CNN’s Chris Cuomo Is Very Jacked and Has Been Posting His Quarantine Workouts

The news anchor's motto is "the grind is the glory."

Something very important has escaped our attention for too long: Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor and presenter of Cuomo Prime Time, is jacked.

It came to the attention of a lot of people the first time the 49-year-old appeared in a t-shirt on CNN, reporting from a beach in Florida. It spurred a lot of headlines, like Buzzfeeds “People Are Thirsting Over CNN’s Chris Cuomo Wearing A T-Shirt While Reporting From Florida.” (They were.)

We didn’t quite notice it until Cuomo and his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, became (even more) important media fixtures during the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo has interviewed the governor on air almost every night as he shared important information about public health and safety, and most memorably, the two got into a habit of teasing each other and playing up a sibling rivalry. One of the best lines was the governor’s: “(Mom) said I was her favorite. The good news is she said you were her second favorite son.” The Washington Post called them “the comedy routine America needs right now.”

But we digress. Andrew Cuomo is jacked. 

chris cuomo jacked
via @chriscuomo on Instagram

Now, sadly, he recently tested positive for COVID-19 and has isolated himself in his basement. His brother lovingly declared, “He’s young, in good shape, strong — not as strong as he thinks — but he will be fine.”

And he is strong. 

A New York Times profile, “How Chris Cuomo Looks Buff Without Bodybuilding,” details his routine, which includes five minutes every morning of looking at a picture of his dad, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo (“it reminds me of why I’m doing what I’m doing”) and doing breathing exercises to improve his focus.

More relevantly, he likes CrossFit, and will sometimes post videos from EVF Performance CrossFit in Columbus Circle. Those include safety bar squats, 115-pound-per-hand farmer’s walks, and this pull-up progression.

View this post on Instagram

Many of you – especially the ladies – are asking me about pull-ups. Specifically, that they are too hard to do; that they are a man movement, etc. This is not true. I have seen many women go from doing none to whipping me in sets of 15. They are an excellent movement to build strength in the upper body, to build confidence and to tone arms and back (it is bikini and strapless dress season after all). This video was not shot well. Grrrr. BUT HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS: you can scale the movement and build up. The lowering I show you here is they key. You will build strength and increase the ability to do the concentric movement of pulling up. Take it slow and give yourself time. You can do it. I show you the different steps here. Yes you can use and assistive machine or bands but it is better to control your own mass if you can. Start elevated holding the bar and then fight the descent as shown. Progress from there as I demonstrate. Strong is the new skinny! Let me know your thoughts. #fitness #strong #girlpower #summer #hardwork

A post shared by Christopher C. Cuomo (@chrisccuomo) on

He explained in the Times profile,

With CrossFit, I got into it years ago. I believe in functional strength. I am fascinated with middle age and performance. I do no bodybuilding. I don’t believe in it. I only care about what my body can do. How it looks is of little value.

He also wrote a Men’s Health article about his experience with powerlifting, following Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program and learning all the ins and outs of form tips along the way.

Chris Cuomo’s Instagram Workouts

And now the show you’ve all been waiting for: the home workouts he’s been putting up on Instagram since the lockdown started. He managed seven before he received his diagnosis and isolated himself in his basement. We wouldn’t be surprised if he ill advisedly tries to work out down there (we do not advise working out with COVID-19) but we digress again, here are his workouts!

1. The Bodyweight Giant Sets

“The best ways to maximize fitness is to do things in a compressed interval.”

In this clearly-made-up-on-the-fly tri-set workout, Cuomo came up with:

  • Push-ups 
  • Static lunges
  • Mountain climbers

“How can you do this? Two different ways: break into sets, or, what I like: give yourself 30 seconds. How many push-ups in 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds. Static lunges on your left leg 30 seconds, rest. Switch legs, again. Mountain climbers 30 seconds. Repeat, do three of them.”

2. Enter Bands and Dumbbells

This one isn’t exactly a workout, it’s describing a few components of exercise (mostly time under tension and hip extension) and a few extra movements you can perform in 30-second circuits (like the one above) if you have resistance bands or dumbbells lying around. They are  

  • Lateral raises
  • Lunge to standing with a dumbbell (as a substitute for the less accessible Turkish get-up)
  • Burpees

“You’ve got to commit every day to doing something to get you through this,” he says. “Working out is one way to keep some kind of normal, keep some kind of sanity, remind us we’re all in it together.”

3. Leg Day

Grab a weight for a leg day workout:

  • Goblet squats
  • Bulgarian Split Squats
  • Deadlifts

Three sets each of “whatever you want to do with that.” (He did 10.)

More importantly, he says, try to do something. “We’ve got a long way to go. We ain’t seen nothing yet. We’ll get through it: positive mind, positive heart, positive attitude, and do positive things as often as you can.”

4. Cardio

At a private beach (he’s not in public, guys), Cuomo comes up with:

  • 1 x burpee
  • 1 x 80-yard run
  • 2 x burpees
  • 2 x 80-yard runs

And repeat all the way up to 10.

5. The Throughout the Day Workout

After wiping down everything they were going to touch and promising to stay away from each other throughout the workout, Cuomo and Ed Cashin of Truth Training plan this mini workout of 2 or 3 reps each that you can do throughout the day to stay active:

  • A “surrender,” a lunge pattern with external rotation. You drop to the ground, move your front foot back under the body with your other leg, then bring that other leg out to your front and lunge back up.
  • Push-ups, but extra slow and controlled. 
  • “Gate swing,” a squat pattern where the legs start in the middle, you jump them out to the side and drop into an wide stance air squat.

Then Cuomo thanks Cashin for inviting him to the gym and giving him some fish. “He doesn’t have to hug me with his arms to hug me with his heart.”

6. The Better-Every-Time

Another workout to do throughout your day, with a mind toward improving throughout your quarantine.

Three times a day, start with whatever you can do, let’s say

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 air squats
  • 10 sit-ups

Add 5 reps every time you do that, so by the end of the day you’re hitting 20 each. The next day start with 5 more than whatever you did the day before. (In this case, 15 reps of each.)

Then he suggests some pull-up progressions for folks who can’t do them, like jumping pull-ups and slow eccentrics.

“It’s all about, right now, focusing on something other than not being able to do what normally we want to do. In terms of workouts, it’s all about variability: so the more you’re changing it the less boring it’ll get, the easier it’ll get, the more you’ll see in yourself.”

7. The Last Beach Workout

It goes like this:

  • 10 push-ups slowly
  • 40 mountain climbers quickly
  • A quick 15-20 pace run.

“Together, as ever, as one.”

Our summaries may have seemed short, but that’s because Cuomo spent a significant amount of time walking through correct form and substitutions for folks who aren’t mobile or strong enough to perform the moves as prescribed — he has a serious knack for this.

We were sorry to hear about his diagnosis and wholeheartedly wish him a speedy recovery.

Featured image via @chriscuomo on Instagram

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. At BarBend his writing more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

1 thought on “CNN’s Chris Cuomo Is Very Jacked and Has Been Posting His Quarantine Workouts”

  1. Not taking anything away from the guy for being in great shape, but when he says, “I only care about what my body can do. How it looks is of little value,” my question would be, “Why are you shaving your arms and chest if you don’t care how you look?”

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