It’s no secret that actor and former wrestler Dave Bautista is a big guy. And to get his muscle it takes intense workouts and dedicated eating habits. He knows what it takes to show up for physically demanding roles like Drax in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (and its sequels), and Scott in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead. For Men’s Health, Bautista took us through his diet and workout regimen.
Since the early 2000s, Bautista’s diet has changed drastically along with his fitness goals and career changes. Back when he was bodybuilding, he was focused on getting as many calories in as possible. Then in 2005, Bautista had to cut out dairy when he realized it worsened his asthma.
He also cut out red meat and pork in 2010. And as of six months ago, he no longer eats poultry either, meaning he’s completely meat and dairy free and now follows a mostly plant-based diet. A couple times a week he also has fish. Eventually he wants to go vegan. When asked what meal he misses the most due to his restrictions, Bautista didn’t have to think hard.
“The only thing that’s killing me is because I grew up on chicken adobo, which is a very common standard Filipino dish,” he says. “And it’s one of the few dishes that I make constantly. I make it for myself, I make it for my friends. And now I still make it for my friends, but I have to just sit there and watch them eat it, and it’s torture.”
When he’s on set filming for projects like AppleTV+’s See, Bautista says it’s in his contract he has to eat no less than every four hours. “In between those meals if I get hungry, I typically do an almond butter and banana, or a vegan, gluten-free grilled cheese is my favorite go-to,” he says.
Now, over to his gym. Bautista says he works out every day, sometimes even twice a day. “This is my sanctuary. I come here for peace of mind. It’s therapeutic for me,” he says.”
One notable feature in his gym are custom made weights from a UK company called Watson, which have a silhouette of his Drax character on the side, and 202, the area for Washington, D.C., where Bautista is from.
Over the years, his workout regimen has had to change based on his career goals. Starting out in WWE, Bautista focused on bodybuilding, until realizing he needed to be more athletic than bulky. Cardio has always been a challenge for Bautista, who revealed he used to keep inhalers around the wrestling ring during competitions.
“In the middle of matches, I’d have one under the ring, and I’d fall under the ring like I was hurt and just kind of roll under there and [inhales] roll back out ready to go,” he says.
For more about his diet and training, check out the video above.
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