Weight: 291 pounds
Ryback’s Instagram feed is a good window into the fitness habits of “The Big Guy”: One shot has him doing ring rows (to increase core strength and flexibility; he can crank out 20 reps easily), the next is of him finishing 100 burpees (for conditioning), and another of him deadlifting 500 pounds 10 times. With workouts like those, it’s probably no surprise the 33-year-old’s catchphrase is “feed me more.” But this is where the good habits end. It’s not rare for him to eat a full pound of meat (either steak or ground turkey) mixed with whole wheat protein pasta and a little bit of pasta sauce — for breakfast. He eats every two or three hours for the rest of the day and it’s usually steak, chicken, tuna fish, eggs, brown rice or sweet potatoes. It seems he doesn’t go for a lot of variety, eating the same dish over and over again, at home and at restaurants. If he’s at a Chinese restaurant, it’s grilled chicken on brown rice. If he’s at Applebee’s, it’s French onion soup, chicken wings, steak, and veggies. True to form, Ryback will dominate a wing eating contest when he gets the chance.
Room for Improvement: “Ryback is eating a ton of protein, possibly more than 500 grams a day,” says nutritionist Susan Kleiner, author of Power Eating. “He really only needs one gram for every pound he weighs, so 290 grams of protein is sufficient. And that kind of volume of meat also delivers a hefty dose of saturated fats, which are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The other thing I’d say is that he shouldn’t be so afraid of variety. If he swapped some of those meat servings out for plant-based fats like olives, avocados, nuts, and seeds, he’d be hugely improving his diet.”Back to top