The Real-Life Diet of Pro Wrestler Hook, Who Bulked Up with Late-Night Steak
Last September, on an episode of All Elite Wrestling’s Dynamite, fan-favorite CM Punk went head-to-head with Team Taz in a promo battle. The match was a straightforward a good guy/bad guy argument to set up a later feud—but a throwaway comment from Punk unintentionally helped create one of the fastest rising stars in wrestling today. Punk made a mocking suggestion that Team Taz “send Hook” to fight on behalf of the faction. At that point, Hook hadn’t wrestled a single match. He’d yet to speak a word on television. His major contribution to the wrestling landscape was as a background character, a Gen-Z henchman mean-mugging to the camera while menacingly picking at a bag of potato chips.
Fans latched onto the “send Hook” comment, turning it into a meme that implied the young upstart, born Tyler Senerchia, was already bigger than the industry’s top stars. That momentum parlayed into live events, where Hook began receiving monster reactions for just kind of standing around. All of the sudden there was this interest and anticipation for his actual in-ring debut. And while fans had joked about his potential status as a killer—how good could a twenty-two-year-old rookie actually be?—when the first fight finally happened the wrestler over-delivered, showcasing speed, technical prowess, and judo-based offense.
Since his debut Hook has been on a roll, earning praise from wrestling greats like Chris Jehirco as well as pop culture mainstays like Action Bronson, who supplies the wrestler’s theme music. But his biggest supporter might still be Taz of Team Taz—the former ECW World Champion and current announcer for AEW—who just so happens to be Hook’s dad.
“I knew the buzz that was around him. I knew how popular he was getting with Team Taz even before the whole ‘Send Hook’ thing, and I thought it was all just so awesome. I’ve been so proud of everything he’s done,” Taz told me. “He’s always been extremely creative, extremely athletic and tough. And those are some of the main tools you need to succeed in the wrestling business…I can’t wait to see what he’s able to accomplish. And he’s just getting started.”
GQ caught up with Hook to talk about his rising career and the nutrition and fitness routine he uses to prepare for life in the squared circle.
GQ: What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
Hook: For the most part, I eat what I want, when I want. But I do that applying the knowledge I have from all the years of being an athlete and keeping my body in tune. It’s not like I’m just eating like McDonald’s every meal. I just kind of listen to my body and eat when my body says I’m hungry.
I have a fast metabolism. It’s very difficult for me to put weight on. So I’ll eat meals late at night. Lately, I’ve been having calorie-dense meals late at night to try to get more weight on.
I’ve never had that particular problem.
It’s just eating a lot of steak and rice. Tons of steak and rice late at night.
What about training?
Six days a week, I’m in the weight room. Lifting. Cardio. I’m in there for a few hours. It’s my favorite part of the day. It’s therapeutic for me. It’s difficult with travel sometimes but I also try and get in the ring two days a week.
I train mostly with a bodybuilding psychology. I base my workouts off of what I’m seeing in the mirror. Like Arnold said one time, you can carve yourself out of stone. If you know how to pinpoint spots that you want to hit and build up, then you can start to develop a certain aesthetic and look for yourself.
Before becoming a wrestler, you were on a lacrosse scholarship. Is there anything you learned during that time that informed your wrestling today?
When I was in high school, I started working with a private trainer and nutritionist. And they helped me immensely, teaching me the foundations of taking care of my body and getting in shape. They’d have me write out a daily meal log. They’d make sure I was getting enough calories in every meal, getting a proper balance of my macros, and making sure I was getting the right amount of meals every day to optimize my training. It was trying to stay informed about how all the stuff I put in my body helped my body develop. I don’t work with a trainer or nutritionist right now, but that’s because I spent years knowing what works for me. I know when I need to push or when I need to pull back.
You’ve been nicknamed “The Handsome Devil” in a business where people are paid to look good without a shirt. Does that keep you motivated to train?
I’m aware. But I’ve always had a passion for the gym and keeping myself in the shape that I want to be in. There haven’t been big changes for me now that I’ve been on TV.
Aside from the fact that your dad has had such a successful career with it, what drew you to the wrestling business? Why was this the thing you wanted to do?
I love all forms of creativity. I think in life you get a chance to design yourself. And once I realized how much creativity is applied in the world of pro wrestling, I felt I could really bring all my biggest passions together. Being an athlete, being a fighter, and being a creator. And, you know, kind of hybrid of both of those things.
You’ve quickly built a pretty intense connection with pro wrestling fans. How has that felt for you?
I still struggle to put it into words. It was such a surreal feeling. With all the hype that was built up before the debut, I definitely felt an intense amount of pressure. But I’ve been an athlete my entire life. I’ve had to deal with pressure before. So I didn’t feel scared. I felt ready to attack.
I want to be the AEW world champion. That’s it. That’s the goal. But outside of wrestling, I plan to delve into some other markets—design or artistic directing I also want to look at acting and modeling.