Robert Irvine never met a mission he didn’t like, and while most of his challenges involve rebuilding failing restaurants, in January he’s turning his focus to improving something else: Americans’ health. On Robert’s all-new special Fitness: Impossible (airing Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 11|10c), he’s setting his sights on motivating fans to achieve healthier lifestyles through smarter food choices and realistic exercise plans. FN Dish recently checked in with Robert to learn more about how he stays fit and to find out what his workout regime looks like. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Robert and get the details on how he manages to stick to his fitness plan even in the midst of his busy schedule.
Tell us about your fitness routine and diet. How do you stay in such shape?
Robert Irvine: I work out six days a week. … I eat small meals more frequently — eight to 12 meals a day, every two and a half hours. My protein is literally — whether it be chicken or shrimp, whatever it is — no bigger than a deck of cards each meal. And my starch — rice, potatoes, French fries even — no bigger than a mouse you use on your computer per meal. And [in the] afternoon, I don’t do carbs. I just do protein and salads and vegetables.
What’s your favorite workout routine?
RI: I work out each muscle group using low weights and higher reps.
If fans wanted to emulate your workout regime over the course of a week or month, what would the exercise plan look like?
RI: You start each session with 30 minutes of cardio and then each day focus on a different muscle group (chest, legs, arms, etc.). Use a low amount of weight so you can do a higher amount of reps, typically four sets of 12 to 15 reps.
What are your before- and after workout eats?
RI: It depends where I am and when I get to work out. I usually eat one of my protein bars before a workout and then have a shake or breakfast after.
How do you stay motivated to work out as often as you do?
RI: Unless I have an early flight, I work out in the morning. Working out is what gives me the energy to get through the day. It’s also one of the few times in a day I get to myself and to do something for myself.
What are your workout Achilles’ heels — the hardest parts — and how do you overcome them?
RI: Legs and cardio. I put on heavy rock music and force myself to do it. I know it’ll feel good after it is done.
Fans know you travel often for Restaurant: Impossible. How do you weave fitness into your busy schedule?
RI: I make the time, no excuses.
What are your favorite fresh ingredients?
RI: Herbs and juices. You can taste the difference when you use fresh herbs and juices as marinades or dressings, and they are healthier alternatives to most sauces and creams.
Do you have any “never” or “almost-never” foods that you stay away from?
RI: I love dessert. You shouldn’t have to deny yourself what you enjoy; just enjoy it in moderation.