The Real-Life Diet of Goldberg
Posted: Mar 3rd 2017 By: Mick Rouse - GQ.com
Professional athletes donít get to the top by accident. It takes superhuman levels of time, dedication, and focusóand that includes paying attention to what they put in their bellies. In this series, GQ takes a look at what athletes in different sports eat on a daily basis to perform at their best. Hereís a look at the daily diet of WWE superstar Bill Goldberg.
For nearly a decade, no other professional wrestler gave off the untouchable, damn near mythical aura of Goldberg. The entrance theme helped, sure, but really it was the insane feats of strength that made every wrestling fan's jaw drop. (This is a guy who hoisted even the 7-foot, 500-pound Big Show into the air for a Jackhammer with relative ease.) So. when it was officially announced that Goldberg would be making a comeback in the WWE, peopleís reactions ranged from pure joy and excitement to, well, tentative intrigue. You see, in the hyper-athletic landscape of professional wrestling today, there are dozens of performers capable of such feats, something Goldberg was well aware of before stepping back in the ring. ďFrom Roman Reigns to Sasha Banks to Cesaro, the athleticism is to a point where itís unbelievable. There are no limited wrestlers anymore,Ē he told me. Somehow, at the miraculous age of 50, no less, he's making a comeback, main eventing pay-per-views like this Sundayís "Fastlane." So we called him up and asked him how he manages to look like, well, this.
GQ: Youíve spoken before about your training as you prepared to return to the WWE, but did you make any major adjustments to your diet in the buildup to your return?
Goldberg: Oh, man. The answer is absolutely yes. The more ďseasonedĒ you are, the more your diet plays a huge part in your makeup. My biggest issue throughout this latest adventure that Iím on is trying to make up for 12 years of losing weight. When I signed on the dotted line with WWE this time around, I had six weeks to train and to be in the ring and my food intake doubled, at least.
Iím assuming your diet became a consistent flow of lean meats and tons of protein then?
Well, itís always been eat as much as humanly possible and stay away from the fats. Carbs are my friend. As long as I donít eat them late at night, Iím good. Except for the fact that I now have to train late at night. I have a gym that Iím sitting in right now that is a quarter-mile from my house, and Iím here until midnight, six days a week. So my metabolism is continually going right up until I sleep because I have to eat after I train. Itís a continual furnace. I burn it, I throw it back in. Iím trying to get in shape and accomplish gaining weight at the same time. Itís almost impossible.
Itís definitely not an easy endeavor to put on mass while looking as ripped as Goldberg is supposed to look.
The amount of food I have to take inóI had to take in a huge amount of food back in the day, but the amount that I have to take in now just to seemingly gain a couple of pounds is unfathomable. I am like a machineóeven more so than I was beforeójust trying to attain, physically, something that is passable, let alone Goldberg-esque.
That was actually something I wanted to ask you: Are there any big differences in your diet now versus when you were a full-time wrestler in the '90s and early 2000s?
When youíre 50 years old and youíre putting your underwear on in front of millions of people and you used to be meólets just say that Iíve cleaned up my diet quite a bit. I didnít use to be as strict with my fat intake. I mean, I didnít even know what ďGluten-freeĒ was then. I ate everything that I saw back then. And it didnít matter because I was younger and my metabolism was even faster. Iíve always been blessed with a very fast metabolism. Which, again, is a blessing and a curse when youíre trying to gain weight and get into cardio shape.
When you made the decision to come back, what was the bigger challenge for you? The physical demands of getting into ring shape or the dietary demands?
The biggest issue with the food is not the frequency, not the amount, but just the way you feel walking around 24 hours a day. Like, if you tripped and fell, you would explode. Itís been tough drinking these shake meals. Iím drinking four to six shakes a day, so Iím always bloated. I feel like a guppy. So that makes it hard to train. Itís hard to do Muay Thai, itís hard to do cardio, because I have so much food in me. I mean, I donít want to complain, but itís not easy.
Definitely not. You mentioned the shakes youíre drinking throughout the day. What are you throwing in the blender for those? Is it the same exact thing every time?
Shakes are the same. Iím going four scoops of super-gainer Muscle Milk powder. Like, gnarly amounts of protein. Some branched-chain amino acids. A banana in each shake. Six to seven strawberries, a little bit of honey, some oatmeal powder, and a little bit of peanut butter powder. You know, after making four to six of those a day, I donít know if I ever want to have peanut butter again.
I was going to say, the peanut butter powder can be so rich. It gets old after awhile, right?
Oh, yeah. And the oatmeal consistency is kind of nasty in the shake. But you just do what you gotta do. Hey, if the worst I have to do is eat all the time and train 24 hours a day and get A.R.P. massages and sit in the cryotherapy tank and sit in my massage chair while I do an interview with GQ in order to go out in front of millions of people, endure some pain, wear it all on my sleeve, and try to provide these kids with another superhero, thatís not the hardest thing in the world.
Well, the fans definitely appreciate it, and I definitely appreciate it as the one interviewing you right now. So break it down for me. What does a typical day look like when it comes to your meals?
Well, the first breakfast I had today, I had six servings of oatmeal, 20 blueberries, and a couple tablespoons of honey on it. Then I trained. Afterwards, I had twelve eggs with two yolks, six pieces of bacon, four pieces of gluten-free toast with avocado. Then a shake. After that I had two gluten-free pizzas with loads and loads of hamburger meat for protein on top of it. Then another shake. My son and I are about to go to Muay Thai, but on the way weíre going to have some pho. Some soup and noodles, some shrimp. Then Iíll do some training at Muay Thai and on the way home weíll get some pho again for dinner, because the wife hasnít eaten it yet today. Then Iíll do the family thing, and then Iíll eat again. I donít know what Iíll have this evening. ProbablyÖ I donít know. I do this meal service called Regiment Meals, and theyíve helped me out tremendously because one of the biggest issues is food preparation.
I was going to say, cooking all that food yourself is so much work in of itself.
Yeah, although I do love to cook. And when you get these food services, a lot of the time itís like eating cardboard. But this place is fresh and it really helps. Tonight Iíll probably do some beef tips and sweet potato fries and an avocado and probably another shake. Then Iíll go workout again, and Iíll have another shake after that, and Iíll do my cheat, which is popcorn.
Just one little tiny cheat in there?
Yeah, man! [Laughs] You gotta have one!
So prior to your first run in professional wrestling, you were in the NFL. Did that transition in any way help you prepare for becoming an active wrestler again after all that time away?
This has been completely different because of the 12-year time lapse. The football to wrestling thing was a natural progression. I didnít train any different weight-wise, strength-wise, cardio-wise, except for the specific in-ring training. But I didnít change anything eating-wise or training-wise. I mean, the fact that I am who I am through my football days, that has prepared me for this resurgence back into the wrestling world in that Iím just a meathead, Cro-Magnon, beat my head on the door type of competitor. Thatís just who I am.
The mental aspect.
Yeah. I got that from football. The mental aspect can push you through anything. The body can do things you never thought possible if you can get your mind to be the driving force. Iíve found that out over the past four months.
One thing we shouldnít get twisted here, though: Even before you made the decision to return to the WWE, you were in fantastic shape. Maybe not larger-than-life pro-wrestling shape, but Iím in my twenties and Iíd see photos of you pop up over the last couple years and think to myself, ďMan, I hope I look as good as Goldberg at 40, 45, 50 years old.Ē I know you probably donít want to reveal all the secrets, but are there any tips you can give us for looking that good at that age?
Well, first, thank you for the kind words, because itís not easy. Itís a life-long journey and itís something I wonít stop until I have my feet underground. There are simple rules that I have always lived by that are constants. Number one, I try to drink as much water as humanly possible each and every day. A gallon to a gallon-and-a-half of water. Two, I try not to eat past dark. Except for the fact that I now have to squeeze another workout in at midnight, so thatís not exactly possible for me right now. Three, I donít drink soft drinks. Period. End of story. Diet, any of that crap, none of it. Period. I donít drink any of it. Four, just understand that 75 percent of what you look like is predicated by what you put in your mouth. At the end of the day, do it for yourself, do it for the people you love, and youíll feel a hell of a lot better each morning when you wake up if you eat better and you train. Sedentary is the killer of humanity. Let that be a lesson.
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