Chris Jericho has become something of a timeless wonder in the wrestling world. As he enters the third month of his reign as the WWE United States Champion, the 46-year-old veteran will be one of the headlining performers at the company’s WrestleMania pay-per-view next week.
Wrestling is one demanding full-time job. First, WWE superstars have to stay inhumanly fit, working out every day, sticking to a strict diet, and doing everything they can to avoid injury. Jericho, real name Chris Irvine, somehow also finds time to release a podcast twice a week and practice and, starting in May, tour as the front man for his metal band Fozzy. Here’s how he manages to find time in the day.
Make Your Workout Fit You
“You know, it’s funny, I switched [my workout] a few years ago to doing yoga because I was having a lot of back problems. And that really kind of opened me up and made things a lot easier,” Jericho says.
“I remember waking up in my thirties and feeling like I was 80 years old, I couldn’t get out of bed. Now it’s like I’m not having any problems, I’m up ready to rock, don’t have any problems in the room. I do a lot of biking, boxing, not as much weight lifting as I used to, but I think as you get older your body changes,” he says.
With his band, Jericho says his on-stage activities — he’s a seriously active singer — is enough to keep him fit on the road. “On the road with the band I think the on-stage workout is crazier than a wrestling match. I do more on stage than I do in the ring,” he says. “Because you’re non-stop, you’re 90 minutes, if we start on song one and end on song 16, there’s really nothing in between. So I think the cardio from being on the road with the band is way stricter than it is with the WWE”
Your Diet Should Get Better on the Road
While most wrestlers must monitor their diets at all times, this practice is especially important for Jericho to stay fit, no matter what job he is currently working.
“I think as you get older the best way to stay in shape is just by what you eat,” he says. “You know I’ve been on the road for 27 years, and people will say it’s hard to eat clean on the road… and it’s, like, ‘No, it’s hard if you want it to be.’ It’s easy if you just have some motivation and some planning more than anything.” Jericho swears by a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and proteins and void of any unnecessary carbs.
“I lost 13 pounds over the summer because I just cut out breads and pasta and sugar. Certainly you’re not eating any more carbs, but you’re eating a lot of fresh fruit, blueberries, strawberries, cucumber salads, and just sticking mostly to protein,” he says.
“Not to get too philosophical with dieting, but when you go to the restaurant, there’s a 24-ounce steak on the menu, that’s too much. You get the exact same nutritional value and fullness if you eat eight ounces,” Jericho says. “I mean, when we’re with Fozzy there’s a no-pizza rule, promoters can’t give us pizza for dinner; we don’t eat that shit; you’ve gotta give us something good.”
If You Can’t Give Your All to a Project, Don’t Do It
For Jericho, being the busiest man in professional wrestling means also being an expert at learning how to balance your schedule. “It’s not like I have done every single project that’s thrown upon me, because I just couldn’t do that, nor do I want to. I think if it’s something that I’m interested in, I’ll make time for it, and if I don’t think I could do it and don’t think I could give it my 1,000 percent full effort into in, then I just don’t do it.”
His “Talk is Jericho” podcast is a good example of Jericho going all-in. The show has been released twice a week since 2013 and features a mix of high-profile guests from both the music and the wrestling industry.
“My podcast has become a very lucrative kind of side project for me, and, plus, I love it. I take great pride in it,” Jericho says. “But two shows a week, no matter where I am in the world, I gotta do the intros for the shows and read the ads… so I’ll be walking the streets of a city [looking] for a five-star hotel asking if I could use their internet for 10 minutes to try and send this file.”
You can watch Chris Jericho at WWE WrestleMania live on the WWE Network on Sunday, April 2, or see him on the road with his band Fozzy on the “Judas Rising” Tour, kicking off May 5.