By Danni Levy
Chef Andre Rush shot to fame in 2018 after a picture surfaced of the White House cook prepping for Donald Trump. His phenomenal 24-inch biceps sent tweeters wild, but the modest talent from Mississippi has more than just brawn to shout about.
“I only sleep for two hours; I’m one of those exceptions to the rule.”
His military mindset evident, prolific chef Rush has second-to-none grit and determination that sees him perform 2,222 push-ups every single day.
“I usually go to bed at 1 am and wake at 3 am to mediate” begins Chef Rush as he begins to explain his superhuman schedule. “Then I start my 2,222 push-ups. I only sleep for two hours; I’m one of those exceptions to the rule.
“I traveled the world and served on the frontline, but perhaps most importantly to me, I was the chef”
“At 19, I enrolled in the Army. I traveled the world and served on the frontline, but perhaps most importantly to me, I was the chef” he says. “I functioned in a kitchen with no water or facilities and crossed war zones to source the ingredients. Mostly, people thought I was mad! My seniors would tease me for being the big muscular guy with a passion for cooking, but I didn’t let their comments affect me.”
“I functioned in a kitchen with no water or facilities and crossed war zones to source the ingredients.”
After competing with USACAT (the United States Army Culinary Arts Team), the talented big guy with an unlikely flair for food went on to win numerous medals and became highly celebrated in the field.
“A lot of people in the military didn’t like me being notarized for my cooking, but as always I carried on doing my thing and didn’t let that penetrate my passion.”
“The reason I do 2,222 push-ups is because an estimated 22 military veterans commit suicide every single day”
Veteran master sergeant Chef Rush served for a total of 23 years in the US Army, before making an exit in 2017. He officially retired last year and now works to mentor and inspire hundreds of thousands of adults and children around the world.
“The reason I do 2,222 push-ups is because an estimated 22 military veterans commit suicide every single day,” he explains. “I wanted to do something not only to support their cause, but also to raise awareness for both adults and children suffering in other ways. 22 push-ups just weren’t enough!
“When you serve as a sergeant in the military, you give orders to dozens of people every single day. You get used to the power and you become institutionalized. When you leave that world, transitioning back into civilian society is an overwhelming challenge. You feel disconnected and out of touch. It can be an incredibly dark and lonely time.”
Andre boasts an impressive athletic resume, having been heavily involved in sport since his early years.
“In my small town we didn’t have gyms,” he explains. “But I was naturally strong and could lift 315 pounds as a 13-year-old!
“Arnold Schwarzenegger’s encyclopedia became my bible. Back then I just stared in awe at the pictures and tried to copy the moves as best I could. I later began to research and understand my own body to make that mind to muscle connection and that’s when things really started to happen!”
Weighing in at 270 pounds, I was curious to know what the 6-foot heavy hitter ate on a day-to-day basis to maintain such an impressive stature.
“I put back around 10,000 calories a day,” Andre reveals. “I eat three whole chickens a day and love to flavor them with caramelized garlic and fresh herbs. Chicken is such a versatile food. I’ve cooked for kings, queens, presidents, dignitaries, military personnel, the homeless, celebrities and kids, but regardless, cooking is a cure and it’s all in the love” he explains.
“Even when I prep food for bodybuilders who are on a grueling cutting plan, I still make the food delicious.”
When he’s not cooking for kings, doing push-ups for charity, or mentoring thousands of people via live webinars, Andre still makes time to train! It had definitely become apparent to me that any more than two hours sleep a night would simply not agree with his schedule!
“My 2,222 push-ups take me about an hour, but my gym sessions make them look like a warm-up,” Andre jokes.
“I implement the 72-hour rule and give each body part adequate rest time, but when I hit a muscle, I hit it hard! I usually try to train a major, minor, and intermediate muscle group each session. For example, chest, triceps, and traps. Right now, I’m bulking. In the last two days I already gained six pounds of solid muscle and I’ll probably pack on a further 20 over the next month. Genetically I gain easily, but you have to eat right and train consistently otherwise you’ve no chance.
“When I cook for people, I always give them nutritional advice and blood work is the first thing anyone should do if they truly want to get to know their body. You have to eat for your blood type and workout like a maniac and the results will follow. I go high reps, high weight for muscle memory, growth, and longevity.”
In the mood for food? We have two exclusive recipes from the Whitehouse wonder-