Could You Eat and Train Like an NFL Player This Offseason?

If you were an NFL tight end, like Dustin Keller happens to be, you’d be trading in chips and mozzarella sticks for protein shakes and barbells.

On Super Bowl Sunday, the average American eats 11 pounds of pizza, nachos, pride, and chicken wings. OK, that number is totally made-up, but we do eat a lot of delicious crap. But if you were an NFL tight end, like Dustin Keller happens to be, you’d be trading in chips and mozzarella sticks for protein shakes and barbells. We met up with Dustin at a Reebok Crossfitevent in New York City to get an idea of how he prevents himself from becoming a floppy end during the off-season.

The Off-Season Isn’t the Slack Off Season

I don’t do much right after the season ends. There’s a Reebok Crossfit gym near me in New York City that I go to to stay in shape. Once February comes along, I usually go down to Tampa Florida to train with my trainer. By the end of the month, I’m really hitting the weights and running really hard. So, when the Super Bowl comes around, I’m already back in training.

Here’s a breakdown of a typical off-season training day:

6 AM

A lot of guys like to sleep late in the off-season, but I always get up around six. For breakfast, I’ll have a couple scrambled eggs, a big bowl of oat meal and a small bowl of fruit. It’s not exciting, but it’s better than throwing up later. I eat the same thing pretty much every morning. It’s like a breakfast you’d get at a hotel.

8 AM

At about 7:45, I’ll head out to the field and we’ll run for an hour. It doesn’t sound that long, but it’s pretty miserable. After that, I’ll have a recovery shake and then go have some lunch.

11 AM

I never feel like eating after the workout, but you have to get a meal in you, so I try to get it down as fast as I can. It’s boring food. There’s always chicken breast, then a few servings of pasta and fruit for carbohydrates to get ready for the next workout.

2:30 PM

In the afternoon, we’ll head to the weight room. We’re usually in there for about two hours, depending on the routine we’re doing. You’re pretty beat after that and then you have to get in the cold tub. It’s full of ice and it really helps you recover, but it’s not fun getting in there.

6:30 PM

Time for another big meal. This one has less carbohydrates and more protein. My trainer has come a long way when it comes to his recipes. When I first started, I’d have to cut up my chicken and dip it in my water before I could eat it.

10:00 PM

I’ll usually have a protein shake before I go to bed. I try to get eight hours of sleep, but it doesn’t always happen. When you don’t get enough sleep you can feel the difference in the training.

What’s on the Menu for Super Bowl Sunday

I’m going to be on my healthy kick, so instead of having delicious nachos with nacho cheese and ranch dressing and all that delicious stuff, I’ll probably be having something like hummus. It’s not a happy place, but it’s somewhere I gotta go.