Why Harry Shum Jr. Doesn’t Give 100 Percent in the Gym

Vanessa Etienne
·2 min read

From Men's Health

Harry Shum Jr. is a man of many hats. He's known for his acting on Glee, dancing in Step Up, and taking on lead roles in films like All My Life. So, it’s no surprise that he has to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep up with it all. Men’s Health recently caught up with the Costa Rican-born actor in his Los Angeles home to get an inside look at his gym and fridge to discuss how he stays in shape–and why restraint is key for his sanity.

The 38-year-old does pretty well with keeping a clean diet. Some essentials you can find in his fridge: oat milk, berries, coconut milk yogurt alternative, Dave’s Killer Bread, and vegan kimchi. Although, he does admit that he has some strange (but still relatively healthy) eating habits—like snacking on spring mix salad just like a bag of chips, eating frozen bananas for the ice cream-like texture, or turning to sardines for comfort food.

“I would never say no to any food unless there’s so many preservatives and it’s just like fake food,” said Shum. “I like to eat real food as long as it’s good and done in moderation.”

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

When it comes to staying fit, Shum works out about four or five times a week in what he calls his “sanctuary” of a home gym, always starting off with 10 minutes of meditation before his strength training. You’ll only catch him doing an intense workout about once or twice a week though. On those days, he’s working up a sweat until he literally can’t lift anymore.

“When I was in my twenties and even my teens, I worked out way too hard and worked out to impress,” he said. “Now, I’m just doing it for myself and my health and not pushing myself 100% because nobody’s got time for that.”

Shum's philosophy is: He works out to eat. He makes sure to get in his reps of cardio so he can order his favorite burger at In-N-Out. Shum has a personal trainer when working for movies or TV shows but takes their tips and incorporates them when he's grinding in the gym on his own to ensure his body is always ready for anything.

“As an actor, you might have to get super skinny or gain a lot of weight," he said. "So, maintaining and just keeping a point where I can go one way or the other is my goal right now.”

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