Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74
Known worldwide as “The Greatest of All Time”, the first-ever three-time world heavyweight champion, former American boxer, Muhammad Ali, passed away in a Phoenix hospital surrounded by his family. The sporting icon was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties earlier this week which rapidly worsened and saw him placed on life support. After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease (progressive neurological condition), Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74 on friday evening (3rd June, 2016). A funeral service is planned in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. RIP MUHAMMAD ALI !
Ali’s life outside the ring was just as enchanting, and controversial, as his career inside it. Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay on Jan. 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, to middle-class parents, changed his name when he joined the Black Muslims. He started boxing when he was 12 and got retired in 1981 with a 56-5 record.
Ali’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s came about three years after he retired which hindered his voice and officially ended his career. Doctors said Ali’s Parkinson’s disease may have been triggered by the thousands of blows he took to his head during his career.
Ali famously thundered, “I am the greatest,” and stated he would, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Let’s have a sneak peek at his diet and workout.
“To be a champion, you’ll have to eat like a champion.”
In his heyday, Ali was like the king of the jungle. He ate healthy foods throughout his career. His breakfasts were always wholesome protein rich food with eggs, orange juice and toast being the staples. He ate chicken and steak as his main sources of protein. He ate green beans, potatoes and other vegetables to make sure he had the energy for his workouts. He also used to eat loads of fruits, fresh juices, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
He didn’t even drink or smoke. He believed, eating clean is absolutely essential if you ever expect to see or feel a difference in how your body looks and performs.
Muhammad Ali took his training and workouts very seriously. He worked as hard in the gym as any fighter of his era. During his prime, he would get up during 5 a.m. to do some light stretching before he ran his 6 miles. Ali hit the gym every afternoon for about 3 hours for training.
His typical gym workout used to start with a warm-up exercises for 15 minutes to work up a good perspiration prior to serious training. It included lots of stretching, torso swivels and jumping around on toes to limber up. He used to vary his routine but he did bicycle crunches, sit-ups with a medicine ball and leg raises as his primary exercises. These were some of his floor exercises which he used to do for 15 minutes. This was all apart from his boxing drills which included shadow boxing, hitting heavy bag, sparring etc.
Ali would finish off his workout/training with skipping (20 minutes). He always moved around while skipping, refused to stay in the same place.
He made sure he trained six days a week with one off day a week where he’d relax and ease his body and mind.
To your surprise, like most heavyweight boxers, Ali didn’t use weights to get ready for a fight yet he had a very ripped physique. Instead, he relied on calisthenics exercises, hitting the heavy bag and smart dieting. This just goes to show you that you can build muscle even without lifting weights. As long as there is some sort of resistance being placed on the muscle, your body will grow.
Knowing how he approached each ruthless session can pay big dividends for any fitness enthusiast, so here are his Motivational Moves :
- “Ali was known for his hardcore dedication,” says Justin Fortune, a boxing trainer, conditioning coach and former heavyweight contender. Fortune revealed, “He was never into taking the easy way out. Go hard or go home.” He enjoyed running, instead of taking public transportation, to the gym, which meant running a distance of about 11 kilometers. These sessions were carried out 3 to 4 times a week.
- In the words of Angelo Dundee, Ali’s longtime trainer,” he never had to ask him to come to the gym, he was there even before the gym opened. He was the first to arrive and the last to leave. He did the longest and hardest workouts.”
- In one of the interview, Ali was asked – “How many sit ups you do?” To which he replied – “I don’t know, I don’t count my sit ups. I start counting when it hurts and I feel pain, because those are what really count and makes you a champion.” His training, unlike the rest, had no specific length or certain number of sets. He trained until exhaustion.
The Greatest is gone but even in death his legacy burns on !
Tributes are flooding in from the worlds of music, acting and sports. All the celebrities have taken to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to pay tribute to the boxing legend with heartfelt posts, photos and memories.
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) June 4, 2016