Adrian Peterson Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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If you want a ripped physique like Adrian Peterson’s, you’re at the right place.

As a certified personal trainer, I’ve spent hours researching his workout routine and diet so that I can share it with you.

Here’s his entire training program and diet plan, based on what he and his trainer shared in various interviews over the years.

Adrian Peterson Stats

  • Born: March 21, 1985
  • Height: 6’ 1’’ (185 cm)
  • Weight: 220lb (95 kg)

Adrian Lewis Peterson was the running back for Minnesota Vikings and is still a free agent.

In 2012, he was named the NFL Most Valuable Player, NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

What’s more, Peterson won these prestigious awards after suffering a brutal ACL injury.

So, one thing is clear: Adrian Peterson is a big shot in American football. And his workout regimen reflects that.

Adrian Peterson Workout Routine

man doing lat pulldowns

Adrian Peterson's workout routine includes exercises such as flat bench press and decline dumbbell bench press, which are integral parts of his training program.

James Cooper, Peterson’s personal trainer, is the mastermind behind the player’s rigid workout routines.

It’s said that Peterson threw up as many as three times while working out with Cooper for the first time. Also, their workouts last for an average of 5 ½ hours during the off-season [1].

So, it’s safe to say that Adrian Peterson’s workout routine is pretty intense.

But don’t let that fool you. His routine still allows for adequate rest.

We’ll talk about why that’s important below.

Monday: Chest And Triceps Workout

shirtless man doing tricep dips in a gym

Monday exercises are super-focused on your chest and biceps:

  • Flat Bench Press (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Incline Bench Press (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell Flys (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Decline Dumbbell Bench Press (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Cable Crossover (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • V-bar or Rope Triceps Pushdown (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Triceps Dip (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell Kickback (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension (3 sets of 8 reps)

Tuesday: Legs Exercises

Tuesday exercises will hit various leg muscles, from glutes to calves:

  • Straight-Leg Deadlift (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Leg Press (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Seated Leg Curl (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell Stepping Lunge (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Seated Calf Raise (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Seated Leg Extension (3 sets of 8 reps)

Wednesday: Back And Biceps

A healthy guy lifting a barbell and doing bent over barbell rows

Wednesday workout mainly consists of rows and curls that will work your upper body: 

  • Bent-Over Row (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Rear Barbell Row (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Lying Cambered Barbell Row (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell Incline Row (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Seated Cable Row (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell Curl (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Concentration Curl (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Hammer Curl (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Wide-grip Pulldown (3 sets of 8 reps)

Thursday: Ab Workout

Thursday consists of isolation exercises that target abs:

  • Weighted Crunch (3 sets of 6 reps)
  • Decline Crunch (3 sets of 6 reps)
  • Ab Plate Twist (3 sets of 6 reps)
  • Hanging Leg Raise (3 sets of 6 reps)
  • Roman Chair Sit-Ups (3 sets of 6 reps)

Friday: Shoulder Exercises

Reverse Dumbbell Flyes

On Fridays, work your back, middle, and front shoulder:

  • Seated Military Press (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Barbell Shrug (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Alternating Dumbbell Raise (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Incline Reverse Fly (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Arnold Press (3 sets of 8 reps)
  • Hang Clean Pull (3 sets of 6 reps)

Saturday And Sunday: Rest

Peterson has an intense workout routine during the week. That’s why he takes the entire weekend off.

He limits himself to gently moving his body with long walks, hikes, and short cardio sessions.

Watch this video of Adrian sharing the details of his workout routine and the new gym:


Adrian Peterson: Workout Principles

Adrian Peterson's workout includes a variety of exercises such as Roman chair sit-ups, Arnold press, incline bench press, leg press, alternating dumbbell raise, dumbbell bench squat, and hanging leg raise. Adrian Peterson's shoulder routine specifically focuses on exercises like Arnold press and incline bench press. Additionally, he incorporates the use of majority free weight in his workouts.

Adrian Peterson hits a different muscle group each day and takes the entire weekend off his insane training program.

That’s because his workout routine is based on a simple principle: give muscles enough time to rest, which I am an advocate of as well.

Rest days are crucial for your health. According to an article from the MedlinePlus website, overtraining can lead to mood swings, overuse injuries, and even depression [2].

Besides that, your body won’t have enough time to repair the damaged muscle fibers if you train every day. According to an article from the BuiltLean website, that means that the fibers won’t increase in number or thickness, so your muscles won’t grow [3]. Well, at least not as fast as they could.

Adrian Peterson: Diet Plan

Here’s Adrian Peterson’s former diet: 

  • Breakfast: 4-5 eggs, low-fat bacon;
  • Snack: A protein shake;
  • Lunch: Baked chicken and rice;
  • Snack: A protein shake;
  • Dinner: Chicken breast; a bowl of pasta;
  • Snack: A protein shake

Adrian Peterson’s Diet Principles

Adrian Peterson, the American football player, hits the gym with intensity as part of his workout routine. In addition, Adrian Peterson's diet plan focuses on nutritious foods, and he understands the importance of proper rest for optimal performance.

Currently, Adrian Peterson is switching to an all-vegan diet. He said that the transition was hard:

“It’s been kind of rough making the transition, so I’ll at least try to get a meal in. But I get the majority of my protein from like Isagenix meal replacements. Since I’ve been here, I’ve only been eating one meal a day. I just drink a lot of protein to get my nutrients.”

- Adrian Peterson

So, Peterson sometimes takes meal replacements to meet his required protein intake, just as I do sometimes. But his diet is not yet entirely vegan. He admits he still eats chicken, fish, and ice cream.

Adrian Peterson’s Supplements

opened container spilling white pills on a table

Some sources claim that Peterson uses whey protein and vitamins for men.

Among other things, vitamins can improve cardiovascular health and the immune system [4].

On the other hand, protein powders can help you lose weight, build muscles, and recover after workouts [5].

If it’s true that Peterson is starting to be vegan, he’s probably changing to vegan protein powders.


What Role Do Sports-Specific Training Techniques Play in Adrian Peterson's Workout Routine?

Sports-specific training techniques in Adrian Peterson's workout routine focus on enhancing his football performance, particularly in agility, speed, and strength, which are crucial for his role as a running back.

How Important Are Mental and Psychological Training Aspects in Adrian Peterson's Success?

Mental and psychological training aspects are vital in Adrian Peterson's success, contributing to resilience, focus, and a strong mindset necessary for the challenges of professional football.

Why Is Active Recovery and Mobility Work Important in Adrian Peterson's Training Routine?

Active recovery and mobility work in Adrian Peterson's training routine is important for maintaining flexibility, preventing injuries, and boosting overall athletic performance, ensuring effective recovery and sustained high-level performance.

What Is the Breakdown of Macronutrient Ratios in Adrian Peterson's Diet Plan?

The breakdown of macronutrient ratios in Adrian Peterson's diet plan likely emphasizes proteins for muscle repair, carbohydrates for energy, and fats for overall health, supporting his intense training and aiding in recovery.

How Do Supplements and Hydration Strategies Contribute to Adrian Peterson's Fitness Regime?

Supplements and hydration strategies contribute significantly to Adrian Peterson's fitness regime by providing essential nutrients for energy, recovery, and maintaining hydration, which is crucial for his high physical activity level and quick recovery.


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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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