The career of a sports entertainer has so many highs and lows, which is apt in Kofi Kingston's case, since he’s basically a human highlight reel of aerial theatrics. Over his seven-plus years in WWE, the Ghanian-American superstar has scored several singles and tag-team titles and become something of a Royal Rumble icon, but he's arguably soared to his finest heights this past year as a member of heel faction New Day, alongside stable mates Xavier Woods and Big E. The entertaining heel trio is irksome swagger personified, with in-ring skills and chemistry to spare, and after a rough first few months finding their voice, have become a main-event mainstay of late.
As the veteran of the group, Kofi sets the tone for keeping himself in shape. Yes, it's a necessity for someone with his daredevil tendencies, but a multi-discipline workout combining everything from power lifting to capoeira training has become Kingston's key ingredient to a quality of life outside the squared circle that rivals his professional accomplishments. As he heads into this coming Sunday’s Hell in a Cell event on the WWE Network (this Sunday at 8 p.m. EST), the four-time Intercontinental champ, three-time U.S. champ and current "one-third" of the tag champs chimes in with his tips for keeping fit.
Keep Your Muscles Guessing
"I'm always switching up my workouts, like one four-week program will be more of a power-lifting focus, and then I'll switch it up to Olympic lifting, which is more speed and explosiveness. A lot of the workouts I do overlap each other. For example, it'd be heavy squats, and then I'll do heavy dead-lifts, but then I'll have a couple days where I do resistance training with bands or chains, and the next workout might have one or two of those elements, but then some new elements. It’s constant, but also switching it up enough, just to keep it not boring for myself. But also just to keep the muscles guessing so you can keep progressing."
Keep Your Trainers Close
"I've always been involved in sports, but I don't have all the answers. The capoeira is something Eddy Gordo in Tekken would do. I'm a big video-game guy. He did all these different motions, and before you know it, you won by not doing anything at all. But to actually try and do that stuff in life is really complicated. [My capoeira trainer] Marrese Crump is very knowledgeable in that aspect, and if I could learn a tenth of what he knows, I would know so much more I did before. And I have a trainer too, Rob MacIntyre. He's the same guy who’s been training John Cena his whole life. I go to people who have the knowledge I need to make myself better."
In Case You Can’t Afford a Trainer…
"I used to go to the magazine stands. The most important thing is to find the time to get to the gym. The average person doesn’t have to worry about being in tip-top shape. A lot of these fitness magazines will tell you one thing, and the next week, you’ll see the exact opposite, so you have to find what works for you. What’s put in a magazine is not for everybody, but if you can find a few things from a few different workouts, you get to make your own workout and know your body. If being healthy is important to you, you’ll find the time to work out."
Find time to sleep
"It’s definitely important to find the time to fit sleep in. If I have a free moment, I'll just crash. I don't have a problem sleeping on planes or car rides or wherever. I try to get a few eight-hour sessions in on the weekends on the road or between shows. I am not the best example for somebody who gets enough sleep. The rest is almost as important as the actual workout. A lot of people run themselves into the ground, but you need that rest time to recuperate and recover."