Listen to this interviewThe Bulk Hackers robot can read Bruno's interview aloud for you (playtime 12 minutes and 37 seconds) 🤖
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My real name is Bruno Salgueiro, from Portugal. I call myself ‘Bruce Willow’ for my english YouTube channel and Instagram because that would be the direct translation of Salgueiro which means willow tree in portuguese.
I’m currently 35 years old. And I am a professional stuntman and personal trainer.
I’m working as a Stuntman for almost 12 years by now and my specialties are fight choreography, just like one would see in Jackie Chan’s movies(I wish) and stunt falls, like falling off stairs, tables, or even getting hit by a car.
By working and coordinating fight and action scenes here in Portugal, both for Portuguese tv shows and commercials and for other countries in Europe, like the UK or Germany, I’ve figured that it would be better to get fitness and personal trainer accreditation.
I had been working out in gyms since I was 18 so that was also a huge passion of mine.
Prior to that, I trained Wushu(Kung Fu) since I was 9 years old, which pretty much gave me all my first physical attributes(especially coordination and flexibility).
I started my Portuguese YouTube channel 6 years ago, combining all these skills from working on TV and Fitness-wise. We already have 340k followers in Portugal and Brasil.
And now we’re trying to have the same content for the English YouTube channel that we started about a year ago. Slowly but surely I believe we’ll get there!
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
My typical training day will vary a lot nowadays.
I’m currently working on my boxing skills with a trainer and I do a full boxing class from 2-4 times a week depending on my shooting schedules.
I always felt like my legs were my strong suit and my boxing lagged, in terms of the martial art performance and fighting skills.
I’m starting grappling with a few friends as well, but still nice and easy.
Other than that I workout from 4-6 times a week, what one would call functional exercises and workouts(I know I hate that word, too).
Currently, I’m using a full-body split, where I try to work each muscle or movement pattern(push, pull, squat, hinge) each session.
Pretty much everything is super-setted, so, for example, I might start with some explosive movements like plyometrics(box jumps, ball tosses, one-legged jumps) and move on to weightlifting as clean or snatch.
Then I go for main lifts like deadlift or squat, paired with either shoulder presses or pull-ups. To this point, I keep my reps low, anywhere from 3-5 on the plyos and from 4-6 on the main lifts. Cleans and snatches anywhere from 1-3 reps- not really interested in complexes here.
After that, comes the portion where I might get 3 to 4 exercises and do them in a row to get that cardiovascular output.
Kettlebell swings, pull-ups, push-ups, sled push, sled pull, hammer strikes, lunges, dumbbell snatches, core work, and rope jumps to name a few of my usual choices.
Anywhere from 3-5 rounds of a circuit is more than enough and I might end up with some accessory movement like Leg Curls, Nordic Hamstrings, Forearms or even neck work(crucial for stunt falls).
I would never give a single muscle too much volume on each given day so that the day after I won’t hinder my performance either on the set or on boxing classes.
That pretty much sums up what I do nowadays. Rest days are rest days, no more than a slow walk if that!
I don’t really follow a specific program nor do I log everything I do. I kind of go by feel, I was never an extremely organized person and I keep it like that in training- intuitive and fun!
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
By keeping things a little different each session I find that spices me up!
It’s always very important to mix skill work with physiological benefits. If you constantly work on skills or challenges to your physique or coordination, you will get frustrated after a while because that offers no physiological adaptation and you can be very skillful but not get better at the foundational pillars like strength.
On the other hand, if I only do the strength programming without mixing stuff up or incorporating the martial art skills and technique sessions, I will get so bored and probably overtrained!
It’s important to see the workouts and the whole training scheme as something you do to feed the body and the mind. That’s what the anti-depressant stimulus of the workout is, first and foremost.
If you feel like taking a day off, take it! Don’t ever feel like it’s all or nothing. Enjoy life and see training as an extra part of you. It shouldn’t define you!
As for motivation, research is my thing. I’ll just start googling or watching YouTube videos and I’ll get pumped about trying new things. That’s a major stimulus that we can all appreciate nowadays.
Let’s use it for the best, and not to get more junk into our brains. 🙂
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
In my line of work, aesthetics does not play a huge role. I would say performance is the main factor. I should be strong, flexible, agile, fast, etc.
Those are the aspects, I want to keep and if possible, increase. I will never dwell on any aspect for too long or specialize too much.
I recently worked on ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ movie and loved the experience so I would say, other than keeping my channel growing and helping athletes, I would love to keep adding movies and TV shows to my resume.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I was always very good at listening to my body. So far, other than the occasional tendonitis, nothing major listed as an injury!
I will always keep a little bit in the tank in the strength sessions and rarely go to failure unless it’s small muscles like the Bicep or Tricep.
I eat a bit of everything and supplement quite well, with protein, multi-vitamin, omega-3’s and Creatine.
I try to sleep from 7-9 hours each day. Those have been my criteria for years and so far, so good.
Also, a lot of accessory exercises and attention on the eccentric phase with exercises like Nordic Hamstrings will work wonders!
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
As for dieting, I have certain rules that I follow, but not too rigid. And everything around it will be a free-for-all. I’ll eat whatever I want and will drink alcohol on weekends, to be honest.
As for those rules I follow, they have more to do with overall protein numbers(try to get around 180 grams of protein a day) and around workout sessions. I will always mind the timing of the pre-workout meal, mainly because the workouts are high intensity and some foods make me feel discomfort during training.
Anything that might have dairy or fats will be eliminated from any pre-workout meal for that purpose.
So I might eat a light protein pancake(only oats and egg whites) an hour and a half before or a little bit of rice. I’ll actually eat a spoon of cooked rice and a coffee if I go to the gym after waking up. That will let my brain know I have glucose and won’t freak out about not having fuel for the actual workout, during the session.
I would never work out when fasted unless it’s a really light cardio session on the treadmill or the bike(which I don’t do often).
As for protein sources, huge meat fan- steak, chicken, canned tuna fish, salmon and then eggs and dairy as well. I do love my milk or greek yogurt, especially before bed.
Carbs will be mainly white rice and potatoes, sometimes sweet potatoes but I prefer white ones. Pasta will be used maybe 2 times a week.
I do about 3 to 4 meals a day and snack a bit during the afternoon or mid-morning. My supplement sponsor Prozis has great options, anywhere from protein muffins to smoothies or protein bars.
As for supplements I use creatine, omega 3(whenever I remember to) and whey protein as main ones. I might throw in a multivitamin every once in a while.
One thing I’m bad at is vegetable consumption! I don’t like vegetables unless I can have them in soup! Soup is the greatest way to get those micronutrients so I will always have it either at lunch, dinner or both!
Like I said before, I enjoy alcohol, especially cocktails. Just tried adding vodka to cider soda and it was the greatest thing ever!
I know I shouldn’t but to be honest I can’t really keep a straight or fixed eating schedule like bodybuilders. To me that is way too boring, to be honest. I will, however, maintain a good balance and will only do it every once in a while to maintain my sanity.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
My biggest inspiration has been Bruce Lee since I was 9 years old. I saw this movie called ‘Dragon- The Bruce Lee Story’ and fell in love with his legacy. This was a movie based on his life so I started doing my own research and saw each of his movies and became obsessed. That’s when I bugged my mom to enroll me in the martial arts!
Everything I did was to be like him! From that on, people like Jackie Chan, Jet Li or even Van Damme played a huge role in my life to help me figure out what I would want to do career-wise.
Movies have really been my favorite source of inspiration and I know all my favorite movies by heart- mostly action ones.
Other sources would be music, books, and more recently YouTube! I love rock and old school hip hop bands.
My favorite books are biographies and technical books. To name a few- Bruce Lee Fighting Spirit by Bruce Thomas; 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and WillPower by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney.
Finally, those who are around me- my parents, friends, and co-workers like my stunt teammates and especially my coordinator, David Chan. He has been my mentor since I started and taught me many valuable lessons!
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
My advice is to try everything. Never be afraid of experimenting. Why would you be guessing through all of your life?
Sometimes even what you think you might love, you’ll end up hating or vice-versa! You have everything available nowadays, so you can even start by a small workout at home based on some fitness blogger videos you found on the web. And you know what you’ll feel great afterward!
I started with a book when I was 9. Before my mom enrolled me in Kung Fu. A pretty basic book on Kung Fu got me all pumped up running around the house and trying out some stances- that sparked the flame, alongside the movies! That’s the best way to get motivated.
Later on, make sure you take your time being a ‘White Belt’. Don’t think you have it all just because you had 30 workouts without skipping.
You can really see people thinking they’re experts with a few training sessions, not only in martial arts but also in all things fitness. I hate that. We still need to get back to the old values like respect for the hierarchy, which seems like it’s gone nowadays.
Rushing is the best way to get nowhere. Try to take your time and enjoy the process. When it becomes an addiction, you probably have gone too far.
Other life hacks I discovered along the way are connected to my brain training. I mean, don’t get stuck in the same movement patterns, but explore new moves that require some cognitive skills. Even outside of fitness you can train your pathways and brain plasticity to become a bigger sponge of knowledge.
Fitness doesn’t give you just abs or the ability to squat heavy. It builds your discipline and momentum for everything- with that momentum even your career outside of fitness(if that’s the case) will grow.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I currently have only 5 personal training clients and they’re the ones that stuck with me through the times. I enjoy the process of watching them get better each day!
I’m not really taking more than those because I have other work to do and couldn’t find time to squeeze in extra clients.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
You can find me on YouTube at Bruce Willow. Every week you have new video tutorials, podcasts or even nutrition tips.
So far that’s what I got and the idea is to give the best tools to our audience!