Herschel Walker’s Unique Diet and Workout Routine

If you are not familiar with who Herschel Walker is, he is a former football player (regarded as one of the top college running backs of all time) and was also awarded the Heisman Trophy in 1982.

He has played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants.

Herschel is also a mixed martial artist and has been signed by MMA promotion Strikeforce to compete in their heavyweight division.

Herschel Walker

Since I don’t really follow football, I hadn’t really heard of Herschel Walker until he was a contestant on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.

I came across an article which talks about his diet and fitness program. It is probably not what you are thinking.

I know I was surprised when I read about his diet and workouts. Here is how it breaks down:

  • Does not train with free-weights
  • Uses bodyweight exercises, calisthenics, and conditioning, as well as martial arts training
  • Performs 750-1,000 push-ups daily
  • 2,000+ sit-ups daily
  • Skips breakfast
  • Trains for martial arts which includes wrestling, kickboxing, sparring and jujitsu
  • Dinner is the only meal consumed which consists of salad, soup, and bread
  • He is a vegetarian
  • Sleeps four hours a night

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Walker stated in an in-studio interview during BaD Radio on August 23, 2010 that he still performs 3,500 sit-ups and 1,000 push ups every day.

He has been going through this same routine since high school.

His routine is definitely unique and not one that the average person would follow.

Most advice says to consume plenty of protein, add a variety of exercises, get plenty of sleep and recovery.

However, I do find his diet and workouts fascinating and it obviously works well for him.


Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

28 thoughts on “Herschel Walker’s Unique Diet and Workout Routine”

  1. Woah! That guy is crazy ripped. I wonder if I could take Hershel in the cage?? LOL. Good article. I sometimes sleep less than 4 hours a night but it doesn’t seem to help at all.

    I just started writing a blog about getting in shape, you should subscribe and give me good tips!

    Any idea how I can get broader shoulders??! I do lateral raises like crazy but it still doesn’t seem to be working.

  2. Great article! It’s amazing how awesome this guy looks when he doesn’t even use weights. Maybe I should just drop the heavy sets for some serious reps if that’s what can be achieved!

  3. Herschel rocks! I did a post on him last year. He’s lucky enough to posses freakish genetics. Most people would have trouble getting anywhere near that massive doing body weight exercises, especially with the low weight, high (insanely high?) rep routines he uses. It’s amazing though. He looks better now than when he played in the NFL. He also played in the USFL, which battled the NFL for pro football dominance in the ’80’s. Needless to say, they lost.

    For Drew and the wider shoulders question, try power cleans, upright rows, and wide grip overhead presses in front. One problem with lateral raises is that it is difficult to use very heavy weight and still keep good, strict form.

  4. Many years ago, I remember reading about how Herschel Walker didn’t use free weights and thought it was amazing the kind of shape he got in using bodyweight exercises. Now here he is at close to 50 years old, and he still looks incredible. Really shows the value of simple using your own body weight.

  5. I just hope everyone doesn’t jump on the bandwagon of training like this. The guy’s very genetically gifted, and his training/diet wouldn’t work for 99% of people out there. I’d imagine he also succeeds in spits of some of the stuff he does, not necessarily because of it.

  6. It gives you an idea on what you yourself can do, that there are no excuses on being able to stay in shape, you don’t have to do exactly what he does you can if you want and see if it works, (I would suggest a generous breakfast as opposed to a dinner like that ^^^) and if it does fine, if it don’t adjust it !!!

  7. …i like how people play the roid’s card on Herschel….that’s not very beneficial to him at his age now…..

    plus he FIGHTS in MMA!….there are strict testing guidelines before AND after fights!!!!

  8. This article is missing something in his diet. As Frotiger points out, where is his protein and calories coming from? You can’t exercise that much, eat that little, and come out looking like that. He’d be no heavier than a Featherweight if this was true.

  9. Wow! There really is not an excuse for not being in shape. if Herschel is a forty-year-old man and commits to all of this, surely I can do more than what I am doing.

    1. I too, do lots of push ups and sit-ups, and I have been doing them for 10 years or more. There is no way u can be that Big and cut on one meal a day. Unless u eat a whole head of
      Lettuce, a whole tomato, a hole cucumber, and a gallon of
      Soup loaded with chicken. I believe Hershel does the workout, but I believe he used to do more than he let’s on to. And now he’s doing mma fighting and he wants us to believe u can do all this with a bowl of soup. Must be the damn best soup in the world. I think it’s called cup-of-roids
      Genetics my foot, and not one pro bodybuilder has ever endorsed this. Ok

      1. Ok please explain to me how doing sit-up and pushups
        Makes your things and calves huge. So if I do a 1000 squats and calf raises, my chest and arms will get bigger? Hmmmmm

        1. not mentioned in the article is the fact that his workout routine contains (or at least used to) a 5-10 mile run per day

  10. It is amazing how some people seem to defy logic. The amount of push ups and sit ups Herschel should keep him lean it is his diet that throws me. Just how much and what does he eat?

  11. Ignorance is bliss, right? Everyone is focusing on his push ups and sit ups along with his diet. Seem to be missing the part about his multifaceted MMA training, which in many cases works more muscles harder and faster then even the most dedicated bodybuilding regimen. Read the whole article before you start bitching. Going to start bashing on farm boys next just because they spend 12+ hours a day in a field and don’t have time for ‘real’ training?

    1. I agree. I workout with a former MMA trainer and we don’t lift weights at all. It’s all body weight and work. This guy is so ripped and lean, but not skinny. He does eat 5 small meals a day however, but he does not lift weights. We do full body training with no weights and I swear you hurt from your neck to the soles of your feet. My first session with no weight and I could barely walk for 3 days in a row.

  12. To anyone that says genetics, take a look at his parents and look at his childhood. He was, as a kid, overweight and got beat up routinely at school. He was a shy kid that had little to no friends (according to a documentary made about him), and this led him to train and obtain an intensity that few of us can imagine. His results did not come overnight, it took him years of training to get anywhere near his daily morning ritual, but please do not try to state that genetics are the reason he can do what he can do, they may be part of the reason, but the real reason is his years of training with a laser-like focus.

  13. Don’t knock it till you try it. I eat and sleep a lot more than Herschel; but I also do 750-1000 push-ups a day, 4- 6 days a week. I have been doing this for 4 weeks now and the results are fast and outstanding. Push-ups primarily work the upper body, but when done correctly will tone your legs. They won’t get bigger, but they will definitely tone up. I also do martial arts which definitely is a tough work out. But push ups work; no doubt about it.

  14. Fortunate that I just came across your site and article here Eartha, thanks for that. I had been feeling like I did enough having done 60 pushups for the day till I read this! Hmm, 60 compared to 1000. Do you know if he does that straight or in sets? If he can do even 50 at a shot, I believe he might not have to use free weight cause even 20 takes the wind out of me. So, as a result of reading this, I am going to shoot for a 100 a day, or who knows, maybe even more. Lets see what happens. I have to reread about the benefits of pushups and push myself to do more!

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