Brad Pitt owes modern men an apology. We’ve always been under a certain pressure to look good. To firm up any midriff wobble, turn moobs into muscle. But we had leeway. Our onscreen icons were fit, but rarely ripped. At least, not in a way most men would ever want to attain. Arnie may have ushered in the action hero man mountain, but that was always a physique to marvel at, not try to build. We have to fit into our shirts, after all.
So we picked men like James Bond to base our bodies on. Men who were fit, yes, but not fit. Not you-could-grate-cheddar-on-these-abs fit. Connery looked like he could outrun you, but not like he’d shrinkwrapped his six-pack. And then along came Brad.
Pitt’s Fight Club physique is still the one every PT is asked to build. Definition, not size. Every muscle on show, as if he modelled Tyler Durden’s body on a medical diagram. There’s the six-pack, sure. But that’s just a side dish. Ask any straight woman or gay man and the element to analyse is the one that flanks the abs, the V-cut where obliques end and pelvis begins.
This anatomical quirk has a few names. Officially, it’s the inguinal crease. Art historians know it as the iliac furrow (classical sculptors got there a few millennia before Pitt). To bodybuilders, it’s the Adonis belt. In Urban Dictionary, look up CGs (or, rather, don’t). But there’s only one way to get it on show: drop body fat.
Just like you have a six-pack, you have an Adonis belt. It’s just that, currently, it’s buried beneath all those lamb madrases. Strength training can only do so much. To get Brad Pitt’s Fight Club definition you need to strip away what’s on top. And according to Leo Savage, PT at luxury London gym Third Space, that means sprints.
Pair a veg-and-chicken-heavy diet with high intensity sprints and you’ll get your body fat below 10 per cent, which is – for most men – when the Adonis belt appears. Rotational core moves will then push you over the line. Just remember the first rule of having an Adonis belt: at least try not to tell everybody.
The Inguinal Crease Workout
Perform this workout three times a week, with at least a day between each. You can either bolt it onto the end of your normal workouts or do it as a standalone session.
Perform each move as a circuit, moving between exercises after each set, without rest. After the rollouts, take 60 seconds breather, then repeat, for five rounds total.
12 Reps (Each Side)
Grab a medicine ball or dumbbell with both hands. Twist to the right and hold it above your head, arms straight. Chop down and rotate to the left, finishing with the ball near the ground outside your left foot. Return to the start position and repeat.
After all your reps, swap sides.
Lie on your back with your legs straight. Bring your legs and shoulders off the floor, so your body forms a flattened V. Slowly lift your left leg higher, then lower it as you lift your right leg. Keep alternating your legs for the prescribed time.
Rotational Leg Raises
Lie on your back with your arms stretched out by your shoulders, palms down. Keeping your legs straight, lift them off the floor until they form a 90-degree angle with your torso. Slowly lower them to the left until they almost touch the floor, then change the direction of rotation away from you so they finish with your body in a straight line.
Reverse and repeat on the right side.
Grab an abs rollout wheel (if your gym doesn’t have one, you can use a towel on a smooth floor). Set up on your hands and knees, holding the wheel. Keeping your back straight, roll out until your chest is almost touching the floor. Pause, then return. That’s one rep.
Sprint at 100 per cent effort for 30 seconds, then stop completely. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this on-off sprint split 10 times round.
FashionBeans associate editor Tom Banham is an outerwear addict with bylines in GQ, Men’s Health and Mr Porter.
He’s fascinated by the collision of high fashion and streetwear, but also knows his way around a soft-shouldered blazer. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @banham_tom