The Workout Plan That Bradley Simmonds, Men’s Health Cover Model, Used to Build His Body

a man standing in front of a building: Simmonds share his fitness secrets and his go-to daily diet with you

Simmonds share his fitness secrets and his go-to daily diet with you

This was never the plan. Since signing for Chelsea at the age of seven, Bradley Simmonds’ goal was to become an elite-level footballer. Yet his body let him down. When he was 16, Simmonds tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and spent a year on the sidelines. After a period of rehabilitation, he moved to Iceland, playing with David James in the Europa League. Then he broke his ankle in three places. The dream was over.

“I could have come back again and risen up to play in League One, but that wasn’t my ambition. My ambition was to reach the top,” he says. Undeterred, Simmonds turned the disappointment of injury into an opportunity, starting over to chase success in a different field.

“Coming back from my ACL injury, I learned about strength and conditioning,” he says. “I spent a year sponging information from the coaches. Rather than just smashing chest day like other guys my age, I was learning the importance of glute strength, hamstrings and training your core.” He used this time as a hungry teen on the sidelines to get his personal training qualification and UEFA B coaching badge.

Simmonds thought that a career in football conditioning coaching was the obvious choice – that is, until his Instagram blew up. “I’m very business-minded and saw an opportunity,” he says. “You get that way when the mates you’re playing football with are earning 400 grand a week!” Of course, he was also motivated by a more wholesome aspiration. “I recognised that Instagram gave me the opportunity not just to train one client at a time, but to benefit thousands of people together.”

His mantra – “Get it done” – may be prosaic, but that’s the point. “You’ve got to understand that the mass audience needs help and education in the very basics,” he says. “The majority of people don’t know what a calorie deficit is, why they need one and how to get it. They’re the ones I’m trying to help.”

That egalitarian desire to provide a leg-up to training novices is reflected in his workouts. They’re no nonsense; often performed just using bodyweight and dumbbells. They are, however, also influenced by his time as an athlete. “I was one of the first trainers in my gym to get out the ladders, for example, and have people working through plyometrics,” he says. His is a style of training that’s based on boosting fitness first and knowing that the other benefits – fat loss, muscle gain and stress relief – will follow. (Continued below)

Forward Plan

Weaponise your balance to build a rock-solid core with Simmonds’ squat tips:

Thirty-minute HIIT sessions are his comfort zone, but the baseline fitness they afford is also an excellent platform for new challenges. He has completed a marathon, for example, grinding through the initial slog of training to eventually find in running a new and useful opportunity to clear his head and boost his mental strength. His toughest test by far was tackling L’Etape du Tour, a 175km cycle with an elevation gain of 3.6km.

“It was the first time I’d been on a road bike. All my training was on a Wattbike, doing a lot of strength training and a lot of mobility, because those hip flexors really can tighten up, as well as my lower back,” he says. “I introduced 15 minutes of mobility before and after my session: cobras, needle-throughs, hip flexors and lumbar twists.”

Conveniently, in this time of pandemic, Simmonds’s style proved to be one that could roll with the punches of lockdown. In fact, his followers pushed him to be fitter than ever during his comprehensive Live schedule. “I know what my followers want. They love high-intensity in the morning and strength in the evening,” he says.

The Right Fuel

Perfect your nutrition and you will score. Simmonds aims for a macro split of 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% fats, relying on healthful ingredients that pack big flavours…

“I was burning through 600kcal in the morning and grabbing a set of 15kg dumbbells in the evening, keeping it simple, sticking to 10 reps and working through supersets and tri-sets.” That’s a serious workload and, to keep up, he was eating 3,000kcal a day, with plenty of protein to fuel his recovery.

Most recently, he tweaked his training for this month’s cover shoot. “I’ve moved up to the 30kg dumbbells and I’ve brought my rep range down to six, to focus on building strength and increasing muscle mass,” says Simmonds. “I’m doing a lot more core training, too.” Normally, that occupies a quick 10 minutes after his HIIT, but now he dedicates 30 minutes to plank variations and deadbugs, using dumbbells to mix things up, before finishing with crunches. The results speak for themselves.

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best. I know that the body positive movement is incredibly important, but if your goal is to have a six-pack, that’s OK,” he says. “As long as you’re eating well and doing it from a positive space mentally, then don’t be scared to go after it.” Follow Simmonds’s lead and you’ll certainly get it done.

Bradley Simmonds’ Workout Plan

How Bradley Simmonds Built His Body

How Bradley Simmonds Built His Body

Full-Body Workout

20-minute AMRAP: 10 Reps of each exercise

  1. Deep squats
  2. Reverse lungs
  3. Shoulder presses
  4. Bent-over rows
  5. Hammer curls
  6. Devil’s press

Upper Body and Core

40 seconds on, 20 seconds off for five total rounds:

  1. Push-ups
  2. Bicep curl into shoulder press
  3. Lateral raises
  4. Bent-over rows
  5. Strong climbers
  6. V-sit/Jackknife

Lower Body and Core

40 seconds on, 20 seconds off for five total rounds:

  1. Deadlifts
  2. Sumo squats
  3. Reverse lunges
  4. Side lunges
  5. Plank dumbbell throughs
  6. Russian twists

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Gallery: Hit Michael B. Jordan’s 40-Minute, ‘Creed II’ Dumbbell Workout for a Huge Upper-Body Pump (Men’s Health UK)

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