The Bradley Cooper body transformation has been one of the big celebrity talking points over the last few years. How did he get jacked and shredded all at the same time? We thought we’d get it straight from the horses mouth – his Hollywood trainer, Ashley Conrad tells you how you can look, and feel like a new man.
You may also be pleasantly surprised to know that Ashley claims making lasting changes to your physique doesn’t require extreme methods, just some that improve your health.
The pressures of celebrity training
When I moved into the world of celebrity training, I needed to be able to quickly transform the body. Normally, “quickly” would be defined as six weeks instead of the typical eight to 12 weeks.
However, Hollywood’s definition is more like seven days. The phone rings and A-listers need to be ready in a matter of days. Not only do I know how to quickly transform the body, my career has been built on it. So what’s the secret? Is it dehydrating? No.
The body will react by retaining water once it’s added back in. Is it pulling all the carbs from your diet? Certainly not. This will cause the body to hoard carbs the second they’re added back in. Is it overloading the body with 200-plus grams of protein a day? Wrong again. This can cause bloating, water retention and create an extremely high acid balance in the body.
The truth is, I’ve never implemented any of these commonly used rituals because they work against your body. When you work against the body, there’s always a backlash. I built a career by transforming the body faster than anyone else using balance.
Hired for Bradley Cooper’s Body Transformation
When I was hired to train Bradley Cooper for The A-Team, I had weeks to pack 30lb of muscle onto his six-foot-two, 185lb frame.
I did this without having him take creatine, steroids, growth hormone or eating a single piece of red meat for the entire four months of shooting. His protein per meal never exceeded 25-30g and his workouts were between 30-45 minutes.
You don’t need to pump yourself full of supplements, spend three hours a day in the gym; or down chicken breast, tilapia and skirt steak all day to build muscle or burn fat. Protein intake, supplements and exercise are important, but the real magic happens when you work within your body’s natural mechanisms for metabolism, anabolic muscle building, digestion and hormonal balance.
Ashley’s DIY list to achieve the Bradley Cooper Body Transformation
How to eat
- No artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners
- Limit red meat to once a month
- No gluten or wheat
- Only organic meats and wild-caught fish
- Eat every two to three hours.
- Eat 20-30g of protein per meal.
- Drink at least 100oz of water every single day.
The art of cheating
- Eat one high-carb, high-calorie cheat meal per week on your most intense day of working out.
- If you do cheat outside of this, do an extra 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Don’t do the shame spiral. There are negative hormonal implications attached to the stress the body goes under when we feel guilty.
- Keep your workouts short and intense.
- Never stop moving. Even while packing muscle on, Bradley never stopped moving during our weight-training workouts. Most days were muscle-pairing circuits. Day 1: chest, shoulders, biceps. Day 2: back, triceps, legs. Day 3: rest.
- Do cardio. At least 20 minutes of HIIT three times per week, even if you’re trying to build. The notion that you’re not allowed to raise your heart rate to a certain level if you’re trying to build muscle is absolutely archaic.
- Get at least seven or eight hours of sleep per day.
- Spend the first five minutes when you wake up thinking about everything in your life you’re grateful for. There are positive hormonal implications on account of cortisol’s connection to thoughts of gratitude. In other words, smile your way to a total body transformation.
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