Bear Grylls is not only a military man, adventurer and survival expert. He’s one of the most handsome, exciting and disgusting men on television … all at the same time! Who else would gut a camel and hide in it, drink his own urine out of a snake carcass and skid down an icy mountain? No one – that’s who! Besides being wild …. Bear is in fantastic shape. He takes great effort to be strong, agile and fit and eats quite differently at home than he does on the road. Once a chubby cub, he now works out intensely each day, has incredible strength and has revamped his health for good … read on and you may just be inspired to do the same!
Bear: I was a survival expert in the Royal Marines. We had a tight unit and I loved it. I served twice.
Fitz: What kind of exciting missions did you go on in the military?
Bear: I can’t tell you much; it’s all kind of hush-hush! But in one of my unfortunate incidents, I broke my back in three places during a free-falling parachute accident in Africa.
Fitz: Ouch! I’m impressed that you recovered and came back for more. What kind of kid were you?
Bear: Oh God! I was always dirty and causing lots of trouble – kind of like I am now.
Fitz: How did you end up with your own show on Discovery Channel?
Bear: I had done a television series about the French Foreign Legion in the UK, which had done fairly well, so the people from Discovery Channel invited me to do “Man vs. Wild”. They had to ask three times though, because the first two times I told them no. I felt like they wanted some ‘smart guy’ and I was not what they were looking for.
Fitz: Are you kidding me? I am always in awe as I watch your show that you know so much!
Bear: Well, I didn’t feel like I was what they were looking for. But they convinced me that I could just go do what I do, and they would follow me with a camera crew and that would be it. And that is it.
Fitz: So what is your goal with the show? Do you just look for the worst scenarios to dive in to?
Bear: Well, I love to be challenged. We shot in the jungles of Panama, and the Sahara Desert last season. The temperatures in the Sahara were above 130 degrees Fahrenheit and three members of our crew had to be evacuated.
Fitz: Do you do any special training to prepare for your shows?
Bear: Yes. In fact I want people to know that I train incredibly hard for these missions. I spend about three hours training each day. I do vary my workouts with running, climbing, swimming, martial arts (I have a Black Belt in Karate), yoga, and strength training.
Fitz: That’s great to know. A lot of people would guess you’re just ‘naturally fit’ and you don’t have to work hard at it.
Bear: That’s not true at all. I work really hard to prepare, because I am thrown in to some of the most extreme environments in the world and I do have to be in great shape if I want to accomplish the things I need to do.
Fitz: How many push-ups can you do?
Fitz: How many?
Bear: Trust me……lots.
Fitz: I need a number. How many can you do on your first set?
Bear: Push-ups are just one of those things I’m blessed with being able to do. First set? I’d say…..150.
Fitz: Now, I normally don’t ask my guests this, but I’m predicting you’re a pull-up guy too.
Bear: I am.
Fitz: How many can you do on your first set? Give me a number!
Bear: I think on my first set, I can probably do…….40. They’re great training for climbing.
Fitz: You’re physically hard as nails now, but have you ever had an issue with your weight?
Bear: Yes actually, I did. When I got out of the British Special Services and got married I just became a loaf. I sat around…did nothing and gained two and half stone! (That’s 35 pounds)
Fitz: I’m surprised to hear that. What gave you the kick in the butt you needed to get fit again?
Bear: I just hated being overweight. I felt horrible, and my back really hurt from my previous injury. At one point I just decided that I wasn’t going to be like that any more.
Fitz: What are your eating habits like?
Bear: Out in the wild, I eat lots of disgusting things just to get my hands on some nourishment. At home, I rarely eat any meat or dairy though. My family and I eat lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains.
Fitz: What’s your favorite healthy food?
Bear: Tai green tofu curry with brown rice.
Fitz: What’s your favorite unhealthy food?
Fitz: You’re known for your extreme eating on “Man vs. Wild” and you sometimes act like eating all of these atrocious things are a treat. What’s that all about?
Bear: I’m honestly not that comfortable with it, but food equals energy and that’s what is needed for survival.
Fitz: What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Bear: Lots of things, but in the Sahara I was given goat testicles from some nomadic tribesman. It was an honorable gesture on their part, so I ate them.
Fitz: What did they taste like?
Bear: Before my first bite, I’d imagined they would taste like hard boiled eggs, but they were horrific. I bit down and explosion of gristle and sperm just melted in my mouth. I actually threw up afterward and so did my camera man Simon. Doing that to him was great!
Fitz: Have you eaten anything in the wild that was surprisingly good?
Bear: No. Most everything has been terrible. Sheep eyeballs were also very bad.
Fitz: Another important factor in all of this is your wife. I, for example get the creeps from seafood. So, if my husband eats it …I don’t kiss him for quite a long time. Does your wife have any rules based on the icky things you eat?
Bear: Oh! I don’t tell her anything! I come home from a trip and tell her things went well, and leave it at that. She wouldn’t like to know what I’m up to.
Fitz: And what kind of things do you do to ensure your two young sons adopt healthy habits?
Bear: When I’m home we have a blast together. We swim, climb trees, and just play. We also treat good foods like fruit as a treat. Not to say we never have ice cream, but there is definitely a balance and we prioritize healthy living.
Fitz: How would you feel if either of your boys wanted to follow in your footsteps?
Bear: I’d be horrified!
Fitz: Last few questions…Where is your favorite vacation spot and do you workout on vacation?
Bear: We go to a private island on the Welsh coast. It’s wild, brilliant and cozy. I have a pull-up bar there that
overlooks the ocean!
Fitz: What’s on your MP3 player?
Bear: Gypsy Kings, Eagles Unplugged, and Cowboy Junkies.
Fitz: How would you do if you were to compete on Dancing with the Stars?
Fitz: What advice do you have for the average Joe or Jane who are just trying to become more fit?
Bear: Set small manageable goals. Find an exercise you think is fun and do it regularly. Don’t beat yourself up over cheat days either. Establish healthy habits and the random infractions won’t count so much.
Fitz: Thanks for your time, Bear. You’re so much fun to watch, and I look forward to watching your adventures in the future!
**Random sidebar to my readers: Bear’s show with Will Ferrell called “Men vs. Wild” was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. I actually cried laughing. This too, can be found on Discovery Channel.