Victor Richards Workout and Diet
Victor Richards’ place of birth is a bit of an enigma. Some say he was born in San Diego and others in Nigeria. He is one of 10 kids, 2nd youngest. His father was Nigerian and his mother is from the Bahamas. Richards began hitting the gym at age 15. In 1982, he entered his first competition, The American Cup, and came in second behind legend Rich Gaspari. Richards won his first title the next year in the Teen Los Angeles competition. In 1987, he appeared in Muscle and Fitness magazine where it was claimed he was the largest bodybuilder in the world, weighing over 300 lbs. Richards won the Mr. Barbados in 1989 and then earned his pro card in the Nigerian National Championship in 1992. Many considered him to be a shoo-in for Mr. Olympia, but he never entered the competition. He was once a brand ambassador for Rebel Nutrition. Other than to promote healthy bodybuilding and eating, he has kept a low profile for decades. Richards has a limited presence on social media. He is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 330 lbs.
Victor Richards’ Diet
Diet is an essential component of every bodybuilder’s regimen. In Richards’ case, it was a matter of getting enough calories to fuel his massive body. At his peak, he would eat 8 meals a day, although he always worked out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. After that, he would eat steadily, consuming everything under the sun including donuts, pizza and cheeseburgers. He would have 2 protein shakes a day and plenty of fruit. Besides water, Richards drinks lots of fresh pressed fruit juice and a lot of whole milk.
Medium High Protein
Richards hits the gym fasting because he says being hungry made him angry, which gives him a better workout.
Richards could get away with eating just about anything, and he did. He would eat 8 meals a day, starting off modestly with cereal and milk, but working his way steadily through croissants, donuts, pizza and burgers — and also some steak and veggies for balance.
Don’t Believe the Hype
Richards is famously quoted as eating 30,000 calories a day, but he says that is not true. One time, he ate a bunch of Caribbean and African food that was high in calories, but he never made it a habit to eat that much. That said, he did regularly eat in the range of 7,000-10,000 calories a day, still an impressive feat.
What to Eat
- Full-fat milk
- Fresh orange juice
- Protein shakes
- Greek yogurt
- Protein shakes
What to Avoid
- Not eating enough
- Excess sodium
- Junk food
- Fast food
- Artificial ingredients
Richards on his diet
I have never said that I consume 30,000 calories daily.
Richard on high-calorie meals
Caribbean and African cuisine…can be extremely high in calories.
Richards on fasted workouts
A hungry man is an angry man. Anger helps fuel my workout.
Victor Richards’ Workout Routine
Born at the Right Time
Richards grew up in California and trained at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach where many other bodybuilders of the Golden Era got their start, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu.
Besides pumping iron, Richards played football, wrestled, and did track and field events in high school.
Richards got his start with bodybuilding accidentally. A bodybuilder on Venice Beach approached him and invited him to Gold’s Gym, where he met the ‘Barbarian Brothers,’ David and Peter Paul.
Although it’s clear Richards lifted heavy, his actual routine is not known.
Early Success, and Questions
Richards came in 2nd in his first competition and won his second contest, but suffered an embarrassing defeat in his 3rd, causing him to rethink his whole bodybuilding career.
Richards works out about 5-6 days a week, taking off Wednesdays.
In his hay day, Richards followed a classic split routine, focusing on one or a few body parts per day, hitting some parts twice a week, like calves and arms.
Richards would use one day a week to spend extra time focusing on an area that needed extra refinement.
A Victor Richards Routine
- Monday: Triceps, Biceps, & Calves
- Tuesday: Legs
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Chest & Triceps
- Friday: Back & Calves
- Saturday: Shoulders & Biceps
- Sunday: Adaptive Day: focus on the area(s) that need more attention.
Richards on bodybuilding
Bodybuilding is a philosophy of life, and if young lifters are not properly guided, they can very easily lose track of where they’re going and what’s truly important to the process.
Richards on his heavy lifting
I can do 200 pounds on a dumbbell press. I’ve done shoulder presses in the range of 450 pounds, squatted nearly 900 pounds, and I’ve done barbell curls up to 315 pounds.
Richards on support wraps
I never liked using a belt or knee wraps.
Richards on going to the gym
Just as the synagogue is to the rabbi, the Vatican to the Pope, the gym was my spiritual ground.
Victor Richards’s Supplements
To feed his massive muscles, Richards would have 2 whey protein shakes every day.
Although Richards eats plenty, he also takes a multivitamin every day to cover his nutritional bases.
Another supplement Richards says he takes regularly is glutamine which, besides boosting muscle gains and energy, also supports immunity and good digestion.
Victor Richards’ Lifestyle
Richards’ habit used to be to get up and train, eat 2 meals, and then go back to bed for an hour or so.
Richards says he never took steroids, and that is one of the reasons he never competed in the Mr. Olympia. He also hopes the sport can return to a drug-free state.
Richards says that of all the bodybuilders, Arnold Schwarzenegger is his all-time top pick for a bodybuilder with the right attitude.
Richards is a deeply private man who does not like to share personal information. He is married and has a family, but refuses to disclose virtually anything about his life.
Richards showed up at the 1994 FIBO competition and walked out on stage as Dorian Yates was guest posing. He later apologized for stealing the spotlight, and Yates graciously accepted the apology with a joke.
The News of His Death Is Greatly Exaggerated
In 2021, social media lit up with ‘RIP Victor,’ but according to Richards’ daughter, he’s doing just fine.
Richards on the hazards of bodybuilding
I don’t love bodybuilding enough to sacrifice my life for it.
Richards on the deeper meaning of bodybuilding
When people talk about anti-aging…that is what bodybuilding is truly about.
Richards on the current state of bodybuilding
Bodybuilding today is like a beautiful car that people have taken and sold for parts.
Richards on the future of bodybuilding
I want to return bodybuilding to what it was originally intended to be: the mind, the body and the spirit.
Richards on the sport of bodybuilding
My calling in this sport was NOT to win titles and compete. It was to mentor people and give a voice to people that didn’t feel they could speak up.
Richards on Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger is the bodybuilder I most admire. He’s stubborn to a point where he doesn’t care what people think of him. Like me, he didn’t just believe he was good, he believed he was great.