NFL teams are always looking for the “perfect” quarterback—a player who has strength, size, speed, and field vision to make the quick throws to the sidelines, the deep throws to streaking wideouts, and who can take the big hits from ferocious defenders.
Basically, they’re looking for the next Andrew Luck.
The Indianapolis Colts quarterback has all the skills scouts and executives drool over. At 6’4” and 240 pounds, Luck has the size to barrel over any opponent, and his dynamic combination of arm strength, football intelligence, and accuracy is hard to match by anyone in the league.
Coming out of Stanford, Luck was the most highly-touted football prospect at quarterback since Peyton Manning, and by all measures he’s lived up to the hype. Luck, who replaced Manning after being drafted in 2012, took the Colts to the playoffs in three of his first four seasons, led the league with 40 touchdowns in 2014, and went to the Pro Bowl three straight years from 2012-14.
All that makes it no surprise that Luck’s now the highest-paid player in the NFL after signing a $140-million extension ahead of the 2016 season. Luck’s meteoric rise has been in part due to his natural athletic ability, but it’s also because of his hard work in the gym.
“The importance of being physically fit and in shape cannot be understated,” says Luck. “A game like football can take a toll on your body. Everybody has their own style and they all do a great job, but I feel like the training we do really makes a difference on the field.”
Luck uses a range of exercises and methods in his training, including deadlifts, squats, bench press work, barbell rows, and jump rope—plus, he puts a strong emphasis on working his core: “That’s what drives the machine in a sense for the quarterback,” says Luck. “It’s important to have a strong core, strong legs—it’s key to withstand the season, to stay strong through the season. That's where it all starts, really.”
Luck’s commitment to his training and fitness doesn’t stop when he leaves the gym—he’s just as focused on nutrition and what he’s putting into his body on a daily basis. “I eat a lot of protein, vegetables, quality carbs—I love sweet potatoes, love fruit,” says Luck. “It’s always trying to make sure that you have a good balanced diet. It helps on the field.” Luck also uses BODYARMOR sports drinks to fuel his workouts—the strawberry-banana and the orange-mango flavors are his favorite.
The Colts missed the playoffs in 2015 for the first time since Luck was drafted—due in no small part to Luck's multiple injuries, which kept him out of nine games. Heading into 2016, Luck says that he’s fully healthy and ready to get back to the postseason: “This year I didn't take as much time off after the season," he says. "I got right back into the rehab and strength building and conditioning—it's paying off now.”
Luck spoke with Men’s Fitness about his workout routine, how he eats to get ready for the season, and why he started the team book club.
Read the interview with Andrew Luck on the next page >>>