On June 3rd, 2016, the world lost a legend, philosopher, poet, philanthropist, and boxer. Muhammad Ali soared to the greatest heights of boxing success, the only fighter to ever win the heavyweight title 3 times.
But he transcended the role of the fighter and became an icon of peace, refusing to fight in a war he deemed unjust. Samir Becic, himself a former boxer, said this about the former champion: “Muhammad Ali was ‘the greatest’ not just because be was an accomplished athlete, but because he was a great man and a visionary.” Read below for the top 10 health and fitness tips from Muhammad Ali.
Outwork Your Opponents:
Ali’s longtime trainer Angelo Dundee said that he never once had to ask Muhammad to come to the gym and he was the first guy in the gym and the last one to leave. Ali would train 6 days a week, with only one rest day, which he would take to give his body a rest and clear his mind. Muhammad Ali would say “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”
Get Extra Workouts When You Can:
Muhammad Ali would often run from his apartment to the 5th street gym and back to and from his workouts. This was around 7 miles, which was easy for him because he loved running. He believed training hard was paramount to his success “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses—behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Eat Balanced and Healthy:
His diet consisted of a healthy mix of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, and potatoes. His regular breakfast consisted of eggs, toast, and orange juice. He would keep himself hydrated by drinking fresh fruit juices and plenty of water.
Learn From Your Mistakes:
Ali wisely said “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” He also advocated using defeats as inspiration for the future and building success from there “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”
Surround Yourself With Good Friends:
Social contact and love are the foundations of a healthy lifestyle, and Muhammad Ali forged many strong, true friendships throughout his life. He was a loyal man who didn’t care where you came from, what you looked like, or what God you prayed to; if you were his friend, he trusted you: “Friendship … is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
Above all else, you need to always believe in yourself and what you can accomplish. Confidence is never something Ali lacked, as it can be heard weaved into all his poetic soundbites over the decades. He was, however, right- success begins in the mind and self-defeating mentalities rarely have good outcomes. He admitted in an interview “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life” stated Ali. And he was right. Life is full of decisions and uncertainties, but with confidence, the hardest risks can often lead to the most success.
Always Dig Deeper, Push Yourself:
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill” Ali ate and breathed this motto. In fact, in an interview he was once asked how many sit-ups he did in training, to which he answered that he didn’t know because he keeps doing them until past the point they hurt, because that’s when his body really begins working.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth” wasn’t just something Muhammad Ali said, it was a motto he lived by. Upon retiring from the ring in 1981, he devoted his life to helping others through promoting world peace, civil rights, cross-cultural understanding, interfaith relations, humanitarianism, hunger relief, and the commonality of basic human values. He made goodwill missions across the globe, provided over 232 millions meals to the hungry, and opened an education center in his hometown in Kentucky. The list of his charitable contributions is almost innumerable. Ali once said, “I’ve always wanted to be more than just a boxer. More than just the three-time heavyweight champion. I wanted to use my fame, and this face that everyone knows so well, to help uplift and inspire people around the world.”
There’s No Such Things As Impossible:
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” He also famously said “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it.” So go ahead, in honor of The Greatest of All Time, conceive a dream, and go on and achieve, nothing is stopping you!