Ray Lewis’ offseason workouts during his 17-year playing career were legendary. The future NFL Hall of Famer often put in three different grueling training sessions almost every day each summer in order to get his body into prime shape for an upcoming season.
Now that the 39-year-old former Baltimore Ravens linebacker has settled into part-time work as an ESPN NFL analyst, you’d think he’d take it a little easier when it comes to his fitness routine.
“I actually go a little harder now that I am done,” Lewis told For The Win. “I have so much time to just focus on the little things, right? A lot of times when I was doing it when I was playing, I was doing it for durability to stay around and to stay more flexible and doing different things to stay bulky so that when you get into November, December, January you can be able to take on those hits. Now I’ve started cycling very heavy. I’ll cycle 30, 40, sometimes up to 70 or 80 miles a day. Cycling is my big thing. Weights is three times a week. Abs is every other day, if not every day. I’m still doing almost two or three [workouts] a day. The stress of it is gone now because I was always training for something. Now I’m just training to make sure I keep my body healthy.”
Lewis started heavily incorporating cycling into his routine during his final two seasons with the Ravens, hoping that leaning out would allow him to regain some of the sideline to sideline speed that no longer came as easily as earlier in his career. Lewis, who is currently promoting Juvent, a new fitness recovery product, now belongs to cycling groups in Baltimore, South Florida and Los Angeles.
Now in his second season on ESPN, the famously intense Lewis says that he’s actually enjoying being able to relax off the field.
“I never saw this side of life,” Lewis said. “Since 15 years old, it’s always been the grind. It’s always been work, work, work, work, work. Now I get to actually appreciate that the stress is not on my mind anymore to always figure out a play, figure out this, figure out that. Now I’m just spending time with my kids, going to their games and track meets. My daughter dances. I’m enjoying every second of it.”
While Lewis didn’t want to get into the challenge that came with having to address his former teammate and close friend Ray Rice’s situation on Monday Night Countdown last month in this conversation with For The Win (“That’s a totally different conversation. I’m in a totally different place with my mindset to have this conversation”), he did shed light on one of the lessons he’s learned between his first two seasons as a broadcaster.
“I just learned to realistically be myself totally. What I’m speaking about, it’s not like it’s rocket science, it’s what I’ve done my whole life,” Lewis said. “One thing I have to be careful with even watching the games is where I’m critiquing it from my standpoint and my level. Sometimes you can’t do that. Sometimes you really just have to critique it for if they can do it or if they can’t do it. What you see or what you don’t see. I just told Steve Young this before we went on set. I was like, “Bro, something I learned from year one to year two is everything the way I see it, I can’t hold everybody else to that same standard.”car, game, sports, today