What's Your Workout? A Food Star's Fitness Plan

What's Your Workout? A Food Star's Fitness Plan

The Food Network chef Robert Irvine hosts the popular show Restaurant: Impossible, in which he and his team race to turn around a troubled restaurant on a 48-hour deadline. During a recent episode, Mr. Irvine renovated a community center in Washington that provides tutoring and healthful meals to children a challenge issued to him by Michelle Obama.

When hes not filming for the Food Network, he promotes nutrition and exercise at schools, and tours the country doing a live show that revolves around fitness and culinary demonstrations. Mr. Irvine, 47, also manages to squeeze in 5 a.m. workouts six or seven days a week, and in 2007, Mens Fitness magazine named him one of the 25 Fittest Guys in America.

Recently, we spoke with Mr. Irvine about his daily fitness routine and how a top chef manages to combine food and fitness.

Q.

You seem to be passionate about fitness and nutrition. Whats your personal philosophy on food?

A.

I was in the military for a long time, and Ive always believed in physical fitness and health. But over the last five years I started to change my diet. Not completely. But when I met my wife, Gail Kim, she had a profound influence on my life because she doesnt eat dairy and a lot of other things like that, and it made me more healthy.

Im a classically trained chef. We put lots of eggs and cream and salt in food. But now, because of Gail, when I cook I use less butter and cream. Weve become so much more than that. And I try and emphasize that when I speak to young children.

Q.

Do you follow a strict diet? Do you have any indulgences?

A.

I eat dairy and I eat a little butter, but my wife doesnt, so Ive moderated that. In the morning I eat oatmeal and Ill do eggs and egg whites. I eat a lot of vegetables and salads, mostly high-protein foods and not so many carbs. I try not to do carbs after 2 p.m. I try to follow moderation. I love desserts. I would eat a dessert at every meal. But Gail has really put the kibosh on me eating garbage.

Q.

As youve gotten older, have you changed your workouts?

A.

I dont do heavy weights. Im 47 and too old for that now. I think the best way to lift weights is to do light weights and lots of repetitions. I do one body part a day. Normally chest followed by back, shoulders, biceps and then triceps. I very rarely do legs because I do cardio about 20 minutes every day. So I try not to do too many leg workouts other than running. I also like the elliptical machine.

Q.

You travel a lot and have a packed schedule. How do you fit in your workouts?

A.

I spend 330 days a year on the road. I make sure theres a gym either next to where were staying or very close to it. Ive got 40 people on my team cameras, audio, production staff and 12 of them are in the gym with me every morning.

Every morning, we work out at 5 a.m. The only time Im not working out at 5 a.m. is when Im home. Then Ill sleep in a little and do the workout in the afternoon.

Q.

Fat Loss What mistakes do you think people often make in their workouts?

A.

I think the biggest mistake people make when they first get into the gym is they push and push, and then they get so sore that they dont come back. They use too much weight because thats the macho thing to do. Or they lift with poor form and they get injured.

The exercise has to fit who you are and how old you are and your experience level. Start slow and work into things and youll come back. Ive got a 62-year-old guy on the set who does sound production and works out with me. Hes never been fit. But he started working out with me and hes done amazing things.

Heres a guy who used to carry a big sound boom, so his back was shot; he was always complaining. And now he exercises, he eats well, he feels better when he wakes up in the morning. You can see that hes losing weight and hes gaining muscle, and he gets excited for our workouts. In the beginning I started him out slowly. If I had given him too much weight when we started, he wouldve been so sore he never wouldve done it again.

Q.

Do you have any tips on how people can eat well and stay in shape?

A.

Think about your meals ahead of time. You have to have breakfast in the morning. If you dont have much time, then eat instant oatmeal. Itll stay in your stomach for two hours. When youre running around with no food in your stomach, your blood sugar drops, you feel terrible and you get headaches. Two hours after that you can have eggs, whole-wheat toast, things like that. And every two hours from then you eat something. Small meals are way better than large meals. You can digest them faster.

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12 Responses to “What's Your Workout? A Food Star's Fitness Plan”

  1. Fitness Tips? My fiance and i are getting married in August and although we are both very healthy and look after ourselves, we both want to look our best for the wedding. we usually go cycling but the weather is really awful at the moment and the local gym is rubbish. does anyone have any excersize tips that we can do at home? aside from the obvious of course *wink*

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    • HealthNut Reply

      Here is an at-home routine that you can do for a total body and great cardio workout. Hope you like it.

      RUN IN PLACE – kick heels up to buttocks

      SQUATS

      JUMPING JACKS

      BACK LEG LIFTS – keeping the hips forward lift your left leg back – it’s a small movement so don’t arch your back to lift very high – do one side for half the amount of time and then switch

      HEEL DIGS – press heel out in front of you and hop to switch feet

      SIDE LEG RAISES – standing lift your left leg out to the side and lead with the heel (don’t turn your toe up) and also don’t lean over sideways as you do this – half the time and then switch sides

      BURPEES – standing place hands on floor and jump feet back into pushup position and then jump feet back towards hands and stand up (that completes one burpee)

      PLIE SQUAT – stand with your feet wider than should length apart and your toes turned out at a 45 degree angle, squat down and using your inner thighs press yourself back up

      SPEED SKATER – leap to the right bring left leg slightly behind you and you reach towards the floor and then leap to the left bringing right leg slightly behind while reach towards the floor

      PUSHUPS – can do against a wall or on the floor on your toes or knees

      CROSS COUNTRY SKI – stand with legs together and jump up landing with right leg in front and left leg back then jump again switching feet in the air

      BICEP CURLS – curl with weights (or whatever else you can use such as soup cans, water bottles, resistance bands) be sure not to lock out the elbow and curl for the full range of motion

      DOWNHILL SKI – feet together jump to right and then the left and stay low in a little bit of a squat position

      TRICEP PUSHUP – lay on your left side with your left hand on your right side and place your right hand on the floor infront of you, now press yourself up with your right hand – half the time and then switch sides

      HIGH KNEES – run in place brining knees into the chest as much as you can

      BACK ROW – using weights hinge forward at the hips so you are slightly bent over and knees slightly bent, let the weights hang down with palms facing each other than pull the elbows up keeping them close to the body and bring the weights up as high as you can and then lower

      SQUAT THRUST – kinda like a burpee but when you come up jump

      SHOULDER RAISE – with weights stand with elbows out at shoulder height then press weights up over head and lower to shoulder height (don’t go below shoulder height)

      POWER JACKS – like a jumping jack but when your feet go wide go down into a squat and when jumping back with feet together do two hops

      LOWER ABS – laying stomach place your hands infront of you forming a triangle, lift your hips up so you are on your toes and elbows (don’t lift your hips too high though – you should be in a straight line and abs pulled up in towards your spine) alternate touching your knees to the floor, but don’t let them rest – they should just barley touch

      JUMP ROPE – real or pretend

      OBLIQUES – on your back with feet on the floor and hands behind the head crunch up and twist left elbow to right knee – half the amount of time and then switch sides

      SQUAT JUMPS – in a squat position jump up and land in squat position

      UPPER ABS – on your back with feet planted on floor lift your hips up and have hands behind head – keeping your hips up off the floor do a crunch

      QUICK FEET – standing with feet wide run in place as fast as you can (think football)

      FRONT LUNGES – lunge forward with the left foot, staying in this position lower yourself and then press back up – half the amount of time and then switch sides

      SQUAT W/ FRONT KICK – feet close together squat and come up and kick with the left then squat again and come up and kick the right and keep alternating

      STEP TOUCH – stay low with knees bent and step to the left bringing feet together and then step to the right, while doing so have your arms extending out to the sides with each step

      SHUFFLE W/ KNEE – shuffle three times to the left and on the third one lift your right knee and then shuffle three times to the right lifting your left knee on the third one

      MARCH – march in place to cool down

      do each move one after the other without a rest in-between and you’ll get an excellent interval workout – If you want a longer workout walk in place 3-5 minutes and then do the whole circuit again.

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  2. Fitness Tips…? Well, Im 16 and weigh 306 pounds at about six feet in height. I just started Varsity Football for my school. Well, my coach told me that he will prefer me at a weight of 280 by about July. I just wanted any and all tips that someone can think of that will hep me with my goal and increase my football skills. Hopefullly, improving my speed, explosion, agility, strength, etc,. Is this goal attainable and what do you reccomend I do?

    View Comment
    • HealthNut Reply

      Hi,

      I’ve tried so many different diets in the last 10 years that I can say now, they don’t work!
      A few months ago, I came across a great product for weight loss (it’s actually a colon cleanse) and like many others I was skeptical about it. But I really wanted to lose weight and I tried it (it’s 100% natural). The results were excellent. I lost about 20 pounds in 2 months with this detox. That’s why I recommend you check this product at http://www.thin-quick.us where they have a free trial and you only pay $4.95 shipping and handling.
      Good luck!

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  3. What Are Some Good Fitness Tips? I have been trying to lose weight for a couple months now and has been stuck at one weight. Do anyone have any fitness tips and also eating tips for me?

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    • HealthNut Reply

      80% of weight loss is diet.
      You can eat a healthy diet and lose weight.
      You can eat a healthy diet and exercise and lose more weight.
      You can exercise and eat a poor diet and not lose and even gain weight.
      A good healthy diet high in fiber, lean meats, eggs, complex carbohydrates, whole grains, antioxidant foods, healthy beverages and low in added sugar and salt help people lose weight, lower cholesterol, increase energy, improve brain function, lower blood pressure, reduce cancer risk and have a more positive lifestyle!
      You need to eat a lot more food and a lot more fiber!
      Diets that exclude foods from any food group are fad diets and do not lead to permanent weight loss or solve any other health issues.
      First, try to kick your fiber intake to 40 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
      Whatever you do, get your fiber from your food, not from a jar.
      Fruits and vegetables have good fiber in them. A high fiber diet increases the metabolism.
      Try a breakfast cereal with at least 20% of recommended daily allowance of fiber in it. They are usually low in sugar so there is a double benefit. Blueberries or raspberries on top add more fiber and antioxidants. But fresh or frozen, not the kind in syrup. Oatmeal with berries or a bit of fresh honey is also good.
      Raw nuts are a great source of fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Avocados are the best.
      Lots of beans, peas, and grains are high fiber. Whole grain breads. Fiber kicks up the metabolism so you actually burn more calories. These foods will give you more gas in the beginning but if eaten daily, the bacteria in the digestive tract will elevate lowering the gas output.
      This will get you on the path for a healthy daily bowel movement. This helps clean the system and aids healthy digestion.
      I know it goes against everything you’ve heard but eating lots of the right foods will actually help you lose weight!
      Next, take an age appropriate basic daily multivitamin. Don’t look at your multivitamin as nutrition but more as an insurance policy. Think of it as filling in the gaps in your daily diet as opposed to a primary source of nutrients.
      You have to drink lots of water to be healthy. But you can disguise it. Fill your glass all the way full with ice before pouring low sugar beverages. Try iced green tea with a splash of orange juice in it for sweet. More antioxidants. Add lemon juice to water for flavor. Slice up a cucumber and float it in pitcher of water. Gives it salty fresh taste. But you must drink up to 100 oz of water daily to help your body get rid of waste and the natural toxins.
      Last, you need to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep depending on your age. All recent sleep studies report a connection between poor sleep patterns and weight gain. This includes going to bed as close to the same time every night including weekends. Most of us stay up late Friday and Saturday night and it throws us off.
      You must combine a healthy diet with exercise to multiply the benefit. Whether an hour a day in the weight room or just a 30 minute brisk walk every day, the added benefit of a regular exercise program really do increase and accelerate healthy weight loss.

      I lost 30 pounds in 5 months by spending my money at the grocery and gym and have kept it off for over two years. Less than 3% of people that attempt weight loss lose it and keep it off for two years. It is not easy. It is a lifestyle change.
      Good luck and good health.

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  4. Fitness Tips? I just turned 14, and weight around 90 punds. I have no muscle at all, basically. How should I get more fit? I bike ride alot during the Summer.

    And does anyone know hoew to get taller faster? I get made fun of because I am,like, 5′ 2″ tall.

    Im a vegetarian.

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    • HealthNut Reply

      Do you know about protiens, carbs, and fats, metabolism, etc.?
      when you say you’re a vegatarian, you’re basically saying you dont know much about nutrition.
      go to fitday.com and learn more about food before you cut out an entire food group. start eating meat and strength train and within the next year or so (when puberty hormones kick in) you will be as muscular as you want!
      -Jamie ?

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  5. Anyone Know Some Good Fitness Tips? I’m really bad at running, and I would like to loose a few pounds, so I was wondering if anyone could give me some simple fitness tips? Just a simple fitness regime, please.

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    • HealthNut Reply

      Avoid elevators and escalators,,
      climb stairs,, walk long distances every single day.
      hour of cardio at your target heart rate every day.
      stretch properly afterwards or you wont want to come back tomorrow which blows the whole plan.

      good luck

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  6. What Are Some Good Fitness Tips To Do In Your House ? Please anything helps !! its cold outside and i hate running what are fitness routines i can do to loose weight but indoors?

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    • HealthNut Reply

      You can do workout DVDs, Wii fit, DDR, you can also get trainers to turn your road bike into a stationary bike. Dancing is good too.

      View Comment
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