Terry Crews has muscles on muscles (and more muscles on those).
At 54, this dude puts any juicing bodybuilder to shame.
When he’s not hosting America’s Got Talent–where his pecs would get the golden buzzer–the actor and NBC frontman is hammering the gym and posting enviable shirtless Instagram photos.
Though, as one commenter notes, if your traps looked like a small man popping out of a bigger man, wouldn’t you?
The former NFL defensive end may have traded his gear for a can of Old Spice, but this jock turned actor turned host hasn’t changed at all since Training Day. Crews isn’t shy about sharing his workout and diet plan. Here’s what we know.
He Works Out Every. Single. Day.
Post after post proves Crews ain’t lying. He lifts one to two hours five days a week and runs almost 4 miles a day. “The way my brain works,” Crews says of running, “it needs that kind of energy.” The biggest key for Crews is consistency. “Ninety percent of my workout has been the same thing for 20 years,” he told Men’s Health.
In a video with SixPackAbs.com, Crews reveals his two favorite exercises for those bulging bis.
His “simplest, most wonderful” exercises are straight barbell curls with a 45-pound bar and two 45-pound plates. Follow that with wide-grip pull-ups and you get that muscle separation and definition.
He’s an Intermittent Fasting Fanatic
Crews knows gains start in the kitchen, so he fasts for 16 hours each day.
“My first meal is at 2 p.m. And then I eat from 2 to 10,” he told Business Insider. “I’ll have coffee, maybe tea. Sometimes I’ll have a little coconut oil on a spoon that makes you feel a little satiated.”
Once that 8 hour eating window hits, Crews has his go-to lunch, “an omelet with bacon and a salad,” he told Vanity Fair. “I wash it down with a protein shake.”
Protein is a big component of Crews’ diet. He likes getting his protein in egg dishes, including egg frittatas or scrambled eggs, bacon, and a charcuterie board with salami, he told Men’s Health.
He doesn’t shy away from healthy fats, like Marcona almonds, or carbs, like bread and pasta, either. “A great dinner for me would be bison ribeyes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli,” he says.
The hot trend may be in question with a 2022 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine that found intermittent fasting was no more beneficial than normal calorie counting for obese patients (4).
Dude Loves a Cheat Meal
Only one day a week. “On Sundays I have a cheat day, where I eat whatever I want,” Crews told Coach. “Pizza, ice cream, anything I’ve been thinking about during the week.”
“When my cheat day is on, it is on,” Crews told Men’s Health. A cheat day menu includes, “the biggest, most sugary apple fritter you’ve seen in your entire life,” a pizza topped with mushrooms, onions, green pepper, and extra cheese, and peach cobbler.
As if that wasn’t enough, Crews whips up his favorite meal; mac and cheese.
Crews told Tasty this recipe has been in his family for over two decades and is coined “Mac and Jeezy.” The dish brings his family together and is a staple at every Thanksgiving and Christmas. “It’s only for special occasions because I would not be in shape,” Crews says. “I would just be eating ‘Mac and Jeezy’ all day long.”
His Supplement Stack is Interesting
Crews adds essential fatty acids, multivitamins, and a fat burner to his morning routine, according to Men’s Health. His stack staples include garlic extract, glutamine, and, oddly, horny goat weed.
Garlic is known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties and one study found six weeks of aged garlic extract supplementation controlled immune cell distribution and lowered LDL concentration—bad cholesterol—in adults with obesity (5).
With the amount Crews works out, it’s no wonder glutamine is in his stack. This amino acid is produced in your body but with heavy exercise, you may need supplements to keep up production. A 2021 study found glutamine supplementation could reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness in sports with eccentric movements (6).
Glutamine may also improve fatigue, but one study published in the journal Nutrients found limited effects on physical performance (7).
Horny goat weed has been ingested in a bid to improve libido and erectile dysfunction symptoms, though there are limited studies as to its efficacy, however.
Crews relies on an amino acid drink while still in his 16-hour fast. His go-to choice: Xtend BCAAs.
With no calories, carbs, or sugar, Xtend keeps him in his fast, but allows for electrolytes and amino acids, including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, to flood his body for hydration and muscle support.
He’s Up Before 5AM
“There will be no snoozing in Terry Crews’ house,” Crews told Vanity Fair. “I wake up at 4:45 a.m.,” but with lights out at 9:30 p.m., “I definitely get in between seven and eight hours every night,” he said.
That’s right in line with the National Sleep Foundation’s guidelines of seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
More sleep equals a better immune system, stronger heart, and increased productivity. One study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour suggests you may feel less anxious and more confident after quality shut-eye (8).
Crews uses an alarm that vibrates his pillow, which puts him at the forefront of the sensory alarm movement. A 2020 study suggests the “harsh tones” of an alarm clock cause sleep inertia—a groggy, sluggish, and foggy feeling (9).
He’s a Champion for Mental Health
Crews found therapy keeps his mind as strong as his abs. “I had to redefine what toughness was,” Crews told Verywell Mind Podcast.
“Toughness used to be the ability to throw punches. It’s really the ability to take things, and understand your weaknesses, your strengths, and the wisdom to know the difference in a lot of ways.”
A real test came when Crews entered rehab for a pornography addiction that almost cost him his marriage. “My wife, basically, when she found out, was like, ‘I’m out, I’m done’,” Crews said in an interview with McKinsey Global Publishing. “Therapy opened my eyes to a lot of different ideas.” Now, Crews says his marriage is better than ever.
He also famously took a stand against sexual assault after opening up about his experience with a Hollywood agent.
“I was told over and over that this was not abuse. That this was just a joke,” he said in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when advocating for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights. “And I chose to tell my story and share my experience to stand in solidarity with millions of other survivors in the world.”
Crews wants others to feel confident in seeking help, too: “I recommend people find someone, a counselor, someone that loves them.”