From Connecticut, Jeff Cavaliere became interested in bodybuilding as a kid due to watching movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, along with pro wrestlers including Rick Rude and The Hulk. He was also a big fan of the Mets. He played sports like soccer and baseball, and discovered that weightlifting improved his performance in sports. He earned a BA in physioneurobiology and a Masters in physical therapy from the University of Connecticut. He also holds a Strength and Conditioning certification from the NSCA. Cavaliere achieved his dream of being the head PT for the Mets but left a few years later to develop his popular fitness system and became known as Athlean-X. He acts as a coach and has his own line of supplements called Athlean-Rx. Cavaliere also writes for Men’s Fitness. He has millions of followers on social media and is considered to be an influencer. Cavaliere is 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs about 190 lbs.
Jeff Cavaliere’s Diet
Cavaliere clearly takes his diet seriously. He has 6 small meals a day, eating every few hours to keep his metabolism stoked. He sticks to lean proteins, veggies and fruit, but does not avoid carbs so long as they are the healthy kind that contain fiber and other nutrients. He also drinks a couple of protein shakes each day. His beverage of choice is sparkling water.
- Medium Fat 25% 25%
- Low-Medium Carb 35% 35%
- Medium-High Protein 60% 60%
Cavaliere eats every few hours to keep his energy up and his metabolism revved. He times his meals and his shakes to provide optimal energy, nutrition and recovery for every part of his day.
Breakfast for Cavaliere might be pumpkin oatmeal, scrambled eggs, skim milk and some fruit.
Cavaliere often has chicken at lunch and fish at dinner along with vegetables and some complex carbs like sweet potatoes or a whole-wheat wrap. Lean chicken breast is a good midday choice to keep energy up and combat fatigue, and the fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, and help him sleep better.
Light Lunch and Dinner
A K.I.S.S. Hydration Plan
Cavaliere says drinking flat water feels like a chore, whereas he can down bottle after bottle of sparkling water without thinking about it. His caveat: it has to be plain, no flavors or any other additions.
What to Eat
Whole, natural Foods
What to Avoid
Cavaliere on Diet
‘Don’t ignore your nutrition and certainly don’t ignore the opportunities you have to provide your body with that nutrition at the right time.’
Cavaliere on Carbs
‘There is no fear of carbohydrates here, guys. I actually enjoy eating carbohydrates.’
Cavaliere on his Breakfast
‘I get everything I need here in the morning to get me to feel the way I need to get my day started.’
Cavaliere on Eating Right in the AM
‘I have no concerns about my nutrition at that point, which a lot of people can trip up, usually in that mid-morning.’
Cavaliere on Sparkling Water
‘Sparkling water is one of my biggest secrets for making sure that I drink enough water in a day.’
Jeff Cavaliere’s Fitness Routine
Cavaliere was embarrassed about being skinny as a kid. His father helped him hang a heavy bag in their basement, and he started working out there.
Cavaliere quickly discovered that having muscle really upped his game on the field.
Cavaliere’s list of professional clients is extensive. He has worked with such luminaries as David Beckham, Rafael Nadal and Terrel Owens. If they can’t meet in person, Cavaliere will consult with them over the internet to make sure they’re staying on track.
Not An Early Bird
Cavaliere says he’s not into early workouts and a lot of pros feel the same. But if his clients do like to hit the gym in the wee hours, he says it still works out. He will have his clients do their early routine solo and then meet up with them in the afternoon.
Cavaliere’s schedule is such that he often ends up working out at night. He takes a preworkout so he doesn’t fade.
Cavaliere’s routines only last about 30 minutes, with another 15 minutes of conditioning for a total of only 45 minutes. He uses progressive overload so he knows he’s always getting stronger.
A Jeff Cavaliere Total Body Home Workout
Perform each exercise for 1 minute.
No rest between individual exercises or combinations.
Do 2-3 rounds of entire routine. Two rounds will take 35 min. Three will take about 50 min.
Lower body anterior chain
Alternating single-leg high or low box squat (beginner: high; advanced: low)
1 1/2 bottomed out squats
Upper body push
Power push-away (beginner) or handstand pushup (advanced)
Knee rotational pushup (beginner) or rotational pushup (advanced)
Knee cobra pushup (beginner) or cobra pushup (advanced)
Lower body posterior chain
Alternating kickstand heel touch squat (beginner) or alternating single-leg heel touch squat (advanced)
Alternating sprinter lunge
High plyo sprinter lunge (beginner) or low plyo sprinter lunge (advanced)
Upper body pull
Seated pullup (beginner) or standard pullup (advanced)
Bodyweight sliding pulldown (beginner) or human pullover (advanced)
Inverted chin curl
Black widow knee slide
Angels & devils
Cavaliere on Early Success with Weight Training
‘After one summer of consistent workouts, I not only started to see abs, but was finding it easier to get my job done on the field.’
Cavaliere on Keeping Fitness Fun & Challenging
‘Having a clientele consisting of professional athletes, my skill is being able to challenge the ultra-competitive client, and make it fun at the same time.’
Cavaliere on Working Out
‘You don’t need to train for hours and hours.’
Cavaliere on Striving to be his Best
‘I don’t ever want to be average.’
Cavaliere on his Fitness Addiction
‘To this day I still haven’t found a cure for my addiction to fitness. Not sure I’d want one either!’
Jeff Cavaliere’s Supplements
Cavaliere has a supplement line called Athlean-Rx. Cavaliere takes a pre workout containing beta-alanine, l-citrulline malate, creatine, tyrosine, electrolytes and caffeine for maximum performance, endurance, and focus during tough workouts.
BCAAs are super popular among athletes because of their ability to grow muscle, improve stamina and decrease post-workout soreness, shortening recovery time. Cavaliere’s formula is 2:1:1.
Post Workout Protein
Cavaliere’s post workout protein contains 30g of protein from whey and egg whites, along with creatine and betaine to help build muscle and improve recovery.
Cavaliere’s muscle recovery formula has glutamine, and leucine along with other ingredients that boost immunity and recovery while promoting lean muscle growth. He takes this about a half-hour before bed.
Protein for Women
Cavaliere has a special protein formula for women that contains 20g whey protein along with MCTs, vitamin D and calcium, but only has 1 gram of sugar.
Cavaliere knows the importance of the omega-3s found in fish oil which are anti-inflammatory and boost brain health, but they can also increase energy and help you lose weight.
Cavaliere knows what kind of wear and tear intense workouts take on the body. His joint recovery formula contains glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, boswellia and winged treebine root.
Jeff Cavaliere’s Lifestyle
Cavaliere isn’t much of a morning person. He gets up around 8. He says his most productive hours are between 10:30 pm and 1 am. He gets around 7 hours of sleep a night.
Not Exactly the Dream
Being on the road all the time with the Mets turned out to be not exactly what Cavaliere wanted. After just 3 years, he decided to leave and start his own business.
Cavaliere dreamed of working for the Mets, and just a few short months after opening his own physical therapy practice, Mets player Mark Johnson walked through his door. Not only was he a happy customer, he told Cavaliere there was an opening for a physical therapist with the team.
The Ruff Gang
Cavaliere and his wife have 4 dogs, all black labs, which he calls their kids. Two are purebred and two are rescue dogs.
Cavaliere on His Credibility
‘I think the thing that separates me from the majority of trainers out there is my physical therapy background.’
Cavaliere on the Mets
‘I grew up an avid Mets fan. I lived and breathed the team and watched every inning of every game all the way through college.’
Cavaliere on Achieving his Goal of Working for the Mets
‘It was a dream come true for me and an opportunity that I will cherish and remember fondly forever. It changed my life.’
Cavaliere’s Take on Rescue Animals
‘If you’re in the market for a dog…or any kind of animal, I would always stress, it’s a great thing to rescue.’
AthleanX’s Train Like an Athlete