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Working Out With Sugar Ray Leonard

The boxing champ shares his fitness philosophy and tips

How Sugar Stays in Shape

En español l This five-time boxing champ may be done in the ring. But at 58, Leonard still keeps fit in between motivational speeches, raising funds for juvenile diabetes and working on his Champ 5 Star fitness-gear collection. How does he do it? Try his strategies for staying in shape at 50-plus.

Michael Lewis


I didn't do weights back in the day, but I do now because you lose muscle mass as you get older. Nothing too heavy — 10 or 15 reps with a 30-pound weight, three to five times a week. It's good for your triceps and biceps. It creates definition. The speed bag, the little one, is a great workout for your arms, too, and it's good for working on hand-eye coordination.

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I don't like diets per se. It's more about moderation. We all stuff ourselves every now and then, whether it's at In-N-Out Burger or wherever. That's cool. We deserve that. But the next day you have to cut back. Leave the fries at the burger place, or eat the burger without the bun.

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I'm used to putting on a lot of clothes to run: my sweatpants, a T-shirt, a hoodie. When it's hot, my wife or kids will look at me and say, "Why are you wearing a sweatshirt?" I just like to bundle up. It feels good when I sweat.

Edith Held/Corbis


Life is a lot like boxing. You've got to do your roadwork, and when you get knocked down, you've got to get back up. But I listen to my body a lot more at this point than I did when I was in my 20s. If my body says, "Ray, we should quit," I stop.

Patrik Giardino


I skip rope in three, five-minute intervals, with rest periods of one minute or 30 seconds. The cardio benefits are tremendous. Jump light, imagining that hot coals are under each foot.

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I'll do 20 minutes on the elliptical and then walk on the treadmill for another 20 or 30. It's a lot easier on your joints than running. I can't run on the street because it bothers my knees — I have a little arthritis — so I run three or four miles on grass at least three or four times a week. I also play tennis once or twice a week. I used to play for three or four hours at a time. It was go, go, go. Now I play a couple of hours.

Blend Images/Getty Images

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