Idrissa Elba grew up in one of the poorest parts of London. Always active, he played rugby, soccer and basketball as a kid. He started DJing with his uncle as a teen, which was followed by auditioning for tv roles in his twenties. He landed a part on Law & Order in 2001, but is perhaps best known for playing in The Wire and The Office. Elba has also acted on the big screen in films such as American Gangster, Thor and Avengers. He still DJs under the name DJ Big Driis, and he is also a musician. He has recorded an EP, and co-produced and performed with Jay-Z. Elba also competes professionally as a kickboxer, and a documentary was made about it. In 2019, Elba launched a unisex fashion line called 2hr Set. He has millions of followers on social media. Elba landed on Time’s list Most Influential People in 2016 and named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine in 2018. He married Somali-Canadian former beauty queen Sabrina Dhowre in 2019, and he has been married twice before and has 3 children. Elba is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 200 lbs.
Idris Elba’s Diet
Elba says in his youth, he struggled to gain weight, but now that he’s older he finds that is no longer a problem, and he takes care not to gain more than a few pounds at a time. To get in shape for his kickboxing documentary, Elba cut all the simple carbs out of his diet including pasta, rice and beer, but his doctor told him to add some back in for health reasons. He does his best to stick to a healthy diet that includes plenty of protein to build muscle, healthy fats and sufficient carbs, and of course plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Low-Medium Carbs 35% 35%
- Mid-High Protein 65% 65%
- Medium Fat 25% 25%
The Most Important Meal
Elba says it’s very important to eat a healthy breakfast every day. He considers himself to be a master toast-maker.
Watch the Spread
Elba was naturally lean as a kid, but he is feeling the pudge in his midsection and has to take steps to prevent it from getting too soft by watching his intake and being sure to exercise regularly.
Elba admits to having a sweet tooth. His favorite indulgence is Snickers, not only because of the caramel and nougat, but also because it’s easy to get rid of the evidence of having eaten it.
What to Eat
Snickers Bars (cheat)
What to Avoid
Refined Sugar (cheat)
Elba on Aging & Weight
‘There’s a natural sort of chubbiness coming. But honestly, if I work out for a week, it drops off in no time.’
Elba on his Cooking Prowess
‘I’m really good at making some toast. Believe that!’
Elba on his Sweet Cheat
‘My favorite midnight snack is a Snickers bar…it’s quick as well, and you can get rid of the wrapper really quickly so no one has to know.’
Idris Elba’s Fitness Routine
Elba played throughout his youth, and although he didn’t play as many team sports as he got older, he never stopped moving.
A K.I.S.S. Plan
Elba prefers exercise that doesn’t require any equipment at all such as shadowboxing.
Squeeze It In
Elba makes a point to exercise every day in some form, whether it be running, swimming or blasting out 100 push-ups.
Elba has been training in kickboxing for over a decade. He sometimes competes professionally, but he says he isn’t allowed to practice when he’s acting because of the potential for injury.
Work Every Muscle
Elba is a fan of swimming because it works the whole body. He also likes shadowboxing for the same reason, and it can be practiced anytime, anywhere.
(Don’t) Skip It
Elba’s favorite way to break a sweat is skipping rope. It’s super quick too. He says 10 minutes is plenty, and a great way to get a workout if you’re short on time.
marathon or competing as a weightlifter, he wants to be able to go 5 rounds — and be able to fight off an attacker.
An Idris Elba Routine
Kickbox: 2-3x/week. 3 min rounds working through high kicks, low kicks, combos & light sparring.
Jump rope: 10 min.
Run/Swim: 45 min.
Fit in some form exercise every day.
Elba on a Lifetime of Activity
‘I was always a real athletic kid. Then, when I got older, I just figured it was part of life to keep training.’
Elba on Shadowboxing
‘Shadowboxing is one of the best workouts you can do. You don’t need any equipment and it works every muscle. It’s what Nelson Mandela did many mornings in his jail cell.’’
Elba on the Benefits of Kickboxing
‘Kickboxing is rugged. It’s all core strength.’
Elba on Why He Boxes
‘My ultimate fitness goal is to be fight-ready….that’s what I strive for. That’s what I consider fit.’
Elba on his Dojo Routine
‘I’m not really fussy. I just need a couple of speed bags.’
Elba on Exercise
‘I try to fit in workouts whenever I can.’
Elba on why he can’t Practice Kickboxing while Filming
‘It’s considered too dangerous. Film producers get very nervous.’
Idris Elba’s Supplements
Get it here
Get it here
Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy brain function and it is not as easily absorbed as we age.
Get it here
Get it here
Idris Elba’s Lifestyle
Snooze to Win
Elba says he often gets his most creative ideas when he’s sleeping or first thing in the morning. He says when he’s tired or burnt out, he’s no good to anyone.
Wild World Tour
To film his kickboxing documentary, Elba traveled around the globe, from Thailand to Cuba to Japan to South Africa.
Elba says music is one of his escapes, both listening and creating. He finds being in a studio and working with a musician very relaxing.
No Secret Agent Dreams
Elba says he is not in discussion to play James Bond, and he thinks he is too old to take over the role.
Elba on Going Pro with the Kickboxing
‘It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to fight professionally.’
Elba on Himself
‘I’m never shaken or stirred.’
Elba on Music
‘I love making music. I find it really therapeutic.’
Elba on his Dad’s Wisdom
‘My father always told me that a fool at 40 is a fool for life.’
Elba on Failure
‘I’m not afraid to fail. I’m not afraid to fall over and make a mistake. That often cripples people on the onset of getting into anything.’
Elba on Work
‘I love working. I’m a workaholic.’