How Brad Pitt Got Shredded for ‘Snatch’: Boxing Workout


Brad Pitt has been match since he got here on the scene in Hollywood, however there are a couple of of his film physiques which might be etched indefinitely in our brains. The first is Fight Club, wherein he performed the underground resistance chief Tyler Durden. The soiled, shirtless picture of him standing over a bloodied opponent, celebratory cigarette hanging from his lips, has remained a bodily pillar of masculinity for many a younger man (even when it’s a bit stereotypical).

But there is a film that rivals his Fight Club physique—the gritty Guy Ritchie drama he filmed proper after, Snatch.

Onscreen because the tattooed Irish brawler, “One Punch” Mickey O’Neil, Pitt was nonetheless the epitome of lean however he gained extra mass, particularly on his arms and shoulders. Between the 2 tasks, he placed on someplace between 5 to 10 kilos of muscle, a good quantity given his body. The feat was achieved with assist from legendary boxing coach Joe Goossen, who has educated professional fighters for a long time out of the storied Ten Goose Boxing gymnasium in Los Angeles.


“The fact is, when you spend a lot of your day hitting heavy objects, you’re going to get pumped,” says Goossen. “For those scenes in the movie, he didn’t want to just look strong, he wanted to be strong.”

Goossen gave us a peek into the five-week bootcamp he ready for Pitt to play “One Punch” Mickey, in addition to some perception into his training.

How did Brad Pitt discover you and the gymnasium?

It started with actor Peter Dante. Peter knew Brad, who talked about he was going to be doing Snatch and Fight Club, and introduced up needing a boxing coach. Peter beneficial our gymnasium, which I’ve been at since 1990, and that’s how he ended up there.

What had been his training objectives?

The very first thing we did was have a dialogue in regards to the movie and his function. The character he was enjoying was alleged to be a one-punch knockout artist—a brawler with ungodly energy in his proper hand. One of the objectives was to provide him a proper hand that regarded actually good—the type that put you on the bottom—and naturally a powerful jab to enrich it. To make his proper hand look good, he needed to have his shoulders, hips, arms, and the whole lot else in the proper place. The secret was to provide him all of the instruments and train him the basics. You have to have stability and finesse. You solely get that by working the left hand and the whole lot else as nicely. It was a well-rounded program. I wished to make him an entire fighter.

What was your preliminary evaluation of Pitt?

I handled him like all person who walks in my door desirous to turn into a boxer. I asked him if he’d ever executed sports activities or boxed in high faculty, and I used to be shocked when he mentioned he hadn’t. The means he’s put collectively, he appears to be like like somebody who’s been on a enjoying discipline or in a hoop earlier than. Brad confirmed as much as work on daily basis of these 5 weeks. The periods had been not less than two hours each time. I at all times say, don’t estimate what a few of these actors do. He put himself via the grinder to get the place he ended up. I actually put him via his paces.

How did the boxing instruction start?

I didn’t have him throw any punches the primary few days. And earlier than we even obtained into leap rope or shadow boxing, I wished to verify he had the stance down proper. I had him transfer forwards and backwards, along with his ft dealing with the proper place, on the balls of his ft, with the heels up. The concept of footwork was most likely probably the most difficult factor of his training. But it solely took about one week for him to start entering into the proper route. I’ve labored with a number of younger amateurs who’re coming as much as turn into professional-level fighters. They come into the gymnasium prepared to work, however perhaps have a couple of unhealthy habits. I educated Brad in the identical means I might train these novice fighters, minus the heavy sparring in fact.

There’s nothing like attending to punch one thing with the heft of a person and actually attending to fuel out absolutely.

How did you get him started with throwing punches?

First we started with probably the most elementary of punches, the jab—maintaining these motions however including the left jab into the method, you then uncork the proper hand. This all needs to be executed to a straight level proper in entrance of you. Once we obtained the fundamentals out of the way in which, we started following up with hooks. Even although the script didn’t name for him to have a hook, I wished to provide him a full sense of his capabilities.

What sort of bag work did you may have him doing?

Following the primary week of footwork and hand placement, I obtained him concerned with the pace bag, which he obtained the dangle of in a short time. We would comply with that with the double-ended bag, to assist along with his timing. By the third week we had been working the heavy bag, throwing his punches on the hanging 150 kilos. There’s nothing like attending to punch one thing with the heft of a person and actually attending to fuel out absolutely.

When did you may have him step into the ring?

I introduced him into the ring across the second week, and we started there by working with the main target mitts. I had him circling me doing jabs, hooks, and body photographs. That’s once I might actually take a look at his pace and agility, whereas giving him some steerage on positioning. Later I threw the body cushion on and obtained him throwing punches at me. I’m used to taking some heavy punches from my fighters, so I wasn’t phased an excessive amount of, however he might actually swing. By the top he had some actual power behind these hooks.

Did you may have him shadowbox?

That was our finisher for most training days. The gymnasium I work out of is full of mirrors, so I used to be in a position to get a great take a look at his type and he was in a position to see how his personal actions regarded. The key to an ideal punch is torque. I needed to see it, and I might solely try this when he was unleashing. So as soon as we obtained the shape proper, I let him go all-out—in shadowboxing and on the baggage.

What was it like doing these training days with him, past the fitness?

Brad was only a enjoyable person to be round, no questions on it, and we enjoyed the time. He obtained to know all the fellows on the gymnasium. When he discovered we cherished Krispy Kreme donuts, the subsequent day he introduced a couple of packing containers for everybody.

How did you are feeling about how the boxing regarded onscreen?

You don’t get a real sense of the place he was as a boxer within the film as a result of it’s peppered into varied scenes. There was only a style of his skills. But it does present up onscreen in moments and glimpses—the sensation that he’s been within the ring earlier than. The work we put in will not be simply forgotten. Brad was in his mid-30s, along with his full-man strength, and he was positively exhibiting it.

Brad Pitt as bare-knuckle boxer Mickey, in a boxing ring, in ‘Snatch’ Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Train Like Brad Pitt: The Snatch Boxing Workout

Instructions: Perform the drills under in commonplace boxing rounds: work for 3 minutes, relaxation for 1 minute. Start with 3 rounds per transfer, then construct as much as 5. The greatest strategy to turn into well-versed in these drills is to discover a good boxing or MMA gymnasium in your space, however it’s also possible to do these drills by yourself with a accomplice.

1. Jump Rope

Why it really works: Jumping rope improves your foot coordination and strengthens the muscular tissues surrounding your ft and ankles, stopping accidents.

How to do it: Hold each ends of the rope at hip stage. Rotate your wrists to swing the rope, with out transferring your arms an excessive amount of. When the rope comes round, leap with each ft on the identical time. Be certain to remain on the balls of your ft, touchdown softly. Keep your abs engaged and shoulders free. Repeat till the set is full.

2. Speed Bag

Why it really works: Speed baggage train a fighter to maintain their arms up and shift weight between ft when punching. The small floor space improves hand-eye coordination, too.

How to do it: Stand sq. in entrance of the bag, somewhat nearer than arm’s size, with each ft equal distance from it. Eyes needs to be stage with the underside of the bag. Start by hitting the bag with a free hand, on the fingers, to get used to the rhythm. Your arms needs to be transferring in a small circle, going right-right-left-left, which is the simplest sample for newbies.

3. Double-End Bag

Why it really works: The fast actions of a double-end bag—a small, round bag mounted to anchor factors on prime and backside by elastic cords—forces boxers to extend their response time and pace up punches. This reinforces the significance of head motion, promotes using angles and footwork, and encourages high-volume punching.

How to do it: Starting within the combating place, hit the bag with fixed combos to maintain it transferring, with out letting the bag decelerate. Transition between throwing combos, then occurring the protection, letting the bag bounce off your guard, then beginning on the assault once more. The fundamental rhythm for newbies is left-left-right and right-right-left, utilizing jabs and crosses.

4. Focus Mitts

Why it really works: Focus mitts bridge the hole between bag work and sparring. They’re used as an increase to sparring, in addition to develop good punch combos and defensive maneuvers akin to slipping, bobbing, and weaving.

How to do it: Getting an expertise coach within the mitts is at all times useful, however not crucial. You can even put them on the arms of a training accomplice to start. Be certain to work out the punching patterns along with your training accomplice, kicking off with fundamental combos; originally, focus simply on the jab. Keep hitting the pads with the jab, rising the pace and energy to get a really feel for how a real punch feels on the mitts. Start so as to add the proper or left cross to your jab, then end with a hook, main as much as the jab-cross-hook combo.

5. Heavy Bag

Why it really works: The heavy bag is a crucial piece of substances. It’s an unimaginable goal for a boxer to apply and ideal jabs, energy punches, hooks, angle punches, and combos, along with rising energy, pace, footwork, and motion.

How to do it: The punches on a heavy bag aren’t all about energy, they’re additionally about pace and snap. Don’t push the bag along with your punches. Instead, focus in your type all the way in which to contact, then snap your hand again, maintaining the bag transferring as little as potential. Once you get snug throwing combos correctly on the bag, apply good footwork by transferring round it, circling left and proper, whereas within the circulate.

6. Body Cushion

Why it really works: The body cushions, or protectors, are designed to permit the boxer to apply their body punch combos throughout pad workouts. They’re often mixed with focus mitts. They provide a extra lifelike exercise as a result of the boxer is ready to throw quite a lot of punches.

How to do it: Like focus mitts, it’s good to get some periods with an skilled boxing coach carrying the body cushion, however it may also be practiced along with your training accomplice. Put all the realized abilities at play throughout this drill, throwing the earlier combos on the focus mitts however including jabs to the body. Once you hit them with a mixture—or a jab, slip to the left or proper—comply with with one other assault. Practice your protection by having your training accomplice feint a punch with their mitts and blocking it along with your guard.

7. Shadow Boxing

Why it really works: When executed correctly, and with the proper objectives in thoughts, shadow boxing can enhance your boxing approach, strength, energy, pace, endurance, rhythm, footwork, offense and protection, and general combating skills.

How to do it: Stay gentle in your ft and throw punches on the air. Do fundamental jab, cross, and hook combos.

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