I’ve had a lot of guys ask me about the “Chris Pratt Workout,” lately…and it isn’t hard to see why.
In just a short time span, he went from being at least 18% bodyfat and 25 pounds overweight, to being around 10% bodyfat with his abs showing. This is a pretty impressive transformation.
And while technically nobody knows what Chris Pratt did to prepare for his Guardians of the Galaxy role, aside from his personal trainer, it still isn’t that hard to guess if you’ve been involved in the fitness industry for a while.
Chris Pratt’s physique is toned and lean—a nice, muscular swimmer’s build, but not overly bulky. A lot of guys want a physique like this, and today, I’m going to break down how I think Mr. Pratt attained his.
Before I get into the Chris Pratt workout, I want to discuss the principles behind it. As with anything, following principles is a lot more important than following “techniques.” The former are guidelines and frameworks, whereas the latter are simple “tricks” and “hacks.”
Chris Pratt’s workout is likely built around a few key compound lifts, with an emphasis on auxiliary lifts and hypertrophy exercises for his arms and back, in addition to a lot of ab work.
I’d say that his routine is probably based around the following exercises:
I’d say that most of these exercises are probably in the 10-12 repetition range, maybe even 15 for the lateral raises. His physique is indicative of a hypertrophy workout, which is known for toning and creating muscle size as opposed to muscle density.
These exercises, in addition to a high-repetition focused ab routine, will get you the Chris Pratt physique. As for his diet, I’d say that during this transformation he was at least 10% below maintenance, maybe even 15%.
In my opinion, Chris Pratt probably works out 3 days a week, in addition to some cardio and ab work. Any more than this, and he would be far bulkier than he is in these pictures.
For the Chris Pratt workout, we’re going to have two days: Day A and Day B, similar to Starting Strength. You rest one day in between each of these, and alternate them each week. I will discuss the ab work and cardio work later.
The barbell squats are a great, total body exercise, but there’s not so many of them so as to make your legs bulky. The flat dumbbell bench press focuses on your pecs and front deltoids, and works both sides evenly.
The EZ-Bar curl works your biceps, and the lateral raise works your middle deltoids. For Day B, the deadlift is great total body exercise, with an emphasis on your hamstrings and lower back.
The dumbbell shoulder press will work all 3 heads of your deltoid muscle, and it will work both arms evenly. The dumbbell rows work your lats, and the push ups work your pecs with an emphasis on your triceps.
Notice how the workout’s exercises are mainly higher repetitions—nothing below 8, and most are 12. This is crucial.
Less than 8 is almost entirely strength, whereas 12 repetitions is focused on a good bit of strength, with a large focus on hypertrophy. This is why the Chris Pratt workout has you doing 12 repetitions for almost everything. The only exceptions are the barbell squat, lateral raises, deadlifts, and push ups.
The barbell squats are an exception, because you don’t want your legs to get too bulky. Lateral raises work best with lower weights, deadlifts work best with higher weights, and the push ups aren’t weighted, so more repetitions is required.
This is a pretty radical transformation, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Pratt went on some form of the paleo diet, or ketosis. At the very least, he counted his calories and ate at around 10-15% below maintenance.
The bulk of his diet likely consisted of a ton of vegetables. Leafy greens, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, and more. These are voluminous and fill you up quickly, so you won’t experience too many hunger pangs.
He also likely aimed to have 150 grams of protein per day—most of which probably came from lean meats, like chicken breast, pork loin, and 90% lean beef. This is important, because building muscle isn’t possible with anything less (at his height and weight).
He probably threw in a small amount of carbohydrates, maybe 100 grams post workout, but not much more. He probably got most of his carbohydrates from complex sources, such as sweet potatoes, whole grains, quinoa, or butternut squash.
He also likely avoided all of the following foods:
Oh, and one more thing—I’m pretty sure that he did intermittent fasting, too. He got down to a pretty lean bodyfat percentage, and although intermittent fasting isn’t necessary to do so, it certainly helps a whole lot.
If you’re doing the Chris Pratt workout routine, I recommend that you pair it with high intensity interval training twice a week. The reason for this is that it’ll drastically speed up fat loss, in addition to encouraging muscle gain and a healthy hormonal profile.
I recommend you do high intensity interval training (HIIT) on your off days, but time it so that you don’t work out 5 days in a row.
The goal of doing this HIIT is to give your legs more of a workout—since the Chris Pratt routine doesn’t call for bulky legs, it only has one day of squats and deadlifts, with zero other leg exercises. This is where the HIIT will come in.
I recommend you start off by walking 2 minutes, then sprint for 30 seconds. Rest for 1:30, and then sprint again for 30 seconds. Repeat this for 6-8 cycles. If you can’t do that many cycles at first, don’t sweat it. Just do as many as you can.
As you can see from this slightly gay picture, Chris Pratt is probably around 10% bodyfat. This means that the majority of getting his abs to show will be from diet, but it’s also important to do some ab exercises.
I recommend that you follow a high-repetition based abdominal workout routine, and do it twice a week. Something like this would work just fine:
I recommend that you do this ab routine after your Day A or B workouts, so putting it altogether, it might look something like this:
Do you see how the Chris Pratt routine is spaced out, so that you don’t work out 5 days in a row? This is crucial, because working out 5 days in a row is FAR too much. The absolute MOST that you want to work out is three days in a row.
Your body needs to rest. Don’t get me wrong—you should still train like an absolute animal and push yourself in the gym. But, as the old saying goes, gains are made when you’re recovering, not when you’re lifting.
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After learning to successfully trade the market, build a six pack, start a social circle from scratch, and increase his IQ by 15 points, Jon Anthony has decided to teach others how they can, too. He plans to move to Las Vegas next year to invest in real estate and live it up.