May 08, 2021 9 min read

He’s one of the most recognizable faces in all of Hollywood.  He’s starred in countless box office hits including Fight Club, Troy, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 

On top of all of that, his body emulates that of a bodybuilder, being built yet extremely shredded. He’s Brad Pitt. I’ve got the exact workout routine and diet plan that Brad followed to build his signature body for both Fight Club and Troy.  If you want to build completely carved out muscles, then give Brad’s exercise and eating plan a try.

Actor Brad Pitt during the 'Burn After Reading' Photocall

How Brad Pitt Became a Hollywood and Fitness Icon

Brad Pitt has a bit of a fairytale Hollywood story, marked with struggle, rejection, and eventually domination.  He was born to humble beginnings in Oklahoma where his dad worked in trucking and his mom was a school counselor.  Growing up he loved film and was involved in musicals but it took until college for him to seriously start pursuing acting.

A mere two weeks out from finishing up his courses at the University of Missouri, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked odd jobs and took acting classes. He spent nearly 8 years playing smaller roles before he was cast as the lead character in a movie. 

Even after that, his acting was highly criticized and it might have looked from the outside as if he wouldn't make it as an actor.  However, in 1999 after 12 years in California, he starred in Fight Club which kicked off his legendary career.

From there on out, things were history.  He went on to make dozens of feature films, be named as the Sexiest Man Alive, and do it all while eating clean and working out non-stop.

Brad’s career is proof that taking big leaps, working hard, and staying in the game above all is the formula for success.  Likewise, take those lessons and apply them to your lifting.

Brad Pitt’s Fight Club and Troy Inspired Diet Plan

Brad’s diet comes down to one thing: eating clean.  While he’s had to alter his diet several times throughout his career to consume either more or fewer calories, what’s always been consistent is that he doesn’t eat crap.  Usually, when he needs to either bulk up or slim down, he’ll just eat more or less of his staple foods which include:

  • Lean chicken and fish
  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal, whole grain bread, and brown rice
  • Leafy greens including spinach and broccoli
  • Fruits and berries

Proportionately speaking, his diet is very high in protein, has some fats and few carbs.  This helps keep him at a very low body fat percentage.  It’s rumored that early on in his career around the time of Fight Club, he was as low as 6 percent body fat.

While he does enjoy the occasional cheat day, he’s almost always in clean eating mode.  As a result, you probably won’t find him eating:

  • Processed foods
  • Refined sugars
  • High-fat foods
  • Artificial ingredients
  • Hydrogenated oils

Also, a few years back, Brad quit drinking alcohol.  After years of struggling with substance abuse, he pulled the plug on alcohol completely.  It’s been good for both his mental health and his physique.

He’s also not afraid of a good snack.  His go-to’s include protein smoothies with blueberries, bananas, and spirulina as well as green juice made with leafy greens and green apples.  He’s also an avid kombucha drinker.

Brad Pitt’s Signature Troy and Fight Club Diet Plan

If you want to get a shredded body like Brad Pitt had for his roles in Fight Club, Troy, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, then follow this meal plan.

1. Breakfast: Eggs, oatmeal, almonds, bananas, and maybe a protein shake.

It’s been reported that while training for Fight Club and Troy, Brad ate six egg whites and seven egg yolks for breakfast. 

For extra protein or for days when he didn’t have time to cook the eggs, he would have a protein shake.  Lastly, when he was training for Troy, at breakfast time he would make sure to drink at least 20 oz. of water.

2. Mid-morning snack: Canned tuna on whole wheat pita bread. Brad had a quasi-tuna sandwich in the morning before lunch.

3. Lunch: Two chicken breasts, brown rice or pasta, green veggies, raw seeds, and salad. Brad typically worked out in the afternoon so he would start packing in the carbs shortly before going to the gym.  Hence the pasta.

4. Afternoon snack/pre-workout snack: Either a protein bar or whey protein shake and a banana. A little more protein and carbs before starting his workout.  Whether he was doing cardio or weight training, this is typically what Brad would have for his pre-workout.

5. Post-workout snack: Whey protein shake and maybe some fruit. Nothing unusual here!

6. Dinner: More lean chicken or grilled fish, brown rice or pasta, green veggies, and salad. Basically, he’s just repeating lunch all over again except he sometimes opts for fish rather than chicken.  This is where he tries hard to get a lot of greens in.

7. Evening snack: Casein protein shake or low fat cottage cheese. Both casein and cottage cheese are slow-release proteins.  This means that they release their amino acids slowly. Many bodybuilders and people who lift a lot eat slow-release protein foods before bed so that their muscles continue to receive nutrition overnight.

As you can see, Brad’s diet is super clean and realistic for most people.  He doesn’t eat anything that’s out of the ordinary.  Therefore, you should try giving Brad Pitt’s meal plan a try if you want to get a body like his.

Sport and Fitness Supplement on wood background

The Supplements That Brad Took

Brad took a few different supplements to help him bulk up, burn fat, and just look really good.

  • Whey protein: This is probably an obvious one.  He reportedly used to take some before and after working out along with a casein shake right before bed at night.  This combination is going to help him bulk up and restore his muscles after extremely long days of working out.
  • Creatine monohydrate: When Brad was in the mode of pure muscle building for a role like Achilles in Troy, he took a creatine supplement.  Not only did this help him build the muscle that he needed, but it also gave him the energy to sustain workouts that were sometimes up to 3 hours long.
  • A fat-burning thermogenic: On the other hand, when Brad was leaning out a bit to play characters like Tyler Durden, he added in a thermogenic supplement to help him burn fat.  How does it work? Thermogenic supplements like Shredded-AF help you burn more body fat by increasing metabolism and suppressing food cravings.
  • A multivitamin: Last but not least, Brad took a multivitamin to ensure that he’s not missing anything essential.  Maybe this helps explain why Brad Pitt is insanely good-looking and built for an almost 60-year-old.

The Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout Routine

Brad Pitt worked out.  A lot.  His workout plan is enough to scare most people away.  But, if you want to also have a Fight Club body, then you have to do as Brad did. The goal for Brad was to build a bodybuilder-like physique.  He never got super jacked but he always looked ripped.

In Fight Club and Troy specifically, he was training to build muscle and run off any excess fat.  In order to do that, he combined cardio, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises all but one day of the week.  On each day he lifted, he worked out a different muscle group.

If you want to go for that super chiseled look, then you need to give Brad’s workout routine a try.  Here’s a look at what he did.

Man Holding Sword Ready To Fight

Monday: Cardio with abs, chest and shoulders day, sword fighting

I wasn’t kidding when I said that Brad worked out a lot!  Here’s all that was included in his Monday workout routine:

  • 1 hour on the treadmill at a 2 percent incline with ab intervals
  • 1 hour of weightlifting targeted at the chest and shoulders
  • 1 hour of sword fighting

To begin the week, Brad hit the treadmill to get his heart rate up and kick start fat burning.  He would run for 20 minutes straight and then start intervals of alternating ab exercises and short sprints.  This is what the intervals would look like and he would repeat the entire interval workout 4 times:

  • Accordion crunches: 3 sets with 15 reps each
  • Side ab bridges: 3 sets with 15 reps each
  • Supermans: 3 sets with 15 reps each
  • 2 minutes of running on the treadmill at 85% max heart rate (wearing a heart rate monitor would be helpful)

After cardio and abs, Brad would start weightlifting, targeting the chest and shoulders for about an hour.  Here’s what it looked like:

  • Push-ups: to exhaustion 
  • Bench press: 25 reps at 165 lbs., 15 reps at 195 lbs., and 8 reps at 225 lbs.
  • Nautilus press: 15 reps at 80, 100, and 130 lbs.
  • Incline press: 15 reps at 80, 100, and 130 lbs.
  • Pec decks: 15 reps at 60, 70, and 80 lbs.

Lastly, he would move on to sword fighting.  Yes, an hour to two of sword fighting.  Why might you ask?  Not only is it a great workout, but Brad actually did most of his own fighting and stunt scenes in movies like Troy.  Maybe the sword fighting helped prepare him for that?

Tuesday: Yoga and stretching, leg day with some abs, and martial arts

Following a day packed with cardio and weight training, Brad didn’t cut himself much of a break.  His Tuesday schedule included:

  • 1 hour of stretching and yoga
  • 1 hour of weightlifting targeted at the legs and some ab exercises
  • 1 hour of martial arts

On Tuesdays, he swapped out cardio for a whole hour of stretching and yoga.  It makes sense that he needed it given the intensity of his exercise regimen. Once he finished stretching, he moved on to leg day.  In addition to working his legs, he incorporated some abs and cardio. Here’s what a typical leg day looked like for him:

  • Single leg squats and duck squats
  • Lunges
  • Leg extensions
  • Calf raises
  • Hanging leg raises

In terms of cardio and abs, here’s what he did in and out of his leg exercises:

  • Speed skater jumps: 20-30 jumps on each side
  • Lateral shuffles
  • Mountain climbers: 2 sets with 15 reps for each leg

To round out the day, he would do martial arts.  Perhaps the explanation for this goes along with why he did sword fighting: to get a good workout and prepare for his fighting scenes.  For each of the exercises he did, he would hold onto a 10 lb. dumbbell.  This is what a typical martial arts workout looked like:

  • Jab-cross combos: 25 reps
  • Jab-cross roundhouse kicks: 25 reps
  • Jab-cross roundhouse kick jab-cross-hook: 20 reps
  • Snap-and-roundhouse combo: 50 reps
  • Roundhouse kicks: 50 kicks at top speed
  • Thai knee-abs

He would repeat these exercises for an hour with the goal of reaching his maximum heart rate.  While he technically took a day off of his typical treadmill workout, the martial arts made up for that loss in cardio.

Wednesday: Cardio, abs, and sword fighting

Brad’s Wednesday workout explains so well why he has a ripped six-pack because it’s all about shedding fat and defining the core.  Here’s what his Wednesday workout schedule looked like:

  • 1 hour on the treadmill at a 2 percent incline with ab intervals
  • 1 hour of targeted ab exercises
  • 1 to 2 hours of sword fighting

To start things off, Brad would do the same cardio and ab circuit he did on Monday.  Then he would spend an hour dedicated to carving out washboard abs.  For each exercise, he would do 3 sets with 15 reps each. On a typical abs day, he would do the following exercises:

  • Crunches and reverse crunches
  • Jackknifes
  • Planks and side planks
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Weighted decline sit-ups
  • Hip flexions

He would follow that up with the same sword fighting training that he did on Monday.

Thursday: Yoga and stretching, biceps and triceps, martial arts

Once again, Brad would start his day with yoga and stretching followed up with some weight lifting focused on bis and tris.  These are the exercises that he did:

  • Lat pull-downs
  • Seated pulley rows
  • Preacher curls:  3 sets at 27, 36, and 43 kgs.
  • Hammer curls: 3 sets at 14, 20, and 25 kgs.
  • Push downs: 3 sets at 32, 39, 45 kgs.

Finally, he would end the day doing another martial arts session.

Friday and Saturday: Cardio and abs with yoga and stretching

To finish out his bodybuilding-inspired workout week, Brad would repeat his cardio and abs circuit on Friday and Saturday followed by some yoga and stretching.  On Sunday, he allowed himself to recover.

Final Thoughts on Brad Pitt’s Workouts and Diet

In conclusion, if you want to get that shredded yet built bodybuilder look, then take some cues from Brad Pitt’s old workout routine and diet plan.  The working out for three hours a day part is tough but the diet plan is super realistic and attainable for many people.

If you want to build muscle while leaning out, then do as Brad Pitt did.  You may not be in a Hollywood movie but you will be shredded and look good.

Bonus tip: Is cardio not your thing?  Substitute Brad’s intense treadmill workout for walking and still get great results.


x