Robert Irvine is living proof that with a healthy lifestyle and a solid exercise regime you can look 25 years younger than you should. Follow his eating and training regimes today to put youth back into your appearance.
It’s been predicted that the first person to live to 200 years old is already alive. We think we may have found a viable candidate. Robert Irvine’s life that’s full of unbridled discipline for health and helping people, which are supposedly the cornerstones of longevity.
Irvine grew up in Salisbury, England, joined the British Royal Navy and completed a 10-year tour of duty aboard various naval ships including Her Majesty’s Royal Yacht Britannia. This is where he cut his teeth in the kitchen and developed a cast-iron passion for cooking.
After working in hotels, casinos and catering for the Academy Awards he caught his first TV break with Dinner: Impossible. This soon led to 11-seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, where he not only revamped struggling restaurants, but patched the broken staff relationships that had caused their failures. If you want to get a true feel for his deep compassion for helping people, look no further than this show.
The 49-year-old also volunteers his culinary skills on several fronts. He cooks for military servicemen and women and is heavily involved with the Children Uniting Nations charity. Irvine is also a member of the Council of Chefs, a charity dedicated to helping hungry kids. TRAIN sat down with him over a large bowl of food and was blown away by what a truly balanced man he is, while still maintaining a fierce passion for his job, fitness and helping other people. His is a story worth reading because it’s flush with knowledge you can use to affect positive change in your own life. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that he hits that 200 mark – here’s why.
Making time for health
Despite being on the road for about 345 days a year with his TV shows and business obligations, Irvine makes exercise and health his top priority. That’s not just for his physical well-being – it’s for his mental health too. “I truly believe that fitness is my time so I need the hour and half each day,” he says. “It’s all about timing because you have to control your life. I pick a time every day and stick to it. I got most of my crew in the gym and work out seven days a week. It’s a priority. I need it for stress relief and the healthy eating and supplementation also helps with that.”
Irvine is also adamant about the importance of fitness for everyone, particularly those in positions of responsibility. “If you don’t have time to exercise you don’t have time to breathe,” he smiles. “I used to have a boss in Jamaica who was a Justice of the Peace. I’d tell him that I need him to come to the gym. ‘I don’t have time,’ he’d tell me. Well, if you don’t have time then you don’t have time as a leader. So when somebody says they don’t have time – I make time.
“I get a lot of moms and dads who say this but if you plan your menus for a week, you’ll have all your meals ready to go in four minutes. It’s a poor excuse.”
What food really is
Irvine educates people about what good food really is, but this isn’t limited to adults. “I’ve made it my mission to get over 10,000 children in a zoo to show them the animals and talk about why they eat these things and how they get strong,” he says. “We educate kids where the food comes from so they get keen on healthy eating. When they try foods like nuts and grapes and feel empowered they’re eating things they would never try at home. It’s about education and changing perceptions.”
The same principal applies to fitness: “To get fitter you can walk up and down the stairs or you can pick cans up in the kitchen. You don’t have to lift weights. We want to be healthier and that’s what it does.” Even ticking chores off a list is a good way to start. Research in Current Physiology found people thought formal exercise burnt far more calories but you could actually burn the same amount of calories by doing tasks around the house. That’s a good excuse for a spring clean.
Health is teamwork
Healthy living is a family affair in Irvine’s house since he married TNA pro wrestler Gail Kim in 2012. It’s a partnership he says has got him in the best shape of his life. “Gail is a tremendous cook,” he smiles. “At home, she’s in the kitchen – not me. She’s also in great shape and very much an inspiration to me. We want to be as good for each other. I let her cook and I do the dishes.”
Though you can’t choose whom you love, being part of a healthy team like Robert and Gail is the secret to long-term success. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found couples’ success at everyday activities – like grocery shopping and healthy eating – is based on their levels of self-control. If both people have high self-control, they’ll be healthier, but if one person is more impulsive, they’ll make collective decisions as if they both did. “Our findings might be particularly surprising to the person who incorrectly believes that making joint decisions with someone with more self-control will allow them to exhibit better restraint,” says study author, Cait Poynor. “As it turns out, self-control can’t be outsourced to someone else.”
Bear that in mind when you’re making big decisions – like what to eat for dinner – and don’t be afraid to put your foot down when it benefits everyone.
Find health advice, celebrity interviews and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.