Aaron Donald’s Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 8, 2023
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If you have watched any NFL game featuring the Los Angeles Rams, you know that Aaron Donald is a force to be reckoned with.

As a fitness trainer, I am always intrigued by how athletes like Aaron Donald achieve and maintain such incredible physiques, so I started digging. I went through his interviews, social media, and studied how professional NFL players train.

This article will look at this dominant defenseman’s workout, nutrition, and other must-knows if you want to look as impressive as Aaron Donald does.

Let’s begin.

Stats and NFL Career Highlights

Aaron Donald holding his helmet at the field and thinks about workout and diet
  • Age: 32
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Height: 6’ 1”
  • Weight: 280 lbs
  • Waist: 32”
  • Chest: 44”
  • College: University of Pittsburgh
  • NFL Combine: 40-yard dash (4.68 seconds), bench press (35 reps)
  • Drafted: First round, 13th pick
  • NFL Career: 2014 to present
  • Teams: Los Angeles Rams
  • Postseason: Super Bowl XLVII Champion
  • Pro Bowl Appearances: 9 (2014-2022)
  • Other accolades: Named defensive player of the year (2017 & 2018), most sacks in a single season by a defensive tackle (20.5 in 2018)

Aaron Donald's Workout Routine

A person doing Aaron Donald's workout routine at the gym

Even when the season is over, Donald’s work doesn’t end.

To achieve his explosive power, he performs a lot of low-volume, high-intensity box jumps along with the following training schedule. 

On game days, Donald incorporates high-volume, lower-weight arm workouts, helping him prepare for the pushing and shoving that is about to take place for three hours.

Here is a sample of Aaron Donald’s workout.

Monday - Ab Workout

Maintaining a strong core is vital to balance and stability, which is necessary for his NFL job:

  • Medicine Ball Crunch: 20 reps, five sets
  • Bicycle Crunches: 20 reps, four sets
  • Toe Touches: 20 reps, four sets
  • Side Plank: 20 reps, four sets
  • Heel Taps: 20 reps, four sets
  • Plank: Hold for one minute, three sets
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Tuesday - Lower Body Workout

A person doing deadlifts at the gym

From his ab workout on Monday, Aaron moves on to training his legs, glutes, and calves:

  • Squats: 12 reps, four sets
  • Deadlifts: 10 reps, three sets
  • Burpees: 10 reps, three sets
  • Lunges: 20 reps, four sets
  • Calf Raises: 10 reps, three sets

Wednesday - Speed and Agility

Speed and agility are crucial in Aaron’s role as a defensive tackle, as they improve flexibility, posture, balance, and endurance.

To strengthen his lineman skills, Aaron Donald does the following:

  • Sprints: 10 meters, three sets
  • Sprints: 24 meters, three sets
  • Suicide Sprints: Three sets
  • Agility Ladder: Three sets
  • Burpees: 10 reps, three sets

Thursday - Cardio

Aaron Donald chooses different exercises to burn fat and increase his heart rate on cardio days.

These include riding an exercise bike, using a quality compact elliptical machine, or running on a treadmill.

Friday - Upper Body Workout

A person doing bicep curls at the gym

Fridays are an intense upper body day that he often does at the training facility with his trainer:

  • Bench Press: 10 reps, four sets
  • Military Press: 10 reps, four sets
  • Shrugs: 15 reps, three sets
  • Dips: 15 reps, three sets
  • Dumbbell Curls: 20 reps, four sets
  • Skullcrushers: 20 reps, four sets
  • Tricep Dip: 10 reps, three sets
  • Tricep Extension: 10 reps, three sets
  • Incline Bench Press: 10 reps, four sets
  • Dumbbell Fly: 10 reps, four sets

Saturday - Full Body Workout

It goes as follows:

  • Box Squat: 10 reps, four sets
  • Split Squat: 10 reps, four sets
  • Dumbbell Side Bend: 15 reps, three sets
  • Sit-Ups: 15 reps, three sets
  • Dumbbell Row: 15 reps, three sets
  • Lateral Raise: 10 reps, three sets
  • Zottman Curl: 15 reps, three sets
  • Reverse Lunge: 10 reps, four sets
  • Plank: 1-minute hold, four sets
  • Weighted Sit-Up: 15 reps, three sets

Sunday - Rest

Workout Principles

Aaron Donald outside posing

Aaron learned many life lessons from his dad, including a commitment to working out.

He began exercising with his father at a young age in their basement gym for two hours each morning, starting at 4 a.m.

He has brought that dedication into adulthood and his professional career, always determined to be the hardest worker in the room.

He works out six days a week, with one rest day during the offseason.

“We’re cut from the same intense cloth with our passion for training, family and LEGACY.”

- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Actor

Mental Health and Motivation Techniques

For Donald, mental fortitude is as crucial as physical strength. He engages in various mental exercises to enhance focus and resilience. Mindfulness and visualization techniques form a core part of his pre-game preparations.

Donald often visualizes his moves and successes on the field, a practice that helps in building confidence and reducing game-day anxiety. This mental rehearsal not only prepares him for the physical aspect of the game but also instills a sense of calm and readiness.

Moreover, adversity and challenges are inevitable in the life of a professional athlete. Donald approaches these hurdles with a positive mindset, viewing them as opportunities for growth rather than setbacks.

He emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, especially during tough times. This approach helps him stay motivated and focused on his goals, regardless of the obstacles he faces.

Finally, Donald acknowledges the importance of a strong support system for mental health. He maintains close relationships with family, friends, and teammates, who provide him with emotional support and motivation.

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Diet Plan

Close up shot of a chicken breast meal

Donald consumes several servings of specific foods to meet his nutrition requirements.

Here’s a look at what he could eat on a given day.

His 245 grams of protein:

  • Chicken: 6 cups
  • Protein Smoothies with Greens: 12
  • Milk: 30 glasses

His 616 grams of carbs:

  • Pasta and Rice: 15 cups
  • Popcorn: 20 cups

His 164 grams of fat:

  • Hummus: 7 cups
  • Avocado: 7 cups
  • Fish: 55 ounces

Diet & Nutrition Principles

A top view of healthy food and a clipboard at a table

The LA Rams dietitian, Joey Blake, closely monitors Aaron Donald’s diet.

They work together weekly to ensure his calorie intake is where it needs to be and to make any necessary adjustments.

Aaron Donald also has a personal chef to ensure he gets the meals and snacks required for his 5000-calorie daily diet, which consists of 20% protein, 30% fat, and 50% carbs.

In my own experience with high-intensity training, I've found that a diet similar to Donald's is crucial. On a typical day, I also focus on high protein intake, including chicken and protein smoothies. This approach has been instrumental in meeting my nutritional needs and maintaining muscle mass.

Donald also believes in avoiding processed, fried, and junk foods, artificial ingredients, and chemical additives.

Supplements

My experience in fitness tells me that Aaron Donald likely uses whey protein in his 12 smoothies each day.

Whey protein is a complete protein, and according to a study in the National Library of Medicine, contains all nine essential amino acids [1].

According to an article on Cleveland Clinic, building muscle, boosting the immune system, and repairing tissues are just a few benefits of whey protein [2]. These significantly support Donald’s workout and nutrition regimen.

Drawing from my personal fitness journey, I can attest to the benefits of incorporating whey protein. In my routine, whey protein has been a game-changer for muscle building and tissue repair.

FAQs

How Often Does Aaron Donald Work Out?

Aaron Donald works out six days per week and rests for one day during the off-season.

How Much Protein Does Aaron Donald Eat in a Day?

Aaron Donald eats approximately 245 grams of protein daily through protein shakes, milk, and lean protein like chicken.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6245118/
  2. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-whey-protein-good-for-you/
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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