Adam Richman Did More Than Just Eat On Man V. Food - Exclusive

Adam Richman managed to stomach nearly 60 oversized food challenges during his time hosting Man v. Food, and the audience just kept coming back for more. Apparently, there was something inexplicably mesmerizing about watching a grown man guzzle down inhuman amounts of (usually unhealthy) food. And it seems like there still as, as the show lives on today with a new host

But true fans of the show know from watching all those episodes that Adam Richman did a lot more than just dominate food challenges on Man v. Food. Viewers saw him explore new cities, try exciting (and normal sized) cuisine from local restaurants, work out, and dress up in some hilarious outfits, among other things — it was all part of the Man v. Food magic. For former host Richman, the show was definitely about so much more than the food, and he recently shared all the details with Mashed in an exclusive interview.

Adam Richman changed Man v. Food in two big ways

There was some distinct flare Adam Richman added to his seasons of Man v. Food. Those scenes of Richman taking a yoga class or doing another workout, for example, were all thanks to Richman's own unique approach to the show. And those silly Q&A sessions at the end of each episode? Those could be credited to him as well. 

Richman told Mashed  "I had added the idea of a training montage and a press conference at the end. These are my contributions to the canon." Richman says it was all about playing up the concept of overcoming challenges, adding "I guess it was the idea of creating a pageantry around it commensurate with an athletic event." And honestly, we think consuming a 72-pound steak, or four-pound burrito in one sitting could definitely be considered some sort of athletic feat.

Adam Richman did almost as much exercise as he did eating on Man v. Food

Working out was a major part of the Man v. Food process for Adam Richman, both on and off camera. The host says more than anything this was about staying healthy and being as prepared as possible for the onslaught he was about to put his body through. Richman had to get creative sometimes too, telling Mashed, "I remember being in the hotel rooms and putting phone books and shoes and stuff into my suitcase and doing shoulder bloated squats, and doing those suicide sprints in the parking lots outside of hotels... just to try to get my metabolism up."

Richman also admits that sometimes the workouts were as big of a challenge as the eating that came afterwards. He recalls the New York City episode from season one (via IMDb). The host visited Sylvia's soul food restaurant in Harlem before later taking on the hottest curry in the country at Brick Lane Curry House. "So I'm eating ribs and chicken and mac and cheese and collards. And then naturally after having soul food, everyone's like, 'Oh! Hot yoga, that's what I want to do.'" As if that wasn't intense enough, Richman says it kept getting worse. "I feel the grease. And I have makeup on... and [there] was this very serious teacher who's like, 'Adam, you're throwing off everyone behind you.'" Sounds like a miserable experience... but it certainly was fun to watch.

Man v. Food was cheesy by design

Of course, Adam Richman admits that eventually the training he did on Man v. Food wasn't just about physical fitness and prepping for challenges, but the entertainment factor as well. "A lot of it was very schmaltzy," he says. Richman remembered a hot wing challenge he did in Pittsburgh. To prep, Richman says, "The idea was I was trying to get cold. So they had people pouring ice on me. They had me in the freezer of a restaurant, undressed in the freezer." He also recalled, "there was a rock and roll themed challenge where you had to win a guitar. So the idea was I got to perform like a rock star. I got to, for this challenge in Austin, Texas, to dress like a cowboy. And I'm shooting condiments at the tacos."

So what was the point of all this? Richman put it this way. "Even though the train[ing] montages could be a little corny, they were just meant to make you laugh and add a little bit of separation, because the truth of the matter is at the end of the day, it's just the guy eating five pounds of chili or a five-pound burrito, or whatever else. How do you raise the stakes? How do you make that compelling? And the thing is to add a degree of pageantry and showmanship to it. That's what I was trying to do."

Watch Adam Richman explore food in a totally different way on the newest seasons of Modern Marvels and The Food That Built America, both airing now on the History Channel and streaming on