Roman Reigns is the professional name of Leati Joseph (Joe) Anoa’i. He grew up in Florida and played football in high school, and was named Defensive Player of the Year by the local newspaper. Anoa’i played football at the Georgia Institute of Technology and was recruited into the NFL in 2007 by the Vikings but due to illness, he was released. He also signed with the Jaguars but they also released him before the beginning of the season. Anao’i signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canada Football League and played for 1 season, after which he retired. Anoa’i signed on to the WWE in 2010. He has won the WWE Championship 3 times and the Universal Champ twice, along with several others including a Tag Team Championship with Seth Rollins. In 2016, he was ranked #1 in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 Wrestlers. Anoa’i is married and has 5 children. He has millions of followers on social media. Anoa’i is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 265 lbs.
Roman Reigns’ Diet
Like any professional athlete, Anoa’i takes his diet seriously, and with his leukemia diagnosis, he is even more serious. He sometimes uses meal plans, but he will still go to restaurants and order what he wants (whether or not it’s on the menu.) He eats standard items such as eggs and chicken, but he eats less beef and seafood because they were impacting his health due to the leukemia medication. He is not afraid to eat carbs, but says some people need to be more careful with them. He also had to increase his water consumption and really cut back on alcohol due to leukemia. Anoa’i says it’s all about portion control and not overtaxing his body.
- Medium Carb 30% 30%
- Medium Fat 30% 30%
- High Protein 60% 60%
Power Up in the AM
Anoa’i is a big guy and he eats big. He’ll have 6-10 eggs for breakfast, often with bacon or sausage. After his first workout, he’ll have a protein shake. Then he’ll eat another protein-heavy meal again about an hour later.
A K.I.S.S. Plan
Anoa’i says he doesn’t get very creative with his food. It’s your basic protein, carbs and veggies, with very little seasoning or sauce.
Anoa’i says that while Samoans are famous for their big appetite, it can be tough to eat enough while working out at noon and then going to a match at night. He has to carefully manage his time so he isn’t too full when it’s time to perform.
Eat Like a Caveman
Anoa’i’s approach to eating is that if it grew in the ground or walks on the earth, it’s probably ok to eat.
Anoa’i says he isn’t into lugging around a heavy cooler when he travels. He’d rather go to a restaurant. But he does use a meal service when he’s at home through friends at a company called Nutrition Solutions.
Upgrade Your Order
Anoa’i says that while some of his fellow wrestlers try to save on hotel costs, he prefers to stay in a better hotel which means a better restaurant. He’ll order several meals in advance, and they arrive at the appointed time, saving him hassle.
Because the medication for leukemia takes a toll on the liver and stomach, Anoa’i has had to be even particular about his food choices. He can’t have much red meat or crab legs.
Junk Food Dreams
Anoa’i admits to loving junk food, but he only indulges occasionally. He says cheat if it makes you happy, but not if you’re going to beat yourself up about it afterward.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Red Meat (in moderation)
Shellfish (in moderation)
Anoa’i on his Diet
‘My diet is pretty bare bones. I don’t do a lot of different sauces or seasonings…It’s protein, carbs, and greens for digestion.’
Anoa’i on his Approach to Diet
‘Be strict and stay focused 80% of the time, but reward yourself and that’ll keep you in good spirits.’
Anoa’i on Chipotle
‘I don’t know if the quality is quite what it was. You can definitely taste it…But it’s still a lot better than a cheeseburger and french fries.’
Anoa’i on Fast Food
‘When you’re working out twice a day, sometimes you can get away with a little bit of it here and there.’
Anoa’i on Life & Diet on the Road
‘Late at night, on the road, you can’t be picky…That is where the meal plans are nice to have.’
Anoa’i on Cravings
‘Most of the time, you want things you can’t have.’
Roman Reigns’ Fitness Routine
Do Or Do Not
Anoa’i’s trainer Neil ‘Yoda’ Hill is a former professional bodybuilder who created the Y3T (Yoda 3 Training) system.
Anoa’i says that if he eats a cheat such as a burger and fries, he hits the gym early the next day for a half hour to burn off that indulgence.
Take It Easy
Dealing with leukemia has forced Anoa’i to rethink his workouts and his priorities. He still exercises, but he doesn’t always go full-throttle. If his body says to slow down, he listens.
Double Daily Dose
Anoa’i usually works out twice a day, six days a week, once in the morning and a second session in the afternoon. He takes a rest day on Sunday.
Anoa’i doesn’t like to eat much before exercise. He times his meals so his stomach is on the empty side so that he can move better.
The Yoda 3 Training method is designed to help you make gains without damaging joints. It involves a mix of heavy weights, isolation exercises and high intensity training.
A Roman Reigns Y3T Sample Routine
Week 1: 6-12 reps
Weeks 2 & 3: 14-18 reps
Week 4: 15+ reps; mostly isolation lifts
Leg/quad extension: 4 sets
Barbell squats: 4 sets
Dumbbell Bulgarian split squats: 4 sets
Hack squats: 2 sets
Hamstring lying curls: 6 sets
Barbell stiff-leg deadlift: 4 sets
Close-grip pulldowns: 4 sets
Incline machine row: 4 sets
High lever pulldowns: 4 sets
Single-arm dumbbell row: 4 sets
Anoa’i on the Most Important Muscle to Exercise
‘The brain is the strongest muscle we have.’
Anoa’i’s Thoughts on Working Out
‘Thank God I did that. I feel better.’
Anoa’i on How Cancer has Impacted his Training
‘Instead of pushing toward a goal relentlessly, I have to listen to my body, see how I’m feeling, and what my energy levels are along the way.’
Roman Reigns’ Supplements
Besides his protein shakes, Reigns’ is keeping pretty quiet about his supplement choices. So, below are supplements that can benefit anyone following a similar diet or lifestyle.
Anoa’i drinks at least one protein shake every day, and sometimes more. Protein builds muscle, burns fat and curbs cravings.
Olive leaf extract
Roman Reigns’ Lifestyle
Anoa’i received a diagnosis of leukemia when he first entered the NFL. He was treated and went into remission, but was again diagnosed with the disease in 2019. He underwent a second treatment and returned to the ring just 4 months later, announcing he was once again in remission.
Anoa’i considers Bret Hart to be his wrestling idol. He also says he’d love to face off against his cousin, The Rock.
Four of Anoa’i’s five kids are twins. Two boys born in 2016 and another 2 were born in 2020.
Famous Friends & Family
One of Anoa’i’s fellow footballers from college is Calvin Johnson who went on to become a wide receiver in the NFL. Anoa’i’s father, brother Rosey, and several cousins are all pro wrestlers. He’s also a cousin to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson through marriage.
Anoa’i’s sleeve tattoo took 17 hours to complete and tells the story of his progress as a wrestler and indicates his proud membership in the legendary Anoa’i family. His tattoo artist is Mike Fatutoa.
Anoa’i on Self-Care
‘What I try to do is not stress myself out.’
Anoa’i on Leukemia, Then and Now
‘I don’t have the same resiliency that I did when I was 22. My body didn’t bounce back and the recovery is not the same. It’s a whole different process now.’
Anoa’i on the Impact of Cancer on His Life
‘Before all this happened, I was maxing myself out and working as hard as I could. This has given me a new perspective. Sometimes you have to be smarter and pull yourself back.’
Anoa’i on his Tattoos
‘Some people hang art. I wear it.’
WWE: The Destruction of the Shield