Interview with Ray Lewis

I interviewed Ray Lewis exclusively for Twinlab at the 2011 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH. This interview originally appeared on on 5/16/2011.

TL: What’s the one track you can always count on to get you amped in the gym?

RL: If I need to crank it I’m definitely going to go with In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins. And it’s not even just the drum solo! It’s more about the message and the way you use it. Ever since I was a child that song has always stuck with me. That’s one of them. It can be slow or it can be fast. I’m more of a mind person in the weight room. I just like to go. Whatever my beats are, they have to be able to keep up with me.

TL: You are known for your motivational locker room speeches. What are some of the things that you tell your team to get them fired up before a game?

RL: Most of the time what I share is real life experiences. The game will fade. We won’t keep up with the game. But what we go through as men will last a lifetime. Sometimes, when you’re in the course of the season, the next game is just the next game. But when you’re facing a team like the defending champs, that’s where you set your bar. And if they’re in our house, well, that is a totally different thought process. All of that combines in the moment. Everything heats up and here we go! My messages are different because they’re never rehearsed. They’re born in the moment.

TL: What’s the most valuable lesson that football has taught you?

RL: That teamwork is everything. There’s no “I” on the football field. We have a total commitment to each other when we’re out there. There is no doubt. It doesn’t matter. The wins and losses of the game don’t resonate with us. What resonates with us is “how much effort would you give for the man next to you.” So when we turn on the film, we’re saying, “Hey, he out-ran you to the ball,” and not, “Oh, you made a mistake!” You’re going to make mistakes. But we’re talking about effort.

TL: How do you feel about partnering up with Twinlab for your signature pre-workout intensity supplement, Power Fuel®?

RL: I just think it’s what was needed. Everyone is looking for that edge, whether it’s for gameday or for practice. And you have all these different products, but what really helps and what really works? I think people will react well to Power Fuel. There’s that old-school relationship saying, “We’ve always been with each other and we’ll always be with each other.” That’s what Twinlab and Ray Lewis is. So I think that when people see it – people who understand Twinlab and understand the longevity of my career – they’ll see that it meshes.

TL: What, in your opinion, has allowed you to enjoy such a long, successful career?

RL: It’s training, it’s diet, and it’s understanding the business better than the coach understands the business. That’s the meat of it. But the root of it is that I’ve never stopped loving the game since day one. If it were a job to me it would be very hard for me to get up in the morning. And why leave something that you can never come back to? Realistically, whether you accept it or not, you only get one wave in this journey. Run at it as hard as you can.

TL: What is your opinion on great players who wind their careers down by hopping from team to team all the way to retirement?

RL: I’ve always chased the game for a legacy. I’ve never chased the game for anything else. A championship is a team goal, not an individual goal. So when that day finally comes, it comes, but to go up and down like that, man, I love the game too much to do that. I’ve been playing in the league for 15 years now, and I’ve seen some of the greatest players get traded away and go to other teams and it’s just something that I could never see myself doing. I could never see myself putting on another color jersey.

TL: How has understanding your diet helped you achieve peak performance?

RL: I always look at it like a car. If you want your car to run properly, you’re going to give it the proper check-ups. You’re going to put the right gas in it. You’re going to check the heating system. You’re going to check the fuel line. And it’s the same thing with your body. What are you going to put in your car to keep it going? That’s what I try to tell young kids. I don’t care if you’re 12, 13 or 15 years younger than me; if you come to compete against me on game day, and you just came off a cheeseburger the night before, there’s no way you can whoop me. The only thing you can do is survive for a short time.

TL: What is your training philosophy?

RL: I deal with a lot of muscle confusion. In eleven years I have never done the same workout twice. I don’t train for sports. I’ve never trained for sports. I train for life, and sport is just a part of that. So when I start training, that’s lifestyle training and that’s why I go through so many things, whether it’s yoga, kickboxing, wrestling or swimming. June and July is when I do specified football drills. I go back to catching the ball a lot. I go back to the footwork drills. I get more technical. But when I train, there’s nothing that I leave out. I do it all.

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Amazing Races

By Dean Stattmann

Most people are content with regular workouts and the occasional run or bike ride. Maybe even a marathon or triathlon for some. But for others, that simply isn’t enough. It has to be an adventure. There needs to be a chance of failure. It’s got to be epic. Luckily, there are races out there that fit this description. So if you’re looking for a challenge, along with some serious bragging rights, read on for five of the most hardcore fitness challenges in the world.


Norseman Xtreme Triathlon

The description of this race alone will instantly scare off anyone less than half-serious about attempting it. “You will probably be cold, you will hate the hills, sometimes you will feel lonely and you will probably experience being unusually emotional during the weekend,” reads the Race Info section of the official Norseman website. “If you do the race, you will probably tell your friends afterwards that Norseman was more beautiful, demanding, personal, frightening and to reach the finish line was a greater victory and joy than any other race you have ever done.”

Winding through some of the most beautiful terrain Norway has to offer, the Norseman’s breathtaking course spans the distance of a typical Ironman triathlon – 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run. But that’s where the similarities between the two end. The Norseman is the world’s northernmost triathlon – taking place at the same latitude as Anchorage, AK – and ascends 16,404 feet, finishing at Mt. Gaustatoppen, 6,070 feet above sea level. Water temperature normally sits at around 60 degrees and air temperature ranges from 43 to 82 degrees. The race is limited to 240 competitors, about 160 of which typically finish at the top of the mountain before the remaining competitors are allowed to finish at a lower plateau.

And what’s the prize for finishing the self-proclaimed ”world’s toughest long-distance triathlon?” Nothing. Unless you count the free T-shirt. But that’s not why you race the Norseman.


The Empire Run Up

If you’re looking for the fastest way to the top, you’ll find the answer in New York City. Each February, hundreds of athletes crowd into the lobby of the Empire State Building for the annual Empire Run Up, a 1,250-foot vertical race to the top of the city’s tallest, most iconic skyscraper.

The average competitor takes between 17 and 20 minutes to sprint up the building’s 86 flights of stairs – a trip that typically takes less than a minute by elevator – to the observation deck, where finishers are greeted by a sweeping view of New York City.

The event has grown in popularity since 1978’s inaugural Run Up, won by Gary Muhrcke – also the winner of the inaugural New York City Marathon in 1970 – with a time of 12:33, and racers continue to scramble to beat event records that have been set over the years. Paul Crake of Australia set the current men’s record of 9:33 in 2003, while Andrea Mayr of Austria set the women’s record of 11:23 in 2006.

The current champion, Germany’s Thomas Dold, took the 2010 title to mark his fifth consecutive victory at the event. Think you can dethrone him? Step up!


Antarctic 100k Ultra Race

Most people will never complete a 100k in their lifetime, let alone trek to the South Pole to go the distance on ice against glacial winds. Then again, endurance athletes aren’t “most people.” And if the prospect of “The World’s Coldest 100” sounds appealing, then neither are you.

The Antarctic 100k Ultra Race begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, where competitors board a flight to the Union Glacier Camp in the interior of the Antarctic. It’s an eight-day experience in total, with five of those days spent in transit – a hefty commute, but the only option for those looking to complete a 100k on the continent.

On race day, competitors line up at the foot of the Ellsworth Mountains, 3,000 feet above sea level and just a few hundred miles from the South Pole. From there on, it’s 62.1 icy miles beneath a sun that never sets. Surrounded by ice, snow, mountains and some more ice and snow, competitors must endure an average wind chill temperature of -4 degrees with winds blowing consistently between 11 and 18 miles per hour.

It goes without saying that there won’t be crowds cheering you on, but just in case you were getting your hopes up about hurdling a penguin along the way, sadly the little guys don’t live this far south. It’s just you. And the ice.


Tough Mudder

A pain-free race is usually a sign of good preparation. But when you’re racing the Tough Mudder, no matter how hard you’ve trained, it’s going to hurt.

According to its official website, the Tough Mudder was born out of the need for “an event in America that tests toughness, fitness, strength, stamina and mental grit all in one place and all in one day.” Rest assured, that need has now been addressed.

With locations all over the country, and even some international events scheduled for 2012, the Tough Mudder attracts tough guys (and girls) in the thousands to its notoriously muddy courses that can span anywhere between seven and ten miles long and typically serve up around 20 obstacles. If these specs don’t seem all that specific, it’s because no two Mudders are exactly alike, and each event even comes with its own dreaded “mystery obstacles,” which are kept secret until race day.

So what makes the Mudder tougher than, say, a marathon? Sub-zero underwater tunnels, flaming bales of hay, 10,000-volt live wires and butter-greased monkey bars are just a few ways to answer that question. In fact, the Mudder is so extreme that it doesn’t even consider itself a race, but rather a challenge, and finish times aren’t recorded.

“At Tough Mudder, we want to test your all-around mettle, not just your ability to run in a straight line, on your own, for hours on end, getting bored out of your mind,” the site explains. Simply put, “fair weather runners should stay at home.”


Great Divide Race

After years of riding and months of dedicated training, you’re finally ready to take on the Great Divide Race, a solo adventure along the Continental Divide. You’ve taken three weeks off work. Your bike’s been serviced. Your gear is packed. You’re about to set out on the biggest adventure of your life.

Sprawled out over 2,490 majestic miles, the Great Divide Race is longer than the Tour de France. It’s a straight shot from Canada to Mexico, running through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, and serves up over 200,000 feet of climbing along the way.

The key word is solo. As the name suggests, the Great Divide Race is a race, but think of it more as a self-initiated trip. Riders are entirely responsible for all of their own food, drink, lodging and supplies. Accepting help from friends along the way is forbidden, a single cell phone call equals instant disqualification and don’t even think about bringing your GPS.

Previously, the route has been completed in as few as 15 days, and it’s a good idea to plan as much of your daily mileage beforehand as possible. Once you hit the road, your brain will be in no mood for math.

In reality, the organizers don’t really ‘organize’ very much other than a set of rules, a suggested start date and a listing of results. The rest is up to you, from finding a flat patch of ground on which to lay your sleeping bag at night to restocking food supplies in small towns along the way. It all depends on how real you want to make it. Either way, there’s no free T-shirt at the finish

Photo: Flickr: The Library of Congress
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Gym Jams


Whether you’re the type of person who won’t step into the gym without headphones, or you just enjoy a powerful motivational track before a workout, you’ll probably agree that the right music can be the difference between a good workout and a great one. Check out my top three tunes for each phase of your workout. No matter what your style – rock, hip-hop or electronic – I’ve got you covered. Some are new. Some are classics. All are awesome.



“Cochise” – Audioslave

“Ecstacy of Gold” – Metallica

“Into the Water” – Dethklok


“When They Come For Me” – Linkin Park

“Everybody Down” – Nonpoint

“Duality” – Slipknot


“Wolf Like Me” – TV on the Radio

“Elevation” – U2

“The Rat” – The Walkmen


“Rain Wizard” – Black Stone Cherry

“Rooster” – Alice in Chains

“We Live No More” – Black Label Society



“No Can Do” – Tech N9ne

“A Milli” – Lil Wayne

“Get Up” – 50 Cent 


“The Second Coming” – Juelz Santana

“Can’t Be Touched” – Roy Jones

“On to the Next One” – Jay-Z


“Run” – Gnarls Barkley

“Little Weapon” – Lupe Fiasco

“Till I Collapse” – Eminem


“Hell of a Life” – Kanye West

“What You Know” – T.I.

“Forever” – Drake



“Genesis” – Justice

“Imagine” – Armin Van Buuren

“Moar Ghosts n Stuff” – Deadmau5


“Bonkers” – Dizzee Rascal

“I’m in the House” – Steve Aoki

“E-Talking” – Soulwax


“Insomnia” – Faithless

“Kill Everybody” – Skrillex

“Hello Meow” – Squarepusher


“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” – Daft Punk

“Memories” – David Guetta

“Ratatat” – Lex

Photo: Flickr: alubavin
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Twinlab Featured in Event Marketer’s Event Industry Superbook 2011

Twinlab is featured in Event Marketer’s Event industry Superbook 2011 for our “Performance Beach” activation at AVP volleyball events last summer. Check it out.

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idea #3 – would you sell your birthday?

Gripping headline right? But seriously, would you? Here’s where I’m going with this…

Yesterday was my birthday. And as happens every year to most active Facebook users, those 24 hours brought in an ungodly amount of traffic to my Facebook page. Over 50 comments, more messages and probably a bunch more views. A virtual flash mob of like-minded, like-aged individuals all in one place. Sounds like a marketer’s dream, right?

So what would you do if Apple sent you a “Happy Birthday” package with an iPad and $200 iTunes Store credit in exchange for putting the apple logo in your profile picture for 24 hours? Maybe you send your profile pic to Apple and they insert it into a “Happy Birthday from Apple” template and return it to you to upload onto your page.

Is it worth it? Will your friends think less of you? Will you care (while you read their comments on your shiny new iPad)?

There’s another variation of this idea, and one that I’m surprised hasn’t been picked up.

Have you ever bought a Facebook ad? If you haven’t, it’s unreal. You can choose EXACTLY who will see it by using filters like age, interests, key words, etc., etc.. It’s stupidly easy to do and doesn’t cost much at all. The problem is that everyone does it.

So, imagine if for an additional fee you could partition a percentage of your ad credit for “Birthdays ads.” In other words, rather than your ad being seen all over Facebook by 25-year-old males who like soccer, it sets up camp on the profile of one popular 25-year-old male who likes soccer for the duration of his birthday.

Maybe there’s a pricing hierarchy based on the number of friends that a profile needs to have in order to be included in the campaign, like 1-1,000, 1,001-5,000 and so on.

Facebook already knows when all of our birthdays are. And with 500 million users I imagine there are more than a few birthdays each day.


UPDATE: Scrap that…

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the ufc’s arianny celeste talks fitness

by Dean Stattmann

This story originally appeared in the Dec/Jan 2011 issue of Men’s Fitness

Supplement Your Training
“I don’t like to take any crazy, unnatural supplements, but I do use glutamine. I put it in my protein shakes, and it really helps with muscle soreness.”

Give in to Temptation
“If you’re craving something, eat it. Otherwise, you’re going to eat something else that won’t satisfy you, and eventually you’ll eat what you craved anyway. Just don’t overdo it.

Get Back
“I’m definitely a butt girl. I like a guy to have some nice glutes, so he needs to squat and lunge. Muay Thai is also great for the butt—it’s a full-body workout. You can feel your abs and glutes work when you’re kicking. I train with guys, and I’ve definitely slapped a couple around!”

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Almost Identical

By Dean Stattmann

This story originally appeared in the Dec/Jan 2011 issue of Men’s Fitness.

Twins share everything, including genetics, of course. But that’s not always a good thing, especially if they also share being obese. Growing up, Justin and Jason Roberts were the same weight as most of their peers—but they were never overly athletic. As Justin reached high school, he’d visit the weight room sporadically, though he never liked cardio. That strategy caught up with him in college, where he (and his waist) fell victim to fast food and lots of soda. At one time, Justin was downing as much as 1,300 calories a day from sugary beverages alone.

After graduation, he found a job as a systems engineer working right alongside Jason, who had adopted many of the same bad habits and ballooned to 265 pounds—the exact same weight as Justin.

Long hours, a marriage, and three kids gradually replaced exercise in Justin’s life, but he wasn’t worried. “I used to feel that if my weight was ever going to pose a problem, I’d have to see it to believe it,” he remembers.

Soon, he saw it. In September 2009, Jason received bad news from his doctor. His weight had put him at risk for serious heart problems. The news jolted Justin even more than it did his brother. “I realized I really had to do something,” Justin says. “As twins with the same genes, I knew it was just a matter of time until I would develop the same conditions.”

The next day, Justin joined a local gym and began a three-day-a-week workoutprogram. His two-hour sessions were split between full-body lifts and—yes—cardio. In the kitchen, Justin was just as methodical, creating a 1,400- calorie-a-day meal plan with specific ratios of nutrients designed to maximize fat burning. “I went from eating 60% of my diet as carbs, 20% protein, and 20% as fat to 60% as protein and 20% as carbs,” he says. Once his new workout and diet were in place, he stuck with them religiously, vowing to never miss a session.

It worked. Today, Justin we ighs 190 pounds and couldn’t be more pleased. Well, yes, he could—if Jason were to follow his lead and get fit too. He hasn’t yet, but Justin hopes that just as his brother’s sobering health news scared him into getting in shape, his own new energy and confidence will inspire his own brother and his own children. “I’m trying really hard now to make sure that my kids grow up with a good, healthy lifestyle,” he says. “I’m trying to create the right habits for them, because I’ve never felt better or been happier than I am right now.”

Justin’s Tip: Value Your Health
“The one thing that you can’t buy in life is being healthy. Making that a priority in your life is worth more than any amount of money.”

Hometown: Indianapolis
Age: 33
Height: 6’2″
Weight Before: 265 lbs
Weight Now: 190 lbs

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