The Naked Cowboy must have his choice of beverages.Photo: Melissa Hom
This week a court ruled that Robert Burck, better known as the Naked Cowboy, could sue Mars, Inc., for using an unauthorized cartoon likeness of him in an M&M;’s ad. It’s no wonder Burck is going for $100 million: During his teenage years he wavered between anorexia (“I was starving myself,” he says, “I was the skinniest guy in the world”), and eating so poorly that his weight ballooned up to 277 pounds in high school. Fifteen years ago, he cut out sugar and started keeping a mind-bogglingly strict, M&M;’s-free diet at the recommendation of his trainer-mentor, John Parillo. That’s what it takes, apparently, if you’re going to stay in size 16 tightie whities and fetch $25,000 per appearance from underwear companies. We asked him if he didn’t eat junk food just once this week.
Saturday through Thursday, June 21–26
Fifteen years ago I started training to have the best physique on the planet.
My Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays are no different than any other days. I sit down, spend an hour or two or three reading, and I drink maybe two cups of coffee — I continuously take the same cup back to the microwave and get it blaringly hot so I can just sip.
I steam frozen veggies in the microwave, and have that with grilled chicken that would’ve been made the night before.
I go to the gym and do aerobics for 30 minutes to an hour, although right now I’m so freakin’ lean that I haven’t been doing my morning aerobics. I’m ripped, ripped, ripped.
I live in Secaucus, New Jersey. Around 10:30 a.m., I pull my Escalade into the Icon parking garage at 1515 Broadway and I do a couple hours in Times Square. I go to the deli on 44th Street, across from the Icon, where there’s a big Naked Cowboy life-size cutout. I get $2 worth of turkey they cut on the slicer, with peas and broccoli. I get another coffee, or water, and go back to Times Square for a couple hours.
When I leave there, I go to the China Buffet. Me and my assistant, Elvis, get steamed chicken and broccoli with white rice. It’s summer, so I don’t eat the white rice because it’s complex carbohydrates. When I go to Wendy’s, I get a plain baked potato with plain broccoli and cheese on it. I get the grilled-chicken-breast sandwich and eat just the grilled chicken. I take a napkin and wipe it off.
My goal, which is already achieved, is to have the very bottom of my back look dimply if I’m leaning back and squeezing my butt. I’ve done lunges for years and years, and now it’s a hard-as-rock, striated ass. Ten years ago, I had literally no ass. If I got heavier I had a big, huge bubble butt. I squeeze 1,000 butts a day — they’re all flat. Even with a girl that looks good — if I squeeze and it’s complete goo, that’s not going to look good.
After meeting so many people, I’m a little frazzled, so when I get home I’ll sit down and read for an hour or so, go to the gym and do free weights, or I go to the track and run eight miles. By eightish I’m trying to avoid food. My girlfriend and I sit down at 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. and religiously put on on-demand and eat Baked Lays potato chips and a protein bar. I basically put off my carbs all day to eat half a bag of Baked Lays with her — it’s zero fat and it’s essentially nothing but a plain baked potato. And a protein bar is essentially eating a chicken breast. It’s kind of like a treat. She’s going to Florida, so now that’ll get cut out — it’s nice spending time with her but to me it’s laziness and unproductive.
I don’t eat sugar at all. I live with a woman who has three kids — I’m extremely particular and anal and disciplined and anybody who’s not that way instantly becomes a loser — you fight that all day long, so people who do the opposite of you tend to get on your nerves. Seeing kids watching TV, playing around, eating crap — as an adult you’re like, “I know what works and what doesn’t work.” But I don’t tell anyone else what to do.
I see myself as the interpreter of my situation — I honestly believe I could drink battery acid and I’d still be healthy. So why do I eat chicken and veggies to get the same result? Well, because I‘ve conditioned myself to believe that’s what works. I believed my mentor, John Parillo, 100 percent till I got the result. If someone threw me in Alaska, and whale blubber and snow was the only thing I had to eat, I’d find some sort of combination that I could consume in order to get the same result. But I’d have to change my philosophy first.