A Winner Never Rests: Camilo Villegas' obsessive training regimen

Camilo Villegas, Workout
Nick Laham
CAPTAIN CRUNCH: Villegas rises every day at 6 a.m. for a two-hour, full-body workout.

Fitness remains central to that equilibrium. The gym, for Villegas, isn't just a fueling station but a refuge, a sanctuary from the near-constant distractions of his work life — what Villegas calls the "zoo of the PGA Tour." Rising early in the morning to reel off several hundred crunches as electronica pumps through his surround-sound system amounts to a kind of hardcore meditation. Hopping on the seat of his road bike, Villegas feels the mental clutter melt away. "It's something that lets me get away," Villegas says of cycling. "I just lock onto the wheel in front of me and don't lose it. That's the only thought that's going through my head."

Such single-mindedness lies at the heart of who Villegas is. The term "Type A" undersells his disposition. His bedroom closet is color-coded, his shirts arranged according to both hue and style. When he cooks, he cleans the dishes before he eats.

Villegas's younger brother, Manny, who followed Camilo to the University of Florida and is now struggling to follow him onto the PGA Tour, regards Camilo's bearing with a mix of wonder and admiration. "He's always been like that," Manny says. "I work out with him a fair amount. But we're very different. I like to work out like a normal human being."

Villegas's approach has helped earn him not only a superhero's nickname but also a place in pop culture as golf's buffed-out poster child. Late last year, he enhanced that reputation by appearing naked on the cover of a glossy magazine, splayed out in his famous Spider-Man pose: torso in plank position, one leg stretched behind him, the other bent and poised to spring.

"To be honest, I didn't even think twice when I was asked to do that," Villegas says of his Full Monty. "I've worked 10 years to get the body I have. I'm proud of what I've accomplished."

Glancing quickly at the picture, you might mistake Villegas for a photo-shopped teen idol. But images of him that you swear were airbrushed prove undoctored when you meet him face-to-face. He has the chiseled calves of a sprinter, and square-cut shoulders sloping toward a tapered waist. Bulging veins run down his biceps like tributaries in a topographical map.

With every tournament he enters, there are, of course, groupies. Predictably, People named him one of the country's "hottest bachelors," and little about his home suggests that the honor should not be his. Gym aside, there are few furnishings, and nothing perishable in the fridge. His garage is given over to a turbo Cayenne Porsche, a Mercedes CLK 63 and a white Chevy truck with the license plate, KMILO. A hot tub on the back deck spills into an infinity pool. At the end of a dock, two Jet Skis sit suspended above the currents, ready to be lowered, James Bond-style.

Yet if the house has a few hallmarks of a playboy's mansion, Villegas hardly leads the life of Hef. He rarely drinks. He's tucked in by 10 p.m. most nights. His idea of indulgence is a weakness for sweet potato fries, and he admits to "eating only half a cookie."

Inside his house, at the top of the stairs leading to the second floor, hangs a large framed photograph of the Rolling Stones. Among the faces gazing from it is the wizened, wrinkly visage of Keith Richards, a man who has known neither sacrifice nor regret — a better musician than role model.

"I try to live my life in moderation," Villegas says. "Except when I work out. Then I tend to go at it pretty hard."

He pauses, ponders. "The scary thing," he says, "is how quickly you lose it when you don't stay with it."

It's just another reminder, fixed into his psyche — like a slogan stenciled onto his wall.

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