As we get older, it can sometimes be hard to remember that age is just a number. When you’re not as active as you once were and your metabolism isn’t as fired up as it used to be, things start to change.

But it is possible to keep it together, no matter how many birthdays you’ve celebrated. Just look at Randy Moss, who at 40 seems to be defying the odds. While he may have shaken things up a bit during his playing days, Moss’s six-pack abs and killer discipline prove he’s not exactly struggling post career.

“I’m a true believer of taking care of your body when you’re young, and then later on in life your body will be able to take care of you,” says Moss, and a study published recently in Science Daily backs him up. “I wanted to play football for 20 years, I really did. But when you look at the business side of the game, and my kids were getting older—sometimes other things get shot down. Sometimes when you have goals to reach, you don’t always reach them.”

But hey, the dude played 14 years and has more TD catches than anyone in NFL history not named Jerry Rice, so he wasn’t exactly slacking. So we caught up with him at St. Lucia’s BodyHoliday to ask about the bad press he used to get, how his regimen and diet have changed and why he’s bringing fitness to the people these days. (Oh and if you’re looking for the kinda workout that keeps him ripped, click here.)

“I used to think about how much negativity was talked about me and my work ethic, and how I would ‘take plays off.’ But then I [thought]: If I’m all those things, and I’m second all time in the history books, then what are you going to say about the guys who are third and fourth and all that?”

There’s no denying that you had a bit of a reputation when you played. How did that affect you?
I got a bad rap and I think that just [because I made] things look easy, a lot of people thought I was coasting and [that] took away from how hard I really worked to maintain a high level of play. And you know, that really stuck with me through the course of my career. People would say, ‘he didn’t work hard, he didn’t do this or that,’ but you’re talking about a six-foot-four basketball player that came into another sport and demolished it.

I used to think about how much negativity was talked about me and my work ethic, and how I would ‘take plays off.’ But then I [thought]: If I’m all those things, and I’m second all time in the history books, then what are you going to say about the guys who are third and fourth and all that?

How do you maintain your routine and what changes have you seen in your own body getting a little older?
I’m not a heavy lifter anymore. I’m played out with that aspect of football training. I picked up CrossFit and I just fell in love with it and the way it made my body feel. I think being able to work out for so long, it became a part of me. Swimming, exercising, whatever it may be, it’s just what I’ve been doing my whole life.

Now that I’m a little bit older I just have to find ways to not put a lot of hurt on my body, or only a good hurt. A lot of things I do now—I train athletes, football players and host a boot camp at Stax Charlotte—I’m still active. When your body is accustomed to doing something for so many years, it just becomes second nature.

What does your weekly workout routine look like?
I train people at 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Then at 6:30 to 7:30, we train, we do CrossFit. From 7:30 to 8 o’clock, I wind down. Then the pros and college athletes come in from 8 to 11:30. Then I come back at night when we host the boot camps. That’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Wednesday is my day off. That’s my fishing day.

Back when I played, I used to have teammates who would say ‘I’m going to work out in the morning, then go back at 5 o’clock and get another workout in.’ And I’d think ‘What the heck are you doing in the morning that you got to go back in the evening?’ Because I’m killing myself in the morning, and I’m not going back in the evening.

The weekends I’m off. Wednesdays I’m off. And when I’m off, I’m off. I have some pro guys who ask, “If I come in on Saturday and Sunday can we get some workouts in?” I said, ‘No I’m off.’ I don’t care who you are.’

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Do you think you can take three days off because of how hard you go on the days when you’re working?
My three days off are off from the gym, but it’s not off—I have kids so we’re still active. I play basketball or swim, so there’s a lot of stuff I still do. My biggest thing is I love to eat. I try to stay out of the snack room with the Goldfish and Doritos and all that stuff. But sometimes, that’s hard—especially with kids.

Most of us didn’t grow up playing football and weren’t in the NFL. What would you say to us about being in the type of shape that you’re in? Do you think it’s still attainable for everyday folk?
It is attainable, but you really have to be focused and determined. I love to eat, so my biggest thing on those off days is to pick what times during the day I’m going to eat. When I played, I only ate twice a day. I’d eat a nice breakfast or a nice lunch and then a big dinner. I never snacked during the day. I would never eat breakfast, and lunch, and then dinner. Just because I was a speedster, and at my position, a half a pound means a lot. So what I tried to do was to maintain my weight before practice, but then after practice, I knew I burned so many calories that at nighttime I can go ahead and eat that pizza. But I only ate twice a day.

Did you just eat based on how your body felt?
I tried to eat a little more healthy because of my speed and me playing for four quarters, and I wanted to be able to maintain how I start—that’s how I wanted to finish. I grew up on pork, but when you dissect it as far as it being a dirty animal, then you’re putting it in your body, you can’t get it out before game time. So I took it off of my menu. Ever since then, I’ve been good. As I got older and started understanding my body and understanding nutrition, that’s really something I took pride in.

“We have 500 people that come on Wednesday nights. We run two football fields worth of people. I’ve seen people’s bodies change. It’s amazing. And the craziest thing is that it’s free.”

You host a boot camp with the wellness resort BodyHoliday that focuses on people being active and living healthy lifestyles even while on vacation. What do you like about programs like this one?
The feedback I’ve been getting a lot over the past few years was, ‘I think I’m doing enough, but I’m not doing enough.’ That’s very common with a lot of people. What someone can get from this is a better understanding of what type of working out you’re really doing. You can challenge yourself, but at the same time, you can get a better understanding of if whatever you’re doing is the right thing, or do you need to turn it up a notch…

What about doing it at a gorgeous resort setting?
The great thing that I like about it is that you can meet different people from around the world and be active with them. And over the week, we get to see people being active consistently—and killing it. They’re accepting what we’re brinding… and at 7 in the morning, too! Because you sit there and you tell me we’re going on vacation, but I’m going to get up at 7 a.m. and do a workout? No, I’m not. I’ll see ya’ll at 9, 10 o’clock. But for the last two years, it’s been tremendous.

How did you get linked up with Eric at Stax Charlotte to start hosting boot camp workouts at night there?
I was looking for a gym, and Eric was the owner of a gym. I wanted a place to train my guys, and to train myself also. So that’s how we teamed up. Then we added Emily, another coach, into the equation, trying to bring something to the community that you rarely see or hear. And that’s how we got here. We have 500 people that come on Wednesday nights. We run two football fields worth of people. I’ve seen people’s bodies change. It’s amazing. And the craziest thing is that it’s free.

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So is your goal to bring people together with fitness?
We want to uplift people. Fitness is positive. Fitness changed both of our lives. Working out makes you happier and healthier. So when we created the boot camp, we wanted to make it so more people would come out and work out. We created it with just bodyweight movements, so that there was no excuse not to come.

It seems like that’s what you’re bringing to BodyHoliday, too.
You worked out with 20 people this morning, and you probably feel more connected to them now than you would if you had just been lying on the beach. Those 19 people, you see them throughout the day, now you say ‘Hey, how you doing?’ I’ve seen a man who needed some plumbing done at his house, and he met a plumber out there. We had a couple get married and they met at boot camp. The network is unreal.

Not everyone loves to work out. Do you think through this community you can learn to find the type of fitness that you like?
One hundred percent. We’ve been voted two years in a row, the best place to meet people in Charlotte. People come, women in full makeup, just for the social aspect of it. Ask me how they look when they leave!

But they come back?
Yeah, they come back, once they get the taste of it. There are five hundred people clapping and high fiving. People get addicted to that energy and sweating beside their buddies every day. It’s a powerful thing. I’ll be honest when we started, we just wanted more people to know about Charlotte. Fitness is the glue, but the community is the biggest part.