Dave Bautista’s muscled body is back in the spotlight following his role in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. The pro-wrestler turned actor has always been big, but at 53 years of age, he’s managed to keep himself in peak physical shape far beyond the usual range of other bodybuilders, backed by a rigorous fitness regimen and a primarily plant-based diet.
With an acting portfolio that’s growing by the day and an impressive fan following, Bautista is keeping fit with a mostly plant-based diet and a combination of weights, cardio and mixed martial arts training. Bautista is one of the most well-known advocates of a plant-based diet. Despite not going full-on vegan, Bautista’s physique proves you can get ripped while being plant-based.
Bautista has rebranded himself as a Hollywood heavyweight after roles in Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Dune and now Glass Onion, but he’s maintained the same physique that elevated ‘The Animal Unleashed’ to the top of pro-wrestling. In his latest role in Glass Onion as Duke, a larger-than-life influencer, Bautista’s toned rig is on full display. Duke is inclined to rock a shirtless, or at the very least unbuttoned look on a steamy Mediterranean isle. Meaning audiences have frequent opportunities to admire Bautista’s impressive build.
Bautista gave fans and fitness warriors an insight into his regular diet and training plans in a video interview with Men’s Health US. The 53-year-old does most of his training in his home gym, a multi-floor workout paradise with a floor each for weights and martial arts.
Despite keeping a regular training routine for almost 40 years, Bautista isn’t obsessed with working out and views the gym as a sanctuary where he can find peace of mind. “This is not only like a place where I can stay in shape. This is my sanctuary, I come here for peace of mind, it’s therapeutical for me,” Bautista said. “It’s not something that I have to do to stay in shape but something I need to do to keep my mind right.”
Dave Bautista’s Training Routine
Bautista trains six days a week. He has three distinct workouts targeting multiple muscle groups on the same day. These individual workouts are done twice a week, with a standalone rest day separating them. He tops off his weight sessions with high-energy cardio and martial arts sessions.
Monday: Chest & Arms
Tuesday Shoulders & Back
Friday: Chest & Arms
Saturday: Shoulders & Back
Chest & Arms
Machine Chest Press (5 sets of 10)
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (5 sets of 10)
Pec Deck (4 sets of 10)
Cable Fly (4 sets of 12)
Preacher Curl (4 sets of 10)
Incline Dumbbell Curls (3 sets of 12)
One Arm Triceps Extension (3 sets of 12)
Skull crusher (4 sets of 12)
Shoulders & Back
Bent Over Row (5 sets of 10)
One Arm Dumbbell Row (4 sets of 10)
Lateral Pull Down (4 sets of 10)
Pull up (4 sets of 10)
Machine Shoulder Press (4 sets of 10)
Face Pull (3 sets of 12)
Lateral Raise (3 sets of 12)
Dumbbell Shrug (3 sets of 12)
Deadlifts (4 sets of 8)
Leg Press (4 sets of 10)
Hack Squat (5 sets of 8)
Romanian Deadlift (4 sets of 10)
Leg Extension (3 sets of 12)
Standing Calf Raise (3 sets of 15)
Walking Lunge (4 sets of 20 Metres)
In the early days of his nascent wrestling career, Bautista focused on aesthetics and was fixated on improving the finer details of his physique. Since then, chronic asthma has forced him to change his priorities. He now places greater importance on cardio training to improve his overall health.
Bautista briefly transitioned into an MMA career before he found success in acting. He still utilises MMA style training to top off his workouts. And he says it’s the hardest part. “Fight training is the hardest training I’ve ever done. It’s HIT training while you are getting punched in the face, it sucks,” he told Men’s Health US. “I don’t think people realize how gruelling a five-minute round is. It’s the most gruelling thing that I’ve done in my life.”
Dave Bautista’s Diet Plan
Like most bodybuilders, Bautista mainly followed a high-protein, high-calorie diet to bulk up and maintain mass earlier in his career. But he has since made the switch to an almost entirely plant-based diet. This included cutting out red meat completely, as well as all dairy products. Bautista is a leading example of how you can go plant-based and still look like a tank.
Bautista describes himself as “mostly vegan” and plans to go completely vegan in the future. The reason he hasn’t made the jump to total veganism can be pegged down to his penchant for a breakfast staple. “I eat as clean as possible. I was eating mostly vegan, except for eggs because I couldn’t give them up for breakfast.”
Bautista’s regular meals incorporate rice, beans and other greens but he changes his meal plan depending on what he’s training for. He always has eggs for breakfast and throws some fish into his meals twice a week for some added protein, making him a pescatarian. “I play with my diet a lot. During the day, I am all protein and fats. And then at night, I’ll usually have one very low-carb meal,” he said.
Considering that it can be hard to source plant-based meals that can pack enough protein to maintain mass while on a movie set, Bautista frequently relies on meal prep services to provide the nutrients he needs.
Bautista is half Filipino and says the hardest part about going vegan was giving up his favourite traditional Filipino dish: Chicken adobo. “I grew up on chicken adobo, it’s one of the few dishes that I make constantly,” Bautista said. “I make it for myself, I make it for my friends. Now I still make it for my friends, but I have to just sit there and watch them eat it, and it’s torture.”