David Gandy is one of the most photographed men in the world: as a premier male model, he’s frequently required to get his kit off for his job. Needless to say, then, it’s paramount that Gandy stays in the best shape possible. We caught up with the Dolce & Gabbana muse on how he keeps his body looking trim, what his exercise regime looks like and how he prepares for a shoot: and there are more than a few tips for anyone looking to get that David Gandy look.
“The right amount of water, the right foods – not crappy, fatty processed foods. It’s everything in moderation, you can eat too much fish or too much meat. I actually had mercury poisoning from tuna because it topped off the levels in my body and made me quite ill,” Gandy tells Gentleman’s Journal.
I probably eat more than most people think I might, but I’m actually a foodie and I eat a lot
“People say to me, ‘my God, you must not eat something’, and then, ‘good God, you’re eating cake’”, Gandy continues. “I probably eat more than most people think I might, but I’m actually a foodie and I eat a lot. I just stay away from processed foods – white pastas, white carbohydrates, high sugar content, saturated fat – but I can still eat so much because of that. People [unnecessarily] go to the extremities of something.”
His normal workouts
“When I haven’t got a shoot coming up, it’s more 3 or 4 days a week in the gym [rather than everyday].” There you go: you don’t need to be powering away at those weights every single day to get that David Gandy look.
Your body and especially your muscles are very, very clever and they adapt to something
Instead, the David Gandy approach is less frenzied, and more thoughtful. “Circuits and supersets, that’s what works at the end of the day. A lot of people sit there on the weights, slowly, slowly. I like incorporating the two so you are pretty much doing 3 exercises back-to-back – more if you can. The 3 should work a range of muscle groups – I do 10,10,10 [repetitions], wait for 45 seconds, then 10,10,10. You’ll know about it the next day, but then you get used to it eventually, so you have to go back and do something different. Your body and especially your muscles are very, very clever and they adapt to something. You start doing it and they’re like, ‘oh we’ve done this’, so you have to shock them– doing sets of 50 with a lighter weight to change it up, or dropping the reps but increasing the weight a little bit. Just something a bit different.”
“Really heavy weights make you bulky, but it’s about being cut that makes you look 10 times better. It’s about medium weight and higher rep counts,” says Gandy.
The importance of warming up and why the benchpress is overrated
“I’ve learned the hard way about not warming up or down, and bench pressing heavy weights. I’ve punished my shoulders and my rotator cuffs, so I’ve completely had to change my workout the last 18 months and I actually saw slightly better results for it as well.”
How he prepares for a big shoot
The David Gandy approach can be highly targeted, when needed. “If I’ve got Light Blue or my underwear shoot coming along, then of course you’ve got to up the ante. You’re talking 4/5 weeks of intense exercise 5 days a week; high protein intake, low on carbohydrates.”
But Gandy is keen to warn against taking it to extremes. “You can take it to extremities. The Men’s Health guys who dry themselves a week before, that’s the extremities I don’t think I will ever, ever go to. I’ve never done it and I never will. Credit to those guys because they look great and they should do if that’s the extreme that they’re going to – and I respect that.”
Why he can’t give you a workout plan
It’s about finding what works for you
Ultimately, though, the David Gandy approach really centres around looking inwardly. “It’s really working for what your body needs. People ask me for a plan and I say: ‘look, I can give you a programme but your body is very different to mine and you’ll probably want a different look to me. I like being a little bit bigger, you might not like that.’ It’s about finding what works for you.”