Sistas' Devale Ellis On His Workout Routine During And After The NFL - Exclusive Interview

Whether you're a gym rat or prefer workouts you can do without leaving your home, there's no denying that a good workout can boost your mental health and your physical fortitude. Naturally, working out is also required in some career fields, such as professional sports and the entertainment industry, in which roles can require you to be very fit. (We're looking at you, Chris Evans.)

Sometimes, someone does both, and their workout routine evolves with their career. Enter: Devale Ellis, the former NFL player who now stars in "Tyler Perry's Sistas" and the upcoming spinoff "Zatima." During his NFL career, Ellis played for the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns as a wide receiver. Within the industry, he became known by the nickname "Show Time." Ironically, Ellis would go on to become a television star.

"Zatima was greenlit by BET+ and will be available to stream sometime in 2022. In an exclusive interview with our sister site The List, Ellis revealed not only what fans expect from "Zatima" but also why he's an advocate for sickle cell disease awareness and why he takes such good care of himself. He later spoke with Health Digest and detailed his current and former NFL workout routines.

Devale Ellis breaks down his current workout routine

What is your typical workout routine now?

My typical workout routine right now is very similar to the one I had in the NFL. I still train like a world-class athlete. Everything that I do is still based on speed because training like a track athlete allows me to remain lean, but still very defined and cut. I still want to be strong, but I want to be lean so that I don't look bulky. If I start to look like a bodybuilder on camera, it will become very limiting with roles, so I try to train like a sprinter.

I do more cardio and all of my training is more aerobic training as opposed to anaerobic. I do a lot of supersets now. So, for example, I'll do five sets of 20 on the bench and will superset it with 20 pullups as well. This allows me to be leaner and flexible. I work out seven days a week for 45 minutes a day and I am eating around five to six meals a day with a lot more vegetables and protein every three to four hours and drinking a ton of water. I am intentional about warm-ups and cool-downs with deep stretches and breaths to keep my body injury-free.

On how his current workout differs from his NFL workouts

How does your current workout differ from your former NFL workouts?

When I was in the NFL, it was all about heavy weights to gain weight. So, for example, I would do three to four heavy sets with five to six reps. I now do more reps with less weights. I was eating a lot more protein and lifting heavier weights. Now, I still do a lot of the explosive movements, but the biggest change is the volume of reps and weights.

When I was in the NFL, it was all performance-driven, so I was much more worried about how fast I could run and how high I could jump. Now as an entertainer, I am much more concerned about aesthetics — balance is most important for me now. I want my upper body to match my lower body. My body is no longer taking hits on the field, so I am able to focus more on the part of my body that didn't get much attention, such as my calves. In my line of work in the NFL, having big calves slowed you down. Now I want my calves to look much more aesthetically pleasing on camera to match the rest of my body.

Season 4 of BET's "Sistas" returns on Wednesday, June 29. "Zatima" is slated to premiere in 2022.