There are no days off for Shannon Sharpe. From the time he wakes up at 4:45 a.m. to the time he puts it down at 10 a.m. on weekdays, some of his duties as co-host of Fox Sports' Skip and Shannon: Undisputed consume him. While he has to analyze plays and formulate stances to attack Skip Bayless' takes, Sharpe doesn't go many days without making sure he breaks a sweat.
Exercising and working out isn't just a passion for the soon-to-be 54-year-old Hall of Fame tight end, it's been a lifestyle choice for over 30 years. Even with such a dedicated workout in the weight room, that was only a few years ago, he found that the usual panache and energy he had to keep up in the gym was slipping away. This started to affect him mentally as it was a big part of his routine.
A friend of his's wife worked at Tru Niagen and the friend recommended that Sharpe try the supplements to help him get a boost. After trying them for a few weeks, he's been taking them ever since, and only recently started taking Tru Niagen Immune, a unique combination of proven immune-boosting nutrition.
"I've recommended it to a lot of my ex-teammates and friends who are around my age," says Sharpe. "I still watch what I eat, still go to the gym. I don't go six times a week anymore. I'm on four, maybe five if I feel like it. I've definitely noticed a difference in my energy levels since I started taking the product.”
We spoke to Shannon Sharpe about his passion for fitness and how his training philosophy has changed in retirement. He also opens up about not being able to train with both hip replacements and why he needs to be at his best alongside co-host Skip Bayless.
Courtesy of shannonsharpe84/Instagram
Learn to be still
I love training and everything about it. I love the way I feel about how I look and it keeps me motivated because of how I feel. I had both hips replaced last year but I feel so much better. I was really depressed because working out is something I look forward to and if you get your hips replaced you can't do anything for three months. There was rehab, PT, and that wasn't enough for me. I need to hear the weights hit the ground, the irons move and the wheel spin. I have to work up a sweat and for three months there was none of that.
After playing a very physically demanding sport, I wrecked my body and now I'm kinda paying for it. I'm not mad and would do it again anytime. With surgeries my age you just sit down and let the process take its course and that was the hard part for me because I don't like to sit around. i love to train I go to the movies occasionally, but I'm not the biggest holiday type. Actually, I haven't been on vacation for a long time. Exercising and exercising is my true passion. I'm happiest when I know I'll come home, eat, feed the dogs, take a nap, and then get up and go to either my gym or the gym I'm a member of.
Shannon Sharpe changed the focus for training
My mindset has changed because I don't feel like I need to lift the maximum weight. If you're a professional athlete, especially a soccer player, you need to move bigger men than you are. So it was always about how much can I bench press? how much can I do leg press and it's always been about maximum effort. Well, I don't want to put my body through that hardship. I've had both hips replaced and it's now a matter of preserving them. I go to the gym and I'm not trying to bench 500 anymore. I'm not trying to do 20 plate leg presses or 600-pound deadlifts. w I'm going to bench press 275, maybe 315 for 6-8 reps. I'll probably go to 105 with dumbbells. I don't have to be the strongest 54-year-old in America.
I'm concentrating a little more on cardio [now] whereas before it was always lift, lift, lift. After leaving football I went straight to TV and you know TV adds weight. My suits are made to measure and if you get made to measure suits you can take them in but you can't let them out. You start spending that amount of money on custom made clothes, you make sure your food is on point
I didn't look [working out] as just part of my job. It was something I would do if I wasn't a professional soccer player. A lot of people work out because it's part of their job and once that job's done they don't want to do it anymore. But they will still maintain the same eating habits. Well, you can't eat 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day if you're not burning them off, and that's why gaining weight is easy. Some guys have knee, back and hip problems, but if you have these problems then you definitely need to work out.[Working out] was probably the part I enjoyed the most and teams paid me for that. They didn't pay me for the games. They paid me to prepare me to play at a high level in the games. Everyone loves to play in front of 80,000 fans. That's the easy part. It's the grind when there's not 80,000 cheering you on that counts.
Shannon Sharpe does recovery right
During my active time I tried everything. I did some of everything because I wanted to make sure I didn't leave anything unturned when I thought it might help me. At the end of my career I started going into a hyperbaric chamber. In the off-season, there were the ice baths. It's hard for me to sit still. I'm having a really hard time with yoga and Pilates now at my age. I still stretch on my own, but I have a hard time staying focused for 35-45 minutes for an hour. I used to do everything, albeit three times a week - Pilates and a bit of yoga. I would get a massage, hit the track four days a week, lift weights five days a week, and get my diet on point. As long as I get some cardio, do some weights, that's enough for me.
Shannon Sharpe doesn't skip the intensity
Skip works out in the morning and gets up around 2am to do an hour of cardio, so he even did an hour of cardio before work. I don't get up early to do cardio. Those machines will still be there when I get home from work. Just to know the dedication and sacrifice it takes to maintain his level of fitness — because it's an ordeal. People say they can, but can you do it two and a half hours a day, five days a week, 50 Weeks a year, do it over and over again? I know how passionate he is about everything he does. You know you're going to get his absolute best, so you better be ready to give your absolute best. I know how motivated and committed he was when he was a columnist. He now brings the same passion with him.
I don't ever want him to call me out of shape because that's part of my brand. I've been in shape my whole life and I want to maintain that level of fitness. That's one of the reasons I had both my hips replaced because it got to the point where it was painful to do anything. After I replaced my hips, it was like the clouds were gone, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and it was like a load was lifted from me. I feel better when I go to work. My hips don't hurt from sitting for a long time or standing or walking. That's the best I've felt in the last five years. All I know is that I have to be at my best physically, mentally and emotionally to deal with Skip every day because I know the time, effort and work he puts into it. I must match its intensity, its purpose, and its desire.
It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle for Shannon Sharpe
I don't diet because they have a beginning and an end. I have a lifestyle and my lifestyle is that I watch what I eat. I eat egg whites for breakfast, chicken and turkey. Beef for lunch with carrots, rice and broccoli. I make Brussels sprouts every now and then. I make mixed leafy greens with apples and balsamic vinaigrette. If I want a burger, just do it, maybe some ketchup. I eat French toast and pancakes on the weekends, but that's not five days a week. I have cheat meals, not cheat days. I don't wake up and eat pancakes, french toast, and sausage and roll over and eat rotisserie chicken, hamburgers, and pizza. I'll have a few cheat meals a week. Eating as strict as I was, it was just really hard on the relationship. Do you want to be with someone and be happy or do you want to be unhappy alone? You make sacrifices because not everyone is on your schedule and doesn't want to look like you. It took me the longest to understand. Everyone doesn't want to work out five days a week and eat plain chicken and turkey. When I realized that, life became a lot easier for me.
How Shannon Sharpe stays fit into his 50s
People say they want to be in shape, but they really don't. "Shannon, tell me how to do this, but I need my beer, pizza, donuts, and wings." You've already told me what you won't give up. It's hard work staying fit all year round. It's hard work. It has to be a lifestyle. Do you see how Steve Harvey dresses? It's a lifestyle. LeBron, Kevin Durant, Kevin Hart and the way they do things, it's a lifestyle. I am willing to make sacrifices because without sacrifice, dedication and discipline you are nothing. I don't care how well intentioned the idea is. Without these principles it will fail. I don't post a lot of my workouts, but it's hard. You won't always be motivated either, but will you always be consistent? I say people don't call it a diet because they have a start and stop time. A lifestyle is how you live, who you are, and it is embedded in you. Yes, you might have a day off, but you hop right back in.