The Real-Life Diet of the L.A. Chargers’ Austin Ekeler, Whos Streaming His Workouts Like a Gamer – GQ


Posted: March 30, 2020 at 2:50 pm

Austin Ekeler has nearly 25 million reasons to stay in peak shape for his fourth year in the NFL. Coming off a breakout season in which he recorded 92 receptions (second behind only Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey among running backs), he signed a four-year, $24.5 million deal to return to the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers. With former top backfield option Melvin Gordon off to the Denver Broncos, and longtime quarterback Phillip Rivers headed to the Indianapolis Colts, Ekeler is about to become a focal pointif not the focal pointof a revamped offense.

Ekeler was already planning on a weight room-heavy offseason, and hes had to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic. Here, he explains his unorthodox workout regimen, streaming his workouts like a gamer, and how he's training for an NFL season in a moment of social distancing.

GQ: There are obviously far more pressing matters with this outbreak, but for NFL players, how are COVID-19 and social distancing affecting the offseason?

Austin Ekeler: Right around this time is when Pro Days would be going on, and a lot of under-the-radar players would be getting the opportunity to show their skills. I was one of these players. I needed the Pro Day to show to scouts that I could play.

How are you managing to get your workouts in now?

Finding a gym is nearly impossible. I can run, but I need to keep up my weightnot through eating, but by lifting. I have some small weights at home. Its not the type of training Id like to be doing, but Im still engaging my muscles.

I saw youve been live-streaming your home workouts on Twitch. What was behind that idea?

I actually started my Twitch stream a while back to make people aware that Im also a gamer. But more recently I wanted to stream the workouts to have a different interaction with fans and people around the world. My game of choice is League of Legends. I dont play sports games or shooters, although I may try a shooter game if this quarantine lasts a few more weeks.

Whats one exercise an NFL running back would recommend to esports players?

Run [laughs]. Id say run just because youre sitting down so much, and that will engage your entire body. I wouldnt say lifting would be absolutely necessary. I would think youd need more aerobic-type activities.

Take us through one of your workouts.

My girlfriend Taylor [Frick] is a personal trainer, and shes been coming up with these aerobic, full-body workouts, using lots of core holds and different athletic movements. We did one the other day, and my legs were like Jell-O. Youre pushing it the entire time. When I got done I was dripping in sweat.

We did burpees, different types of lunges, pushups, and engaged our core, all for 30-second intervals. She also loves to do different types of jumpsstar jumps, some twist jumps. Those are good, functional workouts that will get your heart rate up after about 30 seconds. They kind of fit into the aerobic type of movements I should be doing as a football player.

Is it true you like to wing it when you hit the gym?

I have a loose plan about what the days workout will be. Like, I know if my workout is going to be lower-body, but thats it until I get to the gym. Ill switch it up, shock the body in different ways. For example, Ive recently been working with a trainer on lower-body workouts. Hes a CrossFit guy, so well incorporate lots of volume. But I wont know the exact movements until Im at the gym. Ill set up different equipment, try different things to keep my body guessing, kind of like simulating the uncertainty on the football field. Its a unique way of working out, but its something Ive always done.

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The Real-Life Diet of the L.A. Chargers' Austin Ekeler, Whos Streaming His Workouts Like a Gamer - GQ

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