Michael Phelps’ Daily Training Diet – How Many Calories Does He Eat?

Michael Phelps' diet
Last updated:

Michael Phelps is from the USA, holding the record for achieving the most Olympics medals at his age.

That includes 23 gold medals as well as 13 individual golds.

Michael was only 15 when he completed for the first time for the Olympics – he was part of the U.S. men’s swimming team.

Michael started swimming when his two older sisters joined a swimming team when they were young.

When he was 7 he was scared to put his head under the water, so his instructors started off with him floating on his back.

So it wouldn’t be surprising that he learned backstroke first! In 1996 he saw the swimmers, Tom Dolan and Tom Malchow competing in the Summer Games in Atlanta.

He dreamed of being a champ too. So he launched his swimming career when he was at Loyola High School.

When he started training at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, he met his coach, Bob Bowman.

Bob saw Michael’s talent for swimming and started him off on an intense training regime.

That saw Michael start his amazing swimming career. So much so that in 1999, Michael had made it into the US National B Team.

Even though he didn’t win a medal at the Sydney Australia Olympics he was becoming a major force to be reckoned with.

In 2001 he set a world record in swimming 200 meters of butterfly. This made him the youngest male swimming to ever set a world swimming record.

In 2012 after the London Olympics he said that he would be retiring from swimming, hinting that he might return around July 2013. But it was in April 2014 that he announced he would compete at the Mesa Grand Prix in Arizona.

In 2016, he became the first American swimmer (male) to get a spot on five Olympic teams! Also in 2016, he clinched another gold medal in Rio, his 19th.

In 2016, he announced he would be retiring “I’ve been able to do everything I’ve ever put my mind to in this sport. And 24 years in the sport. I’m happy with how things finished,” he said. “I’m ready to retire. I’m happy about it. I’m in a better state of mind this time than I was four years ago.”

He lives with his wife and three sons in Phoenix Arizona.

Michael Phelps’ Diet & Workout Routine

Current Stats

Workout Principles of Michael Phelps

Michael ensured that he got in at least 80,000 meters of swimming a week. He also worked out twice a day, exercising for at least 5 to 6 hours each day.

When he swam, he would put on his favorite music because he had waterproof headphones. Cool hey!

He would also do two hours of stretching exercises before he competed for events.

After retirement

Back in 2018, he did a 30-day stretch of biking where he burnt 28,000 calories! “It’s all I do. I pound it.

I went 30 straight days on the bike,” is what he told NBC Sports.

He says, “I was just basically at the point I just was like, I’m just going to grind for a month and see what happens. Somebody said, what are you going to do after that month? Probably keep going. I like having that competition on the bike. I ride a Peloton, so I ride in classes. I have an alias. No one knows it’s me.”

Michael Phelps’ Training Methods

With around 22 Olympic medals adorning his walls, he shares some of his training methods:

1) Embrace Drills

He says long swims are really good for improving your endurance.

You can try other drills for form and speed. “For me, some of the most effective drills focus on vertical kicking and underwater kicking,” he says.

He says it might be painful, but it is very effective. Another drill for him is called sculling (that’s a stroke where ‘you move your arms back and forth in small figure eights’) Phelps says.

It really helps you maintain the feel for the water.

2) Get in Gear

He says he ramps up his pool workout by incorporating new training tools into his routine.

He says, “I use a bunch of Speedo training gear, like kickboards, pull buoys, training paddles, and snorkels.”

He says he also listens to music during some of his longer workouts with his waterproof headphones.

3) Hit the Weights

He says that when he was preparing for Beijing, he started adding weightlifting to his dry-land work.

And since then, he has expanded on the number of weights he uses, and he also runs more than he ever has. He says that push-ups and pull-ups have always been essential for him.

4) Rest and Recover

Michael says the best way you can benefit from the toughest workouts is to let yourself recover fully before you train hard again.

And sleep plays a huge role in recovery, he says.

It’s important for your body to get enough rest so that you are ready to go for the next training session or race.

5) Train Your Brain

You need to stay focused on your goals and confident in what you can do.

Like in Beijing, when his goggles filled with water, he didn’t panic; he relied on his training and knew how many strokes it would take to get up and down the pool.

So he started counting his strokes, and although he didn’t reach his desired time, he won the race.

Michael Phelps’ Workout Routine

When he was a swimmer before he retired, his workout routine would include swimming around 13 km each day.

That’s why he had such a low body fat percentage.

Then he also did practical training with weights designed for swimming sessions.

Preparing also for the Olympics, he would eat more than 12,000 calories a day!

Check out his workout routine:

Swimming Workout

For his swimming routine, he would do 12 various exercises that consisted of 50 reps of 6 sets. These routines would include:

  • ‘Sidekick – 6 sets, 50 reps’
  • ‘Butterfly swimming drills – 6sets, 50 reps’
  • ‘Pull buoy – 6 sets, 50 reps’
  • ‘Fly – 25 reps’
  • ‘Free – 950 reps’
  • ‘Fly – 50 reps’
  • ‘Strokes – 500 reps’
  • ‘Kick – 50 reps’
  • ‘Free – 50 reps’
  • ‘2000 timed kick strokes’
  • ‘IM (individual medley) continuous drill – 4 sets, 100 reps’
  • ‘Ab exercises – 500 reps’

Gym Training Schedule 

For this Gym training schedule, Michael did 4 different exercises which included:

  • ‘Standing dumbbell press – 3 sets, 10-16 reps’
  • ‘Dumbbell front raise – 3 sets, 10-16 reps’
  • ‘Dumbbell lateral shoulder raise – 3 sets, 10 to 16 reps’
  • ‘Compound movements – 3 sets, 10-16 reps’

Michael Phelps’ Diet Plan

Michael told NBC during an interview while the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics was taking place, that he ate 12,000 calories per day – after all, he needed to fuel his five-hour a day, six-days-per-week training sessions that led up to the Games.

His diet consisted of a lot of pasta and entire pizzas.

That’s for competing though. When he was not training for competitions, his diet didn’t consist of so many calories!

Usually, he focuses on eating a lot of veggies, lean grilled protein, and fruit. He ensures that his diet is organic and clean.

This is more or less how his diet looks:

1) Breakfast

  • Fried egg sandwiches
  • Two cups of coffee
  • One five egg omelet
  • French toast
  • A bowl of porridge
  • Three chocolate chip pancakes

2) Lunch

  • A half kg. of pasta – that’s a lot!
  • Two large ham and cheese sandwiches
  • Energy drinks

3) Dinner

  • More pasta – a half kg.
  • An entire pizza
  • More energy drinks

“Phelps has refuted the calorie bonanza as a myth”

When he had an interview with Ryan Seacrest  Michael chuckled at the above allegations that he ate 12,000 calories a day.

He told Ryan “I never ate that much. It’s all a myth. I’ve never eaten that many calories. I wish! It’s just too much though. It would be impossible.”

Of course, being Ryan Seacrest he answered something like, “Good because I was starting to really loathe you, that you could eat all of this.” Ha-ha.

This is his new lifestyle now

Phelps told GQ that even though he doesn’t spend as much time as he did anymore in the pool, he doesn’t want to lose the kind of body that earned him so many medals.

He did struggle with weight gain after giving up swimming, so he had to shake things up a bit.

Now he wakes up around 5:30 or 6:30 a.m. each day, and then once he’s up he will start breakfast for his family, trying to incorporate healthy options into the breakfasts.

He will make a smoothie made with spinach, figs, almond milk, cacao nibs, and soy milk.

If he needs an extra boost, he has a cup of coffee.

Then he heads to the gym and then heads home for a second breakfast. He enjoys variety in his meals but still tries to incorporate a salad for each evening.

Then he usually goes to bed.

“Cleaning up your diet is hard,” he told the mag.

“There were ups and downs. When I did clean up my diet, I saw a significant change in how I felt — I’ve reminded myself of that time and time again. I was seeing more clearly in all aspects of my life and didn’t feel like a blob.”

But you can be assured he is watching his health journey so he can maintain his health and fitness.

Michael Phelps’ Supplements

Michael Phelps’s used these supplements to help fuel his gains:

  • Creatine
  • Vitamin C
  • Protein shake supplement

Michael Phelps’ Noteworthy Recommendations

Want to be a top-notch swimmer? Take a look at these tips:

  • Tip 1: Never stop taking swimming lessons once you start
  • Tip 2: Never quit
  • Tip 3: Always have someone on your side
  • Tip 4: Work more and harder than anyone else
  • Tip 5: Someday you will be a famous swimmer too if you stay focused on your dream and work hard

“If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do.”Michael  Phelps