The movie Fight Club is one of my favorites, based on Chuck Palahnuik’s book with the same title. You all, as Red-Pill rangers, obviously have seen this wonderful work of art. We regularly watch this at our house, quote the movie, and had the movie poster on our wall when we had a home theater themed room. So many great Red-Pill quotes in there:
- We are a generation without weight in history. No purpose or place. We do not have a world war. We have no great depression. Our war is spiritual. Our Depression is our lives. We are created through the TV to believe that one day we would be millionaires, movies stars or rock stars. BUT WE ARE NOT!
- A generation of men raised by women. I’m wondering if another woman is the answer we really need. [this is in response to following the “life formula” of school, job, marriage]
- Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.
The dude looks pretty awesome in that role and really, really fits the character. That movie gave me more than a man crush on the guy, more like a man-boner (not in a gay way though).
The dude obviously has some muscle, but isn’t overly huge. Mostly he’s super, super cut. I once rocked the super visible abs, but I was about 5% body fat as confirmed through skin fold bodyfat testing. It wasn’t sustainable. I’m guessing others may be curious as to how he got to look like this, can you look like this, and should you try and look like this.
I plan to post more details about the specifics between strength training and hypertrophy training, but basically strength training is simply to get stronger even if your muscles don’t get much bigger and hypertrophy is a way to gain muscle size at the expense of strength. Neither is right or wrong, just depends on what your goals are. Powerlifters are by nature strength training oriented, body-builders are hypertrophy focused. Make sense?
So when Brad was in his 20’s he shot Thelma and Louise and was not as muscular and softer than he is in Fight Club. He had a good metablism, and didn’t lift much, only really focused on his abs. Now for Fight Club he trained his ass off. When the movie was released he was 36 years young, so a different game all together. What’s interesting to note is that he was only 150-155 lbs, the lightest he’s been, and only 5-6% bodyfat on his 5’11” frame. (credit: Fitness Black and White with this info). Later on for other roles like in Troy and Snatch, he gained more mass but wasn’t as lean.
He basically ate a super strict diet, lots of lean protein throughout the day, and by the sounds of it generally lower carb, especially during his last few meals of the day. Here’s an example day:
Midmorning snack: Tinned Tuna in Wholewheat Pita Breads
Lunch: 2 x Chicken Breasts, 75-100g Brown Rice or Pasta and green veggies
Post Workout: Whey Protein Shake and a Banana
Dinner: Grilled fish or chicken, brown rice or pasta, vegetables, and salad.
Evening Snack: Casein Protein Shake Protein shake or Low Fat Cottage Cheese (Slow Release Protein)
There’s a general body-builder credo I’ve heard countless times: [visible] abs [AKA six-pack abs] are made in the kitchen. As an example of what clean eating can accomplish Holly has lost 10 lbs in the last 5 weeks eating really clean (no dairy, very limited alcohol, no sugar, no flour/grains) as part of the Whole Life Challenge. This type of eating has allowed her to breakthrough a plateau, and she hopes to drop another 5 lbs or so before the challenge is done in a few weeks.
Brad trained like a bodybuilder – single body area per day focusing on higher reps. According to www.bradpittworkout.com, below was his basic routine. If these numbers are true, the man is still strong even at that body weight, sort of similar to Bruce Lee who was extremely strong at a light weight.
Monday – Chest
3 – 75 push ups
3 – bench press 165,195,225
(25, 15, 8 reps)
3 – nautilus press 80,100,130
3 – incline press 80,100,130
3 – pec deck machine 60,70,80
Tuesday – Back
3 – 25 pull ups
3 – seated rows 75,80,85
3 – lat pull downs 135,150,165
3 – t bar rows 80,95,110
Wednesday – Shoulders
3 – arnold press 55,55,55
3 – laterals 30,30,30
3 – front raises 25,25,25
Thursday – Biceps & Triceps
3 – preacher curl machine 60,80,95
3 – ez curls cable 50,65,80
3 – hammer curls 30,45,55
3 – push downs 70,85,100
Treadmill 60 minutes 80-90% MHR
Treadmill 60 minutes 80-90% MHR
Reps Range From 15-25 reps on all exercises and weight is in lbs
Can any of you astute readers see anything missing from this routine? Hmm, if he continued on this type of routine indefinitely he’d probably look like these guys:
That’s the difference between an actor going for a certain look for a certain role where he doesn’t have to show his legs, and “bicep curl guy” at the gym. He’s also not overly muscular, just super lean.
So the question is, is replicating Brad’s body at 30-50 years of age doable? Probably, but you have to eat super clean and will be sacrificing strength to a degree, possibly to a large degree. You see guys like Coach Wayne who followed P90X make huge transformations (with 6 kids and nearing 40) and yeah, if you want it bad enough you can transform yourself (he admittedly eats super clean and rarely skips a workout). [a quick note on the Beachbody series that put together P90X and Insanity – my personal experience is that they are a great start and can really kick-start the process to changing your body. They also allow you to workout in your home on your schedule, and work for those internally motivated. However, it is hard to keep going at it day after day, watching the same videos, but still a great program IMO].
Is maintaining this low body fat attainable? Yes. Is it sustainable? Probably not for very long, and may not be healthy long term either. Probably a more reasonable and balanced approach is to mix in lower body work like squats of some sort, eat cleaner, do some sort of interval training and you’ll get down to a healthy and sustainable spot for you. Let’s face it, you and I, no matter how great we look, will never look like Mr. Pitt. I feel I’m perpetually in a state of wanting to lose 5 lbs on my midsection no matter how strong I am, or how good I look otherwise. It simply requires lifestyle modifications (eating cleaner, eating less) that I don’t want to make right now especially for my primary goals of getting stronger (don’t want to sacrifice recovery). Maybe for beach season next year!
For me, my primary goals right now are to gain strength, put on a little bit more weight, which requires eating more. I’m looking to remain relatively lean still, but am willing to give up a little to see my lifts improve right now. However, I’m not going to go all Powerlifter in the vein of Rippetoe’s article at starting strength: Eating through sticking points. This article is CRAZY how the powerlifter guys eat so fucking much to get stronger. I think there’s more balance needed, but entertaining article for those who REALLY want to get stronger, bigger (and fatter).
A couple of other workouts that I’ve found that totally kick ass and are affordable and make sense are:
- 30 Days of Discipline
- Body of a Spartan (plus Free Gift)
- Tactical Barbell and Tactical Barbell Conditioning (lots of options and ways to tweak your workouts to get both strong and fit – highly recommended)
I’ll leave you with this final Fight Club red pill wisdom (totally unrelated to the rest of this post), that seems like a necessary evil unless we continue to scale back and fight against “the norm”: