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Let’s Revisit How Brad Pitt (Now 60) Got Jacked for the Movie ‘Troy’ at 40

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

As Hollywood icon Brad Pitt celebrates his 60th birthday, it’s hard not to marvel at the remarkable physical transformation he underwent for his role as Achilles in the 2004 epic “Troy”.

This role demanded Pitt to sculpt a physique that not only looked the part of a legendary Greek warrior but also performed like one. So, how did Brad Pitt achieve this Herculean feat?

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Let’s delve into his rigorous training and diet regime.

The Transformation Journey

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Brad Pitt had six months to prepare for Troy. His training routine was meticulously crafted to develop a lean, athletic, and functional body. 

Physical Stats

  • Height: Brad Pitt stands at about 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm).
  • Weight for ‘Troy’: He bulked up to around 185 pounds (84 kg) for the role, compared to his lighter frame in “Fight Club” (about 155lbs)
  • Body Fat: Estimated to be around 8-10% during the filming of “Troy”, which was higher than his “Fight Club” days but necessary for a bulkier, more muscular look.

Detailed Breakdown of His Training and Workout Plan

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By the time Pitt was filming on location in Malta, he was completing dumbbell rows with 100lbs dumbbells.

Duffy Gaver, Brad Pitt’s PT

Core Principles

  • Progressive Overload: Fundamental to his training was the principle of progressive overload, gradually increasing the intensity of workouts to continuously challenge and build his muscles.
  • High Frequency with Quality Focus: The routine emphasized frequent training sessions with a laser focus on the quality of each movement, ensuring maximum muscle engagement.
  • Functional Training: Beyond aesthetics, the workouts aimed to enhance functional strength and agility, befitting the role of a warrior.

Weekly Workout Split

Pitt’s weekly training split targeted different muscle groups on specific days, combined with cardio sessions. This approach allowed each muscle group to receive focused attention and adequate recovery time.

  • Chest Days: Involving bench presses, incline dumbbell presses, and cable crossovers. The goal was to develop a strong, but not overly bulky chest.
  • Back Days: Focused on creating a wide, powerful back. Included exercises like pull-ups, seated cable rows, and lat pulldowns.
  • Shoulder Days: Dedicated to building broad, rounded shoulders using military presses, lateral raises, and front dumbbell raises.
  • Arm Days: Targeted biceps and triceps with exercises like hammer curls, preacher curls, tricep pushdowns, and skull crushers.
  • Leg Days: Squats, lunges, leg presses, and calf raises to build a strong lower body.
  • Cardio Sessions: Pitt incorporated high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and steady-state cardio like running or cycling to maintain low body fat and improve endurance.

Daily Routine Breakdown

Each training day in Pitt’s regimen typically followed a similar structure:

  • Warm-Up: 10-15 minutes of light cardio to increase heart rate and prevent injury.
  • Weight Training: 45-60 minutes focused on the target muscle group of the day, with a mix of compound and isolation exercises.
  • Core Work: Exercises like planks, Russian twists, and leg raises were interspersed throughout the routine to build core strength.
  • Cool-Down: Stretching and flexibility exercises to aid recovery and reduce muscle soreness.

Workout Stats

  • Workout Frequency: Pitt trained 5-6 days a week, dedicating each day to a specific muscle group.
  • Cardio Sessions: Included two days of high-intensity cardio, running for about an hour at 80-90% of his maximum heart rate.
  • Reps and Sets: Typically, his exercises involved high repetitions with moderate weights. For example, push-ups were done in sets of 25 reps, and bench presses were done in sets ranging from 8 to 25 reps with varying weights.
  • Dumbbell Rows: For his back workouts, he progressed to doing single-arm dumbbell rows with weights as heavy as 100 pounds.

In-Depth Look at His Diet Plan 

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Brad Pitt’s remarkable transformation for his role in “Troy” wasn’t solely the result of his rigorous training; it was equally driven by a meticulously structured diet plan.

His diet was tailored to complement his workouts, facilitating muscle growth while maintaining a lean physique. Here’s a detailed exploration of his diet plan.

Diet Stats

  • Caloric Intake: Pitt’s daily calorie intake was likely in the range of 3000-3500 calories, given the need to bulk up while maintaining muscle definition.
  • Protein Intake: He consumed high amounts of protein, approximately 1-1.5 grams per pound of body weight, which would be around 185-278 grams of protein daily.
  • Meal Frequency: Consumed 5-6 meals a day to keep his metabolism high and ensure a constant supply of nutrients for muscle growth and recovery.

Core Diet Strategy

  • High Protein Focus: The cornerstone of Pitt’s diet was high protein intake. This was crucial for muscle repair and growth, given the intensity of his workouts.
  • Controlled Carbohydrates: Carbs were consumed strategically. Complex carbohydrates provided sustained energy for workouts and recovery, but their intake was carefully monitored to avoid excess.
  • Healthy Fats: Essential fats were included to support hormone functions and overall health.
  • Hydration: Ample water intake was a critical aspect, ensuring hydration and aiding in muscle recovery and overall bodily functions.

Meal Composition

Pitt’s meals were well-balanced, focusing on lean protein sources, complex carbs, and vegetables. Here’s a closer look:

  • Protein Sources: Chicken breast, turkey, fish (especially salmon and tuna), and egg whites were staples in his diet, offering lean protein.
  • Carbohydrates: Brown rice, whole grain pasta, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes provided the necessary energy for his demanding physical activities.
  • Vegetables: A variety of greens like spinach, broccoli, and kale were included for their vitamins, minerals, and fiber content.
  • Fruits: Limited fruit intake for essential vitamins and natural sugars; berries were a preferred choice.
  • Healthy Fats: Avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil were incorporated for their beneficial fatty acids.

Meal Frequency and Portion Control

  • Multiple Small Meals: Pitt consumed 5-6 smaller meals per day. This approach helped maintain his metabolism and provided a constant energy supply.
  • Portion Size: Each meal was carefully portioned to meet his nutritional needs without overeating.

Typical Daily Meal Plan

  • Breakfast: Egg whites with oatmeal, occasionally complemented by a protein shake.
  • Mid-Morning Snack: Typically a protein-rich snack like Greek yogurt or a handful of nuts.
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken or fish with a side of brown rice or whole grain pasta and a serving of vegetables.
  • Afternoon Snack: A protein shake or a small portion of lean meat with vegetables.
  • Dinner: Similar to lunch, focusing on protein, complex carbs, and vegetables.
  • Evening Snack: Casein protein shake or a small serving of cottage cheese, providing slow-digesting protein to aid muscle recovery overnight.

Caloric Intake and Macronutrient Balance

Pitt’s total daily caloric intake was likely in a slight surplus to support muscle growth, but not so high as to cause fat gain. His macronutrient ratio was skewed towards higher protein, moderate carbs, and lower fats.


  • Whey Protein: For post-workout recovery and muscle building.
  • Multivitamins and Minerals: To cover any nutritional gaps in his diet.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: For heart health and joint mobility.

The Legacy

As Brad Pitt turns 60, his performance in “Troy” continues to be a benchmark for physical transformation in Hollywood. His journey to becoming Achilles was not just about building muscle; it was about sculpting a body that was as functional as it was aesthetic.

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