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Adrian Peterson Workout Plan – Diet, Muscle & Fitness Training

8 September 2010 26,470 views

Adrian Peterson - Minnesota VikingsMinnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was the clear choice for NFC Offensive Rookie of the year in 2007. With his superhuman like abilities, Peterson set the league mark for rushing in a game (296 yards) and also had an impressive 224-yard game against the Chicago Bears.

In an interview with Men’s Fitness, Peterson stated “I’m around 218 lbs right now. I want to keep my body lean, but I’d like to add a couple more pounds of muscle. If I get my weight steady around 222 lbs, something like that, keeping my body fat low, then that’s something I want to do. I want to improve my speed too, my acceleration, to be able to get into the open field whenever I hit the crease.” – This is something that every talented athlete strives to achieve. And with the competitive level of players in the NFL nowadays, it’s impossible to think any running back wouldn’t want to achieve the same results.

Peterson went on to discuss his relatively extreme change of diet upon entering the league. He discusses how he sticks to baked foods, fish, potatoes, chicken and occasional muscle milk. Most athletes do indulge in daily protein shakes and/or muscle milk to lessen muscle fatigue and rapidly increase their strength.
But even more importantly, Peterson sticks to a strict fitness regimen that allows him to stand out as one of the best running backs in the league.

Peterson lifts approximately two or three times a week during the regular season, working both his upper and lower body. His leg workout generally consists of the following:

  • Lunges,
  • Single-leg squats,
  • Full squats

The muscles in the leg (quads to the hamstrings to the calves) are certainly the most valued muscles for somebody in a position such as Peterson.

Peterson squats approximately 315 lbs in reps of 15, and eventually makes his way down to 10 or 8 by the third or fourth set. In the same interview with MH, Peterson boldly stated, “I really don’t like running on a treadmill or riding a bike and all that. I like to feel that I’m getting some work done, so normally, I go outside and run, get that good sweat.” Again, this is very understandable for a running back. A good cardiovascular workout doesn’t typically come from a treadmill or an elliptical, unless that person is moving at incredible speeds. I think most athletes would agree that going for a run outside is quite favorable over any cardio machine.

In college at Oklahoma, Peterson was also known for pulling “Rocky” type maneuvers by carrying sleds up hills and performing box jumps while holding 80lb weights. In addition, he did a lot with sand bags and resistance training. Ultimately, Peterson got a lot more creative with his workouts than most, and some of his workouts would even keep some athletes at bay. For instance, a lot of his running involved hilly terrain. And it didn’t end there; he not only would run forwards up hills, but backwards as well, and for extended periods of time.

In hindsight, a linebacker or defensive tackle would not mimic the exercises performed by Peterson; he mostly works his legs and uses toning methods to do so. This simply means that he engages in higher repetition, as opposed to weight. Congruently, it improves his endurance and reduces the time it takes for his muscles to heal. Mixed with tremendous amounts of natural cardio, Peterson has accustomed his body both mentally and physically to this type of strenuous routine, and performs it during the season. The off-season, I’m sure, can be quite different.

Some of his off-season routine parallels what most modern day body builders use. On Mondays and Wednesdays, Peterson exercised the following muscles:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Chest
  • Traps
  • Biceps
  • Triceps

The types of exercises involved a lot of dumbbell pressing, shrugs, pull-ups (close and wide grip), Cable rows and retraction, barbell press, etc…With the exception of some exercises that can only be performed in gyms with advanced training equipment, his workout involved a lot of strength training, maxing out bench press and doing reps of 6-10 for each set. Tuesdays and Thursdays however, were quite a different story.

His lower body strength regimen included the following exercises:

  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Leg Press (1&2)
  • Leg Curl (1 &2)
  • Exercise Ball Flexion & Bridge
  • Hip Abduction
  • Leg Extensions
  • Calf Raises
  • Ball extensions, twists, crunches and bends

Again, most of his repetitions were between 6 and 10 in sets of three. Some of the ball/cable workouts went all the way up to 40 reps, depending on whether or not they were weighted. But ultimately, Peterson’s workout is that of a superior athlete, and faces little known criticisms. There are a handful of people who attribute Peterson’s supreme athletic abilities to genetics, and although this may be partly true, it’s evident that he’s following a highly painful and strenuous workout routine.

Adrian Peterson Highlights

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About the Author
Jim Rollince of Gym Source, a distributor of home gyms, including treadmills, ellipticals, arc trainers, vibration training equipment and much more.

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