Everyone always says how abs are built in the kitchen, but their diet plans are typically too complicated to follow.
I’ve been following Jeff Cavaliere on social media for some time now, and I can tell you — not only does this guy practice what he preaches, but he also makes it easy to keep your abs all year round. Let’s see how he does it!
Jeff Cavaliere, Physical Therapist and Fitness Expert
Watching movies with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and following the careers of pro wrestlers such as Rick Rude and The Hulk, Jeff Cavaliere became interested in bodybuilding as a kid.
Moreover, Cavalier was also a massive fan of the Mets.
Soccer and baseball were a part of his everyday life until he discovered that weightlifting improved his performance in sports.
Cavaliere has a BA in physioneurobiology and a Masters in physical therapy from the University of Connecticut. Additionally, Cavaliere also holds a Strength and Conditioning certification from the NSCA.
His dream has always been to become the head physical therapist for the Mets, which he achieved. However, he left a couple of years later and developed his fitness system known as Athlean-X.
Cavaliere now has his line of supplements, Athlean-Rx, and coaches people who'd like to follow in his footsteps. He also writes for Men's Fitness and has millions of followers on social media.
But, let's see how this 45-year-old, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and 190 lbs ripped physical therapist does it.
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Athlean-X Workout Routine
Jeff Cavaliere was a skinny kid, but he decided to take the matter into his hands, change things and stop being embarrassed about being skinny. His dad helped him hang a heavy bag in the basement, and his transformation into a ripped god began.
As Cavaliere himself says, he started seeing abs after just one summer and became addicted to fitness. Moreover, his physical therapy background separates Cavaliere from the majority of fitness gurus.
Jeff Cavaliere's workout programs and diet plan are available to anyone, but he primarily works with celebrities like Rafael Nadal, Terrel Owens, and David Beckham.
And if they can't meet in person, which has been very common during the pandemic, Cavaliere does video consultations to ensure his clients stay on track with their workout and meal plan.
He loves challenging ultra-competitive clients and making it fun at the same time.
Early Bird Can Have Its Worm
Jeff Cavaliere is not an early bird. He's not too excited about working out at the crack of dawn, and many pros agree with him. He gets up at around 8 am, while his most productive hours are between 10.30 pm and 1 am.
This is really refreshing to hear, as fitness gurus typically push people to exercise as soon as they open their eyes, which doesn’t work for everyone.
However, he’s not against early morning exercise. If his clients are interested in building muscle early in the morning, Cavaliere lets them do their morning routine and then joins them in the afternoon.
The Athlean-X founder has such a schedule that he often ends up working out in the evening, so he takes some pre-workout supplements to keep his energy levels up.
You Don’t Need to Train for Hours
Jeff Cavaliere isn’t into training for hours. His workout sessions typically last about 45 minutes. His workout routine lasts for about 30 minutes, followed by 15-minute conditioning.
Cavaliere uses progressive overload, which allows him to keep getting stronger.
Jeff Cavaliere Total Body Home Workout
What I love most about Cavaliere’s exercises is that you can do them at home or gym, with zero equipment. You just need your bodyweight and determination.
Cavaliere recommends doing each exercise for a minute and take no rest between the exercises or combinations.
Cavaliere also recommends doing 2–3 rounds of the following exercises, doing each exercise for one minute with as many reps as possible.
Two rounds should take you about 35 minutes, while three rounds should take you some 50 minutes to finish.
Lower Body Anterior Chain
- Alternating single-leg high or low box squat. Cavaliere recommends beginners do the high squat, while pros should do the low box squat.
- 1 ½ bottomed out squats
- Jump squats
Squats may seem very basic, but there are actually many benefits of doing them. Squats help burn fat and build muscle, but they also strengthen your core, legs, and lower back, preventing injuries and improving your flexibility .
Upper Body Pushups
Jeff Cavaliere has two versions of upper body workout — for beginners and pros.
Pushups are the quickest and most effective way to build strength. They work your chest muscles, biceps, and shoulder, when done in proper form. They can also strengthen your core and lower back .
Lower Body Posterior Chain
Jeff Cavaliere has two versions of the lower body exercises, as well.
Lunges are a great way to build muscle and strength, and tone your physique . Besides reducing your body fat percentage, lunges will also work your:
- Back muscles
Upper Body Pull
The Athlean-X upper body workout is also adjusted for pros and beginners, so you can choose the program according to your fitness levels.
Pull ups are excellent for building and strengthening your shoulder, arm, and back muscles .
Of course, to become an athlete and look like Jeff Cavaliere, you need a strong core, so you should also do:
- Reverse corkscrew
- Black widow knee slide
- Levitation crunch
- Angels and devils
Your progress depends greatly on your core, which includes more than just your abs. Jeff Cavaliere recommends doing angels and devils to find out which muscle group you need to work on and strengthen so that you can speed up your progress.
As the Athlean-X master explains, you need to have a good balance of strength between your front and back side because your core wraps around your entire body.
Jeff Cavaliere’s Diet Plan
Jeff Cavaliere is serious about his diet, and if you want to look like a pro athlete, you'll need to revise your nutrition. Jeff has six meals a day and eats every couple of hours to keep his metabolism working.
Jeff’s meal plan includes lean protein, vegetables, fruit, and carbs. Yes, Athlean-X founder doesn’t shy away from carbs, as long as they’re healthy and contain fiber and other nutrients.
His diet also includes sparkling water and drinking a couple of protein shakes during the day.
Timing is Essential
Jeff times every meal and all his supplements to get the optimal nutrition, energy, and recovery for each part of his day.
Breakfast is for Powering Up
Athlean-X uses breakfast as a way to stock up on power and energy. Cavaliere’s typical breakfast consists of scrambled eggs, pumpkin oatmeal, skim milk, and fruit.
Keeping it Light for Lunch and Dinner
Jeff usually eats chicken for lunch and fish for dinner, combined with some veggies and complex carbs, such as a whole-wheat wrap or sweet potato.
Lean chicken is great for fighting fatigue and keeping your energy levels high, while fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help you sleep better and calm inflammation.
Cavaliere always takes time for a healthy but simple snack. He typically has a protein shake with some fruit.
Every Good Meal Plan Includes a Hydration Plan
Cavaliere’s meal plan is excellent, but he makes sure he stays hydrated throughout the day. As he finds drinking plain water to be a chore, he sticks to drinking sparkling water.
As the fitness guru says, he can down a bottle of sparkling water without even thinking about it. However, he sticks to plain sparkling water and avoids any additions or flavored varieties.
Foods Cavaliere Recommends Eating
- Whole, natural foods
- Greek yogurt
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole grains
- Sparkling water
Foods Cavaliere Avoids Eating
- Junk food
- Refined sugar
- Processed foods
- GMO foods
- Chemical additives
- Artificial ingredients
- Trans fats
The YouTube star says:
“Don’t ignore your nutrition and certainly don’t ignore the opportunities you have to provide your body with that nutrition at the right time.”
— Jeff Cavaliere, Athlean-X founder
Cavaliere’s Daily Diet Plan
Let’s see what a day’s worth of Cavaliere’s meals look like:
Breakfast — 8:30 am
- Pumpkin oatmeal
- Scrambled eggs & salsa
- Skimmed Milk
- Kiwi slices
Snack — 11:00am
- Protein shake with a banana and strawberries
Lunch — 1:45pm
- Cajun grilled chicken wrap with grilled vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, and hot sauce
- Greek yogurt
- Sparkling water
Snack — 4:00pm
- Black bean, vegetables, and onion soup
- Sparkling water
Dinner — 7:00pm
- Sesame tuna steak
- Grilled cajun asparagus
- Sweet potato mash
- Sparkling water
Post Workout Snack — 10:00 pm
- Protein shake
What Supplements Does He Take?
Cavaliere has his own line of supplements, called Athlean-Rx. He even has a special protein formula for women that contains 20 grams of whey protein, vitamin D, calcium, MCTs, and only one gram of sugar.
Cavaliere is strict with his supplements, just like he is with his diet. He takes different shakes and vitamins at specific times of the day to get the most out of them.
Even though he’s one of the healthiest eaters out there, Cavaliere says he feels like he’s not getting enough of certain things, so he takes vitamin and workout supplements to ensure he’s giving his body everything it needs. Here’s what he takes throughout the day:
- Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids — he takes omega-3s three times a day and omega-6 once to balance them out
- 1,500mg vitamin C — once a day
- 1,000 IUs Vitamin E — once a day
- CoQu10 — once a day
- Green tea extract — once a day to stabilize his blood sugar levels
- Multivitamin for men — once a day as insurance
- Mechan-X — once a day for joint recovery
- Athlean Rx-1 X-Cite pre-workout formula (30 minutes before a workout)
- Athlean Rx-2 post-workout supplement (30–45 minutes after a workout)
- Athlean Rx-3 night-time muscle repair and growth formula (30 minutes before bed)
Most of the supplements Cavaliere uses come from his own line that he designed alongside his father, who's a certified physician.
All of the formulas are balanced and designed especially to help your muscles repair after a workout and during the night, grow, become, and stay strong.
He understands your body's needs and knows what vitamins, minerals, and workout supplements will bring you to your goal.
I love that he knows exactly why he's taking each supplement and explains the reasons in great detail. His routine is science-backed, and this is what makes me trust him completely.
Would You Try the Athlean-X Workout Routine?
We all know that eating clean and exercising regularly isn't easy. There are some days you'd rather spend lounging around your house, drinking beer, and eating a big, fat burger. However, Jeff Cavaliere is a true inspiration.
He shows us that you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn and do thousands of pushups to achieve your goals. So, would you try his program? And if you did, share your experience in the comments!