T Nation

The Buff Referee


I saw this article on SI.com about NFL referee Ed Hochuli. It goes into his diet and workout routine. It sounds pretty old school and his diet seems pretty weak for mass building, yet he's a pretty buff dude.

Never Flagging
At 55 veteran official Ed Hochuli is so fit he could get away with horizontal stripes

NFL Referee Ed Hochuli.
By Amanda Cherrin

Ed Hochuli is one of the most respected officials in the NFL, and not just because he has been in the league for 16 years and worked 15 playoff games and two Super Bowls. "You look at him and it looks like he needs to be on our side of the ball, or on defense," says Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. "He stands on the sidelines looking like one of the linebackers." The 6'1", 215-pound Hochuli was a linebacker, at UTEP from 1969 to '72, before beginning a career in law. (The married father of six is a partner in a Phoenix firm that specializes in civil litigation.) "I never had a great deal of athletic talent, but I worked hard at it," says Hochuli. "The NFL was not an option. I'm small and I'm slow." He is also very fit. Hochuli, who officiated college games for years before joining the NFL, has run 12 marathons. Though he's given up long-distance running because he found it too time consuming, he still does an hour of cardiovascular training (usually on a stair machine or treadmill) each day. Four days a week he lifts weights as well. "It's something I need to do as a release," Hochuli says. "Something that gets me through the day." Here's his routine.

For breakfast I'll have instant oatmeal and then as a mid-morning snack, a banana. Lunch will be chicken salad or canned chicken and instant rice, and for dinner, three nights a week I have sushi. I love sushi. Three nights a week I have chicken noodle soup -- I eat a lot of chicken because it's protein without too many calories. The soup is my own recipe, something I made up over the years. Once a week I'll have a big salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and broccoli.

I don't eat red meat, but I love snack food. I'll have Cheetos when I'm feeling sorry for myself. Cheetos and chocolate kisses are my weakness. The only supplement I take is whey protein. I have a protein drink with about 40 grams of protein, almost every day. On lifting days, I might have two.

Barbell flat bench

*Three sets of 10 reps at 225 pounds or "pyramid" sets of 12 reps (185 pounds); 10 (205); eight (215); six (225); 12 (185)

*Ten sets of 10 at 205 pounds

Dumbbell flat bench

*Three sets of 10 reps, at 90 pounds each arm, or five sets of 12 (80 pounds); 10 (85); eight (90); six (95); 12 (75). "Then I'll do a burnout set [to failure] of incline flies" (35-pound dumbbells)

Incline press

*Three sets of 10 reps (165-pound bar or 75-pound dumbbell)

*Dumbbell sets of 12 reps (70 pounds); 10 (75); eight (80); six (15); 12 (65)

Flies (cable machine)

*Three to five sets of 10 reps, facing machine pulling across his body at chest height. At number 9.

*Three to five sets of 10 reps pulling down from shoulder to his waist. At number 7.

Decline bench (dumbbells)

*Three sets of 10 (55 pounds)

"I end on the bench or incline-bench machine and do two burnout sets of 15-20 reps at 135 pounds"

Military bar press (seated)

*Three sets of 10 (165 pounds)

Military dumbbell press (seated)

*Three sets of 10 (70 pounds)

*Ten sets. Varying weight, varying reps. "I start at about 50 pounds, go up in five-pound increments to about 75, then work down in five-pound increments"

Lateral deltoid raises (dumbbells) Standing, hold weight at waist and, with elbows slightly bent, raise to shoulder height

*Three sets of 10 (30 pounds), or three drop-down (no rest) sets of 10 at 25, 20 and 15 pounds

Shoulder shrugs

*Three sets of 12 (90-100 pound dumbbells)

Chin-ups (shoulder-width grip)

*Three sets of 10

"I use machines, pulling to my chest at different angles."


*Three sets of 10 (75 pounds)

Cable pull-downs (using a bar)

*Three sets of 10. (At number 12, the full stack, on the machine)


Close grip bench (with bar)

*Three sets of 10 reps (190 pounds)

Triceps curls

Lying on back, hold curlbar with a close grip, arms overhead; lower weight behind head

*Three sets of 10 (90 pounds)

"Then I do a variety of tricep curls at the cable machine [full stack]."


Bar curls

*Three sets of 10 reps (80 pounds)

Dumbbell curls

*Three sets of 10 (40 pounds)

Machine curls or hammer curls

*Three sets of 10 (35 pounds)

Concentration curls

*Three sets of 10 (25 pounds)

"On some days I will superset the arm workout, alternating between a biceps and triceps lift with no rest in between"

Link for the article: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/players/01/10/nfl.workout0116/


The epitomy of a poor workout. Obviously making no progress either. Lame. Shame he can't get access to some of the coaches in the league!


I don't eat red meat but I will eat Cheetos? WTF?


No legs?


Hey Prof. I was waiting for you to chime in on this one - however, I'm surprised you didn't comment on his lack of mass. LOL

Funny how the perception of "bigness" varies between lifters and non-lifters.

I don't think referee Ed "Guns" Hochuli (sp?) is that "big" at all. There are guys at my gym his age and older much bigger than that guy.

Not to rip on the guy's accomplishments, but come on, if he weren't an NFL ref, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.


OK, upon reading the article and his workout routine... wow... talk about still being stuck in the 80's.

We should turn the ol' Ref unto T-Nation. Hook him up with Waterbury... He lives in Phoenix for crissakes.

I'm serious, Arizona T-Men, make it happen. Talk about a photo-op !!


I honestly expect most men to be able to look like that by simply mowing their yard once a week. I guarantee there are people who think that's an accomplishment and that anything more needs anabolics.


Whatever-dude's old. He's not too big. But what he does keeps him fit and healthy. Maybe he's happy with that. Guess he seems big and like he follows a solid training program to a reporter who's probably 150 and has never done a decent workout.


Damn, Prof. ... that's harsh.

Give the man some credit - at least he gets his ass in the gym.

He just needs an infusion of training knowledge outside of the garbage he's obviously been getting from Muscle and Fiction.

I'm pretty sure that if you turned him on to some T-Nation routines, he would do the work and get results - the guy looks like he has a solid, disciplined work ethic.

However, I am perturbed by his lack of leg work and ballbusting compound movements ... so I could be wrong...

So true. I figure that would be about 95% of the American population, it seems. Sad, sad, sad.


You guys are on crack. That picture is not the best, but if you ever see Ed reffing a game, you will see that he has some pipes.

Drop the elitist "stuck in the 80's" crap. He looks great for his age and his routine is still better than 90% of America.


Come on, that's a huge fucking overstatement. The guy may not squat or eat red meat, but he's benching, by my guess, well over 300 at 55 years old. That may not be winning any meets, but it's not too shabby.


He looks good on TV.

Considering he is a full-time lawyer and a full-time referee at the highest level, I am surprised he has time for the gym at all.

And if he likes his routine and it gets results, who cares? His goal is not to swoon at himself in the mirror for 3 hours a day in a double biceps pose. He likes to be strong and fit.

A 55 year old who can get up 300+ on his bench is great. He has 12 marathons under his belt. Very impressive.


Not attempting to flame you or anything, but your perception is skewed for us mere mortals. I'll kill you and your entire family to look as good as that guy :slightly_smiling:


nicely put

I'm so sick of the bs on this site. The guy is 55 and looks good. Does he qualify for the Olympia.NO-who gives a rats ass.

Ohman he must be a dueschbag because he doesn't eat like Berardi. Give it a rest fellas. Your goals are not everyones goals.

And I G-damned guarantee you--most people do not look like this from mowing the lawn. Look around. That's what most people look like who's only workout is mowing the lawn.

And yah dude--I bet some guy in your gym is bigger. I bet there is someone in my gym bigger than you. Maybe even bigger than you think you are.


What's so elitist about calling out his imbalanced routine? What the fuck is so elitist about pointing out the fact that he does not squat, does not perform any real back movements, or that he does upwards of 12 sets for biceps?

If you actually believe that's elitist, then why the hell are you even on this site? Seriously. This site prides itself on debunking the fallacies inherent in this guy's way of training. I'm merely pointing it out.

His routine IS stuck in the 80's or did you not read the article? The routine as posted in the article IS garbage in the long term, and his diet while good compared to the average guy's is inadequate for the amount of training he does, not to mention the amount of stress he's under as a litigator and referee.

He DOES look good for his age - my point is imagine HOW MUCH BETTER he would look, if he actually had a good training routine and diet.

BTW, everyone looks bigger than they really are on TV.



does it really get results? For all we know he could have looked like that 15 years ago.

This is shocking coming from a member of T-Nation. Like any of us on this board are stupid enough to work out 3 hours a day. But considering you brought it up, his workouts are rather volume heavy. So maybe you should reconsider that before you try to throw back at us.

I suppose so. Now imagine how much stronger and fitter he could be if he actually had some guidance.

you guys seem to think we are shitting on him. I don't question the guys ethic I'm just posing the question of the wasted potential due to following garbage training parameters, that is all.

If you gave ol' Ed a bunch of CW routines and Berardi's eating plans, then he would truly blow the fuck up.



touchy aren't we?


BTW, If I want to jock a diesel old guy, I'll jock Dave Draper any day of the week over this dude.

This is only a story because the rest of the NFL referees are pudgy pencil necks.


The mere fact you need to 'over'-respond to one and all shows who's touchy.

You are the quintessential wannabe T. Just regurgitate everything you read here. Nothing else is possibly any good because he isn't doing squats and 10x3.

Get over yourself and your propensity to get on your knees to allthat is stated on this site. Could his workout be better--possibly. So what. Give credit where credit is due. He looks damn good for 55. He looks great compared to most men his age.


Well, it gets the kind of results he wants, because if it didn't, he wouldn't do the routine.

The only thing shocking is that you can't read. I said

Swoon at himself. Swoon (to become enraptured), dumbass, not workout or train - ie, he doesn't appear to be driven by an endless vanity to get a 'perfect' look, he seems more interested in looking decent and being fit.

Agreed - and in less time. I just thought it proper to give the man credit when he was actually quite impressive.

I personally didn't think you were shitting on him - I was just giving my opinion. That said, I am not sure he is looking to 'blow the fuck up' - he is 6-1, 215 pounds and I doubt he is crying himself to sleep every night because he just can't look like Jay Cutler.

Hochuli seems pretty content with his level of fitness and he works damn hard to achieve it. So, well done.