Ricky Whittle Workout And Diet
Ricky Whittle is from England. His father was in the Royal Air Force and the family traveled around the world for his work, although Whittle was raised mostly in Northern Ireland. Whittle was scouted to play soccer professionally but injury ended that ambition. He studied law instead, but he left school before graduating. To help pay for textbooks, Whittle did some modeling and in 2000, he became a brand ambassador for Reebok. His first acting role was on Dream Team. In 2007, Whittle played in the British soap opera Hollyoaks. He moved to Hollywood to play in Austenland, then landed roles in tv, including NCIS and Single Ladies. His breakthrough came with American Gods. Whittle has over a million followers on social media. He is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs about 195 lbs.
Ricky Whittle’s Diet
Whittle packed on 30 lbs. of lean muscle to play the role of an ex-con in American Gods. His trainer’s approach to diet for him was simple: lots of calories (minimum 4K per day) and lots of protein. This meant eating all day long which was a job unto itself. The honeymoon phase of the bulking plan allowed him to eat virtually anything, but soon enough he had to switch to less fun options like plain chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli, which he would have every few hours. He drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated, and he also has a protein shake with BCAAs in the middle of his grueling 4-hour workout.
- Low Carbs 30% 30%
- Medium Carb 30% 30%
- High Protein 50% 50%
Whittle’s bulking diet was very straightforward and slow-paced. Because he had to eat so much, it felt a lot like a second job.
Sounds Fun, But…
When Whittle was first adding weight, he could have whatever he wanted, like burgers and pizza. But as he had to look fit not fat, he had to cut back on the sugar, carbs, and sodium and mostly ate chicken breast and broccoli.
Mass Gainer Shake
Whittle’s special recipe for a muscle-building shake is a scoop of vanilla protein powder, a scoop of chocolate protein, a big spoonful of coconut almond butter, a handful of oats, 2 cups of chocolate milk, a cup of water, and a 3-second drizzle of honey.
Look Out for Single Ladies
Whittle says the very best food he ever ate was on the Single Ladies set. It was so good, he doesn’t trust himself to go back to Atlanta.
What to Eat
Coconut Almond Butter
What to Avoid
Whittle’s Trainer on His American Gods Diet
‘Ricky was set into a very slow-paced, heavy-loaded bulking plan.’
Whittle's Trainer on His Caloric Intake
‘The diet was simple: No matter what, he had to get 4,000 calories, loaded with protein of course.’
Whittle on His 4,000-Calorie Diet
‘Eating became a chore…You’re eating dry chicken, brown rice and broccoli, 5, 6 times a day. It’s real mental discipline.’
Whittle on British Cuisine
‘I miss the food back in England. It’s like having Thanksgiving every Sunday: a beautiful roast with potatoes and gravy, the works.’
Whittle on Catering on the Single Ladies Set
‘The best food I’ve had was actually in catering at Single Ladies. It’s insane. I can’t live in Atlanta…I’m not sure I could come back for another 6 months because I’ll just be fat.’
Ricky Whittle’s Workout Routine
Whittle has always been also into sports and fitness, and almost went pro in British soccer before injuries sidelined him.
Are You Big Enough?
For American Gods, Whittle had to bulk up considerably to play the role of a scary ex-con.
Work Out Like a Pro
Whittle worked with pro trainers Jay Glazer and Brett Bartholomew at the Unbreakable Performance Center where celebrities like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, the WWE’s Randy Couture and NFLers train in the off-season.
Whittle pumps a lot of iron. He and co-star Pablo Schreiber built a bare-bones gym on set so they could squeeze in a workout during their downtime.
Whittle does typical moves like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, and then does more with a weighted vest.
And There’s More
In addition to his weightlifting schedule, Whittle boxes 3 days a week. He also did some Muay Thai boxing as part of his American Gods prep.
Who Needs Cardio?
Before American Gods started filming, Whittle worked out 4 hours a day, most of it weightlifting. He says it’s a fallacy that you need to do cardio to get definition, and that lifting burns a lot of calories too.
A Ricky Whittle Routine
Upper body day
45 second rest between sets
Banded bench press: 6 reps x 4 sets
Tempo pull-ups: 8 reps x 4 sets
Body saws: 15 reps x 4 sets
Perform 3 rounds without stopping
Weighted push-ups: 10 reps x 3 sets. Start with 2 45-lb plates then reduce weight with each round
Chest-supported rows: 12 reps followed by isolation hold
Hanging knees to elbows: 15 reps
Perform 3 rounds without stopping
Biceps curls: 10 reps. Start with 30 lbs, then drop weight by 5 lbs for each round
Banded chest flys: 15 reps
Turkish sit-ups: 10/side
Whittle on his American Gods Phyisque
‘Shadow Moon is described in the books as “big enough…to survive prison.” I knew was going to have to earn that.’
Whittle on His On-set Gym
‘It was a place for us to go to work after going to work.’
Whittle on The Type of Equipment at Their Homemade Gym
‘The dumbbells didn’t go below 50 lbs. The crew would walk up hoping to lift with us, see the weights, then turn around and say, “F*** this.”’
Ricky Whittle’s Supplements
Ricky Whittle’s Lifestyle
Sleep: Quality Matters
Whittle took his sleep schedule as seriously as diet and exercise as part of his regimen to get in God-like shape.
So that he could work every day, Whittle’s trainers also went high-tech and used things like cryo chamber and thera-lase cold therapy to aid with recovery.
On the Road Again
Whittle’s father was in the Royal Air Force, which meant the family moved every 3 years for his work.
Whittle says he would love to play a Marvel or DC superhero. Also on the list: James Bond.
Whittle admits to being hooked on speed, danger, and anything that gets the adrenaline flowing. He enjoys fight scenes and performs his own stunts whenever he can.
Rear of the Year
Whittle has shot up in the ranks of Hollywood, and says it doesn’t faze him to go toe to toe with stars like The Rock or Vin Diesel.
Whittle on Adrenaline
‘I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I skydive and race cars. I have a Harley-Davidson…I try to do as many of my own stunts as possible.’
Whittle on His Favorite Roles
‘I’m a superhero geek…And you can’t go wrong with James Bond. He’s an assassin who also has fun with the ladies and gets to speed around in cars.’
Whittle on Determination
‘I’m ambitious and I’m determined and I know where I’m going to be. It’s not where I want to be, but where I’m going to be.’
Whittle on Hollywood A-listers
‘There’s an intimidation factor because they’ve got great CVs and you’re the new kid on the block.’
Whittle on Pick-up Lines
‘I don’t have the gift of the gab.’
Whittle on The Ideal Date
‘The beach is a great place to take each other in without any distractions.’