Bradley Cooper Workout: American Sniper

The Bradley Cooper workout details how he gained 40 pounds of muscle for American Sniper. In the movie, Bradley Cooper plays the true story role of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Bradley Cooper’s 40-pound weight gain came from 4-hour daily workouts and an 8,000 calorie diet.
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At first, Bradley Cooper was not sure he could play the role. After seeing Chris Pratt’s body transformation (the Chris Pratt Workout), Cooper thought that Chris Pratt should play the lead role. Pratt’s size, as well as his “Texas accent,” were much better than Bradley Cooper’s.

Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, now the most deadly sniper in American history, is a legendary figure. With over 255 enemy kills (160 officially confirmed), Cooper knew that embracing such a role would be challenging. Bradley Cooper spoke to CBS News about this, saying:

Initially, I thought, there’s no way I could play Chris. I thought Chris Pratt should do it. And then I started to get to know him. And there was something about his energy…And I thought, Oh, I can tap into that!

Navy SEAL Chris Kyle


Bradley Cooper Workout Routine

The Bradley Cooper workout routine was created by celebrity trainer Jason Walsh. Bradley Cooper worked out with Walsh twice a day, for 2 hours each workout session. The goal was to gain weight to look like the American Sniper should.

Bradley Cooper’s workout routine included heavy weight training, very little cardio, and constant eating / caloric intake. Cooper talks about his workout routine, saying:

Every weekday from 6-8, I’d go to the gym. 10-12, I would work with Tim Monich [His Speech coach]. then 2-4:30, I’d go back to the gym. It was basically a science experiment to get as big as that man was.

Bradley Cooper’s trainer, Jason Walsh of Rise Nation Fitness, is famous for also training many celebrities.


This includes the Matt Damon workout for Elysium and even the Jessica Biel workout. So far, he has been secretive about the Bradley Cooper workout routine. If Jason Walsh’s past celebrity workouts are any indication, then here’s a Bradley Cooper workout:

Walking Lunge58-12Circuit 1
Deadlifts56-8Circuit 1
Jump Squats58-12Circuit 1
Squat To Press48-12Circuit 2
Dumbbell Row48-12Circuit 2
Kettlebell Swings48-12Circuit 2
Seated Cable Row38-12Circuit 3
Bent-over Rows38-12Circuit 3
Step Ups38-12Circuit 3
Hanging Leg Raises312-15Circuit 4
Standing Calf Raise312-15Circuit 4
Side Planks330secCircuit 4

Bradley Cooper Workout: Circuit Training

The Bradley Cooper workout utilizes circuit training. This is where you go from one set of an exercise, straight into the next exercise. Do one set of each exercise in Circuit 1, before resting. After you’ve done one circuit (one set of each exercise), rest for 60 secs before doing the circuit again.


Repeat each circuit, until you’ve done all the sets listed for that circuit. Then, move onto the next circuit and repeat. Rest for 60 secs each time you complete a set of each exercise in a circuit. Circuit training means you’re doing multiple exercises before resting.

Circuit training helps burn fat, while building muscle, by keeping your heart rate up. Bradley Cooper talks about needing a workout routine that would help him build muscle. He needed to reach his goal of 230 pounds, to actually look like sniper Chris Kyle. Cooper says:

Chris was 230 pounds of muscle and I was about 185 pounds at the time, so it was three months of constant eating and working out. It was tough.

Trainer Jason Walsh says that by the end of his workout routine, Bradley Cooper was:

Able at the end to do five sets of 8 reps of deadlifts at 415 pounds.

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Clint Eastwood says:

I don’t think I ever saw him off camera without some kind of shake or nutrition bar. By the last day, he was saying, ‘Thank God I don’t have to eat anymore.’

Bradley Cooper Navy SEAL Training

On top of all the weight training, calories and conditioning, Bradley Cooper also had to learn how to play a Navy SEAL with a Texas accent. Cooper used Connecticut speech coach Tim Monich for 2 hours a day for 3 months. For Bradley Cooper’s Navy SEAL training, Warner Brothers brought in real-life Navy SEAL snipers, Rick Wallace and Kevin Lacz.

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Bradley Cooper talks about his Navy SEAL training, saying:

I trained with the .338 Lapua, a .300 Win Mag, and MK11, which are the three sniper rifles Chris [Kyle] used. And, just becoming comfortable with those weapons was imperative.

Warner Bros.


Both Wallace and Lacz served with Chris Kyle, the actual sniper the movie, American Sniper, is based on. As Navy SEALs, Rick and Kevin were able to show Bradley Cooper some of the ropes.

On some days, they simply wanted to see how much endurance training they could put Cooper through. One thing that Bradley Cooper couldn’t believe was:

How long these guys stay on the gun. Kevin and I talked about how Chris could stay on the gun for eight hours without moving, which is an incredible feat.

Bradley Cooper Diet

The Bradley Cooper diet means eating a lot of calories to gain weight. Cooper had the help of chef Kristin O’Connor and trainer Jason Walsh to keep his diet on track. The goal of the Bradley Cooper diet for American Sniper was to beef him up significantly.

Jason Hall, producer/writer of the movie, noticed a few of the things Bradley Cooper had to do to gain weight. Hall raves:

He had a strict, crazy diet. He was eating about every 55 minutes or something like that, and I want to say it was about 8,000 calories a day.

I think he was working out four hours a day for several months. He was just very systematic.

Warner Bros.


While 8,000 calories may be a stretch, Bradley Cooper told Vanity Fair that he:

Bulked up from 185 to around 225 pounds. started eating 5,000 calories a day, [And went up from there to 6,000 Calories].

Bradley Cooper says he was spoiled by having personal chef Kristin O’Connor make meals for him. She specializes in gluten-free recipes, and has co-authored a popular recipe book. Personal trainer Jason Walsh explains the diet he uses to help celebrities with weight gain:

Breakfast would be whole grain bread French toast, with egg whites and cinnamon. For a mid-morning snack, we’d do a mixed berry protein shake. Lunch might be a sweet potato tuna melt. Dinner would be spaghetti and meatballs with spaghetti squash and meatballs made of turkey or chicken breast.

To consume a lot of calories each day, there was plenty of food to go around. Walsh and Cooper incorporated fruit, rice and oatmeal as primary sources of carbs for energy. Going through all the Navy SEAL training and filming, Bradly Cooper needed a lot of energy.

Bradley Cooper’s Trainer Jason Walsh On Set

The Bradley Cooper diet for American Sniper used many sources of animal and plant-based protein. His trainer, Jason Walsh, was always there to make sure of it. As Clint Eastwood mentioned earlier, Bradley Cooper often had protein shakes and protein bars on set.

Bradley Cooper, via his trainer Jason Walsh, used almonds and avocados for sources of healthy fat. Fat is essential for developing bigger muscle. The body needs this fat to produce important hormones like testosterone.

Bradley Cooper Supplements

As a recovering addict, Bradley Cooper didn’t use any supplements. He made it clear he wanted to bulk up the natural way. To achieve the weight gain he was looking for, Bradley Cooper increased his caloric intake and trained with heavy weights.


Producer Jason Hall says:

He was determined to do it naturally. He didn’t want to use any hormones, or steroids, or anything.

Sources/Read More: Bradley Cooper Workout

For Sources/Read More about the Bradley Cooper workout, and getting his role in American Sniper see:

  1. How Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood asked father of American sniper Chris Kyle for permission to film the Navy SEAL’s real life movie.
  2. How Bradley Cooper Got Really Ripped.
  3. Bradley Cooper on How He Brought American Sniper to the Screen.
  4. Cinema Review’s American Sniper Movie Production.
  5. Vanity Fair Bradley Cooper Cover Story Holiday Special.


Bradley Cooper Height & Weight

Bradley Cooper’s height is 6’1″ (186 cm). His natural weight is 185 pounds (84 kg). For American Sniper, Bradley Cooper gained 40 pounds (18.1 kg). He tipped the scales at 225 pounds (102 kg) to play the role of a Navy SEAL in Iraq.


For The Elephant Man (his Broadway performance following American Sniper), Bradley Cooper lost all the weight, getting back down to 185 pounds, again.

Bradley Cooper Videos From American Sniper

Here are some Bradley Cooper Videos From American Sniper:

Bradley Cooper Vidoes American Sniper

Bradley Cooper As A Sniper

As you can see, Bradley Cooper put a ton of effort into his workout. But, how good was Bradley Cooper as a sniper? His producer says:

He actually proved himself to be really good. The second day, in the morning, he went out there and was consistently hitting 800 yard targets…So he took to it pretty quickly.

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