Thanks to a life filled with buxom babes, gigantic guns and expensive cars, many believe Dan Bilzerian is living the dream. However, as he tells TRAIN in an exclusive interview, while all those are fun, making sure he gets a proper workout in the gym trumps them all. Introducing the Dan Bilzerian workout to help you kick-ass, live your dream and do it in style with a decent physique.
Introducing the Dan Bilzerian workout to help you kick-ass, live your dream and do it in style with a decent physique.
Who is the ‘King of Instagram’?
Ask most social media savvy men and women if they know who Dan Bilzerian is and there’s a strong chance they’ve heard of him. After all, his lavish lifestyle is retweeted, reposted and shared by thousands of people on a daily basis.
With nearly six million ‘likes’ on his Facebook page, another four million Instagram followers (now 22.6 million), plus nearly a million fans following him on Twitter the pro poker player’s become one of the most famous social media celebrities on the planet.
Although many would assume living the dream is an easy enough life, there are only 24 hours in a day and when the majority of it is spent partying, shooting guns or just having fun in general, it can be difficult to find time to do much else, let alone work out.
The lack of balance has been a pitfall celebrities have been troubled by for years, yet Bilzerian has managed to get the best of both worlds, playing equally as hard as he works.
TRAIN followed Bilzerian through one of his daily workout routines to find out what he does to keep his physique in prime shape without taking time out of his busy schedule. From exercise experimentation to the importance of eating clean, Bilzerian shows you how he got a body that men want and women can’t keep their hands off.
For the 33-year-old alpha male, working out isn’t just something he does to stay in shape for the sake of it, it’s been an integral part of his life for two decades. And instead of staying in his comfort zone he’s experimented with all kinds of exercise available to find out what works best for his body.
“I’ve trained in every way, from bodybuilding workouts, triathlons, boxing, MMA, SEAL training, power lifting and so on,” he tells TRAIN.
“I think the more you switch it up and do different training the better your body will respond. A lot of guys read magazines, see their routines and then do the same exercise for the whole year. They need to shock their muscles into growing rather than doing the same tired routine. Currently, I train five days a week doing either MMA or Olympic-style lifting.”
For Bilzerian, his workout routine these days is focused on having functional strength. To obtain that he uses a mix of fight training and weights to keep his body at a level he’s happy with. However, he’s quick to stress that his method isn’t meant for everyone.
Bilzerian explains: “The best type of workout really depends on your goals. For me, there is nothing better than lifting weights and eating clean. I love doing the clean and press because it really does everything. I think the best results come from that exercise because it spikes testosterone and growth hormone.
“However, to be truly functional I think MMA mixed with weights is best for functional speed, full-body strength and a strong core. No muscle is neglected and it is also a good workout because you don’t notice the time. With MMA sparring or BJJ (Brazilian jiu-jitsu) you aren’t looking at the clock. The next thing you know an hour has passed.”
Even though new machines and equipment for gym use are seemingly released on a daily basis, Bilzerian prefers the old-school approach when it comes to working on his body.
“I don’t use machines, weight belts or gloves. I don’t bring anything with me other than coconut water,” Bilzerian explains. “I prefer using a bar, bench and dumbbells. When you use machines, you don’t strengthen stabilizer muscles and you increase the risk of injury when using those muscles in an uncontrolled environment like sports.”
The Dan Bilzerian Workout
Dan Bilzerian’s workout is a mixture of power, olympic-lifting and aesthetics. It sounds like a permutation of the 70s Big programme which transitions powerlifters into olympic lifters. We’ve added some isolation exercises that Dan Bilzerian uses to build a well-balanced, aesthetic physique.
Be sure that you’re warming up sufficiently, as well as mobilizing your joints before tackling these strength exercises in order to avoid injury.
|Monday||Sets + Reps|
|Snatch||5 x 2|
|Clean and jerk||3 x 3|
|Tricep skull crushers||3 x 12|
|Barbell curls||3 x 12|
|Tuesday||Sets + Reps|
|Back squats||5 x 2|
|Overhead press||3 x 3|
|Barbell row||3 x 3|
|Dumbell flyes||3 x 12|
|Lat pulldowns||3 x 12|
Wednesday – MMA training
|Thursday||Sets + Reps|
|Snatch||5 x 2|
|Clean and jerk||5 x 2|
|Lateral raises||3 x 10|
|Tricep pushowns||3 x 12|
|Cable bicep curls||3 x 12|
|Friday||Sets + Reps|
|Romanian deadlift||4 x 6|
|Upright rows||3 x 12|
|Calf raises||3 x 12|
While having intense gym sessions on a regular basis might seem like a smart idea, Bilzerian is very aware of the importance of rest. That’s why he recovers by dunking himself into an ice bath after his training sessions.
“I’ve done ice baths many times after tough training sessions because they pull lactic acid out of your muscles and wake you up. They’re good to do after a heavy legs session or full-body workout – like clean and press. I also run or do the elliptical trainer the next day to get rid of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).”
With all these intense workouts and the recovery it takes to make sure he can get back into the gym, how does he fit exercise into his life of guns, poker and, most specifically, women?
“I build my day around working out, the p***y will always be there,” he says with a wink and a flash of his signature smile.
Dan Bilzerians military pedigree for mental toughness
Known as one of the toughest branches of service in the American military, becoming a Navy SEAL is no mean feat. The SEAL training sessions were conceived to break those who take the test, separating the weak from the strong so only the best of the best are left standing.
Bilzerian took the BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training when he was younger and believes his time preparing to be a part of the military has helped him with the mental aspect of working out.
“Training as a Navy SEAL made me realize you can push yourself so much farther than you mentally think is possible. I’m not talking about lifting heavy weights, I’m talking more about endurance, and the mental blocks people create to give themselves an excuse to quit,” he says.
“I see it all the time with these people who hire a trainer to ‘push’ them. When the trainer gives them a number of reps, they never push past it, and I can see them mentally quit if the number is too high and they don’t think they can do it.”
So what helped Bilzerian develop the ability push, not just his mind but his body, past any limitations he believed he once had?
“During each of the two ‘hell weeks’ I completed in SEAL training, I had to stay up for 132 hours with no sleep, run 144 miles throughout the week while wearing boots, carrying either a boat or a telephone pole. There were no breaks from training other than to eat. We had to do countless calisthenics, obstacle courses and ocean swims. I felt pretty destroyed afterwards.”
Fuelling the physique: Dan Bilzerian’s diet and nutrition
Many fitness beginners who don’t research the benefits of eating clean tend to believe all they need to do to stay in shape is constantly work out, however all the hard work at the gym is likely to go to waste without a good diet backing it up.
Despite regularly traveling all over America and partying for days on end (he once suffered a double heart attack after not sleeping for four days during a snowboarding holiday), Bilzerian maintains a healthy lifestyle when it comes to getting the right foods in his system.
“I have three full-time chefs who cook for me. I eat foods that are balanced, non-processed, high in protein and low in saturated fat along with vegetables every three hours.
“Also, unless it’s post-workout I have carbs that are low on the glycemic index too. I’m big on meat and fish.”
While not huge on supplements, Bilzerian understands the importance of getting protein into his system as soon as a workout is finished, which is why he makes sure he has a shake after he’s finished in the gym.
“I always have a protein shake as it’s important to replenish glycogen after training. I think it’s all comparable to what tastes good because protein is protein and I only have shakes after I work out.
“If I’m on the go then I’ll have a Muscle Milk and Nature Valley’s Granola Bar. They’ve got good grains and oats and stuff like that. It’s as good a meal as you can get when you’re on the road because few protein bars are good for you.”
The phrase ‘work hard, play hard’ isn’t just something Dan Bilzerian says, it’s what he lives by. It’s almost a mantra. His dedication to making sure he’s in the best physical shape at all times is summed up by a Henry Rollins quote Dan left us with before he strutted out of the gym with two smiling women on each of his bulging arms.
“My whole life involves working out. So much so that one of my favorite quotes is from Henry Rollins’ Iron and The Soul. ‘The iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total b**tard. The iron will always kick you the real deal. The iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But 200lb is always 200lb.”
Riveting, it’s no wonder the Dan Bilzerian workout is so important in keeping with his legend. So, next time you’re at work, debating whether you should go to the gym because you’re ‘tired’ and ‘can’t be bothered’, or you walk past a Krispy Kreme store and get the urge to indulge in a dozen glazed doughnuts covered in sugary badness, ask yourself: what would Dan Bilzerian do?
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