Herschel Walker is a renowned former professional football player, martial artist, splinter, and businessman famous for his controversial workout routine and diet plan. Although he boasts a sturdy and perfectly toned physique, Herschel Walker doesn’t lift weights. Instead, he works out using his body weight.
Although most people consider him a vegan since he’s not fond of meat, Walker claims that he doesn’t mind enjoying a piece of chicken. Herschel Walker was short and chubby and had a speech impediment as a young boy. Besides not looking anything like an athlete, Walker was bullied by other students for his predisposition and looks.
After the sixth grade, he sought help from his elder brother’s track coach, who told him that if he consistently did sit-ups, press-ups, and sprints, he won’t realize cutting the excess fat. True to the coach’s world, Walker turned things around, became a successful splinter, and joined the football team in college.
About Herschel Walker
Walker was born in a village in Johnson County, Georgia, on March 3, 1962. He grew up alongside his six siblings. Despite having a speech impediment and being overweight, Walker was willing to turn things around.
After being encouraged by his mother, he went to the track coach and wanted to know how he could cut the extra weight and become more flexible.
The coach advised him to start doing splints, press-ups, and sit-ups. Within a short period, he became a superb athlete with a toned body. He went to the Johnson County High School and joined their football team known as Trojans from 1975 to 1979.
As a testament to his newfound versatility, flexibility, and physique, Walker dashed 3,167 yards in 1979, winning the Trojans their first state championship. After joining the University of Georgia, he joined the school’s football team and became a 3-time All-American champion. In 1982, Walker won the Maxwell Award and the Heisman Trophy. He played an integral role in helping Georgia win a national title undefeated in the 1980 season.
In 1999, Herschel Walker was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame, and he still holds the title as the all-time most outstanding player of college football. Walker left the University of Georgia a year early to play professionally in the now-defunct USFL.
He also played for 12 seasons with the NFL for Cowboys, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Dallas. He also joined the US Bobsled team for the 1992 Olympics.
In 1985, Walker rushed 2,411 yards in a single season, setting a new professional football record. Herschel Walker is a trained taekwondo expert boasting a 5th-degree black belt. He has also participated in MMA and won 2 professional fights.
Walker emerged the winner in the reality cooking show dubbed Rachael vs. Guy, made an appearance in Celebrity Apprentice’s second season and is currently the CEO of Celebrity Apprentice. He stands 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 225 pounds.
Herschel Walker’s Workout Routine
Contrary to the belief of many, Walker’s fitness journey dates back to his childhood. Due to his plump nature and speech impediment, Walker was targeted by bullies to the extent that he started losing his esteem and confidence.
However, after finishing sixth grade, he approached his brother’s track coach seeking to understand how he cut down the extra weight. The coach recommended sit-ups, press-ups, and sprints, and ever since, Walker has been using his body weight to train. He would do sit-ups and press-ups and sprint on the fields and hills under the hot Georgia sun.
Walker has maintained his teenage workout routine to date. Still, he doesn’t lift weights. Although he has nothing against weightlifting, Walker claims that using his body was enough to improve strength and speed, which is what he needed most.
Walker’s workout routine incorporates the following exercises:
- 750-1000 push-ups
During his prime years, he would do up to 3000 push-ups, tweaking them by slowing the pace, going halfway, doing them with arms wide open or with the arms close to the chest
- 2000 sit-ups
He incorporates variations like legs on a chair, straight-legged, leg raises, side crunches, twists, and bent-legged
- 1500 pull-ups
Walker does several variations of push-ups, including palms facing each other, palms facing away, and trying to touch the back of his head with the bar.
- Running drills and splints
Walker has been running with animals all his life. When he started training, he went up hills during summer to build more stamina.
Most of Walker’s routine exercises revolve around pull-ups, sit-ups, and splints. However, these are not the only exercises he has been doing to improve flexibility, stability, and strength. He integrates other activities into his workout routine. These include:
- 1000 triceps dips
- 1000 weighted squats
- 1000 air squats and squat thrusts
- He often does kickboxing, sparring, rope climbing, and wrestling
- Jumping drill/plyometrics
Herschel Walker’s favorite quote is, “if you consistently train hard, you don’t become hard, but harder to beat.”
Check out this fearsome video to really see Herschel’s routine:
Walker’s Workout Philosophy
Walker didn’t get such a perfect body out of the blues; he is one of the most hardworking athletes. He has achieved tremendous results from his intense workouts and relentless commitment. His philosophy is that:
The reps determine the results
Since the encounter with the track coach, Walker has been doing thousands of sit-ups and push-ups every day. Although most experts warn against doing too many reps, Walker found a balance by incorporating other workouts into his routine.
Diversifying Isn’t bad
Starting as a professional footballer, Walker has explored other activities that help him stay in shape throughout his life. These include martial arts, dancing, MMA, and track and field running. When you diversify, you improve stability and mobility and build a strong foundation for other types of activities and exercises.
Trying new things
Unlike other professionals that follow a formula workout routine, Walker experiments with various bodyweight training exercises and monitors how his body responds. He keeps those that are is beneficial and discards the rest.
Rest days are wasted days
Although this is one philosophy that goes against what most trainers recommend, Walker believes that exercising every day allows you to stay on a progressive trajectory. Since his teenage years, Herschel Walker has rarely missed a single workout every day.
Herschel Walker Diet and Nutrition
Walker’s diet plan is as controversial as his workout routine. He follows an unorthodox diet plan where he doesn’t eat breakfast or lunch.
Walker only takes one meal a day, dinner, and still insists that he practices fasting! Contrary to popular belief that you should calculate the nutrients in every plate, Walker doesn’t count macros. He claims that the healthy farmers he grew up with never counted protein grams.
He stopped eating red meat decades ago, but he occasionally eats chicken, although most people consider him a vegetarian. Herschel Walker’s one meal serving consists of soup, salad, and bread. He claims that his dietary choice boasts influences from family members who have lived healthy and long lives.
Walkers Diet Details
Walker eats his single meal around 8 to 9. While this is a little bit late, it’s a habit he picked when he was in college. He was often pressed on time and figured that the night hours were easier to stick to. As mentioned earlier, the meal includes salad, bread, and soup.
Walker drinks plenty of water and sometimes juice during the day to keep his body hydrated. It’s these fluids that keep him going until dinner time.
Soup is made in a crockpot.
The soup served during dinner is made in a crockpot to ensure that it’s hot and ready for drinking at the end of the day.
Looking at Herschel Walker’s diet plan, here are some of the foods to eat and what you should avoid
What to Eat
- Fruit juice
What to Avoid
- Red meat
- Junk food
- Refined sugars
- Chemical additives
- Processed meat
While most trainers and nutritionists disagree with Walker’s workouts and diet plan, he reiterates that he has followed it for more than two decades. And since he has his masculine body as evidence that it works, no one can convince him otherwise.
Does Herschel Walker Use Supplements?
With a naturally inspired lifestyle, it goes without saying that Walker doesn’t rely on any supplements for nutrition.
However, you’ll most probably need high-quality supplements if Walter’s physique is what you’re after.
But if you decide to follow the experimental route, you’ll need to have plenty of proteins in your diet. Experimenting with different diets is an excellent idea, but you have to listen to your body to know what works and what doesn’t.
Herschel Walker boasts one of the most intense workouts and a rather unorthodox diet plan. By doing thousands of reps daily and minimizing food intake to a single meal a day, Walker trained his body to consistently use fewer nutrients and build muscles over a long period.
While this is not the best workout and diet plan for many people, there are some essential takeaways that individuals can replicate in their fitness journey. First, it’s possible to work out using your body weight. However, you need to switch up things to work on different muscles.
Conversely, you must try out new things and see what works for you. More importantly, fitness should be a long-term goal rather than a short-term sprint. And as a wrap, you need to be mentally sober and consistent to achieve your fitness goals.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.