In 2004, David Wright burst onto the New York sports scene when he was barely old enough to order a drink. Since that spectacular debut, the Mets’ third baseman has established himself as a workout warrior, displaying a near obsessive dedication to weight training and proper nutrition. The results speak for themselves—Wright has a career batting average of .305 and has hit at least 25 home runs in all but one of his Major League seasons. We caught up with David and talked about the benefits of weight training and dietary restraint.
As a baseball player, you're on the road a lot. Do you find it difficult to stay disciplined with your diet?
I’ve realized that I can’t put the same kind of foods I put into my body when I was younger. It’s important for me to have everything in moderation. Unfortunately, I like a lot of foods that are bad for me. I’m a huge snack person.
How do you satisfy those snack cravings without gaining a gut?
Snacking used to get me in trouble with a lot of high calorie, high fat foods like potato chips. That’s one of the reasons I teamed up with Pirate’s Booty, so I can snack in a healthier way. Pirate’s Booty is all-natural and has less calories and less fat than the normal snack foods.
How often do you snack? Are you just grabbing something between meals?
I try to eat 5-6 times during the day. I like to put something in my body as soon as I get up, and then I try to eat every two hours throughout the day. I constantly want to keep my metabolism going. Trainers and strength coaches will tell you it’s good to “stoke that furnace.” It’s good to put sensible and small amounts of food in your body throughout the course of the day.
Are there specific foods that you try to incorporate more than others
In the morning it’s good to get a good amount of carbs and protein in my body to get me going. I’m big on egg whites, turkey bacon, peanut butter—just something that has a good amount of carbs along with a good amount of protein to kick-start the day. For lunch, I like grilled chicken mixed in with a hearty, good-sized salad. Then something like fish and rice mixed in vegetables for dinner. It depends on my mood, but those are the basics.
Does your diet change at all during the regular season?
It’s tougher for me during the season because we’re on the road a lot. A lot of times there’s not a lot of healthy options when traveling, so it’s even more important during the season to stay as focused as possible. It’s very easy when you’re on the road to go to a restaurant and splurge. You have to take everything in moderation and realize that there are healthy choices even when you go out to restaurants. If you put the wrong foods in your body, you feel sluggish the next day. It’s important to fuel your body the right way.
As far as your workout goes, is there anything that you like to do specifically?
I’m a huge creature of habit when it comes to my workouts. In the last four or five years, I could probably count on one hand how many workouts I’ve missed. As baseball players, we don’t like to get our routines broken. It’s the same thing with my workout plan. Playing third base, we do a lot of work with first-and step explosiveness, core, and obviously a lot of legs. If you play 162 regular season games, usually the legs are the first thing to go, so you have to maintain that strong base.
Has your routine changed a lot since you’ve gotten to the big leagues?
Yeah, no question. I felt like there’s been years where I’ve actually done too much in the weight room, which probably hurt me a little bit as far as overdoing it. There’s also been times when I felt like maybe I should do a little more. It’s that gray area. Fortunately, I’ve found a place where I maintain that strength I worked on in the off-season, but also it doesn’t tire me to go play the game the next day. It’s important that during the off-season I go back and forth with one week or one rotation where I’ll do high reps, low weight. The next rotation I’ll do low reps, high weight. You have to learn what works for your body.