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Have you ever wondered what it takes to become the best defensive NFL player on the planet?

Well, today we are talking about Aaron Donald, the Los Angeles Rams’ unstoppable defensive lineman.

I’m giving you insight into his workout routine and his crazy diet plan. It’s the blueprint on how to build and maintain a monster 6 ‘1”, 280-lb. physique that can dominate the NFL.

Keep reading to learn all about his training fundamentals, workout and supplement preferences to give you all the info to build the body of an elite athlete.

Let’s dive in. 

Aaron Donald Current Bio and Stats

Aaron Donald was born on May 23rd, 1991 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

A self-described “lazy kid” in his childhood, Aaron was introduced to weight training by his father, who would make Aaron watch him train in their home gym.

This taught Aaron the value of fitness and a good work ethic. It would ultimately become the foundation for his dedication to his body and the sport of football.

By the age of 12, Aaron began training, waking up as early as 4:30 am each day to get in a session before school.

It was this dedication that would carry him to All-State Class AAAA selection in his final two years.

It also gained him a place at University of Pittsburgh (2010-2013). Aaron’s performance here garnered further attention among NFL scouts. He was selected 13th overall in the 2014 Draft. 

Since then, Aaron Donald has gone on to have one of the most decorated careers in NFL history, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year three times, First-Team All-Pros seven times over, nine Pro Bowls, and of course, the 2021 Super Bowl Championship.

  • Age: 31 Years Old
  • Height: 6’1” (185 cm)
  • Weight: 280 lbs (127 kg)
  • Birthday: May 23rd, 1991
  • Occupation: NFL Player
  • Retired/Active: Active


  • 2021 SuperBowl Champion (LVI)
  • 3x NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2017, 2018, 2020)
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year (2014)
  • 7x First-Team All-Pro (2015-2021)
  • 9x Pro Bowl
  • 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame All-Decade Team
  • Lombardi Award (2013)

Aaron Donald Workout Fundamentals

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Aaron Donald’s workout fundamentals cover a range of different training styles. They combine to give him the strength and explosive power to compete defensively at the highest level.

Watching his dad lift inspired Aaron to rebuild himself into an elite tackling machine. He did so by performing traditional bodybuilding lifts, speed and agility training, and cardio six days per week.

During the off season, Aaron’s focus is on building strength, performing with heavier weights for lower repetitions.

During the season, he does the opposite, with higher reps and lower weight. It helps him remain agile, explosive, and prevents injury.

It’s also how Donald has the strength to max out a staggering 495-lb. bench press with the endurance to smash out 35 reps at 225 lbs.

To improve explosive power, uses a range of bands, belts, ladders, cones, and mini hurdles to improve his agility.

He’s also famous for his knife training, where he blocks plastic knives to sharpen his hand-eye coordination.

Aaron Donald Workout Plan 

Aaron Donald’s workout plan is based on a six-day training split consisting of bodybuilding movements, abs, speed, and agility training.

Donald utilizes a wide range of exercises to keep him in peak physical shape, so we will pull the exercises from a variety sources to give you a complete Aaron Donald workout

Below, we have his complete weekly workout with exercises, sets, reps, and rest periods to help you train with the same intensity of an elite defensive tackle.

We also have a weekly schedule to help you plan ahead to maximize the success of this training block.

Aaron Donald Workout Split Weekly Schedule

AbsLower BodySpeed and AgilityCardioUpper BodyFull Body Rest


ExerciseSets RepsRest
Medicine Ball Crunch52030 secs
Bicycle Crunches42030 secs
Toe Touches42030 secs
Side Plank42030 secs
Heel Taps42030 secs
Plank31 Min30 secs

Lower Body

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Squats41245-60 secs
Deadlifts31045-60 secs
Burpees31060 secs
Lunges31035-45 secs
Calf Raises31030 secs

Speed and Agility

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Ladder330-45 secs
Banded Shuttles350 Yards30-45 secs
Reverse Banded Shuttles350 Yards30-45 secs
V Banded Shuttles (10 Yard)31030-45 secs
Banded Back Pedal, Slide, Sprint430 Yards30-45 secs
Mini Hurdle Fast Feet to Directional Plyo Jumps (x3)3530 secs
Mini Hurdle In and Outs to Directional Plyo Jumps (x3) 3530 secs
Mini Hurdle Slide In and Outs to Directional Plyo Jumps (x3) 530 secs
Cone Sprint and Slides530 secs
Agility Cones + Sharp Direction Changes530 secs
Agility Cone Zig Zags530 secs
Agility Cone Back Pedal Zig Zags530 secs
Agility Box Fast Feet, Fast Hands (Plank)530 secs
Parachute Sprints 50 yards530 secs
Ab In and Outs32030 secs
Crunches32030 secs


ExerciseSets RepsRest
10m Sprints330-45 secs
25m Sprints330-45 secs
Suicide Sprints330-45 secs
Agility 330-45 secs

Upper Body

aaron donald workout routine
ExerciseSets RepsRest
Bench Press41045-60 secs
Incline Bench Press41045-60 secs
Dumbbell Flys41030-45 secs
Banded Push-Ups
Military Press31030-45 secs
Lat Pulldown + Holds (10-15 secs)315
Shrugs31530-45 secs
Dips31530-45 secs
Dumbbell Curls32030-45 secs
Skullcrushers32060 secs
Tricep Dips31030-45 secs
Tricep Extensions31030-45 secs

Full Body

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Box Squat41045-60 secs
Split Squat31045-60 secs
Dumbbell Side Bend31530 secs
Sit Ups31530 secs
Dumbbell Row31530 secs
Lateral Raise31030 secs
Zottman Curl31530-45 secs
Reverse Lunge41030-45 secs
Plank41 Min30 secs
Weighted Sit Ups31530 secs

Aaron Donald Dieting and Food Preferences

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Aaron Donald’s dieting and food preferences are what give him his massive, explosive frame.

According to the Los Angeles Rams dietitian, Joey Balke,  Aaron Donald has a basal metabolic rate of 2,817 cal/per day to fuel his large 6’1”, 280-lb. physique at rest.

Due to his intense training schedule, Donald’s diet means he’s tasked with consuming a mammoth 5,000 calories per day, with macros of 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat, 20% protein

That is a huge 616g carbs, 164g of fat, and 245 grams of protein.

This equates to six cups of chicken, 12 Jamba Juice Smoothies, 30 glasses of milk, 15 cups of rice/pasta, 20 cups of popcorn, seven cups of avocado, or 55 ounces of  fish. 

Donald consumes these meals regularly throughout the day to fit in with his playing, lifting, training, and recovery schedule.

This is essential, as it is said that during the Super Bowl in 2019, Aaron dropped well below his playing weight of 280 lbs., getting down to 257 lbs.

The loss made things particularly difficult as Aaron is already undersized for his position. Being underweight made it difficult to power through his much heavier opponents. 

Fortunately for Aaron, his personal trainer (Arron Sain) is also his personal chef. Sain helps him prepare delicious meals that provide his body with enough energy to train and maintain mass.

Below is a list of Aaron’s food preferences, taking a range of different meals that is known to eat regularly.

aaron donald diet plan
Meal 1Breakfast Tacos, Turkey Sausage, Six Eggs, Spinach, Bell Peppers, Cheese 
Meal 2Protein Smooth (Five Cups of Milk, Greens)
Meal 3Grilled Chicken Italian Chicken Stew with Sea Salt Honey Mash Potatoes
Meal 4Protein Smoothie, Five Cups Popcorn, Five Cups Milk
Meal 5Baked Chicken, Veggies, Macaroni and Cheese, Brussel Sprouts
Meal 6Protein Smoothie, Five Cups Popcorn, Five Cups Milk

Aaron Donald Diet Plan

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aaron donald's diet plan

Aaron Donald’s dieting and food preferences are some of the most interesting that we have ever covered.

Not particularly interested in drinking glasses of milk and eating 20 cups of popcorn every day? Here is an Aaron Donald-inspired diet plan to help you fuel your body and build an elite defensive line physique. 

Meal 1

  • Turkey Mince Breakfast Tacos, Red Pepper, Corn, Beans, Light Sour Cream, Cheese
  • 6 Scrambled Eggs with Spinach 
  • Turkey Sausage

Meal 2

  • 2 x Scoop Protein Shake (4 Cups Milk, Berries, Banana, Yogurt, Peanut Butter, ½ Cup Oats)
  • Protein Bar

Meal 3

  • Rosemary and Lemon Grilled Salmon
  • 3 x Cup Rice
  • Mash Potatoes
  • Steamed Vegetables

Meal 4

  • 2 x Scoop Protein Shake (4 Cups Milk, Berries, Banana, Yogurt, Peanut Butter, ½ Cups Oats)
  • 5 Cups Popcorn

Meal 5

  • Smoked Paprika and Cumin Baked Chicken Thigh Filet
  • 3 Cups Jasmine Rice
  • Sweet Potato
  • Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Carrot

Meal 6

  • 2 x Scoop Protein Shake (4 Cups Milk, Berries, Banana)
  • Protein Yogurt
  • 5 Cups Popcorn

Aaron Donald’s approach to his diet and nutrition is what gives him the ability to maintain his size and perform as arguably the best defensive tackle in the game.

If you want to build a body like an elite athlete, you have to fine-tune your diet. This will help consume the exact amount of carbs for fuel, protein for muscle growth, and fat to absorb essential nutrients.

To do this, use our advanced calorie and macronutrient calculator.

Just plug in your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level to receive your precise calorie and macronutrient figure to tackle your new Aaron Donal workout routine.

Aaron Donald Supplement Preferences

Related: Greg O’Gallagher Workout Routine

aaron donald nutrition supplements

Aaron Donald’s dedication to his diet is what keeps him fueled for the long, nine-week off-season and 18-week season.

However, to fully optimize his body to perform at a high level week in and week out Aaron uses a range of supplements to maintain mass and boost his recovery.

Whey ProteinBuilds muscle and improves recovery
MultivitaminFills gaps in nutrition
Vitamin DHelps absorb calcium and phosphorus vital to building bone
Vitamin B12Maintain blood and nerve cell health 

Final Thoughts

There is without a doubt that Aaron Donald will go down in history as one of the all-time greats in the football world.

His dedication to training and nutrition began in his basement gym with his father. Although humble, it set him up for elite success.

If you are considering trying the Aaron Donald workout routine and diet plan, be sure to calculate your calorie and macronutrient intake. Always fuel your body with high-protein, nutrient-dense food

This, combined with the above workout program, will give you an unstoppable physique.

So, have you been following Aaron Donald’s career and want to try his workout? Which part of his training matches your goals?

Let us know in the comments. 

How much does Aaron Donald squat?

Aaron Donald can squat 800 lbs.

How much can Aaron Donald deadlift?

Aaron Donald’s max deadlift is unknown but he has a personal bench press record of 500 lbs. and has completed a very impressive 35 reps of 225 lbs. He can also squat 800 lbs.

How big is Aaron Donald?

Aaron Donald is officially listed as 6’1” (185 cm) and 280 lbs (127 kg). 

How strong is Aaron Donald?

Aaron Donald has the strength of 335-lb. nose tackle despite being undersized at 280 lbs. 

How much does Aaron Donald lift?

Aaron Donald can bench press approximately 500 lbs. And has completed 35 reps at 225 lbs. He also has an 800-lb. squat.

What workouts does Aaron Donald do?

Aaron Donald’s workout consists of abs, agility, speed, cardio, lower body, upper body, and full-body workouts. 

How many pounds can Aaron Donald bench press?

Aaron Donald can bench press 495-500 lbs.

How many days a week does Aaron Donald lift?

Aaron Donald lifts  three days per week training lower body, upper body, and a full-body workout.

How much does Aaron Donald weights?

Aaron Donald weighs 280 pounds (127 kg).

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