Javon Walker, who last played in the NFL for the Raiders in 2009, has entered into the bodybuilding world. The former Broncos and Packers receiver has been competing in contests for the National Physique Committee (NPC), an amateur bodybuilding organization. Walker placed first in the Men’s Physique Masters division of the NPC True Strength Classic this past September, and third in Men’s Physique Class F of the NPC National Championships in November.
“It’s a new challenge,” he said in an NPC interview at the National Championships. “I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for people who took their bodies to the next limit. Even in football, I was always one of those guys who took care of my body to perform day in and day out. After retiring and figuring out this world, it also helped me understand my body a little bit more. I wanted to compete and go through some of the trials and tribulations of what you guys go through with the weeks of preparation.”
Walker compared that prep work to NFL film study. “I’m Youtube’ing a lot of videos and trying to pick up a lot of the craft from the best,” he said. “To relate it to football, if I’m getting ready to play a game I’ll look at what Jerry Rice or Michael Irvin did on film.” He said he similarly picks up strategy from elite bodybuilders. (He also seemed to answer, incorrectly, that he’d won a Super Bowl ring.)
How does it differ from football training?
“This was the most hard, crucial grinding I’ve ever been through because you’re taking your body to another limit based off of diet,” he said in a video interview with Muscular Development Magazine. “You’ve never been tested willpower-wise until you’ve been tested by diet. In football, we could go out and perform — get yards, get numbers — but still get burgers and whatever we want to eat, and still compete at a high level. In the NPC’s physique and bodybuilding world, everything that you put into your body matters. You have to be really, really, really meticulous about that to have the best look onstage.”