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April 12, 2021 10 min read

Simeon Panda is more than just the owner of the successful SP Aesthetics Sportswear brand. He’s also a pro bodybuilder and sports model, that spends every single day of his life in pursuit of a perfectly sculpted body. He’s a huge proponent of what we like to call “natural bodybuilding.

His lifestyle is all about improving himself and lifting up others. All of that means that he’s got to be able to walk the walk, one look at any of his modeling photos shows he’s got the physique, if you’re curious how he built that body, then you’re in luck, we’ve got his secret right here for you.

A Peek in the Panda Enclosure

Simeon Panda is a weightlifter from London, England. He comes from a pretty big family, with 4 brothers and 1 other sister. That’s probably the underlying cause of the insane amount of natural drive this man has. Being surrounded by so many siblings all the time is going to give you a deep-seated desire to stand out from the crowd.

If there’s someone that stands out, it’s Simeon Panda. Panda was recently named one of the top ten fitness influencers in the world by Forbes. One look at his vast social media followings proves Forbes right. He has well over 7 million followers on Instagram alone.

That’s a huge amount of reach for one man to have, and he uses his platform to constantly educate folks on all of the intricacies of bodybuilding and wellness. Simeon Panda was always pretty athletic growing up, his high school days in England were spent playing a lot of sports.

He was especially into track and field as well as rugby. It’s hard to bulk up when that’s how you’re spending most of your active time. When he wanted to start getting bigger around college-age he turned to weight lifting and never looked back. From that day forward his life became all about lifting, sculpting, and bulking.

black bodybuilder on a white background

The Panda Process

Simeon Panda is all about building strength and muscle through the most natural means possible. This means more than just picking up the most weight possible and hoping you’re targeting the right muscles.

When Simeon Panda started his weightlifting journey he fell in love with the sport immediately. He went from lifting haphazardly in his home to studiously discovering the more convoluted secrets of human anatomy.

This intense study led him to his particular brand of weightlifting routine. It’s difficult, but that’s by design. You’re not going to be getting the kinds of results Simeon Panda is chasing without pushing yourself as hard as reasonably possible.

His workout splits are a little non-standard because he’s taken a lot of time to study and experiment with what he feels like are the most efficient combinations of muscle groups. This extra little step is the kind of extra effort Panda puts into his work that sets him aside from similar weightlifters.

His personal bodybuilding program involves lifting heavy while doing compound exercise moves with limited reps. Simeon also takes his recovery time very seriously by allowing for two rest days at the weekend. One thing you can see that sets Panda’s workout apart from similar five-day routines is the way he’s  split his shoulder and back exercises into their own days.

This unique split allows Simeon Panda all of the time he needs to really isolate these already difficult to sculpt areas. These two days of isolation exercise are probably the most interesting part of this workout routine. Most folks would opt to bundle the work in with their upper body splits, but this simple change allows for a much more intense degree of focus on these frequent problem areas.

There’s a lot to be said about isolating a difficult muscle group for your entire workout for the day. One of the biggest benefits here is the ability to push yourself further than you might be able to when you’re compounding other exercises with your back and shoulder days.

Your body has a finite amount of energy, no matter what you feel in your heart, you’re going to be kneecapping yourself if you don’t come into your exercises feeling rested. By isolating your back and shoulders, you’re going to have a much easier time in the long run. You might be looking at his arm exercise and thinking you could do better.

First of all, the proof is all pretty well documented. He has killer arms, and if you’re going to go head to head with his results, then we’ll wait for your first modeling contract to come in. Sometimes simple is what you need, and that’s proven out by Simeon Panda’s routine. These simple exercises do all of the work you need covered in order to pack on muscle quickly and effectively.

They’re hand-selected to meticulously attack every muscle group in your arms, and as long as you’re working out with the right amount of weight for your skill level and you’re not half-assing it, you’re going to be breaking through your limits and building an insane amount of muscle.

Monday: Chest

4 sets of 8-10 reps

  • Dumbbell chest press
  • Incline chest press 
  • Chest flyes 
  • Cable chest flyes

Tuesday: Leg Exercises

4 sets of 8-10 reps

  • Barbell squats 
  • Leg press machine 
  • Dumbbell lunges (to failure)
  • Calf raises 
  • Lying leg curl

Wednesday: Back Exercises

4 sets of 8-10 reps

  • Seated rows 
  • Lat Pulldown
  • Bent over row 
  • Weighted wide-grip pull-ups
Bodybuilder doing shoulder muscle exercise

Thursday: Shoulder Exercises

4 sets of 8-10 reps

  • Dumbbell overhead press
  • Shoulder press machine
  • Dumbbell front raise
  • Dumbbell lateral raise
  • Barbell shrugs
  • Rear delt machine

Friday: Arm Exercises

4 sets of 8-10 reps

  • Triceps pushdowns 
  • Biceps curls
  • Military push-ups 
  • Weighted close-grip pull-ups
  • Hammer curls 
  • Triceps extensions

Saturday and Sunday: Active Rest Days

Active rest days are probably the second most important aspect of building muscle, second only to doing all of the actual exercises that you’re recovering from. Rest days are when your body finally has the opportunity to kick your recovery and muscle growth into high gear.

Active recovery days blend the best aspects of rest and recovery together to maximize our muscle-building potential.  By keeping your body active with light, yet engaging activity, you’re encouraging blood flow to parts of your body that have been taking a beating for days on end.

An active recovery day aids in transporting nutrients to the starving areas of your body as well as aiding in the removal of built-up lactic acid and the like. They’re also a great way to get some maintenance done on your body. These are days that you can increase your flexibility by getting some good deep stretches done.

You can try sliding some yoga into your active rest days.You’re going to be getting some good isometric exercise, which will raise your heart rate and direct blood to the battered parts of your body. Yoga also, obviously, helps with flexibility, which you’re going to need if you’re spending all of this time building rigid muscle.

Your muscles are an incredible thing, they help pilot your body in a plethora of clever ways. They can overcome obstacles you wouldn’t believe until you saw them with your own eyes. But all of that comes at a tradeoff.

Muscle is dense and rigid, if you’re going to build a lot of muscle in a short amount of time, you should be aware that you’re packing on a lot of tension to your skeletal system.

Stretching and warming up when you’re about to exercise helps to limber your body up in the long run, which is going to be the difference between a healthy and enjoyable body and a tense accident-prone vessel.

These active rest days along with his unorthodox muscle splits are how he gets his particularly defined lines and explosive muscle growth, and you will too if you’re willing to dedicate your time and body to this routine.

 close up of natural protein food and additive on wooden table

Feeding Time

Say it with us, “abs are made in the kitchen.” That goes for every other muscle in your body as well. Marrying exercise with an effective diet is the best (and only) way to build muscle. If you’re setting out with a particular goal in mind, then you’re going to need to feed your body as well as wearing your muscles down.

Simeon Panda says “you need to take diet as seriously as you do your workouts.” Tracking your meals and carefully considering the nutrients in all of your meals is the real key to a healthy diet. A good diet isn’t just about the number of calories you’re eating. If that were the case, you could live off of granola bars and lemonade.

Building a stable and nutritious diet is all about tracking and planning what you’ve eaten alongside your workouts. As your energy expenses start to fluctuate with your levels of fitness, you’re going to want to be able to adjust things from week to week.

Planning and tracking your meals ahead of time is also going to take the mental load off of you, making it easier to stick to your diet. When you’re sweating and aching after a particularly difficult workout, you’re not going to have the presence of mind to whip up a substantial breakfast that hits all of your macros and balances the right amount of carbs with your fat intake.

You’re going to go for whatever’s closest and quickest. Simeon Panda suggests using a fitness tracker. It’s a great 21st-century solution, you’re already going to have your phone on you pretty much all the time anyway, you might as well use it to keep track of your workouts and your meals.

This way you’re never going to be tripped up by leaving a notebook at home or finding out the pen you brought with you is dead or any number of problems that come with analog solutions.

You might be looking for a place to start. If you’re working out as much as Simeon Panda, you’re going to be eating throughout the day. Your body is pretty much constantly in a state of repair. You’re going to need a whole lot more protein than you’ve ever needed in your life.

Building muscle is all about breaking yourself down and building yourself back up better than before. This means, crucially, that you’re going to need building material to actually build your muscles from. Muscle growth is all a part of a process called muscular hypertrophy.

When your muscles tear, your body wants to repair the damage, and it doesn’t want it to happen again, so it overcompensates. This becomes increased muscle mass. Your fibers get longer and thicker, making them more capable of work than before. Your body also wants to increase its efficiency.

This comes in the form of increased storage capacity. Your cells all store a little bit of energy inside of them for use in a pinch. When your muscles start asking for energy during your workout, they will pull from what’s most readily available.

When you increase your muscle mass, you increase the amount of storage space available locally, this makes your workouts easier, but it also means that you’re probably going to be constantly on the lookout for foods high in glucose of some kind.

This is one of the reasons your overall intake is going to skyrocket once you  start working out harder. Your body is constantly using and storing energy, so  you’re going to be feeding it throughout the day.

You can see from Simeon Panda’s diet that you can accomplish this pretty easily. The hardest thing about this diet is keeping yourself from getting bored with the chicken, rice, and veggies.

You’re going to have to get used to eating a lot of protein and carbs, and you’re most likely going to settle on chicken, rice, and leafy greens. You’re avoiding fats and empty sugars, so you’re naturally going to gravitate towards lean, clean foods.

Meal 1: Oats, Banana & Almonds

Meal 2: Rice Cakes & Cottage Cheese

Meal 3: Wholegrain Rice, Chicken Breast & Vegetables

Meal 4: Wholegrain Rice, Chicken Breast & Vegetables

Meal 5: Wholegrain Rice, Chicken Breast & Vegetables

Meal 6: 8 Egg Whites & Smoked Salmon

Meal 7: Mackerel & Vegetables

This is a great diet to get yourself started with. It doesn’t require a lot of brainpower, you’re just going to be prepping a metric ton of rice and chicken, and dividing it up so you can just grab a serving and get down to business.

Meal prepping is going to be your best friend if you’re going to start adjusting your diet to match Simeon’s. If you don’t set yourself up for success, you’re going to be spending several hours out of every single day in the kitchen just throwing together the same meals over and over again.

It’s a great way to drive yourself crazy. This workout routine  gives you a pair of rest days on the weekend, so you might as well use them to get a little bit of meal prep done. If you’re creative, you can work in a little bit of light exercise to keep your body active while you’re waiting on things to cook. It’s an excellent use of your time that will save you a world of headache throughout the week.

Panda School

The most important thing you should take away from this is you’re going to have to work out your mind as well as your body. His workout routine is pretty particular, but as long as you have the mental fortitude it takes to stick with it, then you’re going to reap the rewards of the work pretty readily.

However, just like any workout routine, you’re not going to be able to stick with the exact same exercises if you want to continually grow and overcome your personal bests week over week. This is where intimate knowledge of your body’s inner mechanisms is going to come into play.

If you’re going to chase after Simeon Panda’s workout routine, you’re going to need to know how to properly apply the lessons you’ve learned from the workouts, you can’t just hit the gym with your brain turned off. You should be tracking progress and heading plateaus off before they start showing themselves.

Panda Power

Simeon Panda is a powerhouse. He’s one of the most popular fitness influencers to pick up a smartphone, and it’s easy to want what he has. If you’re going to put your mind to this challenge, then remember that it's not easy.

Don’t let yourself get discouraged when you hit a wall, remember to switch things up, and really consider what your body needs. Your diet, your workout, and your results are going to differ from everyone else’s our bodies are all going to react to different things differently, so you’re going to need a deep well-rounded understanding of your inner workings and a whole lot of patience.

Don’t forget to have fun with it too, there’s something deeply satisfying about overcoming a challenge like this, if you keep a light heart while you’re under the weights, you’re going to have a much easier time than if you go into it with bitterness in your head.