Since returning to WWE as part of the NXT brand back in April last year, Drew McIntyre has climbed to the top at a rapid pace. Now holding the NXT Championship, the fiery Scot spoke with Muscle & Fitness about his insane work ethic—it’s no mean feat to train consistently while hitting the road night in, night out, as part of a demanding match schedule.

“I always try and get to a gym at least four days a week,” says McIntyre. “Rob McIntyre [a top trainer who works closely with WWE athletes, but who is not related to Drew] develops a lot of my bodybuilding programs, and I’ve been following them for years.”

Rob McIntyre is a firm favorite with athletes. He’s helped shape the chiseled physiques of some of WWE’s biggest names and previous M&F cover stars, such as John Cena and Sheamus. Since WWE and NXT superstars are often traveling, Rob makes his workouts available via a special mobile app. That way, Drew can start a solid gym session anytime—wherever in the world he may be.

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Although finding an adequate gym can be a real challenge on the road, McIntyre asserts that it’s important to make the most of every available opportunity to train. When he can, the champion seeks out a Golds Gym, or a branch of LA Fitness.

“I’m consistent with my training and make sure to split body parts to maximize recovery,” the man-mountain says. “I have to fit workouts around my wrestling matches, so I need to build in some recovery time especially after heavy squats for example. I like to do squats twice a week if I can.”

His ability to maintain a hectic physical training schedule is nothing new. Shortly before returning to WWE, the talented grappler was in demand all over the world, winning championships in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Now holding the highly coveted NXT Championship, McIntyre will defend his title against Andrade Almas at WarGames in Houston, TX, on the WWE Network.

Scotland's Drew McIntyre is WWE's King of Consistency
Courtesy of the WWE

Courtesy of the WWE 

So how does he handle the pressure and big match nerves?

“One of the best things about training for me is that it gives me some thinking time,” McIntyre says. “Working out is a great stress reliever, and can make you more relaxed in the long run.”

WWE superstars often perform on a nightly basis. As such, they need to be elite athletes. In terms of cardio, McIntyre’s position as a main-event player in NXT means that his intense matches can typically last 20–30 minutes. Running the ropes, rolling on the canvas, and using his cat-like agility makes for a unique cardio routine. But when he’s not in the ring, the Champ likes the great outdoors.

“I do like to train outdoors. I’m not a massive fan of cardio but I love to get out and run,” he says.

When it comes to health supplements, McIntyre is a proponent of eating natural foods to meet nutritional requirements, but finds that protein shakes are a convenient way to get the right macros down during busy times and travel days. He also takes fish oils for joint protection.

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For McIntyre, consistency with training is about being in a state of constant challenge rather than just standing still. “I like to try and bring in new exercises wherever possible to stimulate muscles that I may not have used in other workouts. It’s important to shock the muscles so that you don’t just tread water and plateau.”

The hard work is paying off. WWE fans have noticed that McIntyre is looking bigger, and leaner, as he prepares for his upcoming title defense at WarGames.

“With such a big match coming up I’ve been eating really clean, and I’ve stopped drinking alcohol completely. You can’t train at this level and drink alcohol or cheat on your meals.”

Almas better watch out, because McIntyre means business.

NXT TakeOver: WarGames will stream live around the world on WWE Network this Saturday, November 18 at 8 p.m.