Posted: February 18, 2020

Greg Norman: How I Stay In Shape + Why Fitness Is Essential To My Life

Greg Norman Fitness
Greg Norman shares how he stays in shape and why fitness is an essential part of his life.

People keep asking me why I keep doing it, working out. The answer is, I do it for myself; I don’t do it for any other reason. I just wish that when I travel the world that I’m an observer of people and I just wish people would respect their bodies a little bit more, what they put into [them] and what they get out of [them]. I know it’s a big effort to start and a big effort to stay in—it it’s a minimum of a six-week commitment—but once you push through those six weeks you start seeing such results. It’s up to the individual. You can talk about it, but you can’t force somebody to do it. I wish they would get to feel how good it feels like when you get out of bed and feel strong and ready to go.Here’s how I do it!


Sometimes if I’m fully energized, I’ll do a complete body workout, a full two hours. I do a full 40 minutes of cardio, where I’m on an elliptical. Sometimes I’ll break that down to 30 minutes on an elliptical or 10 on a Versaclimber, or 15 minutes of sprinting on a Versa or climbing, 15 seconds of flat out and rest for 45 seconds; that’s how I start my routine. If I want to do a full body workout with every machine, it takes close to 90 minutes. I do three sets of 12 to 24 depending upon the exercise. Sometimes I’ll do really heavy weights where I do three sets of 12 bicep curls of 55 or 60 pounds. The next day I might take a 25 pound weight and do a static weight, where I do very slow motion, half curl up, half curl down, then half curl, then total curl. It takes a lot; it’s a different way of burning out your muscle.


I have been known to work out seven days a week. My average is five days a week. Sometimes you can’t fit everything in all the time, but I do it even on Saturdays and Sundays—I don’t miss it when I’m home. When I travel—I just came back from Saudi Arabia, for example—because my schedule is so full, I may get two workouts out of four days travel.


At home, I’m lucky to have my own full gym, from a cardio room to a full weight room. I know my machines, I know me. When I’m home, I vary my workouts considerably, from doing a BOSU ball and free weights to doing body weights to doing balance work on balance boards, as well as machine weights. When I’m on the road, it depends on the gym that’s in the hotel. Nowadays, modern hotels have pretty good gyms with very good equipment, but when you go to lesser or older hotels, the gyms are pretty iffy, so you have to improvise. That means I can be back in my room with my briefcase weighing 28 or 30 pounds because of all the paperwork that I’ve got, and I’ll use that as a free weight. I improvise the best that I can. You can do lunges in your room; you can actually do quite a bit if you’re willing to figure it out.


It’s different today from what it was when I was playing golf, because there are specific golf exercises that you need to do, like strength and flexibility. I was a very flexible person in my heyday playing golf. I could do a full splint against the wall, and my back rotation was extremely supple. I don’t do the stretching as prolifically as I used to do. I do some of it on a daily basis because I have a stand-up desk, but today, my workout routine today is more of a stress reliever. It does me a world of good. I work out from 4-6 p.m. just about each and every day outside of travel, and from a strength perspective, I like to keep it that way. I don’t work out for being ego fit, I work out for being life fit.


Without a doubt, consistency is key. For example, I do a lot of golf course design work, where I walk a lot of virgin sites with sand dunes and mountainous terrain. I’ve found that my stamina is pretty unbeatable, to tell you the truth. Sometimes I’ll start out on one of these virgin sites and a lot of people will want to follow me, and I’ll look back after a couple of hours and there are maybe two or three people left. It’s a positive sign of course because I’m trending up still, I’m not flatlining, but there have been times in the last 45 days or so where I’ve felt like going up a plate or up a weight just because I feel like I’ve plateaued. I don’t want to get physically bigger; I just want to change my program a little bit so my body feels like it’s not doing the same old routine time and time again. As an example, I think I’m going to start kayaking the river. I used to do a lot surf skiing growing up in Australia, and I have two [rivers] on my property now. I’ve decided that maybe that will be my early morning routine, when I go paddle my surf ski for eight miles, four there and four back.

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