Bodybuilder Zac Perna is no stranger to a ‘day in the life’ challenge. In the past he’s followed the training and diet of everyone from The Rock to Eddie Hall to Mark Wahlberg and, for some reason, Harry Potter.
So, when he heard LeBron James share his exact daily workout and diet schedule on The Tim Ferris Show, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
There was one small caveat, however. LeBron James is 6’7″ and let’s just say that Zac Perna is not, so he did adjust the diet for his size, but apart from that it’s a pretty good replica.
“Obviously LeBron James is about 9-foot-6, and I’m not quite that height yet, so his portion sizes are going to be drastically bigger than mine, but I’m just going to make it for my portion size and what I would eat, so it’s a regular sized human being’s meal,” said Perna.
For Perna and LeBron, the day starts with a breakfast consisting of an egg-white omelette with smoked salmon and gluten free pancakes with berries on top. “The reason why I’m guessing it’s gluten free is because gluten is one of the most gut-irritating proteins,” said Perna.
After digesting all of the omelette and half of his mountain sized stack of pancakes, Perna gets into a LeBron James workout. Like the Lakers 23, he begins with 20 minutes of cardio, before moving onto a strength session.
Perna performs everything in 4 sets of 12 reps, beginning with deadlifts and followed by bent-over rows and barbell curls. He finishes with some calisthenics work, so performs wide-grip press-ups (3×20 reps), chin ups (3×15 reps) and wide-grip pull-ups (3×10 reps).
To cool down he ends the workout with 15 to 30 minutes of yoga.
Just like LeBron, Perna has a “very serious and important” game coming up, so he eats a pre-game peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which he calculates comes in at 312 calories.
After playing a four-on-one game against the Mud Bones basketball team – where he utilises some interesting tactics – it’s onto his post-game plant-based protein, before heading to the cryotherapy chamber, where temperatures drop as low as minus-160 degrees celsius. “It’s pretty nuts,” said Perna. “It’s hard to breathe in their a little bit.”
Meal number 2 for Perna is salmon with wholegrain pasta and vegetables, to which he adds a homemade tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. But there’s no let up because straight after that is a recovery massage, with Perna opting for a myotherapy massage. “We are getting an uncomfortable massage today, but it is all part of the recovery process,” said Perna.
For dinner, Perna tucks into chicken parm with rocket salad and a nice glass of wine, which sounds lovely but is a bit of an issue for a man who thinks wine tastes like “p**s”. “Apparently the dude loves his wine; luckily for me I hate it,” said Perna.
With all of LeBron’s training done and his meals eaten, the only thing Perna has left to do is drift off to sleep while listening to the calming sound of rain on leaves, just as the basketball superstar does. But before he does that Perna shares his thoughts on the past 12 hours, and let’s just say he’s not convinced he’s eaten everything LeBron does.
“I swear these calories are surprisingly low,” said Perna. “He’s massive, and the diet is relatively low, but some teammates did say he eats a lot of s***, like he eats cookies and stuff, so maybe he was saying it on the podcast because his trainer was there.”
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