Rob McElhenney Workout Routine & Diet Plan (Revealed)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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I’ve been a fan of Rob McElhenney ever since I started watching It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia a few years ago. His transformation from being fat to ripped caught many by surprise.

In fact, one of the most searched questions is how Rob transformed his body within a short period. This made me do some thorough research to help you answer the above question. In fact, you might get some tips on why your workouts might not be producing the desired results.

You might as well decide to follow Rob McElhenney's diet and also get a toned body within months.

Who Is Rob McElhenney?

Rob McElhenney is an American actor, producer, and screenwriter from the vibrant city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He spent a long part of his career waiting for a breakthrough, and that came with him playing one of the lead roles in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, a hit show.


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A post shared by RobMcElhenney (@robmcelhenney)

I don’t think I’ve binge-watched and laughed as much as I have with that show.

Beyond his professional achievements, McElhenney's journey is also a testament to the psychological resilience required for such drastic physical transformations, showcasing the importance of mental strength alongside physical training.

I strongly suggest you check out that show or at least look at some photos of Fat Mac so that you can really appreciate Rob McElhenney’s body transformation.

The Rob McElhenney Workout Routine

To follow Rob McElhenney's intense six-day weightlifting regimen, commitment is key.

He spent seven months under expert guidance, with a personal trainer optimizing workouts for safety and effectiveness, and a nutritionist designing a diet for optimal performance and recovery, which underscores the role of personal trainers and nutritionists in such radical body trainformations.

In my experience as a health coach, clients see significant gains by consistently following a structured routine, a nutritious diet, and incorporating quality protein supplements. It's essential to balance rigorous training with sustainable health practices for long-term benefits.

Here's a brief outline of the routine.

Day 1: Chest & Shoulders

A man working out his chest and shoulders in the gym

These workouts should be 3 sets of 8 reps, so make sure you carefully pick the right weight to feel the burn.

  • Warmup 3-mile run and stretching
  • Bench press
  • Incline dumbbell press
  • Chest flyes
  • Dips
  • Cable pull-downs
  • Dumbbell shrugs

Day 2: Back & Arms

You’re going to keep up with the heavy loads for 3 sets of 8 reps again.

  • Warmup 3-mile run and stretching
  • Deadlifts
  • Barbell rows
  • Biceps curls
  • Lateral pull-downs
  • Hammer curls
  • Weighted chin-ups
  • Weighted wide-grip pull-ups

Day 3: Core & Calisthenics

According to research published in the National Institutes of Health, calisthenics is a fantastic way to target multiple muscle groups while mainly relying on your body weight for training [1].

As a fitness trainer, I always include calisthenics when training my clients because of their benefits in improving their core strength and overall fitness.

  • Warmup 3-mile run and stretching
  • Plank to push-ups
  • Jump squats
  • Burpees
  • Military push-ups
  • Ab crunches
  • Chin-ups
  • Clap push-ups

Day 4: Shoulder & Arms

After yesterday you may be a bit sore, but it is important to work through that to not lose any time getting to your goals. It’s time to burn some more fat and build up some significant upper-body mass with 3 sets of 8 reps again.

  • Warmup 3-mile run and stretching
  • Overhead press
  • Barbell shrugs
  • Military push-ups
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Standing rows
  • Alternating front and side raises

Day 5: Legs

A man training his legs outdoors

You want to keep going with 3 sets of 8 reps. This time the focus is on your legs as you want to avoid looking like a lollipop, which is undesirable.

In my coaching experience, I've emphasized leg workouts to my clients, and I've seen how a balanced leg routine can create a strong foundation for overall body fitness.

  • Warmup 3-mile run and stretching
  • Leg press
  • Calf raises
  • Box jumps
  • Dumbbell lunges
  • Hamstring curls
  • Back squats

Day 6: Core & Calisthenics

You’re not going to get abs like Rob without more focus on your core.

  • Warmup 3-mile run and stretching
  • Plank to push-ups
  • Jump squats
  • Burpees
  • Military push-ups
  • Ab crunches
  • Chin-ups
  • Clap push-ups

Time To Rest

Yes, you’re getting some mandatory rest time to allow your muscles to recover for 24 hours and prepare for some extra pounds next week, which is essential.

“Look, it’s not that hard. All you need to do is lift weights six days a week, stop drinking alcohol, don’t eat anything after 7 pm, don’t eat any carbs or sugar at all, in fact just don’t eat anything you like, get the personal trainer from Magic Mike, sleep nine hours a night, run three miles a day, and have a studio pay for the whole thing over a six to seven month span.”

- Rob McElhenney

One more thing, though. Like I always tell my clients, if you want to make the same kind of body changes, then you’ll need to go beyond this Rob McElhenney workout routine and change your diet too.

What Kind Of Diet Did He Follow?

A chicken dish on a white plate

No matter how much you exercise, you’ll look more like Fat Mac from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia if your diet is a mess.

Through my experience in guiding clients, I've seen how a structured diet enhances workout results. Rob McElhenney's dietary habits, detailed in interviews and social media, emphasize this.

His regimen included repetitive chicken breast meals, no alcohol, processed carbs, or sugar, and nothing after 7 pm to extend fasting periods, a method supported by research on Science Direct [2].

Such discipline was key to his 60-pound loss in 7 months.

Other amazing celebrity physiques:


How much weight did Rob McElhenney lose?

Rob McElhenney lost 50 pounds of body weight over 7 months. This took him from the fat bartender character in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia to super ripped in close to 7 months.

Why did Rob McElhenney get ripped?

Rob McElhenney got ripped because he found the fat character he played didn’t make better comedy. He was never naturally fat or ripped but wanted to improve his health and finally see if training hard could give him a superstar body.


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About The Author

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
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

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