Michael Phelps Workout and Diet

He jumps from the starting block, he swims for couple of minutes and the gold medal appears on his chest. It’s so easy, isn’t it? I suppose you are guessing already that we are talking about the greatest Olympian of all time


Let’s peek into his everyday routine so that we can find where his key to success is. We will start from the beginning i.e. from early in the morning. What does Michael Phelps have for BREAKFAST?

Phelps has three fried egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, fried onions, tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise. Then two cups of coffee and five egg omelette that are just the half of the breakfast. The breakfast continues by consuming a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast with powder sugar and three chocolate chip pancakes, which is about 4000 calories in total.

For LUNCH, he eats a pound of pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise on white bread. Then he drinks energy drinks containing 1000 calories alone.

For DINNER, Phelps consumes one pound of pasta, an entire pizza and more energy drinks.

So, a total of 12000 calories a day, wow, are we talking about another Phelps who is the best in competitive eating? Of course not because there is only one Michael Phelps, but how does he do it? Could one person really consume that many calories and be in Phelps’s shape? Could be this healthy for Phelps? One of the leading experts in sports medicine, Mark Klion from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York says that the eating game all comes down to basic math. If you train as hard as Phelps and eat less than him you will burn calories and lose weight.

A person who doesn’t know who Phelps is will say that he is always overstuffed but the reality is something else. Phelps trains a lot and his body burns thousands of calories a day. According to this, it appears that Phelps has a very fast metabolism which allows him to eat so much.

He needs a lot of energy in order to be the best so these kinds of food provide plenty of it. An athlete like Phelps has to worry about eating enough to restore the depleted calories. If he doesn’t, his body won’t recover, the muscles won’t recover and there won’t be adequate energy for him for his next event.

Now let’s go through


Phelps trains for hours and in his peak training phases he swims nearly 50 miles a week. He trains twice a day with total of five to six hours a day and six days a week. If a major competition is near he trains even more. Swimming 50 miles a week is a long distance so it becomes tedious.

That’s why Michael uses waterproof headphones while swimming. Listening to music can be fun and relaxing during the workout. Long swims improve his stamina, but because he is a fast swimmer he does other exercises in order to improve his swimming speed as well.

His height of 6’4 and his 6’7 arm reach makes him a perfect swimmer. His legs are short for his height which makes him even more dominant in the swimming pool. His knees are double  jointed and his feet can rotate 15 degrees more that average, making them function like flippers.

Even though he is predestined to be a swimmer Phelps uses different equipment and techniques to become better and strives to be the best. Vertical and underwater kicking is an exercise he does during the workout. He also does sculling (a stroke in which a person moves his arms back and forth in small figure eights) in order to maintain his feel for the water.

Kickboards, pull buoys, training paddles and snorkels are just several things in his training equipment. This training gear can make your leg muscles work better, give intensity to the glutes, upper body, abs, and can be a great help in providing a good training after an injury.
When you look at his six pack abs it is obvious that he has a systematic dry land work.

He goes to the gym 3 days a week to lift weights, but on the other hand he favors bodyweight exercises like pushups and weighted pull ups to boost his muscular strength and maintain his vitality. These bodyweight exercises won’t increase Phelps’s body mass as if he was doing some typical bodybuilding exercises like squats, deadlifts bench press, etc. He has a well balanced workout plan so that his bodyweight is optimal for swimming. It is said that the less weight you have to drag in the water the faster you can swim.

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