"Even now, still, it's 'Brad Pitt in Fight Club'. That's the body blokes ask for."
When Esquire writer Max Olesker investigated – and trained to achieve – the British male's ideal body in 2015, all roads led back to one film. Seventeen years on, when we look in the mirror, it is still Brad Pitt's slender-but-defined torso most of us wish we saw looking back at us.
The first rule of getting Brad Pitt's body in Fight Club? Annoyingly: a lot of dicipline and hard work. But follow these 5 simple steps as outlined by Esquire fitness expert Harry Jameson, and you just might get there.
1 | The Cardio
Brad is shredded, ripped and lean as you like. To achieve this, you need to do cardio. Bad news I know, but a fact. The two best ways to shift fat are:
Fasted cardio – i.e. running for 40 mins on an empty stomach first thing in the morning!
25-25 minutes of high-intensity interval training in the afternoon/evening – sprinting for 30 seconds then walking for 60 seconds, for example.
For the best results? Go for a mixture of the two.
2 | The Weights
Brad lifts often and heavy. When you're that lean you need to, or you will look less like a boxer and more like a long distance runner. My recommendation is to perform the big compound movements twice a week each. Your routine should revolve around 3 weekly weights sessions, hitting each of the following 2 times:
Wide grip pull up
Close grip pull up
Bent over row
Dumbbell shoulder press
Dumbbell chest press
3 | The diet
My top tip would be to use a calorie tracker to track not only your calorie consumption but your calorie deficit (the amount of calories you are either under or over your target). The best app for this is My Fitness Pal – it's really simple to use and also free. Within reason you can keep eating the tasty foods you like by learning a little portion control.
4 | The Abs
The key to this type of physique is having massively defined obliques. The 'V' shape at the bottom of your abs is not formed by performing sit ups and crunches, you sculpt these muscles by performing rotating and bending exercises. My favourite is the lower body Russian twist.
5 | The Secret
One thing most people do not know is that when you introduce alcohol into your body, it loses the ability to burn fat. That is what actually makes you gain weight (in addition to the extra calories). Without wanting to be a kill joy: abstain from alcohol where possible and to maximise your body's fat burning ability, never drink on cardio days. If you are someone who likes a beer, you can drink, just not after intervals or on fasted cardio days.