In his music and life in general, Action Bronson has always been larger than life. The enigmatic man born Ariyan Arslani once dazzled diners with his culinary skills, but it wasn’t until he showcased his talents to the world through rap that he became the global star he is today. For all his success though, the 37-year-old has not been without his struggles, and for Bronson those tend to relate to his weight.
At his heaviest, Bronson tipped the scales at more than 180kg. He’s long battled with his diet and lacked motivation when it comes to hitting the gym and exercise, but recently Bronson managed to conquer his diet and has overhauled those habits that once made him feel so unhealthy. “I was born heavy. I was a heavy child,” he admits in an interview with Men’s Health. “This journey started long ago.”
Bronson’s struggles with diet started in the kitchen. When he dropped out of high school, he found purpose in the kitchen and soon attended culinary school where he then started working as a chef in New York. It wasn’t until he broke his leg and was unable to work that he shifted his attention to rap and began by releasing a series of mix tapes. His 2011 debut album even featured tracks like “Shiraz”, “Brunch” and “Jerk Chicken”. But the lifestyle of a touring rapper eventually caught up with Bronson, who was dining on decadent meals daily. “There as a lot of shit like pre-diabetes, eczema, asthma – all kinds of fucking dumb stuff that I had given myself,” he says. His biggest issue was portion control. “If I made something that was a big, round dish, I would eat the big, round dish. I wouldn’t just have one piece.”
When Bronson welcomed a child in 2019, he knew he would have to turn things around to be the present father he wanted to be for his son. “You always want to be around for your family,” he admits. “It wasn’t going to happen unless I made that decision myself and, you know, it takes some soul-searching and some shit to really bother you – something that really gets under your skin to make that change.”
For Bronson, this meant overhauling his entire routine. Now, the star wakes at 4am and proceeds to start his day with a protein shake. His breakfast is consistent with two eggs, three egg whites, one piece of sprouted rye bread and an avocado. “I’m kinda like a boring eater, at this point,” he says.
After breakfast, he drives to Impact Zone Fitness in Norwood, New Jersey where he boxes for 45 minutes, then does a sweat session with trainer Dave Paladino. “I’ve already got my workout in while everyone else is snoozing,” says Bronson. “Putting in big gains, big protein, you know?”
Bronson does HIIT workouts, and admits that he prefers athletic circuits that test his entire body. These include, “Like 50lb [23kg] medicine ball throws, you know, down a 50-yard track, throwing it as far as you can, all the way down the track and back.” He also enjoys slams, carries, presses, sled pushes and burpees.
Bronson has now lost close to 60kg and is committed to his new physical transformation. As he told the publication, “This is a day-by-day play,” before adding. “If you’re blessed with abs and 5 per cent body fat, you’re gonna be grinding to make that happen your whole life. You just have to realise that’s what it is. You keep your eye on the prize and don’t let yourself fall down.”