Health & Fitness | November 16, 2021 5:49 pm

Meet the Only Man With a Crazier Daily Routine Than Mark Wahlberg

2,222 pushups. 10,000 calories. Lots of chicken.

White House chef Andre Rush
Those biceps are bigger than most people's thighs.
Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Josh Cellars

Who could ever forget Mark Wahlberg’s purported daily routine, a batshit slate of tasks that included a 2:30 a.m. wake-up, multiple workouts, a round of golf and sessions in a cryotherapy chamber? If you thought that day was over-the-top, keep in mind that Wahlberg only plays a combat specialist in movies. There are actual veterans out there with even crazier willpower — and more ridiculous routines.

One such man is Andre Rush. The 47-year-old military veteran served for 23 years in the U.S. Army, including time in Iraq where he was wounded in combat, but his most famous mission was as a White House chef. He served that role for four administrations — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — but left 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue after a photo of his 24-inch biceps cooking a Ramadan dinner went viral. This led to talk of a memoir, which is set to release next year, and even his own TV show.

Yeah, you read that right: 24-inch biceps. He’s also got a 19-inch neck and a 36-inch waist, all on a 5’10”, 268-pound frame. How did he get so big? During an interview with Men’s Health that was recently brought to our attention by Esquire, Rush detailed exactly how he gets through a day. Unsurprisingly, it’s an absolutely insane amount of eating.

Here’s Rush’s daily routine in full:

  • Wake up at 3 a.m.: Meditate, do 2,222 pushups (to honor the 22 veterans who reportedly die by suicide each day; this takes him about an hour and 15 minutes), drink some coffee
  • Breakfast: 24 whole eggs, protein shake with oats, peanut butter and kale, and a few pieces of lean beef
  • 11 a.m. lunch: Two servings of beef with quinoa, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, lemon/pepper/garlic dressing 
  • 2 p.m. lunch: Half a chicken, 2-4 ounces of steak, white rice
  • Workout: 90 minutes of strength training
  • 6 p.m. dinner: Sweet potatoes, broccoli, the other half of the chicken, another protein shake
  • 8 p.m. dinner: Salmon, kale, tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and black garlic
  • 10 p.m. protein shake: This one has Greek yogurt, oats, quinoa, blueberries and banana
  • 12 a.m.: Whatever’s left of the chicken
  • Supplements: Throughout the day Rush takes a multivitamin, zinc, magnesium, BCAA and fish oil 

Immediate takeaways? Rush appears to sleep only three hours a night. That would be an extremely tough ask for any middle-aged adult, but considering what he’s putting his body through every single day, it’s downright dangerous. When we sleep, the body increases blood flow and releases hormones that relax the body and catalyze muscle repair. If Rush is only giving himself a three-hour snooze before cranking out another unconscionable 2,222 pushups, there simply isn’t enough time for his body to heal.

It seems his answer to that concern is eat more protein. His breakfast of 24 eggs accounts for 144 grams of protein alone. Rush does need more protein than the average man (a common trick is to multiply your weight by 0.36 — for Rush, this equates to 103 grams per day), but as you can see, he’s blowing way past it. He spends the rest of the day eating beef, chicken, salmon and steak. Considering what we know about the relationship between overconsumption of protein and longevity (plus that overwork he’s putting his body through), this routine is not a recipe for longevity.

But maybe this is what Rush prefers. The man is an endurance trainer, a motivational speaker and a professional ice sculptor. Over-the-top is his bread and butter. Not everyone — in fact, almost no one — can do 2,222 pushups in 75 minutes. Knowing someone else is doing them every day, though, could provide some inspiration for you to get off your couch and do 22.

That being said, there are bodybuilders in the space who roundly dispute Rush’s claims, particularly the calorie count. Is he telling the truth? Based on the size of those biceps, it almost doesn’t matter. The higher the numbers get, the harder it gets for the rest of us to keep up or fact-check, anyway. If there’s one thing for certain, though, we know Wahlberg couldn’t complete the Rush Routine.