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So, Herschel Walker must be a genetic wonder, right?

Discussion in 'General Health/Fitness & Injuries' started by KT Monahan, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

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    How does he sustain on this diet?

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/10/11/herschel.fitness.martial.arts/index.html?hpt=C2

    Javier Mendez, a mixed martial arts trainer for 32 years, scoffed when he heard that retired NFL star Herschel Walker, who's nearing 50, wanted to compete in ultimate fighting.

    "Yeah, I didn't think he could do it," Mendez said. "I thought it was a joke."

    Walker had been out of football for 12 years. Aging football players tend to get flabby, play golf or relive the spotlight under "Dancing With the Stars."

    But the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner always had an unorthodox streak.

    After stints of ballet dancing, Olympic bobsledding, running track and field, gaining a black belt in taekwondo and retiring from a celebrated football career, Renaissance jock Walker has dived into the most physically demanding and controversial sport of his career.

    At 48, Walker is training for his second Strikeforce mixed martial arts fight, scheduled for December 4.

    "I was in great shape when I was younger," he said. "This is the toughest thing I've ever done. I think that's the reason I'm in better shape than I've ever been in."

    He was chosen to pose naked for ESPN The Magazine's "The Body" issue, out last week, to show his muscular physique.

    "I'm going to do something different, to be a little different than the average person," he said. "You can't be in the same cookie cutter."
    Walker has never followed the fitness norms.

    He eats once a day, skipping breakfast and lunch. After a long, intense day of training, he eats salad and bread for dinner. He doesn't care for meat or fuss about getting enough protein. Walker's a vegetarian.

    "It's a mindset -- something I've been doing for a long time," he said. "I don't worry about protein. I don't worry about all that. I'm from old school. I grew up in south Georgia. They didn't worry about cholesterol or protein. They went out and worked and lived a long time, so I don't put a lot of worries in my mind. I just get it done."

    Sometimes, Walker doesn't have an appetite and will go through seven hours of wrestling, kickboxing, sparring and practicing jujitsu without having eaten for three or four days.

    "It's just unbelievable," said Mendez, who trains Walker at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. "He shouldn't be able to do what he's doing. I don't think it's possible to eat as little as possible and work out the way he does. There's no way. He's an unbelievable athlete."

    Mendez doesn't try to change it either.

    "You can't fix it, because it's not broken," he said. "You can try to understand it -- good luck with that."

    And no, Mendez thinks it probably won't work for most people.

    At 5:30 a.m., Walker wakes up to do 750 to 1,500 push-ups and about 2,000 sit-ups.

    "I try to show the world at my age, I could do it," Walker said. "I'm not trying to be arrogant. My parents say you can't make excuses in life, you've got to get it done."

    And he did. In his first Strikeforce fight in January, Walker defeated Greg Nagy, a fighter almost half his age.

    Walker's genesis into a Renaissance jock sprang from chubby beginnings. He was a pudgy boy with a stutter who was picked on and shoved as a child.

    At 15, he said he "started working out after watching 'Love Connection' and started doing push-ups and sit-ups," he said. "I started doing it on my own -- that gave me confidence."
    As he developed into an athlete, his interests varied from two-man bobsledding to ballet.

    "When I started out as little kid, I didn't say I just want to run football. I wanted to be a great athlete," he said.
    "It's mind over matter. You got to work at it. You can't assume you're a great football player so you'll win in bobsledding. It doesn't mean you don't have to work."

    Walker's recent return to competition sends a different message to middle-aged men who believe that getting out of shape is the inevitable part of aging, his trainer said.

    "It doesn't matter your age," Mendez said. "You can do it at any age. Look at your desire. Don't let age be a barrier to prevent you from doing something you want to do."

    Shortly after his retirement from football in 1997, Walker began having symptoms of mental illness and struggled with dissociative identity disorder, or DID, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.

    Walker said he receives therapy to control the disorder.
    "I have problems and as long as you admit you have a problem, that's how you become better," he said.

    He even considered an NFL comeback before deciding on mixed martial arts. The high-contact, bloody sport has often been criticized for brutality as fighters can knee, elbow and kick each other in the face. Walker shrugs off the criticism about the sport.

    "The idea of football is just as physical as MMA," he said. "I don't worry about it." What if he gets knocked down by a younger, stronger, more nimble opponent in the ring?

    "I do this 'Walker shake,' " he said. "You got to get knocked down many times, shake it off. Life is about ups and downs, and you got to keep standing up."
     
    #1 KT Monahan, Oct 11, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  2. Spaceboy

    Spaceboy Active Member

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    Herschel is the man. Even though he has the genetics, he put in the hard work.
     
  3. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    Yup, he is what happens when great genetics are combined with an incredible work ethic. Herschel is an amazing dude.....
     
  4. odin1642

    odin1642 Active Member

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    I assume he must be eating about 2 loaves of bread in that one meal ?


    I'd assume he'd need a good 3,000 cals a day to maintain that amount of muscle ?


    Makes you wonder if the needing dietary protein for muscle thing is BS:confused:


    Although 2 loaves of bread (based on an 800 gram loaf, which is standard for a sliced loaf here in the UK) would be about 3200 calories and 160 grammes of protein, but obviously it's not animal protein.
     
  5. jsalazar

    jsalazar Active Member

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    drugs, overstatments, plain lies...

    " Sometimes, Walker doesn't have an appetite and will go through seven hours of wrestling, kickboxing, sparring and practicing jujitsu without having eaten for three or four days "


    how would anyone fast for 3 or four days and still manage to do extenuos phisical activity? thats not genetics, thats breaking the laws of physics.
     
  6. odin1642

    odin1642 Active Member

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    I don't think it is, people go on long fasts and can still have a lot of energy and can do strenuous exercise - after a few days on a fast, the body adapts from burning carbs to burning body fat, and possibly some muscle, for energy. The feelings of very low energy come in the first 24 hours or so when fasting, but can ease considerably after the first 24 hours or so. Although I would imagine it would make it easier to have high energy levels on a fast if one had a decent amount of body fat - he looks ripped in his pics but maybe he has periods of higher body fat during the year when he could go on fasts.


    Granted it's very hard to take an article like that at face value though, one might suspect drugs are involved with a physique like that at that age, but then this guy does have elite sprinter type genetics.
     
  7. anfeyd

    anfeyd Active Member

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    Elite athletes have the ability to maintain and even gain muscle on a lot less calories than the average bear. I saw it all the time with my football players.
     
  8. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    Well....the media tends to get a lot of things wrong. I don't really believe that a muscular 200+ pound guy can work out 7 hours per day, and then survive on one meal of bread and salad intermixed with 4 day fasts. It wouldn't surprise me if he does this occasionally, but no way do I believe he does this all the time.
     
  9. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    What's the salad?

    Is it one leaf of lettuce like some thin girls claim is a salad?

    Or is it the size of a small car like when I make a salad?

    Then you have to ask. What's in the salad?

    While it's alot harder to come up with a well balanced meal the more stuff you refuse to eat it is possible.

    But isn't everybody that makes it to Walkers level at the NFL a genetic freak?
     
  10. Jaer

    Jaer Well-Known Member

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    True, but the question I have is this: does he really not eat? Or does he not sit down for formal meals?

    Is he grabbing something like an apple? Or even a bag of chips? Maybe a gallon of milk every day? Or several starbucks vente mocha-chino iced coffee supremes with espresso shots and whipped cream?

    Or is he being completely fasted all day?

    Some people say "I only eat one meal a day" and they mean one planned, sit-down and consume meal...and they don't mention the incidental cals they eat--which are the bane of the unaware/non-logging dieters and the mystery in a lot of equations about why some transformations work and others do not.

    I don't think this article gives enough info to know the Full Story.

    Jaer
    also thinks the body is really good at adapting to rhythms. If he as been doing this for a long time, his body is very use to working this way and it does work. Anyone else would have a hard time getting it to work this way.
     
  11. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

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    I wonder if this is more of a couple of decades long process where his body has become more and more accustomed to surviving and thriving on a low calorie diet. I wonder what his diet was like when he was in his teens, 20's and 30's.
     
  12. Phoenix

    Phoenix Active Member

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  13. M@

    M@ Monster Maker 2017

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    Interesting how? :confused:

    He never mentioned morality as a factor in his vegetarianism. Maybe dude just doesn't like the taste of meat? I'd imagine that when you grow up as one of seven kids in a blue-collar family, meat's a rarity and veggies/bread are the norm.

    Guy's a genetic lottery winner with a crazy work ethic and business acumen. If it weren't for the mental disorder, I'd be jealous. :nod:

    ...although the latter does explain the whole Dallas thing. :blank:
     
  14. sevenatenine

    sevenatenine Active Member

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    Maybe each of his personalities only eats one meal a day........
     
  15. TheLemonSong

    TheLemonSong Well-Known Member

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    I'd venture to say it's interesting because it seems counter intuitive...it's like a guy with no hands owning a pen company, or a person in a wheelchair owning a bicycle shop...

    Who knows why he doesn't eat meat, or how much that is really true.

    Meanwhile, the guy literally played Russian roulette!!

    Also, I hear he only uses resistence exercise to get in shape...he does thousands of pushups a day but won't touch dumbells, barbells, or machines...
     
  16. Phoenix

    Phoenix Active Member

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    Interesting because it made me wonder if his vegetarian lifestyle is because of religion or morals.
    He is pictured holding a massive plate of fried chicken in a publicity shot. Are the chickens free range or are they cage grown for example. He seemed to have very strong convictions so it just seemed odd to me.

    He is a freak though to at his age to do so well in MMA.
     
  17. jsalazar

    jsalazar Active Member

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  18. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    People with mental disorders can often pull off a lot of stuff a normal person can't.

    Chuck Liddell trained on 4000 calories a day.

    The number of pushups Walker can do doesn't impress me.

    You don't get any stronger doing more pushups. You just get to where you can do more pushups. (Explosive pushups will give you power and speed though).

    An Oriental friend of mine could do 6000 pushups a session.

    But he couldn't beat me in an arm wrestle.


    People with multiple-personality disorder usually had some mind shattering thing happen to them somewhere. I don't know what happened to Walker though.

    He eats , it appears, on some sort of offshoot of The Warrior Diet.

    If it works for him....kudos.

    I know I couldn't do what I do on only bread and salad once a day.

    I don't buy this vegan b.s. either.

    Humans were not designed to be vegans.

    George Foreman was fighting into his late forties....Randy Couture is headed down the same road. So it can be done.

    Genetics in humans is definitely a roulette wheel in terms of who gets what.

    Just like it is in the animal kingdom.....some horses are just born to run faster than others.
     

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