Take one look at me and you’ll automatically see that I do not belong on an NFL roster. In ~ 5’8″ and 175 pounds, possibly I can pass because that a wide receiver or a protective back—if ns were significantly faster, had an ext fluid hips and could change direction in a tenth that a second. And yet, end the previous decade, I’ve settled with a who’s that of NFL stars, consisting of Dwight Freeney, Terrell Suggs, attracted Brees, LaDainian Tomlinson and also Larry Fitzgerald.

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I collection these workouts favor badges that honor. I invest as much time trying to make it through as I carry out learning, watching and understanding what enables these remarkable athletes to push their bodies past all limits so they can compete and also entertain us all top top Sundays.

Which is why it was a great honor to add one the my favourite players to mine workout hall of call this summer: Clay Matthews.

If you’ve watched Matthews on the field (as a diehard bear fan, I’ve watched him squash my team’s wishes all also often), you’re conscious of his success, which started with a strong rookie season. Yet it’s his imposing presence—which matches his performance—that provides him one of those freak-type athletes who show up superhuman. And after training with Clay, I can confirm: the male is superhuman.

We worked out together at ProActive sports Performance in Westlake Village, Calif., whereby Clay works with trainer Ryan Capretta. While i gasped for air and watched Clay press 140-pound dumbbells through ease, ns learned a couple of things around the green Bay Packers’ pro Bowl linebacker. Highlights of my interview follow:

On his off-season training program

“After the season, i take a couple of weeks turn off to assist me physically and also mentally conquer the rigors the the season. Losing is never ever a funny deal, so friend take part time off and also hopefully acquire away a tiny bit come re-focus top top coming ago for following year set brand-new goals for what you desire to accomplish. For me that been very much the exact same off-season—working out, dedicating myself to the weight room and field work in the wishes of bettering mine game.”

On his an individual goals this off-season

“My personal goals are always to boost upon my video game from the year before; to enhance statistically—sacks, tackles because that loss, interceptions, whatever it is. In ~ the exact same time, I shot to far better myself as an all-around player—being a leader, being much more vocal and making big-time plays come really do an affect on the field.”

On studying the video game vs. Working out in the off-season

“It’s expertise where i am in my career and where I need to be together a leader, particularly with the turnover we’ve had in green Bay. Fortunately with my brand-new contract extension, the coaches and also organization have shown that they believe in me in gift a leader and leading this defense. Currently it’s time to continue to raise the bar and also continue to do plays the end there even more so and also be an ext vocal and also be a leader.”

On functioning to obtain even better after 2 All-Pro selections and four pro Bowls

“It’s a commonly asked question: ‘How perform you remain hungry?’ It’s no just around the separation, personal, instance accolades. Fortunately for me I had the ability to win a Super bowl in my second year, and it’s to be a blessing and a curse: a blessing in that I’ve to be able to achieve the ultimate score in football at an early part of mine career, however at the exact same time, every time friend don’t do the supervisor Bowl, you shed in the playoffs or don’t do the playoffs, the a disappointed of a season. For me, that working towards the ultimate goal of winning another Super Bowl and along the means trying to outdo myself from years prior. In 2010, i was runner-up for MVP, so perhaps it’s winning MVP. It’s constantly trying to discover things to work toward.”


The writer (left) with Clay Matthews in ~ ProActive sporting activities Performance in Westlake Village, Calif.

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On a usual day in the off-season

“I work out 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday, v Sunday gift my work off. Mine days consist of every little thing from ar work to gift in the load room, mixing in yoga and also pilates, boxing and sometimes MMA. We’re always mixing that up. We’re always developing our craft and improving upon our training technique.

“I always start off the day with a huge breakfast—eggs, bacon, oatmeal, fruit. In between workouts, I’ll have a snack, even if it is that is composed of some type of fruit, cottage cheese, nuts, Muscle Milk bar or Muscle Milk shake. I obtain lunch virtually immediately complying with to refuel mine body. I try to eat 6 meals a day—breakfast, lunch and also dinner through snacks in between, which appears to be a great recipe for what ns ask of my body during training sessions.”

On counting calories matches doing what feeling right?

“I sort of perform what feels right; you sort of know what’s great and poor for you. I shot and continue to be away indigenous the fast food, as well soda and also candy, yet at the same time, I’m not going to sit here and say that i count calories once I walk to the store. I shot and eat what is deemed healthy or what i perceive to it is in healthy.”

On his favorite workout or sport of a workout

“My favorite day is Saturday, whereby I’m simply in the gym. Yet I understand that there’s therefore much more than simply being in the gym and lifting weights—whether it’s field work, functioning on mine explosion, happen rush, an altering direction—or working on mine core, glutes and flexibility through yoga and pilates. Boxing and also MMA aid to job-related on my hips, full body, feet and also my hands, which correlate directly with gift a pass rusher. They’re every so beneficial, yet I think every soccer player loves being in the weight room.”

On Yoga. Carry out you stay yoga pants when you do yoga?

“Ha! ns don’t undertake yoga pants—I just wear what I usually train in, i m sorry is simply shorts and a T-shirt.”

On his feeling about the team coming into the season

“I always feel good about ours team, especially with the players we have: maybe the finest QB in the league and a an excellent offense that has broken many records. Our defense has shown that we have the capacity to it is in a peak 5 defense, and also over the past four years that I’ve been there, we’ve made the playoffs each and also every year. It’s about winning games when the counts, and that’s obviously in the playoffs. Obtaining there is one battle. As soon as we’re there, that’s once we really need to make it count. Unfortunately, the last 2 years us haven’t been able to perform that. We have actually a renewed emphasis on what we’re trying come accomplish, a younger team that’s becoming more mature. Ns think we drafted really well this previous year. We constantly feel good, however it’s around winning when it counts.”

Clay Matthews’ Workout

This practice is perform as directly sets, an interpretation you do one collection of every exercise, relaxing as tiny as possible before moving on come the following movement.

Upper body

Partner Push-Up through Hand Slaps: 7 per sideStanding Bodyweight external Rotation: 20 repsBarbell Bench press (increase weight): 12-15 repsBarbell Bench (increase weight): 12-15Machine heat (increase weight): 12-15Chain Push-Ups: come failureReach Row: 12 repsDumbbell Close fixed Bench: 12-15Dumbbell Biceps Curl: 12-15Dumbbell Close tight Bench: 12-15

Lower body

Slosh pipe Step-Up: 10 every legSlosh pipe Lateral Step-Up: 10 every legSwiss sphere Leg Curl: 12 repsLateral Lunge into 1-Leg Balance: 8 every legReverse Lunge and also Kick: 8 every leg