Interviewed by: Ben Tatar
(Iron Man Magazine featured. )
Brendon Ayanbadejo has just achieved every NFL great’s dream; he has won the Super Bowl with the 2013 Baltimore Ravens. Not only has Brendon won the Super Bowl, but he has been one of the best defensive outside linebackers and special team players in the NFL during the last decade. IM Magazine presents to you, Super Bowl champion Brendon Ayanbadejo
Ben Tatar: This is Ben Tatar, and today I’m here with 2013 Super Bowl Champion Brendon Ayanbadejo. Brendon, tell about us about your motivation, training and nutrition that has allowed you to be dominate in the NFL during the past decade?
Brendon Ayanbadejo: Training is a lifestyle for me. It’s something I do daily and up to 14 training sessions in a six day period. With extreme training, I have extreme nutritional needs. So along with building my body and conditioning my body, I keep myself limber through vinyasa yoga.
I also eat a completely natural diet which means no preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, hydrogenated oils or fake sugars. I also eat as much organically as much as possible. I have an extreme supplementation program which includes injectable aminos and supplements that are individually designed for my body’s deficiencies. The combination of these factors make my 36 actual age more like a 25 year old physical age.
Ben Tatar: Brendon, you’re one of the strongest and most athletic men in the NFL when it comes to physical challenges. How do you combine your athletic training with your bodybuilding training to be so great at NFL athletic challenges while looking like a bodybuilding champ?
Brendon Ayanbadejo: I love body building. I’m a vain person. At 14, I started lifting weights. I noticed my frame picked up muscle and strength very quickly. However, being an athlete, I needed to be fast, explosive, big, strong, agile, and all these other things.
So I incorporated functional training into my regiment at a young age. I was lucky to have great trainers in Santa Cruz California where I grew up who were so amazingly far ahead of the curve. Luckily 18 years later, everyone is now doing what I learned at 18, and I’ve mastered it. Functional training, along with bodybuilding, not only looks great but works extremely well!
Ben Tatar: Your NFL journey has been complete as you are now a Super Bowl champion! After you’re finished playing in the NFL, what would you like to do in the fitness industry?
Brendon Ayanbadejo: I just might do a natural body building contest one day. But my true love is athletics. I love all sports. I aspire to be the athletic director at my alma mater, UCLA one day in the near future. I like to help student athletes have better lives, especially the ones that do not become pro athletes and that’s the vast majority of young men and women in the NCAA.
Ben Tatar: What are five of your favorite bodybuilding exercises? What are five of your favorite athletic exercises?
Brendon Ayanbadejo: My 5 favorite bodybuilding exercises are:
1. Bench press
2. Dumbbell curls
4. Pull ups
5. Dumbbell front raises for shoulder
My 5 favorite athletic exercises are:
1) pure running is #1
3) jump rope
4) any movement using a rubber bland for resistance, curls, bench, tri extension and squat ( I usually do these movements until failure and do them with speed.)
5) prowlersled. (Can push it, pull it, walk it, run it, rehab on it. Very functional.)
Ben Tatar: How do you combine bodybuilding and athletic exercises into your routine?
Brendon Ayanbadejo: Once a week I speed bench and speed squat. There’s a machine hooked up to the barbell that lets you know if you are reacting fast enough. That’s a functional bodybuilding movement used to increase speed and strength. We typically do 10 sets of 3 with a minute recovery and often times we do not go above 185lbs. if you can hit it fast enough. On a body building day, we are well into the 300 lbs. realm for sets 6-10 reps and over 400 for squat.
Ben Tatar: I’m going to list a quick concept, tell us what came to mind when these moments happened:
Brendon Ayanbadejo: Let’s do this.
A) Your game winning interception against Tom Brady in your first NFL start at LB and when you beat the 2004 historic Patriots in that game –opportunity.
B)When your Chicago Bears beat Drew Brees and the New Orlean Saints in the 2007 NFC Championship game to go to the Super Bowl— It was amazing as we hosted the NFC Championship Trophy to the Chicago fans. Snow was falling to cap an incredible story.
C) You are part of one of the most dominate defenses in the history of the NFL, the Ravens defensive dynasty- Tradition.
D) Playing in many Pro Bowls—Fun in the sun. Blessed and honored
E) Winning the 2013 Super Bowl under the toughest conditions as you beat 1)Andrew Luck’s Colts 2) Peyton Manning’s Broncos in which many would call the greatest game ever played. 3) Then you beat the most talked about New England Patriots in New England, 4) Then you beat the incredible offense and defense of the SF 49ers in the Super Bowl—- The highlight of my career.
Ben Tatar: You have played for the Dolphins, Bears and Ravens. What was the best part of being a player, on and off the field, for each team?
Brendon Ayanbadejo: Best part, on the field, of being a Dolphin was playing with Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor and the legend Jr. Seau. Off the field, Miami, Florida is an amazingly beautiful place to live. I was born in Chicago, and Chicago is the most amazing city in the US. The Bears have amazing tradition.
The defense is monstrous, hence monsters of the midway. Urlacher and Briggs are both hall of famers. Baltimore might be the toughest football and city I have ever played for. It’s Blue Collar all the way.
The team owner is the best owner in football and Ozzie Newsome, our GM is a former player and great guy. Playing with Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are all Hall of famers and the best football players I have ever played with.
Ben Tatar: What is your advice for younger athletes who would like to be as ripped, strong and as athletic as possible? Do you have any nutrition, recovery or motivational tips?
Brendon Ayanbadejo: I would say learn about food and more importantly, learn what foods affect your body. It’s different for everyone. Eat simple and natural. Lift, run, stretch, and do all sorts of training, yoga, swimming, biking, weights, rubber bands, kettlebells, etc.
For recovery take supplements. Learn about what keeps your body feeling good, ie hyaluronic acid, collagen, arginine, glutamine, zinc, magnesium, sodium bicarbonate. There’s too many to name.
Ben Tatar: What do you enjoy doing away from training and playing in the NFL? You seem to be living your dream beyond winning the Super Bowl.
Brendon Ayanbadejo: I love to learn. I’m in school at George Washington University Staremba doing my masters in business. It’s challenging and fulfilling. The number one priority in my life is my family and my kids. I love being a daddy. The kids keep me on my toes.
I have three French bulldogs that seem to run my life along with the kids. But I love it, or I wouldn’t have three lol.
Ben Tatar: Brendon it has been great interviewing you today. What a life you are living as an NFL All-star, bodybuilder, father and man. Congratulations on your big Super Bowl win! In closing, what message would you like to leave your fans?
Brendon Ayanbadejo: Without the fans there is no football. Without football, I don’t have such a powerful platform to help make the world a better place. Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinions and giving me a foundation to stand so tall.
EDITOR NOTE** Today Brendon is currently working as a analyst for Fox Sports 1 on Fox Football Daily. Ayanbadejo plans on continuing his advocacy in equal rights as a surrogate for the White House. Ayanbadejo has also brought the Orangetheory Fitness franchise to Los Angeles County and the Bay Area (several locations coming soon) Lastly, Brendon was the Sports Illustrated sportsman of the year 2013. Brendon Ayanbadejo fans can read and follow Brendon @brendon310 for both Twitter and Instagram. Brendon can also be followed on facebook:www.facebook.com/brendonayanbadejo