Mike Tyson is certainly one of the boxing’s greatest fighters.
Until recently, however, even those that religiously follow the world of 12-ounce gloves thought the former world champion had let himself go.
In fact, in a 2019 podcast, the then 52-year-old admitted “all that stuff [working out] reactivates my ego” and said he didn’t even go jogging anymore, let alone box.
Last weekend, however, Tyson posted a terrifying video to Instagram, suggesting he is now, at the age of 53, getting back into shape.
This was no casual shadow boxing either. If you can hear this rapid-fire smack of glove to pad without tightening your rectum, you’re a brave soul.
It appears everyone from The Rock to Muhammed Ali agrees. “My brother you got me ready to run thru a MF wall now. To the gym I go,” wrote The Rock.
“This is awesome! #GOAT” wrote Muhammed Ali.
“OH SHIT!!! Don’t get me excited about this!!! Mike Tyson is ready for 12 rounds right now,” wrote podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
The video shows Tyson – the youngest, scariest heavyweight world champion and the first heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles – destroying the pads with trainer Rafael Cordeiro.
This quickly went viral, helped by the fact that Tyson has said he could return to the ring in exhibitions to raise money for charity. The video has now been viewed more than nine million times.
“I’ve been working out, I’ve been trying to get in the ring, I think I’m going to box some exhibitions and get in shape,” Tyson said in an Instagram Live session.
“I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three or four-round exhibitions for some charities and stuff.”
“I do two hours on cardio, I do the bike and the treadmill for an hour, then I do some light weights, 300, 250 reps.”
“Then I start my day with the boxing thing, I go in there and hit the mitts, 30 minutes, 25 minutes, start getting in better condition.”
Beyond sparking rumours around who Tyson could fight, the workout also reveals the secret to getting back into shape – something we can all relate to in these times.
That secret? Having a sport (or exercise activity) you love. This is backed up by research which shows having an emotional, social or cultural connection with your activity of choice (i.e. having a sport you’re into, rather than just working out) greatly enhances the likelihood you will stick with it.
Frontiers: Science News cites a study which backs this idea up: “It’s an all too familiar story: Despite resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, or simply stay fit, it’s all too easy to fall off the exercise band wagon.”
“Studies estimate that up to 50% of gym members drop out within the first six months of a new exercise program. But why is it so hard to stay motivated?”
The article goes on to discuss Benjamin Wienke, the first author of a study published in Frontiers in Psychology and a doctoral student at Humboldt University in Berlin who interviewed a group of 24 men and women about their exercise habits, lifestyle, and their preferred activities, and found exercise enjoyment was a common factor amongst those that kept a regular routine.
“Interview responses revealed four major aspects that translated into the positive emotions that people associated with their sporting activities: perceived competence, perceived social interaction, novel experiences, and physical exertion.”
“Perceived competence – the sense of achievement, mastery, or winning – was at the top of the list for both men and women.
Next on the list, social interactions also ranked as one of the most enjoyable aspects of their activities, and this ranged from team sports to simply meeting friends at the gym,” (Frontiers: Science News).
“Participants additionally reported that they were motivated by the adventure of trying new activities as well as the reward of physical exertion. Several participants described the happy sense of being physically exhausted after their workouts and how this could help them distance themselves from the day-to-day worries of work and life.”
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