They’re running for president, chasing Olympic gold, and cavorting with lions. They’re acting, dropping rhymes, and cooking up healthy dishes. They’re ballers, badasses, and one of them is even Bond. Whether in business, boxing, or on the big screen, each of these guys rule in and out of the gym.
Tiger Woods, 32 – The One
Because he made us care about a sport we didn’t think was, well, a sport.
Because he raised the bar and made pro golfers care about winning again.
Because he made himself better, even while he was clearly the best.
Because he’s walking history.
Because even the icons say he’s the best.
Because he loves the gym.
Because he’s the first golfer we’ve ever thought of as an athlete.
Because he has a bangin’ hot wife.
Because he has all the toys.
Because he’s making all the money.
Because he’s the first golfer who’s jacked, and has the balls to show it off.
Because, quite simply, he kicks everybody’s ass, and could probably have done it in any sport.
Because when the shot matters most, he just sticks it.
Because he gets even better when challenged.
Because he embodies the best in all of our cultures.
Because we love the fist pump. (Did we say he has a bangin’ wife?)
Because we can’t stop watching him.
Because he is the bar.
For all these reasons, we recognize Tiger Woods as the 2008 Fittest Guy in America.
Wladimir Klitschko, 32 – The Boxer
The 6’6″, 220-pound heavyweight enjoys kite surfing to stay in shape, but for his bout with Sultan Ibragimov back in February, Klitschko followed an intensive month-long routine: Four days a week, he watched his opponent’s past fights on-screen, while running, punching, and jabbing with four-pound weights attached to his arms and legs. In the evenings, he sparred 10 rounds for two hours. He filled two more days by swimming nonstop laps in the pool for 40 minutes and adding beach runs to his regi- men. Klitschko, who’s knocked out 44 of his 50 foes, beat Ibragimov to unify the heavyweight title. “By the middle of the fight, [Ibragimov] knew he was going to lose.”
Curtis Stone, 32 – The Chef
“Food is the center of my life.” You’d think anyone who makes such an admission would need some serious weight-loss options. But Curtis Stone is as fit as they come. When the Australian-born chef isn’t filming his hit TLC show Take Home Chef, he’s on a long board somewhere. “Surfing is so indulgent, I almost feel guilty,” he says. “But after an hour or two, you don’t even realize you did a workout.” Does the show’s success motivate him to stay fit? “Absolutely! Although you guys aren’t helping either,” he laughs. “You can’t be slumming it if you’re gonna be on Men’s Fitness’s fittest 25.”
Flo Rida, 28 – The Rapper
His moniker is derivative of his home state and rap style. His ubiquitous hit, “Low,” topped Billboard’s Hot 100 for 10 weeks and became a workout playlist staple. For Flo Rida (born Tramar Dillard), performing the bass-banging anthem onstage has proven to be a workout itself. “By the end of the night, I feel like I’ve done a trillion squats and situps,” he says. The number’s actually closer to 1,000, his daily target for crunches. The hard-bodied hip-hop star also incorporates the overhead press, dumbbell press, and 300 dips into his regimen. “I was a skinny dude in high school,” the rapper recalls. “I probably couldn’t lift 50 pounds. Now I’m 6’3″, 210 pounds, and can bench-press 400.” And now he’s exercising his right to bare (his massive) arms, as evidenced by his choice of wardrobe. “I wear a lot of wife beaters,” he says, laughing. “Every time I perform, I’ve got to take one off and throw it to the ladies.”
Barack Obama, 46 – The Candidate
It takes a certain stamina to endure months of 16-hour days in pursuit of the land’s highest office. Obama is not the first politician dedicated to fitness, but the Illinois senator starts every day with a morning workout, whether it’s machines at the hotel gym or a brisk 45-minute run. He’s also quit smoking. Obama can be excused for enjoying the occasional state-fair corn dog because he mostly stays away from fatty foods. He’s also, as we’ve seen, a bit of a baller. Nicknamed “Barry O’Bomber” for his jump shot, the former high school hoopster now releases stress during pickup games-including one on every primary day. “He’s wiry-looking but actually pretty strong,” former Duke player and Obama staffer Reggie Love has said. “And he hates losing. He plays hard.” Now that we know.
Walter Dix, 22 – The Sprinter
Fastest man in America? The 5’9″, 190-pound Dix sure made a compelling argument last year by setting the U.S. collegiate record in the 100m (9.93 seconds) and the all-time NCAA record in the outdoor 200m (19.69). For a sprinter, he’s big. Like, real big. “It must be my genetics,” says Dix, “because it wasn’t really from blasting it in the weight room.” Dix lifts three days a week, doing high reps in exercises like squats and power cleans. “In track, everything’s about quickness,” he says, “so it’s better to do things quicker in the weight room than to try and go heavy.” A senior at Florida State, Dix is wrapping up a stellar college career and is looking to qualify and compete in the Olympics in Beijing.
Dierks Bentley, 32 – The Road Warrior
With 250 shows a year, the platinum-selling country rocker has been to almost every town in the U.S.-and worked out in each of them. Committed to staying in shape on the road, Bentley says he’s hit every chain and independent gym. “I’ve even worked out in church basements,” says Bentley, who’s lost 15 pounds since he started touring in 2003. The Nashville, Tenn., resident gets a pretty nice burn back home too, taking the ice every Monday with his rec hockey team, the Nashville Iceholes. “We all share the same passion for the sport,” he says. “And for a good fourth period at the pub after the game.”
Jason Osborn, 30 & Jason Wright, 29 – The Entrepreneurs
When fashion models Osborn and Wright needed a healthy snack, they started baking their own granola, about two pounds a day, in their West Village walk-up in New York City. Four years later, their Feed Granola Co. makes 30,000 pounds a month for Whole Foods and other health stores nationwide, and is poised to generate $2 million in sales by the end of the year. Marketing their product on cross-country road trips (in a hybrid car, no less), the two Jasons say they sometimes need to “get creative” when it comes to staying fit (usually four sets of 15 pushups, situps, pullups, and plyometric lunges in whatever hotel room they’re in at the moment, plus a five-mile jog). Lucky for them, they’ve got the perfect post-workout food.
Ed Donner, 31 – The Regular Joe
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” says the Melbourne, Fla., investment securities specialist after beating out more than 100 Men’s Fitness readers to land on our list. Sure, his stats are impressive (5’11”, 174 pounds, 4.9% body fat), but it’s his Ironman triathlon training that’s truly staggering. On weekdays, Donner wakes up at 4:30 a.m. and runs eight to 10 miles or bikes between 30 and 40 miles. His afternoon “brick” workouts-what triathletes call two workouts in a row-consists of a swim and weight session, weight and bike, or weight and run. Every Saturday since New Year’s, he’s been biking 80 to 120 miles along Interstate 95, then running another four to eight miles to simulate a typical race day, even in 95-degree weather, thunderstorms, and lightning. His daily 5,000-calorie diet includes a dinner that can feed a small family: six to eight turkey burgers and three huge servings of vegetables. Donner says he doesn’t work out to be the most ripped guy out there. “Some people say I look 21 years old,” he says. “I actually feel better now than when I was 21.”
Mac Danzig, 28 – The Fighter
With an aggressive style and well-rounded scrapping skills, Danzig decimated the com- petition on season six of The Ultimate Fighter, Spike TV’s hugely popular reality show featuring Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) aspirants. Now a contender in the UFC’s highly competitive lightweight (155-pound) division, Danzig doesn’t mind having to shed human blood to win a fight, but he can’t tolerate that of animals-he’s been a vegan since 2004. “Meat just started grossing me out,” says the Las Vegas-based fighter. “I was about a month from a fight and decided I was going to cut out all meat. I won that fight and went on a 12-fight win streak.”
Shemar Moore, 38 – The G-Man
As FBI agent Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds, Moore channels his inner action star by doing all his own stunts and chase scenes. Prone to two-hour daily workouts in his gym trailer, Moore once seemed destined for pro sports. “My mother jokes that I was born kicking a soccer ball. In college, I was throwing a baseball 94 miles an hour, running track, and playing football.” He also led a Criminal Minds cycling team to raise money for multiple sclerosis, in honor of his mother, who was diagnosed in 1999. “Last year we had 35 riders and rode 100 miles. Now, after all these years of working out, it’s not just about how good I look in the mirror.”
Mark Steines, 44 – The Anchor
Injuries may have derailed the Entertainment Tonight anchor’s football career, but the former fullback still lives out his fantasy on PlayStation. “I started playing Madden while I was on my elliptical trainer, and 45 minutes of cardio flew by,” he says. “I’ve played endless seasons, won numerous Super Bowls. My wife always asks me how my fake Raiders are doing.” Steines and his wife love running up a set of steep concrete stairs-84 total-near their house in Santa Monica, Calif. But the couple also work out at home, in front of their two sons. “We want to set an example for our kids.” After 13 seasons co-anchoring ET, Steines’s definition of fitness has certainly evolved. “It’s all about balance. To me, it’s not just about hitting the gym, it’s also about being a father and a husband and keeping a career on track for more than two decades,” he says. “For me, that’s true fitness.”
Jimmy Smith, 30 & Doug Anderson, 26 – The Reality Badasses
Smith is a mixed martial artist known for grappling opponents to submission in under three minutes. Anderson is an Iraq War vet with only one fight under his belt. But nothing could fully prepare them for Discovery Channel’s hard-hitting reality series Fight Quest, in which the pair travels to a different country known for its combat style-like Filipino stick-fighting or Brazilian jiu-jitsu-to train intensely and then take on a local in a no-holds-barred bout. “It’s like a cage fight every single time,” Smith says. So why do they do it? “For me it’s personal,” Anderson says. “I have too much pride to walk away from a fight.”
Greg Plitt, 30 – The Mf Alum
Former Army Ranger Greg Plitt has come a long way since gracing the cover of MF in October 2005. After landing his first film role in 2006’s The Good Shepherd, he can now be seen on television as the carpenter in HGTV’s Designed to Sell and the new trainer in Bravo’s Work Out. With just 4.8% body fat, Plitt credits a daily workout that consists of five-mile cardio in the morning and weights at 10 p.m. “The great thing about lifting late is you get home, slam a protein shake, and your muscles are relaxed and rebuilding throughout the night,” he says. Plitt targets a different body part each day and finishes with 15 minutes of abs. Says Plitt: “I never schedule an off day.”
Brady Quinn, 23 – The Understudy
Quinn may still be wearing a bit of a chip after sliding to the 22nd pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, but that’s actually helped the 6’3″, 235-pound QB stay focused as he waits his turn in Cleveland. “You have to use it as motivation,” he says. “My job is to compete and start for the Browns and lead them to the playoffs.” Relegated to second fiddle behind surprise star Derek Anderson, Quinn hit the gym hard this off-season. “Squats are huge,” he says. He pauses for 30-50 seconds at different points in the movement to build stability and core strength. But, like any elite athlete, his routine changes regularly. “I’m big into med-ball throws and plyometrics,” says the Notre Dame alum. Quinn makes no secret of his desire to start in 2008 and has done all he can to prepare for the challenge. Says Quinn: “As a competitor, you need to do something extra to gain that edge.”
Amaury Nolasco, 37 – The Breakout
With the fourth season of Prison Break and three new films on the way, the busy actor can’t afford to get flabby. While the gym bores Nolasco to death, it’s a necessity. “You don’t want to have to use doubles for shirtless scenes,” he says. So he’s picked up boxing with a former Navy SEAL trainer, in addition to body weight training, medicine ball exercises, and tons of ab work. “The show picks up about six months from where we left off [in the season three finale],” says Nolasco. “It was my personal choice for the udience to see a physical change in my character.”
Ryan Sheckler, 18 – The Skateboarder
No one goes bigger, skates harder, or looks better on four wheels than the star of MTV’s Life of Ryan. “I do skate a lot with my shirt off,” he admits. “And I’m not trying to look bad, so working out has always been important to me.” Sheckler started as a prodigy, winning a California championship when he was just 8 years old. At 13, he took home X-Games gold. Today he’s more focused and fitter than anyone on a board. “I almost have as much fun working out as I do skating,” Sheckler says. “Seeing your body change, getting more toned and cut, it makes a big difference in how I feel about myself and how I skate.” This year, Sheckler’s looking forward to winning the AST Dew Tour skate park event (again), taking home X-Games gold (again), and giving a little something back while he’s at it. He recently donated his custom Range Rover to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
Chase Utley, 29 – The Batsman
Utley, the Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman, is one of the most consistent hitters in the National League. And he’s still working to get better. After helping the Phillies rally from seven games back in September to win the NL East, he barely took any time off. “That was the shortest off-season so far in my career,” Utley says. “My downtime was about three and a half weeks just to let my body recuperate.” The California native mostly fuels up with fruits, veggies, and chicken, working out to enhance the power and quickness that led to his .332 batting average, 22 home runs, and 103 RBIs in 2007.
Greg Long, 25 – The Surfer
As the latest elite board master to conquer the legendary swells of California’s Mavericks Surf Contest, Long adds Bikram yoga to his regular routine of running, swimming, and underwater training. If you catch him in the gym, he won’t be pumping any serious iron. “It is all geared toward building core strength,” he says. “Surfing isn’t a contact sport, so it wouldn’t make sense to be built like a linebacker.”
Will Smith, 39 – The Blockbuster
When you’re the last man on Earth and daily survival means escaping attack from infected zombies, you’d better be in damn good shape. Smith’s acting played a supporting role to his ripped physique in last fall’s I Am Legend, the result of a pre-filming workout that included five-mile daily runs, hypertrophy strength training, and a high-protein/low-carb diet. While he’s bulked up for prior roles in the Bad Boys movies and Ali, the 6’2″ star dropped 30 pounds but added definition for Legend, cutting his weight to 185 and body fat to 6%. “I have a much easier time losing weight than I do putting weight on,” he has said. “[For] Ali, it was 50 times harder trying to put weight on than to drop it. If you do five miles, six days a week, your body will look like whatever you want it to.”
Ty Loomis, 29 – The Sandman
Two years ago, AVP pro beach volleyball player Ty Loomis wasn’t strong enough to compete with the world’s best. “I was too skinny,” he says. So Loomis started taking supplements and followed a strict regimen, packing 20 pounds of muscle onto his 6’3″ frame. “I’m in the gym as much as anyone else on the Tour.” Of course, Loomis says most volleyball players are already pretty fit. “The sand is really deep, so doing mini-sprints back and forth, jumping, and diving works your legs, your shoulders, your back, and your core. All those movements make you naturally tall and lean.” The extra work is paying off: Loomis and partner Hans Stolfus became the sport’s first U.S. men’s pair to ever medal at the Pan American Games, winning silver in 2007.
Dwight Howard, 22 – The Baller
He may have started his pro career as a string bean, but the Orlando Magic star is now jacked. Drafted first overall in 2004, the right-out-of-high-school rookie was “getting pushed around in the paint,” says Howard. “But now I’m doing the pushing.” At 6’11” and 265 pounds, Howard’s become the Big Man in the Middle in the East. He started at center in the All-Star Game and averaged 21 points and 14 rebounds per game during the season . He credits his increased production (and size) to eating more carbs for energy and an off-season boxing routine that kept him motivated to train. Even though he tries to focus on core work and quad exercises, Howard still loves the rush that comes with a heavy bench press. “It’s my favorite lift,” he says. “I usually press about 365 pounds.”
Daniel Craig, 40 – The Bond
To regain his 007 body for this fall’s Quantum of Solace, the buff British actor turned an entire soundstage on the London set into his personal gym. With a rumored 30-minute opening action sequence to train for, Craig worked out with a treadmill, free weights, trampoline, and gymnastic rings, on which he nearly mastered the “crucifixion move,” a challenging maneuver in which a gymnast supports himself with both arms extended horizontally. Not that all his conditioning prevented the aches and pains that came with long days of stunt work. “I can only gauge [the film] by how much pain I’m in,” he said during the shoot. “We’re doing pretty good.”
Dave Salmoni, 32 – The Lion Tamer
In 2000, zoologist Dave Salmoni traveled to Africa and taught two captive-bred Bengal tigers to hunt and survive in the wild. Now the host of Animal Planet’s After the Attack is back to interact with a pride of lions. “Worst-case scenario, I may have to physically fight off a cat,” he says. To prepare for that, Salmoni does tons of reverse lunges and presses to keep his reflexes ready. “I’m never letting my heart rate come down because a lion isn’t gonna let you,” he adds. He’s also found a dual purpose for his camera gear out in the wild. “Those 80-pound steel tripod heads are great for military presses.”
Romeo Miller, 18 – The Teen Titan
“I been dribblin’ the ball since the age of three,” rapped a 10-year-old Lil’ Romeo in his chart-topping 2001 debut, “My Baby.” “I got game like Kobe, dunk it like Poppa P.” No longer “Lil,” the 5’11”, 170-pound rapper-actor will show his skills this fall, after earning a basketball scholarship to the University of Southern California. He has been prepping for D1 ball by hitting lots of bench press and curls, doing 20 pushups and 80 situps twice a day, and of course, shooting hoops. “People see my abs and ask what I do to work out,” he says. “Play some basketball, you’ll start seeing it.”