Skip Bayless is a fitness maniac: ‘Don’t know how to exist without my workouts’

2009 - Skip BaylessSince I worked with Skip Bayless at the Chicago Tribune, I knew he was committed to keeping himself in shape. But I never realized he was this dedicated and/or obsessive.

A recent Wall Street Journal story by Jen Murphy chronicles Bayless’ workout regime. I work out regularly and this puts me to shame.

Mr. Bayless is just as relentless when it comes to his workout routine. He does an hour of cardio every morning, and lifts weights three days a week after his show. He has missed only two days of cardio since April 1998—because of a sinus infection in 1998 and a bout of hepatitis A after eating bad sushi in 2009. He has had three arthroscopic surgeries on his knees and, much to his surgeon’s dismay, was riding the stationary bike as soon as he was home from the hospital.

“My colleagues think I’m crazy but my motto is, never miss a day,” he says. “If we’re taping in L.A., I’ll get up at 2 a.m. to go run. If I’m on the road and the hotel doesn’t have a gym, I’ll find a 24-hour gym,” he says. “I don’t know how to exist without my workouts.”

And there’s this:

Mr. Bayless has a treadmill and a stationary bike in his home in Bristol, Conn., and gets in an hour of cardio at 5:30 a.m. while watching a loop of the SportsCenter that aired at 2 a.m.

He usually runs four days and rides the bike three days. “I take the bike up to level 16 and go hard until I’m drenched in sweat,” he says. He often spends weekends at his apartment in New York City, and on Sundays he runs about 8 miles. He runs one of four courses depending on his mood. He’ll run from his apartment and do the 6.1-mile loop in Central Park and then run home; from his apartment along the sidewalks around the perimeter of Central Park; along the West Side Highway, or a four-mile trail run in Southington, Conn., which he does out and back. He always tries to push a 7-minute mile pace and run fast mile splits, around 6:45, the second half of the run.

Mr. Bayless is fired up after his shows and says hitting the weight room is the best way to blow off steam. “I lift out my frustration,” he says. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays he goes to the gym at the ESPN campus or to Club Fitness in Bristol. “There’s more interruption and chitchat when I use the gym at work,” he says.

Then again, there’s a reason why Bayless looks so good at 63.

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