Long before he won the Heisman Trophy and became a star NFL running back, Herschel Walker developed an affinity for bodyweight exercises. What started as a way to improve his appearance—“I was what people called ‘big-boned,’” he says—progressed to a now-legendary workout regimen that includes 1,000 Push-Ups and 2,000 Sit-Ups every day.
Walker played 14 seasons of professional football, extraordinary for a running back. Now, at age 49, he is venturing into the sport of mixed martial arts.
As Walker’s career has evolved, so have his training methods. “I’m older than the average bear,” he says, “but one of the assets that I have in the cage is my cardio. Your cardio has to be in good condition, because if you don’t have good cardio, your workout will be lacking. I build strength with the cardio, then start building quickness.”
As part of his metabolic conditioning workout at D1-Savannah, Walker performs Plate Carries, an exercise that incorporates the elements of conditioning, strength and quickness that Walker needs to outlast younger opponents in the octagon.
- Stack 2½, 5, 10, 25 and 45-pound plates
- Pick up 2½-pound plate and sprint 20 yards
- Place plate on ground and jog back to start position
- Pick up 5-pound plate, sprint 20 yards and place on ground
- Return to start position; repeat pattern for remaining plates
- Rest for 30 seconds and repeat exercise, starting with 45-pound plate and working down to 2½ pounds
Sets: 3 [Ascending/Descending equals one set]
Coaching Points: Sprint with plate // Jog to start position // To increase difficulty, hold larger plates above head when sprinting