To last a full eight seconds—how long a rider must last on a bull to be scored—the rider must adhere to a workout regimen that builds full-body strength, muscle endurance, and agility. One routine that would adequately prep a wannabe rider—or work for a guy who simply wants to gain strength—would be structured similarly to the workout provided by our cover star, 14-year PBR pro Guilherme Marchi.

“It’s a misconception that our sport is just a bunch of crazy beer swillers who roll up to the arena and strap themselves to a bull,” says Sean Gleason, chief executive officer of Professional Bull Riders (PBR). “There is more athleticism required in an eight-second bull ride than in most other sports. The bull moves so fast and riders need to counter-act those moves while holding onto a rope with one hand.”

How it works

Whether you’re looking to score big in the PBR or dominate a mechanical bull, training-wise, your best bet is to place more emphasis on exercise variety and volume than hypertrophy-based body building-style training routines, advises nine-time bull-riding champ Ty Murray.

“I see guys in the gym doing curls for the girls, and that’s not going to help you in this sport. It’s important not to bulk up and shorten your muscles,” he says.

As you bull through Marchi’s sample total-body routine, employ strict form during each repetition, but limit rest periods between sets and exercises to boost cardiovascular and muscle endurance.

Shot on location at UFC Gym SoHo.