Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Willard Smith chose to forego college to pursue a career in rap. As a teenager, he formed the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince and their first album debuted in 1987. Smith’s successful sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, launched his acting career, and 8 consecutive films opened at #1 and grossed over $100 million. Forbes ranked Smith as the most bankable star worldwide. He received nominations for Best Actor at the Academy Awards for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness. Smith has over a hundred million followers on Facebook alone. He married Jada Pinkett in 1997 and they have 2 children together. Smith also has another child from a previous marriage. Smith has donated millions to various charities, including founding a private elementary school. He is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs about 200 lbs.
Will Smith’s Diet
Smith has admitted to struggling with his weight, which hit an all-time high of 225 lbs. in 2019. Smith was in great shape for Suicide Squad, and his diet contained the usual suspects like chicken breast, broccoli, sweet potatoes and protein powder. He ate 5 meals a day containing about 3,500 total calories to fuel his intense workouts. For Ali, Smith had gone as high as 223 lbs., but this time around it was a lot more fat and a lot less muscle. He fasted for 10 days and discovered his diet was actually causing high blood pressure. After a decade of taking medicine to manage his blood pressure, he was able to get off it by making dietary changes. While he has described himself as a ‘food addict,’ he has committed to healthy eating, meaning fresh, whole foods in moderate amounts, and he does his best to be more moderate in his muffin consumption.
- Medium Carb 30% 30%
- Medium Fat 30% 30%
- Medium-High Protein 60% 60%
When Smith discovered his diet was causing his high blood pressure, he made the decision to clean it up.
Smith passed out about 4 days into his 10-day ‘reset’ fast, then when he took his blood pressure medicine, it dropped dangerously low. Fasting for such a long period is not recommended by doctors. You can achieve results without resorting to such extremes.
Smith earned the embarrassing nickname ‘Pudge Muffin’ as he would scarf down their chef’s freshly muffins every morning.
No Carbs for Christmas
When Smith was in training for Suicide Squad, he was extremely strict about his diet. He didn’t have a single cookie at Christmas, and hated every one he missed out on.
Smith says he’s always eaten for fun and he still loves his muffins, but now he’s serious about eating healthfully.
What to Eat
Muffins in Moderation
What to Avoid
Smith on the Importance of Diet
‘I couldn’t believe I got to 50 years old without knowing you literally are what you eat.’
Smith on Food
‘I eat food like an addict.’
Smith on Muffins
‘So for breakfast, I was having 4-5 muffins. You know, Aladdin was successful, so I was like, “Muffin, muffin, muffin!”’
Smith on Why He Decided to Ditch ‘Pudge Muffin’
‘You can’t put the fate of a family on a Pudge Muffin.’
Smith on His Low-Carb Diet
‘It was terrible.’
Will Smith’s Fitness Routine
Hardest Working Guy
Smith is the leading man, and he takes the lead when it comes to training too. His max benchpress had dropped by 35 lbs., but he soon fixed, that and then some.
Smith worked out with personal trainer Aaron Ferguson for the intensive strength-training sessions to gear up for Suicide Squad.
Smith met with members of Delta Force and the Army Rangers as part of his tactical training for Suicide Squad.
To prepare for Suicide Squad, Smith lifted 5 days a week, ran 5 miles 6 days a week, and boxed twice a week.
Smith tore a leg muscle during training, and the doctors said he’d be out for at least 6 weeks, but he said that wasn’t going to happen. He got back to work much sooner.
For Suicide Squad, Smith was going for the broad-shouldered, slim-waisted action-figure look. To achieve it, his trainer took the classic approach to bodybuilding: controlled motions with perfect form, and not too much weight. He says this method also reduces the risk of injury.
A Will Smith Suicide Squad Sample Routine
Push-ups: 20 reps x 3 sets
Barbell bench press: 5 reps x 5 sets
Incline barbell bench press: 5 reps x 5 sets
Upright cable flys: 10 reps x 3 sets (high to low)
Lying dumbbell punch: 2 sets to failure
Seated dumbbell shoulder press: 20 reps x 2 sets
Barbell shoulder press: 6 reps x 4 sets
Dumbbell shoulder press: 6 reps x 4 sets
Behind the neck barbell press: 8 reps x 4 sets
Dumbbell lateral raises: 10-12 reps x 3 sets
Dumbbell air punch: 4 sets to failure
Chin-ups (front, wide grip): 50
Single-arm dumbbell bent-over rows: 6 reps x 4 sets
Barbell bent-over rows: 6 reps x 2 sets
Barbell bent-over rows, reverse grip: 6 reps x 2 sets
Pulldowns (front, wide grip): 6-8 reps x 4 sets
Chin-ups (front, wide grip): 10 reps x 3 sets
Cable pushdowns (heavy): 8 reps x 4 sets
Barbell arm curls: 8 reps x 4 sets
Barbell triceps extensions: 8 reps x 4 sets
Incline bench skullcrushers: 8 reps x 4 sets
Dumbbell triceps kickbacks: 8 reps x 4 sets
Dumbbell hammer curls: 8 reps x 4 sets
Hip abductions, seated or cable: 20 reps/side
Front squats: 5 reps x 5 sets
Full squats: 5 reps x 5 sets
Single leg press: 8 reps/side x 4 sets
Box jump: 30 sec x 4 sets
Crunch machine: go heavy; failure at 6-8 reps.
Leg raises w/ pull-up bar: 8 reps x 4 sets
Smith on his Level of Commitment
‘And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. You know, while the other guy is sleeping, I’m working.’
Smith on his Torn Muscle
‘I was stepping back to throw a blow, and my calf popped. Everyone heard it.’
Smith on Injuries
‘When you’re 47, no injury is a mild injury.’
Will Smith’s Supplements
Smith doesn’t talk much about supplements he might take, so below are supplements that can benefit anyone on a similar diet.
Smith took protein for his role in Suicide Squad. If you’re looking to build and retain muscle and speed recovery, try BCAAs and creatine.
Will Smith’s Lifestyle
The Best of America
Smith says he had a great upbringing. Most of the kids at the Catholic school he attended were white, there were Jewish and Muslim families in his neighborhood, and he hung around with black Baptists. He says the diversity gave him his sense of humor.
Will Smith was introduced to his partner DJ Jazzy Jeff Townes at a party when Townes’ hype man failed to appear. Smith filled in, and their chemistry was so strong, Townes was disappointed when he original hype man finally showed.
Smith spent a lot of money in the late 1980s and didn’t bother much with paying his taxes, leading to the IRS garnishing his income and taking many of his possessions.
Another Food Intervention
Smith wasn’t the only one who needed to change his dietary habits. When his son Jaden became a vegan, Smith and his wife intervened, saying he looked unhealthy, with gray skin and circles under his eyes. Jaden has since switched to a vegetarian diet, which includes some animal products like eggs and dairy. The entire family now works with nutritionists.
Smith on his Childhood
‘I was raised in a Baptist household, went to a Catholic church, lived in a Jewish neighborhood and had the biggest crush on the Muslim girls from one neighborhood over.’
Smith on Race
‘I love being black in America, and I especially love being black in Hollywood.’
Smith on Hard Work
‘If you’re not willing to work hard, let someone else do it.’
Smith on Fear
‘Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.’
Smith on Being Your Own Person
‘Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.’
Smith on Changing the World
‘I want the world to be better because I was here.’