Shannon Sharpe Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Shannon Sharpe spent his entire childhood in Georgia and is famously known as the younger brother of wide receiver Sterling SharpeShannon was active since the beginning of the time and played football, basketball and competed in track and field events including long jump and discus throw at Savannah State but he graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice in 1996.

shannon sharpe

He was also a three-time SIAC selection and the 1987 SIAC Player of the Year. Recruited to the team called Broncos in 1990, Sharpe remained there until 1999 and won 2 Super Bowls in the process (XXXII & XXXIII). He then switched his team and moved to the Ravens for 2 years before he made a comeback to the Broncos again until he retired in 2003. With a height of 6 feet 2 inches tall Sharpe weighs about 245 lbs that make him look like a muscular giant even now.

He was selected to be a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Now, Sharpe is a tv sports commentator and debates Skip Bayless on the Fox Sports Channel Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. In addition to this, he also hosts Opening Drive on Sirius NFL Radio. He also has a huge number of people who follow him on his social media account for inspiration to be fit and stay motivated.

Shannon Sharpe Accomplishments

  • Years Played – 1990 to 2003 (14 total)
  • Games Played – 203
  • Receptions – 815
  • Yards – 10,060
  • Yards Per Reception – 12.3
  • Touchdowns – 69
  • Teams Played For: Denver Broncos (1990 to 1999, 2002 to 2003), Baltimore Ravens (2000 to 2001)
  • 3-Time Super Bowl Champion (XXXII, XXXIII, XXXV)
  • NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
  • Denver Broncos 50th Anniversary Team
  • 8-Time Pro Bowl (1992 to 1998, 2001)
  • 4-Time First-Team All-Pro (1993, 1996 to 1998)
  • Second-Team All-Pro (1995)

Shannon Sharpe Workout Routine

Shannon Sharpe’s workout depends on hard work and consistency. He is serious about his workouts and makes sure that all those who are in touch with him are serious too. “I tell people when I train I don’t do a Hansel and Gretel workout,” he said. “I don’t drop breadcrumbs. I saved nothing for the trip home.”

Sharpe is in his 50s and is in his best shape possible too. All this is possible because of the strict fitness routine and diet plan that he follows without fail each day. He calls himself better than being insane. He explains, “They say that insanity is doing something over and over again, but [expecting] different results,” Sharpe continues. “I do the same thing over and over for the same result — to be healthy and happy at the end of the day.”

He also shares his Weekley routine that includes his workout routine and what he likes to eat in a day giving a bit more insight into why is he too hard on himself in the gym even though his playing days are long gone. He gives an excerpt about each of his days to give a peek into what his daily life looks like:


Sharpe is up each day from Monday to Friday at 3:15 a.m. He likes to take a shower the first thing and make the 4 a.m. call time in preparation for Undisuputed’s 6:30 a.m. PST start. Before he goes on the air, Sharpe has the same breakfast inside the show’s dressing room that he has every day. “It’s always egg whites, oatmeal, water, and whatever fruit they have, normally pineapple, orange, or grapefruits,” he says.

After a long two and a half hour debating session with Bayless on the most interesting and pressing sports topics, he comes back home to walk his dogs.
Then he goes to the gym. Mondays are usually for the chest, which is one f his favorite body parts. He does what he called an old school workout. His two favorite chest exercises are bench press and incline bench press. As for his reps, he likes to begin with higher reps and descend as he goes into the workout. For example, he begins with 15 reps at the low weight before ramping it up for two sets of 10, one set of eight, and a final set of six reps.  Then he grabs dumbells for his incline workout and does three sets with it for 15, 12, and 10 reps.

As for the amount of time spent in the gym, he says, “I’m only in there for maybe 30, 40 minutes tops,” Sharpe says about his chest workout Mondays.

After the gym, Sharpe retreats home and talks with Bayless about the day’s show and discuss possible topics to debate for the next day.

His usual lunch consists of something clean and healthy with lots of lean proteins. Sharpe says that a normal lunch can also be halibut with collard greens and black-eyed peas.

He likes to have another shower before Sharpe is ready for his afternoon CrossFit class, which lasts approximately an hour. Similar to many CrossFit classes, the one Sharpe partakes in goes for as many reps as possible (AMRAP) for each exercise or circuit. But there are also other types of exercises like pyramid-styled exercises. “So, we might have 100 wall balls and then you might have 90 pushups and 80 squats,” he explains about his CrossFit workout. “So, if it’s something like that, I try to finish as fast as I can and hit them with the deuces. I’m up outta here!”

Sharpe also explains his other challenging CrossFit sequences that include 150-200 squats with 53-pound kettlebells in each hand and a rowing/pushup sequence, in which the participant has to row 500 meters and then do 20 pushups, increasing the rowing meters by 250-meter increments until he hits 1,000 meters and 20 pushups to end the circuit.

However, more interestingly, Sharpe calls burpees the most challenging exercise for him, especially because of his size and age. He explains, “To get down on the ground and get yourself up for an extended period of time at 245 lbs… that takes a lot,” Sharpe admits. “When you see those CrossFit guys, none of them weigh 245, I can assure you of that. I hate doing them, but it’s also a necessary evil to what I want to accomplish.”

After he returns home from his CrossFit class, he feeds his dogs, takes another quick shower again, and wait for his producer to call and discuss a few possible topics for the next morning’s show. He also works with an additional call from his “chief research guy,” who colludes on a game plan about how Sharpe will undertake specific topics against Bayless.

After he is done with his work, Sharpee will head for dinner which usually consists of chicken salad, with brown rice and arugula, or a strawberry arugula salad with some vinegar dressing which is his favorite.


After following the same morning routine for Undisputed for Tuesday as well, Sharpe’s Tuesday workout in the gym usually focuses on shoulders which he likes to do with a bit more of cation because of his age and also several injuries that he had during his youth.

“I’ve had my rotator cuff scoped a couple of years ago, so my days of doing 115, 120[-pound] dumbbell press are over,” Sharpe admitted. “I don’t check my ego at the door, I leave my ego at home. I’m not trying to have no surgeries because I’m trying to impress somebody and I end up hurting or tearing my labrum or rotator cuff.”

His dumbbell shoulder press routine, then, advocates low weight at high reps. He regularly accomplishes two 20-rep sets, before combining them with some auxiliary exercises like side lateral raises, front lateral raises, and upright rows. Again, he keeps his gym timings to 30 to 40 minutes maximum. Later in the day, he has pretty much the same evening schedule where he goes for another Crossfit class.


After shooting for his series, Undisputed, Sharpe takes the whole day off to get a massage and a spa treatment to restore his muscles because of the strenuous exercising and training that he has done on the first two days of the week.


shannon sharpe

Sharpe is back on the track on Thursdays. He usually follows with a noon CrossFit class which is then followed by some more pampering like getting a manicure later in the day. In other words, this day is all about sweat, shower, and getting pampered.


Shannon Sharpe might repeat his day 1 chest routine on Fridays as well but it all depends on his mood and if he feels the need to. He tries to relax as much as possible because Saturdays are usually for his leg training and he needs more strength for that.


Saturday makes for “a really, really, really intense CrossFit class,” according to Sharpe. But what is it that makes it more demanding than the CrossFit classes he takes earlier on in the week? Well, the CrossFit classes on Saturdays include the noon session that is pure cardio for 90 minutes to two hours. “I’ll do an hour spin and then another cardio class like the VersaClimber,” reveals Shannon Sharpe.

Sharpe also reveals that the weekend class normally has him invested by some serious CrossFit athletes, which adds to the intensity of active engagement in the room.

“They’re trying to beat me. ‘Guess who I beat today,’” he said, implying that his status as an NFL Hall of Famer and sports personality makes him a target of competition at the gym. However, he says that he is still a competition to some o the athletes, saying, “That’s not going to happen! I know I’ve been retired for almost 15 years, but don’t let the almost 50 fool you. You’re not going to have bragging rights over me.”

Shortly after the class, Sharpe makes a plan and heads out for his second massage of the week, reflecting on the fact that he “definitely needs it” after that cardio session.


shannon sharpe

Sundays are usually for rest days and Shannon is back at his routine for the rest of the day. He says that if you squeeze in some CrossFit classes and keep your diet clean, this is the best way to live.

For Shannon too, there are times when resisting cheat meals is quite impossible. There are times when these cravings become very overwhelming too and it takes a lot of strength to walk away from your favorite meals. However, for Shannon, it is a little sacrifice he is willing to make because he knows that his health should do so.

Shannon Sharpe has been in the same position too, but not too often, has he broke his clean diet spree. He explains, “It’s hard to justify (the cheat meal) because I work so hard in the gym,” the retired 14-year NFL veteran says. “If I want to go eat some ribs and french fries, I just think back to the six to eight cardio sessions I did that week. Or the three cardio circuits. Maybe it’s because I paid someone to cook my meals for me, paid this guy to train me, and paid for this gym membership. It just doesn’t add up to me. So why bother?”

shannon sharpe

Shannon says that he has no reason to enjoy some goal-smashing and fattening foods except for that the fact that he is now retired but it is not a good enough reason because he is at his fittest at the age of 50s and over two decades since he last played. In his words, “I trained for 14 years for the (Denver) Broncos and (Baltimore) Ravens,” Sharpe explains during a break of his photoshoot at the House of Payne Personal Training Facility in Lilburn, Georgia. “Now I train for me.

Off Days are Not on His Plate

Because Sharpe is no longer in any football team as a professional player, he can choose his own pace at which he wants to keep his fitness routine, rather than the team’s strength and conditioning program. But that doesn’t mean that he has made training any easier for himself. Well, it is actually quite on the contrary. The former football player and the current All-Pro tight end very seldom take a day off from his workout routine unless it’s due to his work with CBS Sports as an analyst on “The NFL Today,” a place he has announced his retirement from professional sports since 2003.

Comparing his pre-retirement and post-retirement fitness routine, he says, “If I want to do three cardio sessions in a day, that’s what I’ll do,” he says. “If I’m tired, then I’ll take a day off. I go by feel, whereas when I played, I pushed (it) no matter how I felt. They were paying me; teammates were counting on me. So everything I did was like— OK, I’m in the best football shape that I can be in.”

shannon sharpe

He feels that there is no such need to take a day off because his recovering strategies are at point. He does not feel the need to skip any day. When he was playing, during the “off-season,” he used to hit the gym every day, even though he attempts to mellow it down by saying, “Sunday I might go to the gym and just do abs, but it’s really my day off.” According to his previous coach, Rashid “Roc” Shabazz, Sharpe has a disciplined plan to guarantee that he is moving according to a set plan when it comes to going to the gym. He reveals about his football times, saying, “During the NFL season, he leaves Atlanta on a Saturday, does the show on Sunday, and flies back the same day,” the IFBB pro bodybuilder says. “That’s his one day off during football season. He usually trains seven days a week.”

Old School Workout Routine

During his playing days, Sharpe adhered to the fundamental compound movements while working out such as bench press, shoulder press, and squats, and he made sure that he is getting some track work in too. He filled a good three hours a day doing both weightlifting and running. For the times when it was unable to do some outdoor runs, for example during the rains, Sharpe would use a treadmill to repeat the same sort of routine he would have done on the outside track. “There were no days off for me,” he says. “Off means that someone was gaining on you. Someone was working out while you weren’t, so I always had that in the back of my head and never let my guard down.”

shannon sharpe

When Shannon retired from football, he kept his training routine almost the same. In fact, if he ever made any changes, it was for good because he turned it up a notch. “Shannon wanted to see how he could look if he trained as a bodybuilder,” says Shabazz, who also said that Sharpe is a big fan of the sport of bodybuilding. “He put on about 30 pounds of muscle after one year of doing that type of workout.”

Shabazz, who has been in association with Sharpe since 1996, understood just how good his genetics were and they had to turn up a few things for a very special reason. “(Shannon) was wearing $8,000 custom suits and he couldn’t keep going up and down with his weight,” he says. “So then we began incorporating functional training.”

After he retired, Shannon did not want to stay too bulky, and to avoid this, he began exploring various workout routines with kettlebells and circuit training and took even more spin classes and CrossFit classes than he had before. “I wanted to take my body in a different direction,” Sharpe describes. “Mainly my workouts are cardio and cardio strength. I may do five or six Flywheel Sports (an indoor cycling studio) classes a week, and then I’ll do some circuit training where I am trying to get my heart rate up. When you bench or squat, you’re really not trying to elevate your heart rate. You’re just trying to move the maximum weight as opposed to moving as fast as you can for a period of time.”

shannon sharpe

A Shannon Sharpe Exercise Routine Example:

Sequences will vary, but could include:
Wall balls

Weight training, concentrating on shoulders. About 30 min. total.
20 reps x 2 sets of each:
Dumbbell press
Side lateral raises
Front lateral raises
Upright rows

Rest/ Massage


CrossFit: upper body routine because Saturday is a killer on the legs.

Cardio: 60 min. spinning + 30- 60 min. VersaClimber or other cardio, followed by another massage.


Here’s an example of one of Sharpe’s circuits that includes exercises like:

  • Row Machine – 500 meters
  • Kettlebell Squat Presses – 15 reps
  • Ball Slams – 25 reps
  • Kettlebell Swings – 25 reps

Sharpe will do anywhere between three and five rounds of the above-mentioned exercises and will move his way up to 1,250 meters on the rowing machine by the time he is finished. After a two-minute rest period, he further moves away on to five to eight rounds of these exercises which concludes his workout:

  • Kettlebell Snatches – 15 reps
  • Battle Ropes – one minute
  • Sledgehammer Swings on Tire – 20 reps each arm

shannon sharpe

Shannon loves to perform a full-body workout most times in the week so that he could work on every muscle. Depending on how he feels, he will mix up various routines and incorporate different movements done in a different order, and so on. He never does the same kind of movements for more than two days so that he can avoid building plateau and can always create confusion for his muscles. However, his usual routine includes any 6-8 workout movements which are done 5 times in a circuit.

For example, instead of one of the above-listed exercises, Sharpe may switch it up for either burpees or TRX-type rings. And although he has clearly sculpted and defined six-pack abs, the only isolated movement for his core is weighted rope crunches. “I always keep my abs tight during the other exercises,” says Sharpe, who also typically involves a 43-minute spin class into his day.

He is often asked if he feels that doing a cardio-based workout is as beneficial as the normal weight-lifting-only kind of workouts. And, his response is pretty positive. He says, “Yes. I look at it like this— why do I need to squat 500 pounds at this age? For me, it’s more about fitting into my clothes. However you’re fitted, that’s the way they’re going to come back.” Whatever the reason may be, that seems to have paid off for Sharpe, who was named to be Vanity Fair 2013’s Top 10 Best-Dressed Sportscasters list.

shannon sharpe

“Comfortable being Uncomfortable”

He is known for implementing many uncommon and unorthodox workout routines and plans into his physical as well as mental fitness routine. He says, “I tell people all of the time that you have to become comfortable being uncomfortable,” he said in a calm and controlled way. “I did this throughout my playing days to make sure that I stayed in that mindset.”

It was discovered and revealed that to stay focused and strong, Sharpe would go without food for 3 days in a row during his game days. He explained that it was solely to test his willpower and stamina so that he can go to the point of being uncomfortable and still not give in.

“You know how uncomfortable and moody you become when you miss a meal?” Sharpe said in an interview. “So imagine missing two, three, four, or five meals. I still had the same mindset to stay in character and not get outside of (sic) who I was. Not to become moody and take the aggression out on someone else. Just to stay there.”

Sharpe still uses similar methods and says that by training the mind and body to perform under unwanted stress, one can surpass almost any difficulty or challenge that they encounter in the gym or when they are in the middle of some match. He said that it was a way for him to push himself in a different direction so that he could play in a controlled way, not just physically but mentally too.

“I always trained with the thought that if it’s hurting me, then it would be killing someone else,” the Savannah State player states. “And that gave me the strength and perseverance to keep going. You have to be willing to take your body, mind, and soul places that others won’t go. That’s the only way you’ll be great. There is no shortcut to that and there’s a price for being successful. And if you’re not willing to pay that price, if you’re not willing to go to that place, then you’re never going to be great or successful.”

shannon sharpe

Here are a few of his principles to stay fit and motivated:

Undisputed Discipline: To keep his ripped frame, Sharpe continues to be on a strict exercise regimen. But he says he adores it over anything else, and it’s pretty much his exclusive hobby.

Weight Lifting Addict: Sharpe says he got so addicted to weight lifting in college, that football became only a side interest.

Cardio Killer: Sharpe makes sure that he doing cardio 7 times a week, which is almost every day. He sometimes goes as far as doing it for 8 to 9 times too.

Don’t Play Favorites: Due to his previous injuries, Sharpe says he doesn’t do split routines, such as focusing on the shoulders or chest in isolated movements. Rather, he works the whole body.

Love Your Body: Sharpe gets a weekly massage to keep his muscles relaxed and calm.

Afternoon Delight: Sharpe has to get on his toes early in the morning, so he goes to the gym in the afternoon.

CrossFit King: Sharpe does a lot of CrossFit since he retired from his football journey. The class persists for about an hour and is quite intensive.

Aim For AMRAP: The aim of Sharpe’s CrossFit classes is AMRAP, or to fit in As Many Reps As Possible and also by doing this as fast as possible.

That’s all about Shanon Sharpe’s extensive workout routine. However, strength for all this is provided by sticking to a great and healthy diet plan. Take a look:

Shannon Sharpe Diet Plan

Shannon Sharpe always ate eat even when he retired from his football days although his diet was pretty healthy during his NFL days too.  He says that one of his biggest fears is to be overweight and get out of shape. And he would never take a shortcut for this. While he understands why fad diets like a juice cleanse and others work, he would never do one for himself. He sticks to a healthy diet instead which he knows would nourish him. His regular diet includes foods like lean meat, vegetables, and complex carbs like beans and brown rice. He also makes sure that he is staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water throughout the day.

Stick With A Routine

Sharpe is up early in the morning each day to film Undisputed. He also normally eat in his dressing room at work, and a standard breakfast is egg whites, oatmeal, fruit, and water.

Eat Clean

Sharpe will usually have something like fish or chicken with greens and black-eyed peas for lunch. Dinner will be very much alike, maybe some barbecued chicken with a salad and rice.

Stay Ahead of the Game

Sharpe states he gives special consideration to what goes on to his plate due to health issues that run in his family, including heart disease and diabetes.

What to Eat

Egg whites










What to Avoid

Refined sugar

Junk food

Processed meat

Chemical additives

Artificial ingredients

Fad diets

The old proverb, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,’ can be applied as the slogan of Sharpe’s diet. He primarily eats the identical items day after day and being at 6’2”, is shredded, weighing anywhere between 236 and 243 pounds. Of course, all of this is for an apparent, yet seldom neglected reason. Explaining his food choices he says, “For the most part, I eat chicken and fish,” he says. “I also eat bison now. I don’t eat a lot of turkeys anymore but will throw some lamb chops in there. Broccoli, sweet potatoes, and asparagus occasionally… and that’s it.”

Many ask him if he gets bored with the same item on his plate. To this Sharpe replies smartly and says that he eats the same food for having the same results not different ones. He adds, “I hope to continuously do what I have been doing for 20-plus years and keep seeing what I have seen.”

He even takes his homemade food wherever he is going so that he is sure that he is eating healthy and homemade meals. He has been known to be carrying three days’ worth of food with him to make sure that he is having the right kind of this fitness.

When he was playing football, his diet mantra to weigh food in terms of his daily macros and with a goal set accordingly. But nowadays, he just weighs in his food to maintain portion size such as 10 ounces of chicken, eight ounces of fish or bison, and as much broccoli or sweet potatoes as he wants.

“I eat healthily,” he says, and also included the fact that he has never tasted coffee and has only had alcohol a few times. The last time he had alcohol was after his first Super Bowl win in 1998. “Restaurants prepare their food for 5,000 people. The people that prepare my food for me do it for just one so I don’t really have to worry about anything.”

Even when he does take that occasional day off from his workout schedule, Sharpe’s menu stays the same. He did experiment with attempting to eat less when he took a break from his regime but ended up eating way more that way. He adds, “So now I just stick with what works best for me.” He also thinks that the biggest problem with the people who are trying to stay fit but cant is not the kind o food they eat but rather the amounts of food they are consuming.

“It’s hard to overeat good food,” the eight-time Pro Bowler agrees with a laugh. “I don’t see people sitting down eating 20 ounces of chicken breast and a bowl of broccoli. But when you start talking about cheeseburgers and pizza, that’s where you run into a problem— eating more than what you really need to,” he admits.

Shannon Sharpe Supplements

Shannon Sharpe, in addition to his diet, makes up for the loss of essential vitamins and minerals in the form of supplements. here are some of the supplements that he takes:


Sharpe takes an anti-aging supplement called Tru Niagen. It includes the synthesis that is called NAD which is utilized by the body to do several essential functions. The basic levels of NAD tend to decrease as we age, and Sharpe says the additional supplement that he takes in the form of the capsule helps him sustain his edge.


As for any additional supplements that Sharpe might include in his diet, he’s keeping mum about it, but a protein supplement assists in maintaining and building muscles.


 Creatine also increases and strengths the growth of muscle while BCAAs inhibit muscle breakdown.


Collagen can actually improve joint mobility, particularly for people who have been into strenuous activities for most of their youth.


A multivitamin capsule can help fill in any remaining gaps in nutrition.


A pill of omega-3s can help to manage inflammation and are also essential for heart and brain health. Because persistent diseases like heart disease and diabetes run in Sharpe’s family, he makes sure that not only is he eating a healthy diet but also consuming daily important supplements. If you are suffering from a sugar spike, you can also take a cinnamon supplement.


Green tea is known as an important beverage that can help to prevent both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

That’s all about Shannon Sharpe’s great zeal and motivation to keep fit and healthy even after his retirement and touching the 50s age bar. He has a great workout routine and a healthy diet plan to assist in his fitness journey.

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  1. McArthur Hall III
    November 7, 2020

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