I’ve been wondering what kind of body I want to build next. Should I develop a runner’s body (and destroy my knees)? Or a yoga body again? But then I met Tyson Beckford, supermodel.
I walked into the “Chippendales” lobby and watched him showing TV news women how to do push-ups on his $50 portable Beckford Bar, which creates a lean, strong body that “fits in a suit.”
Starting Thursday, he begins a four-weekend run as a guest dancer in Rio’s “Chippendales,” the latest notch in a career featuring music videos and People magazine’s sexy-man list.
I’d rather emulate than envy guys like Beckford. So I asked him to tell me (and you) how to attempt to attain an Adonis body at age 44. Beckford was bright, happy and helpful.
1. Like most body people, 80 percent of his shape comes from a lifestyle food plan.
“I don’t eat red meat. I’m a big salad guy. I like kale. I like fish. Fish is my main thing to eat. I don’t really eat rice that much,” Beckford said.
He doesn’t miss ice cream, because he doesn’t have a sweet tooth.
“I ate so much sweets as a kid, I don’t want to do it now. And the candy they’re making is so sweet, people are coming down with diabetes left and right,” he said.
He doesn’t get depressed from low carbs, as bodybuilders sometimes do:
“I’ve been eating this way for so long, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t get depressed or anything.”
2. OK, what’s his typical morning plan, then?
He eats a breakfast of whole wheat toast, sometimes oatmeal, egg whites, “and some kind of protein, whether it’s turkey bacon, turkey sausage, or a nice piece of grilled chicken cutlet. Juice. Tea.”
Throughout the day: He snacks on vegetables. But he stays on his diet.
3. Water: “I have at least eight bottles of water a day. You’ve gotta continuously flush the system. Especially here in Vegas, I think I need to drink an extra two.”
4. Alcohol: “I can go months or years without drinking,” he said. “Sometimes, I’ll take it easy and I’ll drink some wine or have a beer once in a while. But I’ve been staying away from beer, because I’m trying to get the abs right.”
5. Workouts: Usually, he’ll do push-ups on his military-grade steel Beckford Bar, which he developed over the years, plus a little bit of weights, maybe like four sets of 15. He’ll run to tone.
“For me, to get a pump from doing push-ups, I need to do 500 to 1,000. This (Beckford Bar) cuts it down. I can do two sets of 100 on that, and it will give me the same pump I get from doing 500.”
But he got beefed up for Chippendales:
“I’ve been doing a full-on weight routine. Bench press. Dumbbells. Stuff like that. I also do a SoulCycle class back in New York, and lots of jump roping.”
His feet and ankles survive jump-roping, because he has good springy shoes, and he adheres to an important technique.
“You kinda gotta stay on your toes while you do that. A lot of people don’t do that.”
6. He mixes cardiovascular and calisthenics to keep his neck from getting too fat with muscle.
“The more weight you do, the bigger your neck will get. Calisthenics and push-ups will keep that down.”
7. He tries not to overdo weights, because (like me last year) weights can give him a nasty muscle spasm.
“I get one in my neck if I go too hard on the military shoulder press. So I try to stay off the weights,” he said. “Weights weaken the joints,” at least at his age, for him, he said.
8. He rarely drinks soda, maybe a ginger ale a few times a year: “I tell people if you can see through it, it’s OK to drink.”
9. His shaved head: Oyster clippers every three days or so.
10. Final advice: “If you can just show up to the gym, and get through those doors, and see everyone else working out, it will motivate you to do something, because you already drove down there. Now you’re in the building, so do something. It doesn’t matter how long you do it. As long as you do 15 minutes or more, it’s good for your heart.”