a lot of junk food makes you gain weight, then you’re probably an “easy-gainer.” In that case, this workout isn’t really for you. To gain muscle, I’d suggest the Batman, Superman or The Rock workouts.

      The other major thing to consider is that you’re still getting final growth spurt. You may a year or two before all the hormones in your body start to function properly for muscle gain. The good thing is you have your whole life in front of you. You have plenty of time to tweak your food/workout to find what works for you. Let me know how it goes, and If I can help you further.

  42. Always been an ecto. I was 6′, 130 in high school. Now I’m 44 y/o, 6′ 160. Body fat is around 13-15%. I would like my BF around 8-9. I have a 4 pack and looking for my other two. They’re in there somewhere. I like this workout because I have no delusions of getting huge but I think I need to cut to about 150-155 before upping my calories a little to end up in the 160-165 range. Started cutting out my pizza and Dr Pepper 10 days ago. Sad day. How big do you think BP’s arm were in fight club? 14″-15″?

    • Sounds about right. My guess would be Brad Pitt’s biceps were in the 14″-16″ range. You really see he understood the process he needed to undertake. Pitt knew what he had to do: A simple workout, coupled with diet, is the key. If you have trouble with the 8-9% target, try increasing your carbs to 50-65% of calories. Add more cardio to quickly burn the fat. Good Luck!

  43. Hi i really want to do the Brad pitt workout and diet but i have a few questions like my biggest question is i’m only almost 15 and i’m not alowed to use free weights at the gym because it will stunt my growth so do you know any way around it so i can still get that excact same Brad pitt body and i’m not sure if i’m a mesomorph and should i do a lot of cardio to burn fat and how to tell if i am an easy-gainer or hard-gainer thanks

    • At 15, you shouldn’t have to worry about growth plates. But if you’re not allowed, then focus on plyometrics. Burpees, bodyweight squats, pushups, dips, etc. Without any weights, diet will be the key. (It is anyway, even for those lifting weights).

      The way to tell if you’re a hard/easy gainer is by knowing if you easily gain weight (fat) by eating. If so, then eat a diet higher in protein and less carbs. If you have trouble gaining weight, then Brad Pitt’s workout and diet are for you. Brad Pitt has a higher carb intake, because he’s a hard gainer.

      Your whole life is in front of you. Take the time to determine how eating different types of food affects your body. If you’re not gaining weight, then make sure you’re eating protein/carbs, before/after each workout. That’s the easiest way to gain weight.

  44. I’m a pretty skinny/scrawny guy, never really worked out in my life (17 years old, 5’10 140ish pounds) I was wondering if this workout is only to chisel up your body. I’m thinking of follow the exact diet brad pitt had, but in order to gain a body like his in fight club, should I try to bulk up? I’m not trying to look exactly like him, maybe a little smaller. It’s pretty hard for me to gain any noticeable weight in my arms, chest, etc. I eat a LOT, including junk food and fast food, you know, the works, but it never seems to show. I don’t know a single thing about bodybuilding, so should I be lowering the reps in order to gain more size in my arms (I plan to use 20 lb dumbbells, that’s all I could really handle if I’m doing 10+ reps), or should I do the workout exactly as outlined? Also, should I increase the amount of food I’m supposed to eat, and if so, what would you recommend?

    • The biggest key is getting enough carbs/protein in before & after your workout. As a hard gainer, you can easily add more food to your diet. Try to eat a bigger meal before your workout. Drink a whey protein shake 0-30 minutes after your workout. Continue to focus on getting carbs/protein into your body the rest of the day.

      Feel free to add more to your workout, but realize that may be what prevents gains. Adding food like whole grains/protein shakes/bananas/spinach/green drinks should help you along the way. The more food you add, the more productive your workout will be. It’s hard to tell exactly how much you should be eating. So, trial and error will be needed. You’ll find eating more (especially in the hours after your workout) will be the key.

  45. Chris, by reading all your comments I suppose I would classify myself as an easy gainer. I want to try this and get in the best shape of my life, no real illusion I’ll look like Brad but maybe close. Any tips for the easy gainer as far as the lifting or diet goes, other than cardio 5-6 days a week? And with that, as an easy gainer, would you recommend steady state or HIIT? Thanks so much.

    • Hi,

      As an easy gainer, you want to focus on your diet. You want to have protein/carbs before & after every workout. A protein shake goes a long way toward a better body. When not working out, you want to be eating as clean & lean as possible. For cardio, HIIT burns fat faster. The only time to do steady state is first thing in the morning. Otherwise, stick with HIIT cardio!

  46. Hi Chris, I’m new to this sort of thing and I was wondering; how long should I keep up this training. You recommended in some other comments to change around training programs but I really enjoy this one and don’t want to. Is it a bad idea to just keep going or should I change the training up and come back to it after a while

    • No need to stop training if you enjoy it. The one thing you need to consider: Are you training hard enough? Changing up your routine can help you work different areas of a muscle, prompting new muscle growth. A new routine can also change the angles, which goes a long way in challenging the muscle. If you love your routine, there’s no reason to diverge completely. But, try to add in a few things here and there. See how that impacts your workout.

    • Replied below (It’s healthy to stick to your routine, as long as you keep challenging yourself). It’s a good idea to add a few new exercises in once in a while, to challenge your muscles and possibly lock in new gains.

    • Yes. You definitely want to do cardio to get lean, especially as a mesomorph body type. The best ways to burn fat are 1) Early morning cardio on an empty stomach (30 mins) or 2)HIIT cardio (15-20 mins). Good Luck!

    • Yes. You definitely want to do cardio to get lean, especially as a mesomorph body type. The best ways to burn fat are 1) Early morning cardio on an empty stomach (30 mins) or 2)HIIT cardio (15-20 mins). Good Luck!

  47. From reading other versions of this workout online, it seems like Brad would generally hit the gym in the early evening. Would you recommend any changes (diet or otherwise) to accommodate doing this workout in the morning instead?

    • Don’t load up on carbs in the morning. You don’t want to entirely skip breakfast in this scenario. So, opt for lean proteins and greens. The change comes from the “2 hour window of eating high carbs/protein” being after your evening workout. If your goal is to lose weight, try to get some cardio in during the AM hours. Even if it’s just some walking. Do something to get that metabolism going.

  48. Well im skinny but fat and dilemma can i even use brad pitt’s workout

  49. Such an amazing article you got here. Eating the right amount of foods rich in amino acids can help you lose weight and build more protein in the body.

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