I’ve been following Dave Bautista’s career ever since his early wrestling career. Yup, I was one of those kids who acted out many of the fights we watched on TV, especially when my parents weren’t there to stop me.
What I have enjoyed in recent years is how quickly Dave was able to transition from professional wrestling to a Hollywood career where he’s appeared in movies like Guardians of the Galaxy.
What’s interested me the most is how he’s been able to maintain his muscle growth even though he’s no longer in the professional ring.
As a big fan of Dave’s, I then decided to watch hours of video clips to see if we could come up with his workout routine and diet.
Dave Bautista Body Transformation
Dave has spoken a few times about his tough childhood, which led him to make some shady mistakes.
Ultimately, he credits bodybuilding as being the turning point that saved his life and possibly long stints in jail.
Because muscle building worked so well for him, he decided to take his massive body into the rings of WWE, where he achieved multiple world heavyweight titles.
Throughout this time, he bulked up even more, and that gave him a superhero-like appearance that attracted the attention of Hollywood.
He has now appeared as Marvel’s Drax The Destroyer and in Guardians of the Galaxy.
All thanks to workout routines that might put you into a sweat just reading about them.
His Workout Approach
Dave Bautista is one of those people lucky enough to be able to build muscle in a short amount of time. But that doesn’t mean that his workouts are a cakewalk.
Very much the opposite is the case.
When he was still in his teens and early twenties, he focused only on weight lifting to bulk up. But when he entered the WWE arena, he quickly had to make up some fitness and stamina levels as well.
That’s why some people might think his workout routine aims to burn fat, but as you can see in the images, he’s managed to remain ripped.
Bautista Sample Workout Routine
Dave has taken quite a unique approach to weight training in recent years. First of all, he tends to focus all his workout sessions on 3 days, which sometimes involves splitting the routine over two sessions a day.
And then he tends to do more reps than most other bodybuilders do.
For some people, this might not work to build up more muscle, but it’s obviously not a problem for Dave Bautista.
Monday - Back and Shoulders
- Front pull downs (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Lat pull downs (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Barbell behind the neck press (2-3 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Lateral raises (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Dumbbell shrugs (2-3 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Weighted pull-ups (2-3 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Front raises (2-3 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Seated cable rows (2-3 sets of 10-15 reps)
Tuesday - Rest and Stretching
This doesn’t mean sitting on the couch, but a bit more of an active rest. Aim to go for a few walks and pencil in an hour to do some stretching. You’ll be surprised how this will affect your recovery time.
Wednesday - Legs
- Seated calf raises (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Lying leg curls (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Standing calf raises (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Leg extensions (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Hack squats (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Leg Presses (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
Thursday - Rest and Stretching
For a week that falls into a cutting phase, this day should also be used for some cardio fat burning sessions. Mix the workout between a treadmill, elliptical, and exercise bike to get the full body moving.
Friday - Chest, Arms, and Abs
- Dumbbell bench press (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Incline bench press (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Reverse wrist curls (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Preacher curls (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Triceps extensions (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Dumbbell curls (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Cable crossovers (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Hanging leg raises (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Crunches (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
- Scissor kicks (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
Saturday/Sunday - Rest Days
These should also be active rest days with long walks or even some light hiking. Keeping your blood flow up is the best way to speed up workout recovery.
“I'm not a big guy. I'm not a menacing guy. I'm not an intimidating guy. I may look that way, but just spend two seconds talking to me, and you know that's not who I am - not as a person, as a character. It's not who I intend to be.” - Dave Bautista.
What Does Dave's Diet Look Like?
Dave Bautista does his own thing when it comes to eating. But one thing is certain: he eats a lot to be able to maintain that bulk.
That means a lot of calories, which is also why he doesn't shy away from carbs as many other bodybuilders would often do.
His low-fat and high-protein approach gives him this kind of meal plan.
What you will notice, though, is that there are only complex carbs. He even keeps fruit to a minimum as the fructose could cause blood sugar spikes that might mess up his exercise performance .
He also aims to keep his fat intake very low and aims to source them from healthy fish and vegetables.
Other powerful physiques:
His Supplement Stack
I mentioned above that Dave seems to have his own unique approach to getting his diet right, but one thing he has talked about in interviews is a traditional approach to supplements.
There are 3 main products that he would take on his training days to support both muscle recovery and bulking.
1. Whey Protein
Dave plans several protein shakes throughout the day. The idea is to have a constant supply of the most important amino acids, which is why he mainly takes whey. It’s also an easy way to get some extra calories in without facing another chicken breast.
These amino acids play a crucial role in muscle recovery and bulking. While whey contains these proteins, a dedicated BCAA supplement should support your training program better by providing a targeted boost for muscle recovery .
To get every last rep out of a training session, Dave Bautista would take pre-workout supplements to push his body a bit more. Even 5% extra muscle endurance and stamina can help to get the maximum out of a training program.
Other celebrity physiques:
Are You Trying Bautista's Workout Routine?
It might seem like you could easily do 3 to 4 training days a week, but when you push yourself like Dave Bautista does, then you’ll quickly learn how painful this workout program can be.
I challenge you to give it a try for a few weeks to see how your body responds.
It might not suit everyone, but if you can stick to the diet and workouts for long enough, then I’m certain you’ll get some great results.