Before he couldn’t walk down the street without trending on the ‘gram, Justin Bieber was just a thin Canadian kid who was like a lot of us at his age: a lean, small-framed guy with a jackrabbit metabolism who was desperate to pack on solid muscle.
His trainer Patrick Nilsson recently gave the world a snapshot into Justin Bieber’s training regimen. “We work out for aesthetics,” he wrote. “So to get him to look his best, we went with a classic bodybuilding routine to try to develop as much muscle as possible.”
Bieber lifts five times a week for about 45 minutes per session, using a three-day body-part-split: one workout for back and triceps, one for chest and biceps, and the other for legs and shoulders. They work abs every other day.
Nilsson pairs muscles that don’t work together—in supersets. So one day they might work back and triceps, another day they might combine wide-grip pullups with lying triceps extensions, or wide-grip rows with cable pushdowns, and maybe dumbbell rows with pushups. Justin Bieber typically does 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps of each exercise, which means 9 to 12 sets per muscle group per workout. Nilsson says they switch up the exercises every two to three weeks.
And while Nilsson only gives us a brief glimpse into Bieber’s ever-changing workouts, there are lots of ways to approach muscle building for lean frames. Men’s Health recently reached out to three top trainers to get their take on how they’d train a celebrity like Bieber. In our next three posts, we’ll discuss their approaches to getting the Biebs looking his best.