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Adrian Peterson's Off-Season Regimen

The Minnesota Vikings running back might be facing a fall without football. So why won’t he relax?

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With a lockout a near certainty, an NFL star like Adrian Peterson could suddenly have a lot of free time on his hands. But the record holder for most rushing yards in a game (296 if you’re counting) and probable first overall pick of your fantasy draft (if there is one) is finding plenty of ways to keep busy. First, there’s the grueling workout regimen that helped him net 1,664 yards from scrimmage last season despite being the only real weapon on a 6-10 Vikings team. And then there’s his new episode of the Double Take web series, a hilarious skit that sees Peterson play both interviewer and interviewee in a bizarro talk show that shows off Peterson’s softer side. We caught up with the man they call Purple Jesus to find out what a football player does when the football season is in jeopardy.

How has the possibility of a work stoppage affected your off-season training?
It doesn’t change my mindset at all. I train on my own anyway so I’m not really missing anything as far as training in Minnesota.

So you’re not just sitting around eating ice cream all day?
No, I still have the same approach. Thankfully, I’m lucky enough to be able to eat ice cream. I’ve got to have my cookies and cream! But I work out a lot so I burn a lot of calories.

What workouts have you been doing?
I’m running track this off-season, the 400 and the 200, so I’m training now to get my body right for football.

Does the track work mean you’re looking to improve your breakaway speed going into 2011?
I’m trying to improve my overall game, period. Track is something that I’ve been passionate about for a long time, but I’m just now taking the opportunity to stop talking about it and do it.

How many times a week do you work out?
I would say four or five. Right now I’m doing track workouts, but I’m also doing MMA work and kickboxing. It varies every day.

Is this your first time doing MMA? A lot of other players swear by it.
I did a little MMA last year but more boxing. I’ll tell you this: you definitely find out what type of condition you’re in when you’re in the boxing ring for four-minute rounds. But it’s fun and I’m able to build my endurance and agility. And it’s something that can help me on and off the field. I’ve never needed it off the field, but just in case. [Laughs]

How does your diet change in the off-season versus in the regular season?
It pretty much stays the same. Once the season is approaching—and I don’t know when it will be this year—I start eating better. But this is my profession so I’m always aware of it. When I’m out maybe I’m looking at the fried chicken, but I know I need to order the grilled. But I’m still from the country. I love my fried food and my neck bones and all that too. I enjoy both worlds.

We just watched your Double Take video and it seems like you had a great time doing it.
Oh, yeah. It was a lot of fun. I had the opportunity to show my fans a different side of me. It’s a more personal side of Adrian outside of football. What you’re going to see is pretty much how I am around my family and friends.

Shaq has filmed one of these. Can you top him? He’s a tough comedic act to follow.
[Laughs] That he is. That he is. I feel like I did a real good job and people are going to get a lot of laughs out of this.

Is this your breakout into the acting world?
You know, I take football as an avenue to different opportunities. Football is not using me; I’m using football. So I’m getting my feet wet and I’m going to continue to work hard at it, but obviously my main focus right now is football.

So the Vikings shouldn’t worry about you pulling a Jim Brown and retiring early to go to Hollywood?
[Laughs] The Vikings have to worry about a lot more than me going into the acting world if they don’t get their act together!

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