Interviews

George Foreman Talks Training and Comebacks

The two-time heavyweight champ, entrepreneur, and ‘Better Late Than Never’ star on jogging on fairways, pumping iron, and his secret power food.

George Foreman Talks Training and Comebacks
Neil Leifer / Getty

SHOE-IN

We were filming Better Late Than Never in China a couple of years ago. We had to walk everywhere. And I almost didn’t make it. So when I got back to the U.S., I started doing everything I could to find a comfortable shoe. Finally I met this researcher from Stanford. He had come up with a shoe that corrects problems—like arthritis and joint pain—and I needed correction. That’s the story of the George Foreman Collection. I found that shoe, and I’m a comfortable man again. I walk everywhere I want.

HOME TRAINING

I have a 3,000-square-foot gym in my house. I have a treadmill, stationary bicycles, punching bags, all kinds of weightlifting equipment. And so I work out all the time. It’s a way of life for me. My life is built around exercise. Sometimes I’m up at two or three in the morning, exercising.

PEPPER POWER

I’m crazy about peppers. All sorts of them. Bell peppers, green peppers, all colors of peppers, even jalapeño peppers. I love that. You’ve got to eat a lot of vegetables as the years go by. You’ve got to start depending on them. I’m not too interested in a whole lot of animal fat anymore. It’s there for me, and I couldn’t live without it, but I’m telling you, vegetables, they repair your stomach. They keep you fit. I’m never sick. Never sick!

MORNING JOG

In the early days, like when I was preparing to fight Ali, I’d start training early in the morning. You had to find a golf course—that’s where all the good grass is—so you wouldn’t hurt your legs running on concrete. I’d run on the golf course for about three miles. Then a quick breakfast, then into the gym for an hour and a half of training—sparring, bag punching, speed bag, skipping rope. Then in the evening, just cool out.

GETTING STRONGER

When I made the comeback when I was almost 40, I had to put in three times more training than I did when I was younger. I’d punch in like a guy going to work—maybe six in the morning—and punch out about eight at night. I’d have these sessions where I’d work on nothing but the punching bag. That would last 10 to 12 rounds. Then skip rope, then weightlifting. Then sparring and wood chopping and hole digging. As you get older, you got to be trickier. Guys would extend me beyond five or six rounds. I’d always end up going 12 rounds. So I had to be stronger.

IRON ASSIST

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, I didn’t touch weights. I became heavyweight champ of the world, and it was strictly taboo. No weightlifting—nothing but traditional boxing workouts. But when I came back after 10 years off, I was always hurting myself. So weightlifting served as a kind of rehab for me. It started being part of my workout the second time around.

FOREVER YOUNG

My advice for staying young? Stay active. I never want to go back in years. I just want to move forward. I’m looking forward to seeing my grandkids go to college now.

KEEP MOVING

The treadmill is still pound for pound the best piece of equipment that I’ve ever invested in. These days, I’m not running on it. I just take long walks. There comes a point in life where you don’t have to run, you know? Nobody’s going to hurt you.

CHECK IT OUT: The George Foreman Collection by Footworks is available at footsmart.com.

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