james harrison

Professional Football Player (Retired)
Born: 1978

James Henry Harrison II was born in Ohio. He initially showed his athletic skills playing Little League baseball where he was chosen for the All Star team. When he took up football in high school, Harrison made an excellent running back and linebacker. He also participated in track & field events like shot put and high jump, and qualified in the statewide 4×100 relay. A couple of things that were missing from Harrison’s tool box were grades and a mature attitude, and he had college scholarship offers from schools like Notre Dame and Ohio State rescinded. He went to Kent State but due to academic probation, only got to play in the last 3 games of his freshman season. Harrison was not picked up in the 2002 NFL Draft, but he signed on with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie. An injury to Clark Haggans in 2004 was Harrison’s lucky break. He went on to win 2 Super Bowls (XL & XLIII) and become a 5-time Pro Bowl selection before retiring in 2018. Harrison also played briefly for the Ravens, the Bengals, NFL Europe’s Rhein Fire, and the Patriots. Harrison also appeared in the tv show Heels. He is currently a football analyst on FS1. Harrison has 2 children. He has over a million followers on social media. Harrison is 6 feet tall and weighs about 240 lbs.

Known For:

james harrison’s Diet


Diet is an important component of Harrison’s health regimen. He eats natural, healthy, wholesome foods, and organic whenever he can. His fridge and pantry is full of things like oatmeal, eggs, chicken breast, fish, and plenty of veggies. His snacks are healthy too, think fresh fruit, almonds, and salad. To avoid temptation, he does not keep any junk food in his house. He’ll have a protein shake most days as his evening snack. He avoids alcohol and dairy, and drinks lots of water.

Estimated Macros

  • Low Carbs 20% 20%
  • Low-Medium Fat 30% 30%
  • High Protein 60% 60%

Diet Details


Food Must Work for You

Harrison expects his diet to pull its weight. Everything he eats is nutrient-dense to fuel his grueling work schedule.


Low Carb Life

Harrison avoids gluten, refined sugar, processed foods, and alcohol as part of his plan to be fit and healthy.


No Allergens, Please

Harrison also avoids things like dairy and nightshade plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant because they cause allergic reactions in a lot of people.


Pass the Veg

Harrison has vegetables at every meal: avocados with breakfast, and salad and cooked veggies with lunch and dinner.


Skip the Caffeine

To help keep his energy steady throughout the day, Harrison avoids caffeinated drinks and sticks to good old-fashioned water.


Smart Snacking

Harrison eats clean even when he snacks. Some of his top picks are almonds and fresh fruit.

What to Eat
















Fresh Vegetables


Chicken Breast






Protein Shakes



What to Avoid


Junk Food








White Sugar


Nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.)


Artificial Ingredients


Processed Foods


Harrison on His Diet

‘Nutrition has…been a primary component of my body maintenance.’


Harrison on What He Eats

‘I mainly eat a low-carb diet, except before a game.’


Harrison on His Kitchen Cupboards

‘People used to come to my house and be upset that there wasn’t any “real” food…They finally realized that if they wanted pizza or pasta or chips or pop or anything like that, they needed to get it before they came.’


Harrison on His Longevity in the NFL

‘The average career is 3 1/2 years, so I feel extremely blessed to be able to continue doing this and to still be as healthy as I am.’

james harrison’s Workout Routine

Weekly Routine

A Natural

Harrison played Little League as a kid. But after discovering that he could tackle a kid and not get whipped by his parents for it, he was hooked on football. It took some convincing for his mom to let him play, but he became an immediate star on the field.

Be a Beast

Harrison is a beast on the field and in the gym. He can press a 135-lb. barbell single-handedly and push an 1,800-lb. sled.

Serious Recovery

One aspect of Harrison’s routine that he credits his longevity to is self-care. He would have regular massages, chiropractic and acupuncture amongst other treatments. He got so many, his teammates called him a ‘massage whore.’

Daily Dose

Harrison worked out virtually every day that he was in the NFL, in-season and out. His off-season workouts were even more intense because he was serious about staying fit.

Cardio King

Harrison runs outdoors and works out on the elliptical. He’ll do about 1 hour of cardio every day. He will also do sprints.

Weight Training

Harrison hits the weights hard, working out about 2 hours each day. He’ll do a mix of machines, free weights and bodyweight exercises.

Add Resistance

To increase difficulty (and result), Harrison will add resistance bands to any workout. He’ll do squats, kettlebell swings, push-ups, bench press, etc., all with bands.

Serious Power House

Harrison also builds strength by doing sled drags and pulls, sledgehammer slams, tire flips, and so on.

Exercise Style


A James Harrison Off-Season Routine

Do 8-15 reps x 4-5 sets of each of the following ex-ercises with a 1 minute rest between sets:

Bench press
Incline bench press
Resistance band flat bench press
Cable crossovers
Cable pec flys
Dumbbell press

Military press
Dumbbell military press
Single-arm dumbbell press
Lateral raise
Front raise
Rear delt flys

Lat pulldown
Single-arm dumbbell rows
Bent-over rows
Cable rows

Biceps curls
Isolation curls
Barbell curls
Preacher curls
Hammer curls
Triceps bench press
Triceps pushdowns
Skull crushers
Dumbbell kickbacks
Triceps dips

Hack squats
Leg press
Leg extension
Leg curls
Stiff-leg deadlift
Weighted lunges
Calf raises
Glute kickbacks
Hip thrusts
Side hyperextensions


Harrison on His Younger Self

‘When I was in my early 20s…I felt like I was invincible…I thankfully realized that wasn’t gonna work.’


Harrison on His Commitment to Fitness

‘Since…around 2006, my complete focus has been on consistent body maintenance.’


Harrison on His Workout Plan

‘I started working out almost daily, all year round, with heavier training during the off-season.’


Harrison on Recovery

‘In addition to my work schedule with the team, my daily schedule includes a visit from at least 1 of my bodywork specialists.’


Harrison on Massage

‘Being a massage whore isn’t the worst thing in the world.’

james harrison’s Supplements

When it comes to his supplement choices, all Harrison will say is that his picks are all ‘natural’ and ‘pure.’ So below are options that can benefit anyone following a similar diet plan.

Protein Powder


Anyone who made it 14 years in the NFL is doing something right. Muscle is essential for those who are serious about playing football, making protein a no-brainer.

Get it here

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Fish oil

Fish oil is another top pick for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Get it here

Vitamin C

vitamin C

Antioxidant vitamin C is also a must-have for those who are training hard.

Get it here



A multivitamin is also a smart choice to fill in any gaps in nutrition.

Get it here


ZMA (zinc, magnesium, B6

ZMA (zinc, magnesium, B6) allow you to get quality sleep so you can recover faster. ZMA can also boosts testosterone levels.

Get it here

james harrison’s Lifestyle

Million Dollar Body

Harrison is serious about caring for his moneymaker and spent in the region of $350K on bodywork in 2017, including acupuncture, dry needling, a personal trainer, a doctor, 3 massage therapists, and 2 chiropractors.

Proud Family

Harrison is 1 of 14 kids, evenly split between boys and girls. His parents were strict and saw all of their children successfully graduate high school and then go to college or into stable jobs.

Rocky Road

Harrison knew how to make magic on the football field, but he struggled with academics and behavior. He was suspended twice as a high school senior for challenging a coach to a fight. He also found himself in court after shooting a BB gun in the locker room at another coach.

Calling It Quits

After being released from the Steelers multiple times, Harrison considered quitting football to become a veterinarian. He also got a commercial driver’s license, which he still has. It was Clark Haggan’s fateful injury that turned things around for Harrison.

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Harrison is the only undrafted player to be named Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.

Sweet Returns

Harrison was inducted into Kent State’s Varsity K Hall of Fame along with the Chargers’ Antonio Gates in 2010. The school also retired his jersey number 16. Harrison donated $100K to the college, which in turn named a field house in his honor.


Harrison on his Upbringing

‘My mom would come to school and whip us in class.’


Harrison on How To Be Successful in Football

‘You’re fully present in the meetings and practice. You don’t skimp on your workouts. You study film. You know the playbook inside and out.’


Harrison on Being An Older Player in The NFL

‘Being in the game this long keeps you young, just from being around these guys in their 20s.’


Harrison on the Expense Of Keeping his Body in Top Shape

‘’The problem is going to be trying to keep that up when I’m done playing so I can still feel that good.’


Harrison on Finally Taking Retirement

‘I’ve missed way too much for way too long…I’m done.’

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James Harrison Steelers 92 Jersey