There are countless celebrities out there with great bodies, and the fact that they have whole teams dedicated to their fitness and appearance, and that their careers depend on them looking good on celluloid, means that they are often in better shape than most of us realistically hope to achieve easily. Bradley Cooper is one such film hero with cut abs and a defined torso, but manages to keep his muscle weight down to the point where it makes you think perhaps you could achieve it. Bradley Cooper looks great no doubt, but the Bradley Cooper body is also close enough to 'normal' that it gives the average Joe hope.
It's perhaps for that reason that 'Bradley Cooper body' is one of the first suggestions that Google brings up when you type his name in, and perhaps that's also why so many people search for pictures and information regarding those chiseled abs (of course women may also be responsible for some of this searching). So is it possible to get Bradley Cooper's body? If so how long would it take? And what would you have to do to achieve it? Here we will look at how to get a Bradley Cooper body and some of the pitfalls to avoid along the way.
Bradley Cooper's Body
Firstly, let's quantify precisely what you mean by 'Bradley Cooper body'. People get inspired and they search in Google for the body of a particular actor, but whether or not they specifically need to be targeting that person's body is something that's open to interpretation. Why his body in particular? Is it his proportion of shoulders to pecs? No, more likely the reason you are searching that body in particular is just that you recently watched a film with him in. And chances were that it was the A-team. Hope you enjoyed it...
Point is though, you don't need to search for Bradley Cooper's workout – you need to search for a more general term like 'get ripped' or 'build muscle'. Our bodies are unique to us and you're never going to get precisely the same body as an actor because you have different genetics. What you should focus instead then on is just doing everything it takes to improve your own physique by being strict and disciplined. This is a much more concrete long term goal than the fleeting feeling that you want to look like this guy or that guy.
Let's look at Bradley Cooper's body though. He's very ripped meaning he has a low body fat percentage of not more than 7%. He has an impressive six pack (though not flawless), flat yet strong pecs and good shoulders. However he has relatively slim arms (for a celebrity action hero) and smaller deltoids which keep him looking human.
So in other words then to get a body like Bradley's, you want to cut your fat, strengthen your abs, but not go overboard on the biceps and triceps.
The first step then is cutting any excess fat if your body fat is currently above 7%. This means increasing the amount of CV (cardiovascular) exercise you do, and at the same decreasing your intake of fats and carbs (particularly 'simple' carbs). These are the substances that your body is most likely to store beneath the skin (as 'subcutaneous' fat) and that will make your muscle appear less visible.
Bradley Cooper did this in a number of ways for the Bradley Cooper workout. For instance he would run around a mountain track near his home in Vancouver. Running is great for starters because it causes the heart rate to increase and forces the body to draw on the fat reserves for energy. At the same time though, because he was running on a mountain range this meant he would be running steep inclines at times. This is good for the knees and better than running on a flat surface. At the same time by running uphill this would increase the amount of work the legs had to do and would particularly train the calves (the muscle on the back of the lower leg). By training the legs more he could make the whole workout more intensive and thus improve the fat burning effects. Running downhill would have a similar effect helping to train the quads.
If you don't have a mountain range near you, then you can do CV in a range of other ways – whether it's just skipping at home, running on a beach, running backward, or training in the gym on a treadmill (it's possible to alter the gradient artificially on most modern treadmills). Bradley also managed to get some CV included in his weight training though too, which we will come to in a moment.
The correct diet for this kind of lean physique as mentioned is simply to reduce carbs and fats and particularly simple carbs and saturated fats. Eat lots of protein because this will help to build big muscles, but make sure it's 'lean' such as chicken or fish without fatty parts. Likewise keep things like cake to an absolute minimum and cut down on bread and biscuits too. You need to eat enough carbs to give you the energy for your workouts, but the key is to burn more energy than you put in while you are 'cutting'.
Bradley Cooper's muscle building activities were closely tied into his CV in something called the 3, 2, 1 workout. He would do this five days a week for two hours a day according to some sources. What the '3, 2, 1 workout' consisted of was 'HIIT' or 'High Intensity Interval Training'. Here the idea was for Cooper to split his workout into a circuit which included 3 sets of cardio, 2 sets of weight training and 1 set of core exercises (sit ups, leg raises etc to strengthen the stomach area). Each stop on the circuit would last ten minutes and the whole thing could be repeated as many times as necessary.
The reason this works is that it tests the body by putting it through many different types of strain within a small amount of time. So that would start as sprinting, move on to perhaps bench press, and then move on further to ab crunches. By 'mixing it up' this way, the body is actually worked harder than if you were to remain at the same speed and with the same focus for the entire of the session. At the same time this causes the body to produce more growth hormone which is the chemical that triggers the body to repair and build muscle and burn fat – handy. In other words, this is a good way to manage your metabolism and keep it at its best to ensure you build muscle and burn fat. Make sure that the weight training/resistance training portion of the circuit is enough to really test your muscles, and that you work each major muscle group. Compound movements are best for a workout of this nature meaning bench press, squat, clean and press etc which require you to work multiple muscle groups at once. Oh and make it heavy...
On top of this you should then also increase your protein intake while keeping it lean. When you train your muscles you are 'ripping' the fibers that make them up and it's when they get healed that they grow back thicker and give you more strength and size. To achieve that you need to each protein because protein is what your muscles are made out of. If you want to see results fast then cut down your diet of everything else but add two or three portions of protein shake a day to your diet.
The Main Take Home Message
This is what Bradley Cooper allegedly did to get his body, the 'Bradley Cooper workout'. However in order to get the same body or one just as good, you don't need to do the precise same thing and different things work for different people.
What you need to do instead is to take home the message that he did high intensity training and mixed it up a lot. More important though he made himself sweat. You don't need any precise workout at all to get into shape you just need perseverance and willingness to go through some pain. You need to lift weights that are heavy enough that they will cause your fibers to tear, and you need to keep going once it starts to hurt. Likewise you need to run so that you feel really tired – it's not until you're panting that you're actually lowering your body fat. Don't make excuses and miss sessions, and stay away from cake. That's really all you need to know to get the body of any celebrity. Well, maybe Arnie would take a little more specialist knowledge...