TV personality Steve Harvey has been making some rather big changes in recent times. In addition to shedding an amazing amount of body fat, he’s embarked on a healthier, more energetic lifestyle, which is allowing him to live a fuller, more rewarding life.
Steve freely admits that he hasn’t made his amazing lifestyle and physique changes on his own. In fact he regularly showcases the trainers who have helped him along on his journey. The main praise goes to his personal trainer and training partner, none other than 8 time Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney. Back in the 1980’s, Haney was revered for his hardcore training, which resulted in the first ever perfect score at the world’s greatest bodybuilding competition. Today, he’s 48, compared to Harvey’s 51. Together they are defying age with workouts that are forging truly impressive physiques.
Haney Inspires Harvey
Harvey and Haney have actually teamed up with their ‘50 and Fly’ campaign, designed to inspire the older generation to follow in Steve’s footsteps and take control of their weight and their lives. The key message is to stop using age as an excuse to letting themselves go.
Stopping making excuses is exactly what Steve decided to do last year. He’d been steadily piling on the weight, while convincing himself that it was all a part of the natural aging process. That’s when he happened to bump into the bodybuilding legend. Just a few years younger than Harvey, Haney was still the epitome of health and lean, manly muscle.
Here’s what Steve had to say about his decision to overhaul his physical self . . .
The middle-aged guy that’s been sitting around, getting a little fat, getting lazy, not keeping toned, not stretching, stopping at the fast food joints, making mashed potatoes and lacing everything in butter, I was that guy. But I can tell you that we can make some better food choices, we can get on a workout program that’s smart for a guy our age – even a guy in his 30’s. All you need is a weight bench and a set of dumbbells and you can change the way you look.
Steve got inspired. He made the decision to make a transformation. Even though Lee Haney is a certified nutritionist, he decided that he and Lee would focus on the workouts. That’s why Harvey also brought on board celebrity nutritionist, Judson Todd Allen. Allen has overcome his own weight loss battle so knew exactly what Harvey needed in his quest to drop body fat and replace it with pure, lean muscle mass.
The Transformation Diet
In order to achieve his body make-over, Steve needed to eat completely differently to how he was used to. His previous diet was haphazard at best. Breakfast, if he had it at all, would consist of a bagel and cappuccino from Starbucks. Lunch was usually something very carb laden and pastry heavy on the set of his latest production, while dinner would consist of a mountain of fried food.
The new look Steve Harvey eating plan turned that eating routine on its head. For starters, he would be eating six times per day, with meals spaced apart every 2.5 hours. This would allow him to have a consistent supply of amino acids flowing through his blood stream while also preventing hunger cravings that could lead back to the tempting pastries of his former way of eating.
At every meal, Steve’s first priority was to take in a decent amount of protein. This would allow the building blocks of muscle formation to be constantly infusing into his muscle cells to rebuild and refuel after his gym workouts. The second priority was to cut back on the carbohydrates.
Eating too many processed carbs is what led Steve to the body he was trying to get away from. As well as cutting out the pastries, breads and rice, Steve cut out cereals, all sweet treats and sugary drinks. His goal was to achieve a state of ketosis, where the body uses stored body fat rather than ingested carbs as its main source of energy. To achieve that goal, he had to keep his daily carb level to less than 20 grams per day.
Allen was sure to keep Harvey within his 20 gram carb limit. He did it by adding a whole bevy of sugar and carb replacement foods that allowed him to serve up meals that Steve couldn’t believe were within his carb requirement. They were healthy and delicious.
To help him get in the protein and calories needed to build muscle, Steve would have a protein shake each day before the workout. This would consist of whey protein concentrate fortified with branch chain amino acids and creatine. After training he’d have another shake, this time packed with the amino acid glutamine and more creatine. This provided for immediate recovery from the workout that Harvey and Haney had just completed.
Working Out with the Master
Lee Haney designed a workout routine for Harvey that took into account his starting point and his goals; lose weight and build muscle. Steve was more than willing to put his physical transformation into Haney’s hands . . .
Right there, I walked in with an instant amount of respect: he’s the eight-time Mr. Olympia. That automatically makes him far more knowledgeable about anything when you’re talking about changing my body. He changed his, and he was the best in the world eight times. That made me go ‘O.K, I’ve got the best guy; all I got to do is what he says’.
What Haney said was to work out 4 times per week, dividing the body into upper and lower. Each workout would be done twice per week. Here’s the exact program that Lee used to get Steve in shape . . .
Lower Body Workout
- Leg Press
- Leg Extensions
- Calf Raises
- Military Press
- Side Lateral Raises
Upper Body Workout
- Pull Ups
- Bench Press
- Seated Rowing
- Push Ups
- Barbell Curls
- Triceps Push-downs
For most exercises, Haney would have Steve doing 3 sets of between eight and twelve reps. When it came to the power compound moves, such as squats and bench presses, however, the reps would go as low as 5 as the weight was piled on.
On the days that Steve wasn’t training in the gym, Haney had him doing an abdominal circuit at home. This featured a number of bodyweight exercises done in rapid succession. They included leg raises, crunches and the plank.
The New Fitness Ambassador
The King of Comedy’s teaming with the King of Iron has been a revelation. Not only have they managed to totally transform Steve Harvey, they have started a movement. There is now a ’50 and Fly’ website, DVD and book. These two guys are inspiring thousands of middle aged men and women to stop using their age as an excuse and start reclaiming their lives.