Matt Hardy's fitness mantra: 25 mins of stretching, hard cardio in intervals, and positivity
The WWE superstar had to train his body young and his mind robust to survive 26 years in the ring.
“Being slammed night after night, 250 to 300 nights a year, can be very hard on your body. So, after 26 years, I just try to keep all my muscles, ligaments and tendons strong. Instead of trying to gain muscle or mass, I work on staying in top athletic condition. I have a high-protein diet and stop eating around 10–11 pm. I try to fast through the morning and work out on an empty stomach. I’ll do hard cardio in intervals and make sure I have enough stamina for whenever I’m wrestling inside the ring. Stretching is something I utilise a lot more now because my body is tight from damaging it for so long and I have so much scar tissue in my body. I’ll focus on maybe one or two body parts a day but more for maintenance and conditioning as opposed to gaining size. For fun, I like bike riding – it’s great cardio.”
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“I’m the ultimate optimist, especially compared to my wife. I’m a big advocate of hope, faith and believing in yourself. Positivity is a huge asset in succeeding. A lot of the times what you project, what you believe you want to see is what you end up having. “I probably cultivated that positivity from my mother, who died of cancer. She left early but we were inspired by her. We were driven to achieve our dreams and once we did, it allowed me to understand that if you believe in yourself and work hard enough, you can achieve anything.”
“My mind has been pretty good this far, considering I’ve been an athlete in an aggressive sport for a long time. But I try to be proactive because when all is said and done, no one defeats Father Time. I take different supplements to sharpen my mind. I also spend time with my boys, playing or doing activities that they’ll be invested in. I feel like it helps me mentally to teach them. “In the mornings, I spend 20 to 25 minutes just stretching and trying to find zen in the way I breathe and let my body go. I don’t have a specific yoga program, but a lot of the stretches I’ve incorporated are yoga-like. In the ring, I’ll pick a song that feels comfortable and try to control my breathing to make sure that I can utilise as much energy as possible.”