Adrian Peterson Workout and Diet

Professional Football Player
Born: 1985

Adrian Peterson is from the place where everything is bigger, Texas. Both of his parents were serious college athletes. Peterson was the star of his youth football team, coached by Rick Nally who predicted Peterson would end up in the NFL. He was a 3-sport star in football, basketball and track. Heavily recruited for college, he chose the University of Oklahoma and was nominated for the Heisman as a freshman. Forgoing his senior year, he entered the 2007 NFL Draft and was picked up in the first round by the Vikings. He played for the Vikings until 2017 when he became a free agent and signed with the Saints before being traded to the Cardinals. In 2018, he switched to the Redskins and in 2020, he signed with the Lions. Peterson won the NFL MVP award in 2012 and is a 3-time rushing yards leader (’08,’12,’15), and holds many other records. He is married and has 1 son. Peterson has over a million followers on social media. He is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs about 220 lbs.

Known For:

Adrian Peterson’s Diet


Like all serious athletes, Peterson knows diet is an important component of his health and acts accordingly. He eats 6 times a day and his meals consist of quality protein, vegetables, and whole grains. While Peterson used to love seafood, he suffered a serious allergic reaction and had to give it all up. And although he has a taste for fried food, he sticks with things like grilled chicken breast. He also supplements with protein and electrolytes for maximum performance.

Estimated Macros

  • Medium Carb 15% 15%
  • Medium Fat 30% 30%
  • Medium-High Protein 50% 50%

Diet Details


Power Up

Peterson’s breakfast is protein fest and often consists of 4-5 egg whites, wholegrain pancakes and a few pieces of low-fat bacon.


Timed Snacks

Peterson will drink an electrolyte beverage before working out and a protein shake after to replenish glycogen stores.


Lightish Lunch & Dinner

Peterson has a balanced meal in the middle of day consisting of things like chicken breast, veggies and rice. His dinner is similar, often with more chicken and pasta.


Let the Lobster Go

Peterson discovered he had a shellfish allergy and had to give up some of his favorite foods, like lobster.


Forget the Fried

Peterson says he’s a country boy at heart who loves his fried chicken. Although he feels tempted to get the fried food, he knows it’s smarter to order grilled. He also makes a point of baking his foods, like potatoes.


Late-Night Sip

Peterson usually has another protein drink before bed to help with muscle recovery.


Sweet Treat

A couple of favorites Peterson didn’t have to give up are cookies and ice cream. He still makes a point of saying that it’s because he works out a lot that he gets to eat them.

What to Eat


Egg Whites


Low-fat Bacon


Chicken Breast










Wholegrain Pancakes


Protein Drinks






Ice Cream (treat)


Cookies (treat)

What to Avoid


Shellfish (allergy)


Empty-calorie Foods


Refined Sugar


Junk Food


Fast Food


Processed Foods


Fried Food


Peterson on Seafood

‘Seafood was always my favorite food. I mean, fried lobster? Come on. I found out shrimp, scallops, and lobster were my allergic triggers, I had to change my diet.’


Peterson on his Reaction to Shellfish

‘I thought I was Superman until I experienced that life-changing anaphylactic shock. I…gobbled down a couple of bowls of gumbo, then, 15 minutes later…I could barely breathe.’


Peterson on Why it’s Important to Know About Food Allergies

‘There I was, 27 years old and, bam, I have an allergic reaction — and it’s life-threatening. So it’s very important to spread the word and spread awareness so people can be better prepared in case anaphylaxis occurs in their life.’


Peterson on Fried Food

‘When I’m out, maybe I’m looking at the fried chicken, but I know I need to order the grilled. I love my fried food, and my neck bones and all that too.’


Peterson on Ice Cream

‘Thankfully, I’m lucky enough to be able to eat ice cream. I gotta have my cookies and ice cream! But I work out a lot, so I burn a lot of calories.

Adrian Peterson’s Workout Routine

Weekly Routine

Speed Demon

Peterson is lightning fast. His 40-yard dash was clocked at 4.4 seconds.

Test Yourself

Peterson says that if you want to improve, you should always be testing you limits, such as trying a push-up on a stability ball rather than on the ground.

Take It to the Next Level

Even though football fields are as flat as they come, Peterson says running hills will improve your performance better than just sprinting on straightaways.

Daily Dose

In season, Peterson hits the gym at least 5 days a week. He does a split routine, focusing on individual body parts with isolated and compound exercises. During the off-season, he does circuits with no rest between sets, incorporating cardio into his weightlifting.

Mix It Up

Peterson doesn’t only do sprints and football drills. He likes keep things fresh by doing other things, including Pilates, MMA and kickboxing.

Get Adequate Rest

Peterson says resting between sets is essential to allow the muscles to recover and perform their best.

Exercise Style


An Adrian Peterson Sample Routine

Warm-up every day with rapid-fire footwork drills: speed ladder, reactive step, etc.

Day 1: Chest & Triceps
Do 6-8 reps x 3-4 sets with 1 min rest between exercises.
Flat bench press
Incline bench press
Dumbbell flys
Decline dumbbell bench press
Cable crossover
V-bar or rope triceps pushdown
Triceps dip
Dumbbell kickback
Standing dumbbell triceps extension

Day 2: Legs
Do 6-8 reps x 3-4 sets with 1 min rest between exercises.
Straight leg deadlift
Leg press
Seated leg curl
Dumbbell stepping lunge
Seated calf raise
Seated leg extension

Day 3: Back & Biceps
Do 6-8 reps x 3-4 sets with 1 min rest between exercises.
Bent over row
Rear barbell row
Dumbbell incline row (elbows out)
Seated cable row
Dumbbell curl
Concentration curl
Hammer curl
Wide-grip pulldown

Day 4: Abs
Do 3 sets to failure, 1 min rest between exercises.
Weighted crunch
Decline crunch
Ab plate twist
Hanging leg raise
Roman chair sit-ups

Day 5: Shoulders
Do 6-8 reps x 3-4 sets with 1 min rest between exercises.
Seated military press
Barbell shrug
Alternating dumbbell raise
Incline reverse fly
Dumbbell lateral raise
Arnold press
Hang clean pull

Day 6: Cardio including sprints.

Day 7: Rest


Peterson on Working Out

‘I dedicate myself and work hard in the weight room, and treat every practice as if it were a game.’


Peterson on Changing Up His Routine

‘I’ll get out and do Pilates. I’ll get in the ring and do some rounds of kickboxing and grappling and MMA conditioning.’


Peterson on his Hero, Bruce Lee

‘I’ve always been a fan. How he used to be able to move and be so quick. You look at some of the exercises he did, and it was all majority free weight, like standing on your hands. That works every muscle. Everything is firing.’


Peterson on Recovering From Injury

‘I came back from my ACL injury and won MVP…I feel like if you just continue to take care of your body…you can play as long as you want.’


Peterson on Finding Success

‘If you don’t believe you’re the best, how do you become the best?’

Adrian Peterson’s Supplements

Xyience energy drinks

Energy Drinks

Before heading off to the gym, Peterson drinks an energy supplement called Cytomax that contains electrolytes and fast-acting carbs for energy, hydration and to delay fatigue.

Get it here

Muscle Milk protein powder

Muscle Milk

Peterson supplements with Muscle Milk after working out and before bed. Muscle milk is a mix of fast- and slow-releasing proteins to offer sustained delivery. It also contains 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D and calcium for strong bones.

Get it here

Adrian Peterson’s Lifestyle

Mr. All-Day

Peterson’s nickname was ‘All Day’ because his dad said he could go-go-go all day long. Peterson proved his father’s theory correct in when he came back from a blown-out knee to win the MVP award in 2012.

Terrible Tragedies

When Peterson was 7 years old, he witnessed his 9-year-old brother being run over by a drunk driver. Another half-brother was murdered the night before Peterson played in the NFL Combine.

Olympic Alternatives

Peterson was also a high school track star and won medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, triple jump and long jump. He says that if he hadn’t pursued a career in the NFL, he would likely have gone to the Olympics as a sprinter instead.

Best Buds

Peterson is good friends with former teammate from U of OK offensive tackle Trent Williams. In 2016, the pair opened a gym in Houston, Texas.

Legal Troubles

Peterson has twice been ordered to pay back overdue loans, one for $2.4 million. He says he was the victim of fraud. In 2014, he pleaded no contest to recklessly assaulting his son. He was fined, ordered to do 80 hours of community service and put on probation. Peterson said he’d been punished in similar fashion as a child, and admits to still using a belt to discipline his son.

Giving Back

Peterson has a self-named charitable foundation with the mission ‘Pray, Perform, Persist’ aimed at assisting underprivileged children. He also teamed up with The Athlete’s Corner to donate 100,000 meals to needy families in Detroit during the 2020 holiday season.


Peterson on Recovery From Injury

‘The first 2 months were painful, and they really tested my manhood because there were times I didn’t want to get up because I was in pain. That willpower has to kick in.’


Peterson on Football

‘I take football as an avenue to different opportunities. Football is not using me; I’m using football.’


Peterson Trash-talking the Dallas Cowboys

‘I’m pretty sure I could outrun the whole Dallas Cowboys team.’


Peterson on Mistakes

‘I remember my mistakes more than my success.’


Peterson on Having to Fight For What You Want

Adversity makes me hungrier. I thrive on being able to make a way out of no way.


Peterson on Disciplining Children

‘I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other, alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.’

Recommended Products

Cytomax energy drink

Cytomax energy drink

Muscle Milk protein powder
Muscle Milk
Peterson #28 Vikings jersey
Peterson #28 Vikings jersey
Peterson Oklahoma #28 jersey
Peterson Oklahoma #28 jersey
Swiss Ball
Swiss ball
Medicine ball
Medicine ball
Bosu ball
Bosu ball
Yoga mat
Pilates mat
Boxing gloves
Boxing gloves