When Tim McGraw takes off his shirt, the angels sing and at least half the population enters a dreamy trance.
He’s in the sort of shape that would shrivel the Y chromosome of those who think fantasy football is the key to eternal youth. So how did he go from a body of which Seth Rogen would have been proud, to one that seems to defy the laws of gravity, but more importantly the “dad bod”? It’s simple. He eats right and has an exercise regimen that is not for the faint of heart. Mr. McGraw is a devotee of the CrossFit approach to fitness.
What McGraw does in the gym is pretty intense. It involves a lot more than doing three sets of squat thrusts and flexing in front of Faith Hill until she’s feeling amorous. His CrossFit approach features plyometrics, resistance and muscle confusion.
Let’s start with plyometrics. This is the bedrock of CrossFit and most of the competing brands of high-intensity interval training. Plyometrics is shock-based training. In short, somebody jumps down from a bench or table and experiences the “shock” of landing. This creates an eccentric contraction. Immediately upon landing, the person jumps back up. This is a concentric contraction. The entire action happens in less than a second. Examples of CrossFit/plyometric exercises are squat jumps, alternate leg bounding, power skipping (who knew this was even an option) and tuck jumps. Burpees (which is a charmingly whimsical name for something that makes your muscles and lungs feel like a failed Takata airbag) is also a staple of plyometric routines.
Along with the plyometric aspect, there will also be resistance exercises. Many of them, such as squats, are gym-tested favorites that have the smell of credibility all over them. McGraw gravitates to the more eccentric options such as tire flipping, battling ropes, kettlebells and various pulley exercises.
This workout philosophy will create the type of shredded musculature that will coax tears of bitter envy from a good chunk of the WWE locker room. The fact that Bobby Fischer could play chess on McGraw’s abs is proof of that. What it won’t do is make someone “bodybuilder” huge. If 24-inch pythons are part of your fitness goals, CrossFit is not for you.
Tim McGraw’s workout is only half of his fitness secret. His body is built on more than just sweat and an almost religious fealty to the gym. He feeds himself in a way that not only fuels but complements his CrossFit efforts. McGraw is an advocate of the Paleo Diet. It’s heavy on proteins, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables. Gluten and alcohol are both prohibited. So lean chicken is in, Schlitz and Pop-Tarts are out. The high-protein aspect also gives one’s body something to rebuild with after a workout.
McGraw’s secret to fitness is something anybody can follow. CrossFit and other such programs are widely available in both home versions and at thousands of gyms across the country.
At a time when he’s looking at 45 in the rear view mirror, McGraw is in better shape than most people half his age. The open secret to his physique and health is something that’s available to everyone today.