Francis Benfatto’s Workout Routine and Diet Plan

If there has to be a physique that exuded perfect symmetry, proportion, and conditioning, it would have to be that of Francis Benfatto. Owing to all these qualities he is often regarded as The Master of Aesthetics.

Francis is one of the most iconic bodybuilders of all time. Even the bodybuilders of the current generation get inspired by him when it comes to training for aesthetics.


Francis Benfatto Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Francis Benfatto’s Workout Principles

Francis Benfatto was blessed with amazing genetics. And owing to this reason, he went on to win numerous bodybuilding titles. You might be surprised to know that in 1982 he won the Mr. France title in the under 62 Kg category. But the physique that made him win that title looked as if he was 20 kg heavier.

This tells a lot about his insane genetics that made him look huge at a body weight of just 62 kg. Francis Benfatto’s workout plan was focused on giving him a muscular and extremely aesthetic physique. He performed both weight training and cardio for that purpose.

Now let’s get to know more about his workout program in the next section.

Francis Benfatto’s Workout Routine

Francis fell in love with training with weights at the young age of 11 years. When he was 14, he joined a gym and started enjoying the sport of bodybuilding.

Thanks to his hard work and elite genetics, he was able to build a muscular and aesthetic physique in quite a short time. And this made him opt for professional bodybuilding.

Francis is 5 feet 6 inches tall and his body weight during competitions used to be around 200 lbs. Nevertheless, his physique appeared muscular, ripped, and insanely aesthetic.

Francis Benfatto’s workout routine consisted of numerous exercises performed with free weights and machines. He has always been a big admirer of the effectiveness of bodyweight training as well.

Francis’ training program followed the A.R.T protocol. A.R.T. stands for Auto Regulation Training. It involved making certain adjustments in one’s exercise routine that will be based on one’s training load or training style. It often uses the R.P.E method (Rate of Perceived Exertion). In simple words, RPE refers to how hard an exercise feels for an individual.

Now let’s find out what all exercises were there in Francis Benfatto’s workout routine that assisted him in putting on muscle strength and size:-

Francis Benfatto's Workout Routine

Session 1- Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves

  • Squats- 6-10 sets of 6-10 reps (resting 2-3 minutes in between the sets)
  • Stiff-legged deadlifts supersetted with lying leg curls- 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Standing calves raises supersetted with seated calves raises- 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps

Session 2- Chest, Back, and Abs

  • Bench press- 6-10 sets of 6-10 reps (resting 2-3 minutes in between the sets)
  • Behind the head lat pulldowns supersetted with seated cable rows- 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Hanging leg raises supersetted with crunches- 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps

Session 3- Shoulders and Arms

  • Seated dumbbell press- 6-10 sets of 6-10 reps (resting 2-3 minutes in between the sets)
  • Standing barbell curls supersetted with alternating dumbbell curls- 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Tricep pushdowns supersetted with straight-bar triceps extensions- 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps

As you would have noticed that Francis loved to perform supersets on most of the exercises. Doing so increased his training intensity on one hand and facilitated both muscle gains and fat loss on the other hand.

Free Weights Over Machines

Francis has always preferred using free weights over machines, especially when it comes to training his arms. He claims that free weights give you a greater range of motion and also work on strengthening the muscle groups that work as stabilizers.

Chasing the ‘Pump’

Just like Arnold, Francis was also a big fan of pump training. In most of his training sessions, he used to go up to perform as many reps as needed to make his muscles get flooded with blood.

Training for the pump not only boosted muscle hypertrophy but also made him establish a better mind-muscle connection. This in turn made him gain the most out of his training sessions.

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Francis Benfatto’s Diet Plan

Francis Benfatto's Diet Plan

Francis Benfatto’s diet plan also played a crucial role in perfecting his physical development and giving his body an aesthetically muscular look. When he was preparing for the Australian Grand Prix in 2006, he followed a very systematic approach to dieting.

He went to divide his diet plan into 3 distinct phases namely,

  • Phase 1– for building lean muscle mass
  • Phase 2– for sculpting and defining the muscles
  • Phase 3– for depletion and loading

He followed this approach religiously for 7 months.

Phase 1

In phase 1, Francis increased his weight from 87 to 99 kg in 20 weeks by consuming around 3500 calories in a day. But he ensured that his weight gain is purely due to an increase in his muscle mass and not fat.

Phase 2

In phase 2, Francis aimed to give definition to his muscles. Hence, he consumed only 2000 calories a day and dropped off a significant part of fat from his frame. His body weight in this phase went from 99 to 90 kg in 9 weeks.

Phase 3

In phase 3, Francis dropped his everyday carb intake which facilitated ketosis. He consumed only 1000 calories per day for 10 days. It dropped his weight to 86 kg.

Finally, he increased his carb intake after 10 days increasing his body weight to 90 kgs. At this body weight, he stepped on the stage showing his lean and muscular build.

Francis Benfatto’s meal plan consisted of 4 major meals in a day. Let’s find out what all food items were there in each of them:-

Meal 1- Breakfast

  • 4-6 egg whites
  • ½ spoon of oats (on low-carb days)
  • 1-1½ oats (on high-carb days)

Meal 2- Lunch

  • 2 big spoons of tuna
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • Mix salad (comprising of onion, tomato, lettuce, and asparagus with lemon juice)

Meal 3- Evening snack

  • 4-6 egg whites
  • ½ spoon of oats (on low-carb days)
  • 1-1½ oats (on high-carb days)

Meal 4- Dinner

  • 1 small portion of Green Veggies
  • Turkey or chicken breast
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Snack

Foods to avoid

In order to maintain the elite-level conditioning of his physique, Francis avoided food items that are loaded with empty calories or those that are extremely fried or processed. Even during his gaining days, he made sure that his daily calories were coming from nutritious food items only.


Francis always ensured to monitor his diet plan in accordance with his training goals. This helped in giving him a clear idea of whether his diet plan is working for him or not.

Francis Benfatto’s Supplements

To ensure that his nutrition plan meets every single nutritional requirement of his body, Francis never shied away from consuming supplements. Francis Benfatto’s supplements stack included the following:-

  • Pre-workout
  • Whey protein
  • BCAAs
  • Multivitamins

Consuming a pre-workout supplement prior to his training sessions enabled him to exude more strength with great focus in the gym. Post his workout sessions and before bedtime, he used to fuel his body with amino acids by consuming whey protein shakes and BCAAs.

Francis also consumed a multivitamin supplement to fetch his body essential vitamins and minerals that further made his diet plan a complete one.

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Wrapping Up

Francis Benfatto has always been a man of perfection. And his beautifully-developed physique has always spoken volumes about it. If you too want to get a body as beautiful as his, the info mentioned in this post is going to serve your best interests.

It will assist you in designing your workout routine and nutrition plan. And following it with consistency will take your physical development to newer heights.