Grow as strong as “The Manimal” with his training and nutrition regimen.

Brad Castleberry is a social media fitness star who earned mainstream attention for his superhuman strength and jacked physique. He is a bodybuilder, powerlifter, and football player. Castleberry started lifting weights at 15 and focused on building a strong and proportioned physique. 

The Manimal brings a unique combination of strength, size, and athletic ability. He has round and full muscle bellies, is as strong as a bull, and can do the urdhva dhanurasana (wheel pose) like it’s no one’s business.

The fitness influencer claims to have squatted 855 pounds and bench pressed 675 pounds for two reps on video. These feats, however, didn’t sit well with his followers, who accused him of using fake weights. 

This article goes over Castleberry’s story and training and diet programs. 

Full Name: Bradly Castleberry
Weight Height Age
245-255 pounds (111.1-115.7 kilograms) 5’10” (177.5cm) 33 years
Date of Birth Nationality Era
Jun. 10, 1989 American 2000, 2010, 2020

Brad Castleberry Story

Born on Jun. 10, 1989, The Manimal was an active kid growing up. He participated in sports and stayed outdoors for extended periods, where he began developing athletic abilities. Castleberry was a boy wonder and got his first set of weights on entering school. 

Brad Castleberry

Brad Castleberry

The Instagram star got a gym membership on turning 15 and started training seriously. Castleberry competed in his maiden bodybuilding show at 19 and was addicted to the rush of being on a stage. The bodybuilder won the Muscle Mania bodybuilding contest to win his Pro card. 

Turning to Football

Castleberry’s desire to compete was short-lived. After competing in multiple shows, The Manimal decided to hang his bodybuilding trunks for good. 

Castleberry turned to football after walking away from competitive bodybuilding. The Manimal claims to have participated in two major league football games. Owing to his explosive strength and ability, the fitness star found a spot in a local junior college football team, where he competed in four games in the 2010 season. The Manimal’s lackluster performance on the field, however, abruptly ended his football ambitions.

Starting Powerlifting

Castleberry’s time on the football team taught him a lot about functional training, which reignited his passion for strength sports. After spending two years on the football field, The Manimal decided to try his hand at powerlifting. He quickly found a knack for moving big weights and a big audience on social media that admired his strength and aesthetics. 

The Fake Weight Controversy

His insane physique and strength made people sit up and take notice. Some of his lifts were so big that the weights didn’t fit in the frame. Many people accused him of lifting fake weights as his poundage was too big to be true. For example, in an Instagram video, Castleberry bench pressed 225 pounds for 50 reps with a picture-perfect form. It doesn’t end there; a couple of weeks after performing the 50 reps, The Manimal upped the ante by smashing 68 reps with 225 pounds. The giant strength jump within a short period makes you question his lifts. Castleberry’s refusal to compete in powerlifting contests adds fuel to the fire. 

Castleberry went to great lengths to dismiss the claims and recreated some of his famous lifts. He announced that motivating others was his only aim in sharing his training videos. Since the Instagram star successfully recreated his lifts, it proves he is incredibly strong. 

Besides his fake weight allegations, Castleberry’s attitude toward his followers during the controversy rubbed many people the wrong way. Strength sports fans labeled him a gym bro and made him the poster boy for everything wrong with gym life. 

Brad Castleberry Workout Principles

Brad Castleberry

Brad Castleberry

The Manimal is no ordinary athlete. His lifts make you do a double-take and still have you shake your head in disbelief. Castleberry’s physique and strength result from the following training principles:

Balancing Hypertrophy and Strength Training

A glance at Castleberry’s Instagram profile will tell you that he switches between hypertrophy and strength workouts. He lifts in the 8-12 rep range to boost muscle growth and in the 1-5 rep range for strength. His most entertaining lifts, however, are the ones where he lifts insane amounts of weights for 1-2 reps. 


Castleberry is a proponent of optimal mobility. He believes maintaining flexibility can help ignite hypertrophy by improving blood flow and recovery. It also reduces your risk of injury. The Manimal never misses a stretching session post-workout. 

Push Your Limits

The strength freak pushes himself in each set and rep to get the best results. You’ll hardly see him giving up on a set before hitting failure. He believes that pushing yourself until you can do no more reps is the best way to build muscle and strength. 

Brad Castleberry Workout Program

The Manimal doesn’t train like an orthodox bodybuilder. His workouts consist mostly of compound movements that help build strength and muscle mass. 

Given below is a Castleberry-inspired four-days-a-week training regimen:


  • Barbell Back Squat – 3 sets/7-9 reps
  • Wide-Grip Bench Press – 3 sets/7-9 reps
  • Wide-Grip Pull-Down – 3 sets/8-10 reps

Castleberry follows a low-volume training routine but makes up for it by pushing his training intensity to the next level. Rest between 3-5 minutes between each set. The long rest will ensure you have what you need to push yourself to the max in each set. 

Back is The Manimal’s favorite muscle group to train. He does at least one back exercise in each workout. He uses a wide grip to engage his lats better and develop broad lats. Make sure you have nothing left in the tank at the end of each workout. 


  • Barbell Back Squat – 3 sets/5 reps
  • Deadlifts – 3 sets/5 reps
  • Wide-Grip Bench Press – 3 sets/5 reps
  • Overhead Barbell Press – 3 sets/5 reps

The Manimal starts three of his four workouts with barbell back squats. Since you’ll be doing a low number of reps in each set, go as heavy as possible without sacrificing form. Castleberry uses accessories like a weightlifting belt, lifting straps, and wrist wraps to make the most of his lifts and reduce the risk of injury. 


  • Barbell Squats – 3 sets/5 reps
  • Wide-Grip Bench Press – 3 sets/5 reps
  • Dumbbell Rows – 3 sets/6 reps
  • Leg Curls – 3 sets/12 reps

The Brad Castleberry workout only requires two machines — lat pulldown and leg curl — meaning you can do it at a bare-bone gym. The Manimal’s training regimen proves that you don’t need fancy equipment to build a world-class physique. 


  • Close-Grip Bench Press – 3 sets/8 reps
  • Deadlifts – 3 sets/3-5 reps
  • TRX Rows – 3 sets/8-12 reps

Since Castleberry’s training regimen involves lifting heavy, you should always have a spotter assist you with your lift, especially while attempting PRs. 

Feel free to modify your training schedule. For example, you can swap Saturday with Sunday if your gym is closed on a Sunday. 


Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday — Active Rest

Castleberry rests on alternate days. The Maminal doesn’t turn into a couch potato on his rest days. He engages in moderate cardio activities like hiking and jogging to speed up his recovery. 

Do a 30-45 minute low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio workout on your rest days. You could use your favorite cardio training equipment like the treadmill, Stairmaster, elliptical, or rower. 

Brad Castleberry Nutrition Program

Brad Castleberry

Brad Castleberry

Castleberry’s diced physique proves that he takes his diet seriously. He follows a macronutrient-balanced diet and allows himself one weekly cheat meal. The Manimal eats six meals a day to ensure his metabolism is working optimally. Here is his diet program:

Meal 1

  • 2 rounds of wholemeal toast
  • 5 poached eggs
  • 2 medium bananas
  • Peanut butter
  • 2 scoops of whey protein isolate

Meal 2

  • 10 ounces potatoes
  • 6 ounces tuna

Meal 3

  • 6 ounces of steak
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • Handful of almonds

Meal 4

  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 6 ounces of grilled chicken
  • Brussel sprouts

Meal 5

  • 1 can of tuna
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Green salad

Meal 6

  • Whey protein isolate protein

Wrapping Up

Castleberry combined strength and athletics to build an impeccable physique. His powerlifting and football background gives him a unique advantage. He can move monster weights with near-perfect form and is quick and agile. 

Use the training and diet program in this article to build a strong and muscular physique like The Manimal. Feel free to supplement the workout program with other exercises if you have gas left in the tank at the end of a workout. Best of luck!