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J.J. Watt’s size, strength and explosive power have made him a force to reckon with on the gridiron.

Over the last decade, he’s made massive progress on his way to being one of the all-time great defensive ends.

But how does J.J. Watt really build and maintain his incredible Hall of Fame physique?

Today, let’s discuss the J.J. Watt workout routine and diet plan, including his training fundamentals, warm-up, agility, and strength training routines.

Let’s jump in.

J.J.Watt Current Bio and Stats

Justin James “J.J.” Watt was born on March 22nd, 1989 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

Watt played ice hockey from the age of 4 to 13, taking an interest in football in the fifth grade.

As it turns out, J.J. was naturally gifted, also competing in baseball, basketball, and track and field.

His drive to perform earned him Woodland Conference Player of the Year, first-team All State, All-Area, and All-Conference, and his team’s MVP.

However, during this time, Watt was a lean 6 ‘5” 220 lbs, which was 20 pounds lighter than the college standard.

After receiving a scholarship from Central Michigan University, he would pack on an astonishing 65 pounds on his way to dominating as a defensive end. 

This garnered him national attention that would eventually see him taken as the 11th pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

J.J. has since become a household name for his freakish athletic ability, down-to-earth personality, and his legendary diet

He has become NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times, First-Team All-Pro five times, Second-Team All-Pro twice, and NFL Sack Leader twice. 

  • Age: 34 Years Old
  • Height: 6’5” (196 cm)
  • Weight: 288 lbs (131 kg)
  • Birthday: March, 1989
  • Occupation: NFL Defensive End
  • Retired/Active: Active


  • 3x NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2015)
  • 5x First-Team All-Pro (2012-2015, 2018)
  • 2x Second-Team All-Pro (2-14, 2018)
  • 5x Pro Bowl
  • 2x NFL sack leader (2012, 2015)
  • NFL forced fumbles co-leader (2018)
  • NFL 2010s All-Decade Team 

J.J.Watt Workout Fundamentals 

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J.J. Watt’s workout fundamentals are what have transformed him into the force he is today.

Beginning his training in college with long time trainer Brad Arnett, he went from an underweight 220 lbs to his current, hulkish 290-lb. powerful physique

J.J. is known for his incredible strength, recording 380-400 lb. power clean, 700-lb. back squat, 400-500 lb. bench press, and the ability to flip a 1,000-lb. tire 30 times. 

While these numbers are phenomenal signs of J.J.’s strength, they are far from his max weights. He is actually able to lift heavier but uses a variety of different weights, rep ranges, and ranges of motion to improve performance. 

Brad Arnett also combines this strength training with explosive movements to help build J.J.’s speed and agility. This is the secret to becoming one of the most dominant defensive ends in history. 

Watt’s famous explosive ability both on and off the field include an incredible 61-inch standing box jump.

J.J.’s workout days start at 9am, beginning with foam rolling, agility ladders, activation and mobility work, before band and cable work at 9:30 am. This is followed by explosive movement training.

Let’s take a closer look at the routine.

J.J.Watt Workout Routine

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J.J. Watt’s workout routine is a combination of strength, power, and agility work that varies over the course of the week.

There are many different sources documenting J.J. workouts, but none in a comprehensive plan.

So, we created a six-day per week workout routine using all of J.J.’s exercises to help you build the body of an elite, powerful defensive end.

Below we have presented J.J.’s warm up routine, agility routine, and upper and lower body workouts.

Plus, you get a little extra tricep killer in J.J.’s Tricep Death to help you build even more upper body power. 

The workouts below will contain exercises, sets, reps, and rest times, as well as a weekly schedule to help nail down a solid routine

Finally you will also find highlighted exercises; these are supersets to be performed together. 

J.J. Watt Workout Split Weekly Schedule

UpperLowerAgilityUpperLowerAgility Rest

J.J. Watt Warm-Up

jj watt workout

This warm-up is to be completed prior to both upper and lower body training sessions. They’re a mixture of foam rolling to mobilize soft tissue and agility ladders to prepare for explosive movements. 

ExerciseSets Reps
Foam Roll Adductor130–60 secs
Foam Roll Calves30–60 secs
Foam Roll ITB (Outer Thigh)30–60 secs
Foam Roll Glutes30–60 secs
Agility Ladder Sprint1
Agility Ladder Hops1
Agility Ladder Hops Rotating Hips1
Agility Ladder Hop (Over 1)1
Agility Ladder Single Leg Hops1
Dynamic Hip Flexor Stretch110
Walking Hurdle Leg Lifts110
Walking High Kicks110
Banded Hip Thrusts210-15
Hip In and Outs210

J.J. Watt Agility Training

ExerciseSets Reps
Resistance Band Side Steps320
Rope Cable Low to High Wood Chops310
Barbell Overhead Squat38-10
Front Facing Alternating Wood Chops320
Rope Cable Horizontal Wood Chops315
Banded Kettlebell Swing320
10 Yard Sided Shuffles6-8
10 Yard Sprint to Dead Stop6-8
10 Yard Sprint Sharp Change Directions6-8

J.J. Watt Upper Body Workout 

j.j.watt workout routine
ExerciseSets RepsRest
Shoulder Pack Roll21030 secs
Incline Bench Press410,5,3,530-45 secs
Dumbbell Floor Press8830-45 secs
Fat-Bar Pull-Ups31030-45 secs
Chest Supported T-Bar Row 31230-45 secs
Chest Supported T-Bar Row31230-45 secs
Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown31030-45 secs
TRX Curls31230-45 secs
Cable External Rotation31030-45 secs
Tempo Run (75% max speed)840 yds30 secs

J.J. Watt Lower Body Workout

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Safety Bar Box Squat21030 secs
Safety Bar Chaos Reverse Lunges410,5,3,530-45 secs
Kettlebell Swings8830-45 secs
Litvinov Prowler Sprints31030-45 secs
Trap Bar Jumps36-860-90 secs
Box Jumps 5560-90 secs
Tire Flip (1000 lbs)1Max

J.J. Watt Tricep Death

Tricep death is a bench press exercise that is performed with pieces of timber between the chest and the bar to determine range of motion.

Performed as a part of your upper body session, this is used to build strength, power, and metabolic conditioning. It does so through a variety of ranges of motion, which is essential in football.

During the set, a trainer or training partner will change the number of pieces of timber to alter the range of motion.

J.J. performs tricep death at 225 lbs, with five reps of 0, 2, 4, 6, 4, 2,0 (pieces) and another set of 0, 1, 3, 5, 3, 1, 0.

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Tricep Death (0, 2, 4, 6, 4, 2,0)15,5,5,5,5,5,530 secs
Tricep Death (0, 1, 3, 5, 3, 1, 0)15,5,5,5,5,5,530-45 secs

J.J.Watt Dieting and Food Preferences

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Like his career, J.J. Watt’s dieting and food preferences are legendary. He is well-known for his monstrous 9,000 calorie intake across six daily meals.

Broken down into two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners, Watt consumes more food by breakfast than the average person does in a day.

But these food preferences are far from unhealthy. J.J. prioritizes whole foods like lean meat, fruits and vegetables, with complex carbs such as whole wheat pasta, toast, and sweet potato.

This is what it takes to get the build to perform at the highest level.  

jj watt eating plan
Meal 1Oatmeal, 5 Eggs, 2x Whole Wheat Toast, Yogurt, Milk, Water, Orange Juice, Banana, Apple
Meal 2Oatmeal, 5 Eggs, 2x Whole Wheat Toast, Yogurt, Milk, Water, Orange Juice, Banana, Apple
Meal 33x Chicken Breast, Whole Wheat Pasta, Italian Dressing, Carrots, Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Meal 43x Chicken Breast, Whole Wheat Pasta, Italian Dressing, Carrots, Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Meal 5Lamb Chops, Whole Wheat Pasta, Steam Asparagus
Meal 6Steak, Steamed Broccoli, Whole Wheat Pasta

J.J.Watt Diet Plan

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jj watt eating plan

Now that we know how J.J. fuels his body to build his elite defensive physique, it’s time to give you your J.J. Watt eating plan.

There is no easy way to consume 9,000 calories per day. However, we can mix things up to help you hit that calorie target with a variety of nutritious, high-protein meals

The aim here is to consume around 1,500 calories per meal to help you evenly spread your food intake through the day.

Also, to make this easier, we will add high-calorie protein shakes to improve digestion.

Meal 1

  • 6x Eggs Scrambled
  • 2 Whole Wheat Toast
  • Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Banana, Berries
  • Protein Yogurt

Meal 2

  • 6x Egg Omelet with Spinach, Cheese, Mushrooms
  • 2x Whole Wheat Toast
  • 2x Scoop Protein Shake with 1x Cup Oatmeal, Banana, Berries, Protein Yogurt, Peanut Butter, Honey, Water, Milk

Meal 3

  • 3x Lemon and Herb Grilled Chicken Salad Wraps
  • Sweet Potato Fries 

Meal 4

  • Portuguese Grilled Chicken
  • Whole Wheat Pasta Salad, Tomato, Red Onion, Walnuts, Feta, Italian Dressing 
  • Sweet Potato Mash

Meal 5

  • Lamb Chops
  • Whole Wheat Pasta with Steamed Asparagus
  • 2x Scoop Protein Shake with 1x Cup Oatmeal, Banana, Berries, Protein Yogurt, Peanut Butter, Honey, Water, Milk 

Meal 6

  • Steak
  • Steamed Broccoli, Sweet Potato Mash
  • Whole Wheat Pasta Salad Salad, Tomato, Red Onion, Walnuts, Feta, Italian Dressing 

It is J.J. Watt’s transformation from a lean 220 lbs to 290-lb. Goliath you see today has come down to his dedication to his nutrition.

If you are considering building mass like J.J., we strongly recommend you do the same.

This will ensure you get enough protein to build muscle, carbohydrates for energy, and fats to absorb essential nutrients on your way to hitting those hefty calorie targets.

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

Simple plug in your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level to receive a precise calorie and macronutrient intake to pack on size and perform like J.J. Watt.

J.J.Watt Supplement Preferences

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jj watt supplements

J.J. Watt’s diet and food preferences are what have helped him perform at the top level year-round.

However, to get the most out of his body, he uses a range of supplements to bridge nutrition gaps, increase muscle mass, and improve recovery.

Below is a list of J.J. Watt’s supplement preferences and the purpose to help you round out your nutrition. 

Whey ProteinBuilds muscle and improves recovery
CreatineIncrease energy and improve performance
BCAAsStimulate building of protein in muscle and the reduction of muscle breakdown; however, research suggests this is unwarranted

Final Thoughts

What J.J. Watt has been able to achieve over the course of his playing career is nothing short of phenomenal.

Going from an undersized, lanky 220-lb. frame to a near-superhuman 290 lbs of raw strength and explosive power is nothing short of amazing.

His legendary diet and workout allowed him to earn a place as one of the all-time greatest defensive ends.

If you are considering giving the J.J. Watt workout routine and diet plan a go, be sure to track your nutrition, eat nutrient-dense, protein-rich foods, and train like a beast!

So, are you going to try the J.J. Watt workout plan? What elements of his training suit your goals?

Let us know in the comments.

What is JJ Watt’s workout routine?

J.J. Watt’s workout routine contains a variety of strength, hypertrophy, agility, and explosive power training. This is what gives him the ability to power through the opponents’ offensive line.

What JJ Watt eats in a day?

J.J. Watt eats 9,000 calories per day, consuming two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners. Foods include eggs, oats, chicken breast, steak, vegetables, fruit, and a ton of whole wheat pasta. 

How many calories does JJ Watt eat per day?

J.J. Watt eats a monstrous 9,000 calories per day across six meals through a range of lean meat, vegetables, fruits, and complex carbs such as whole wheat pasta and sweet potato.

Who eats 9000 calories a day?

Defensive end J.J. Watt of the Arizona Cardinals eats 9,000 calories per day across six meals.

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