Let the debate begin.
Men’s Fitness magazine has just selected the 25 Fittest Men in America, and while everyone on the list is clearly an advanced physical specimen, there are bound to be disagreements about the rankings and others left off. (Ok, we’re not even going to mention our debate with Editor in Chief Roy Johnson about selecting Lebron James and leaving off our fav Dwayne Wade. Oops, we just mentioned it.)
Notables on the list include actor Hugh Jackman, singer Akon, football star Larry Fitzgerald, college football star Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators. There’s even a “regular Joe” on the list, an entertainment lawyer!
No. 1? Drum roll please… Rafael Nadal the 23-year-old tennis player from Spain.
This is the fifth anniversary of the Men’s Fitness list and the mag’s editor Roy Johnson told RadarOnline.com exclusively: “To put it very simply, these guys live life. They pursue excellence in their careers, and succeed by being smart, fit and passionate about their pursuits. The actors don’t just get fit for a film project. The athletes don’t just get fit for a season. Every guy on the MF 25 does what it takes to win; they represent the best among men.”
Here are the 25 Fittest Men in America, courtesy of Men’s Fitness magazine, which features them in the June/July issue:
Number 1: Rafael Nadal, 23, Spain
Why Nadal? Because of his stamina, his physique and of course the four-hour 48-minute victory over Roger Federer in the Wimbledon Finals last summer. After winning six Grand Slams and 33 tournaments, he is undoubtedly the best tennis player in the world, and without a doubt the “Fittest Guy in the World.”
The rest of the list:
• Larry Fitzgerald, 25, USA (NFL Star)
The 6’3” 220-pound wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals was the biggest reason the Cardinals reached the Super Bowl last season. His physical ability can be partly attributed to intense off-season workouts that improve his already-profound jumping ability and speed.
• Clive Owen, 46, United Kingdom (Actor)
At well over six feet, Owen towers above many of his fellow Hollywood actors. To prepare for some of his most demanding roles, the Coventry native trains with a London kickboxer. While he regularly goes to the gym, he says, “When I’m getting ready to film, I train much more intensively. My fitness regimen is completely dictated by, ‘Do I have to take my top off in this movie?’”
• Lewis Hamilton, 24, United Kingdom (Formula One Racer)
The youngest Formula One World Champion ever, Hamilton is also one if its fittest. To stay fit, he trains for nearly four hours at least six days week during his off-season.
• Kevin Rose, 32, USA (CEO)
Five years ago, the former Attack of the Show host launched Digg.com. He also often launches himself to the top of local climbing walls near the company’s San Francisco offices. He also plays racquetball twice a week and runs twice a week.
• Georges St. Pierre, 27, Canada (UFC Fighter)
The Canadian fighter also known as GSP routinely kills it in the gym with strength and conditioning coach Jonathan Chaimberg. Normally 188 pounds, he cuts about 20 pounds for a fight and carries about only 5% body fat.
• Akon, 30, USA (Singer)
The Senegalese-American singer maintains his lean, muscular build with a preshow pump that consists of 500 pushups, pull-ups and dips. When not on the road, he plays hoops and soccer and kickboxes.
• Phil Keoghan, 42, New Zealand (TV Host)
Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan typically loses 10 pounds while on the road for the show. So before he hits the road, he amps up his workout by boxing and doing 100 push-ups a day.
• Adrian Fenty, 38, USA, (Mayor of Washington D.C.)
The D.C. mayor exercises like a pro-athlete rigorously and regimented—despite his crazy schedule. Three times a week, he gets in an early-morning run and also swims and cycles when he finds time.
• Manny Pacquiao, 30, Philippines (Light-welterweight fighter)
He’s only 5’6”, but this Pac-Man packs a ton of power. To prep for fights, he works out for two weeks before training with trainer Freddie Roach. Then for two months, he’ll run in the mornings, do 1,000 sit-ups, shadowbox, jump rope, punch the heavy bag and spar in the afternoons for four rounds, building up to 12 as the fight nears.
• Robert Downey Jr., 44, USA (Actor)
These days, Robert Downey Jr. is truly an Iron Man. Before filming, he engaged in a rigorous fitness regimen under trainer Brad Bose. Through intense cardio, weights and martial arts training he transformed his body, gaining 20 pounds of muscle over five months.
• Simon Dumont, 23, USA (Freestyle Skier)
Last April, Dumont soared 35 feet to break the world record for height on a quarter pipe. He credits his working the gym for making it happen. “I do a lot of balancing stuff with weights in the air and do one-footed squats on the Bosu ball,” he says.
• Jared Padalecki, 27, USA (actor)
To prep for his latest role, Padalecki underwent a regimen of kickboxing and jiu-jitsu. The Texas native also shoots 90 hours a week but spends downtime inside an on-set workout trailer.
• LeBron James, 24, USA (NBA player)
He looks more like a linebacker than a forward, at 6’8” and 250 pounds. And he’s only just begun working out seriously. He does yoga and Pilates to endure the rigors of his sport in addition to his regular workout.
• Tim Tebow, 21, USA (College football player)
He has won two national titles and a Heisman and at 6’3” and 235 pounds, he’s reshaped the idea of a quarterback’s physical capabilities. His off-season regimen includes shoulder work, bench presses, squats, lunges, speed and agility drills and more.
• Richard Roll, 42, USA (Entertainment lawyer/producer)
At age 40, Roll was 30 pounds overweight and decided to invest in his body. Two years later, he earned the honor of being the second “Regular Joe” on the “MF25.” He adopted a plant-based diet and used multi sport training to achieve a base level of fitness and later set his sights on the 2008 Ultraman three-day triathlon, where he placed 11th overall.
• Sir Richard Branson, 59, United Kingdom (Founder, The Virgin Group)
Branson’s passion for fitness is exuded in both his personal endeavors and business interests. In addition to kiteboarding on his Necker Island, he also swims, skis, surfs, dogsleds and plays tennis.
• Bob Burnquist, 32, Brazil (Pro Skateboarder)
The number-one ranked skateboarder employs bodyweight training, a medicine ball, and off-balance techniques to increase his body’s awareness of space and to improve his durability.
• Shani Davis, 26, USA (Olympic Speed Skater)
At 6’2”, 190 pounds Davis is a much different athlete from the 155-pounders he usually skates against. That’s why he trains so often, hitting the rink six days a week for two to four hours. He focuses on tradition leg lifts like squats and leg presses. He also calls running “fun” and says plyometrics give his muscles some “snappiness” which helps him best utilize his size.
• Paul Ridley, 25, U.S.A. (Rower)
In March, Ridley became the youngest American to row solo across the Atlantic, traveling from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa to Antigua. He trained for nine months, rowing up to 10 hours a day and putting on an extra 15 pounds to make up for what he would lose during the trip.
• Rudy Reyes, 37, U.S.A. (Iraq War Vet/Actor/Trainer)
The actor who most recently played himself in HBO’s Generation Kill also trained the cast while shooting. His philosophy eschews traditional bodybuilding techniques. “I’m more interested in real-world warrior strength,” he says.
• Usain Bolt, 22, Jamaica (Sprinter)
One year he set fire to the track at Beijing National Stadium during the 2008 Summer Olympics, Usain Bolt is still smoking. As he preps for the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, his workout includes regular sprint workouts and a three-day a week lifting sessions.
• Josh Hamilton , 28, U.S.A., (MLB Player)
A recovering drug addict, Hamilton is finally getting more attention for his actions on the field. The AL leader in RBI’s last season with the Texas Rangers, he arrived at spring training weighting 240 pounds, thanks to a dedicated off-season program.
• Hugh Jackman, 40, Australia, (Actor)
One of the most ripped actors in the industry, Jackman performs nearly all of his stunts. To prepare, he goes to town on the bench and leg press machines. He also began daily tai chi and ultimately perfected various yoga poses in preparation for his role in The Fountain.
• Deale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, 41, United Kingdom (Actor)
To play “Heavy Duty” in the new G.I. Joe film, the British actor had to undergo his own version of basic training, which included a strict diet, and fitness program that emphasized muscle confusion and intense cardio.