The Green Bay Packers linebacker on fitness, family and food.

On the field, he’s a forced to be reckoned with. If you don’t follow football, he’s probably that recognizable face from your favorite State Farm commercial.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is all about family, food and fitness. We asked the Muscle Milk spokesman how he gets in the game-time mindset, what he’s passionate about (besides football, of course) and what fitness and health mean to him.

24Life: What is your pre-game ritual?

Clay Matthews (CM): I’m very much a creature of habit and prefer to keep everything the same when it comes to pre-game rituals—from when I eat, to when I stretch, to when I get taped. I definitely prefer having a schedule and routine.

24Life: How do you get yourself into game-time mindset?

CM: Music helps. But after a full week of practice and film study, I don’t need much help to get my mind right and know what I need to get done.

24Life: What is your post-game snack and how do you wind down after a game?

CM: After every game, I find myself exhausted and in need of a healthy and hearty meal. I also drink Muscle Milk to get some good protein in me for recovery but other than that, I try and do very little.

24Life: Do you have any mottos or mantras that you live your life by?

CM: “Work.” There’s no substitution for it. There aren’t any short cuts. I went to USC as a walk-on and I’ve dedicated everything I have to be in the position that I’m in. That required and still requires a lot of work.

24Life: What’s your favorite workout or workout move?

CM: At the gym where I train, we take part in so many different workouts that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. I definitely prefer good old-fashioned weight lifting, but I also take part in yoga, Pilates, boxing, etc.

24Life: What do your rest days look like?

CM: Rest days are a time for me to do just that. However, my idea of a rest day includes an extra workout, as well as spending extra time at my team’s facility putting in work for the next game or next practice.

24Life: What is your power food (something you eat before a game or workout)?

CM: I’m a big fan of Muscle Milk. Both the bars and the shakes. As someone who has been in the Muscle Milk family for years, I don’t think the products have ever been this good. I’m a big fan of the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor.

24Life: Surprising thing your fans may not know about you?

CM: In 2013, I had surgery to repair a broken thumb. With so much extra time on my hands, I bought an old antique cash register and restored it. I took the whole thing apart, cleaned it up and put it back together. I still have it today.

24Life: What are you passionate about, besides football?

CM: I really enjoy the outdoors, as well as hunting and fishing, but my biggest passion is spending time with my family. Football requires so much of my time that I relish the opportunities when my family and I are all together.

24Life: What’s your number one stressor, and top stress buster?

CM: During the football season, we have such a routine schedule that it can be stressful at times when there are any deviations. I find that working out is something that keeps me centered and is a great stress reliever.

24Life: Finish this sentence: If I wasn’t playing football professionally I would be…

CM: Tending to a ranch in Montana or someplace similar.

24Life: Who is you’re mentor/hero or someone you look up to?

CM: My dad is someone that I have always admired. He played 19 years in the NFL, he never let his professional success interfere with his desire to be a tremendous father and he’s always someone who is there for me and my siblings, no matter what problems we’re having.

24Life: What do fitness and health mean to you?

CM: Aside from it being necessary in order for me to do my job, I think that it’s something that helps you live a long and healthy life.

24Life: What have you learned about yourself, from playing on a team? Or what makes a great team player?

CM: I’ve learned the importance of knowing every facet of your individual job so that you can make the collective effort of the team that much stronger. Football is a game that demands that we sacrifice our own personal well-being for the benefit of the team. I appreciate that.


Favorite shampoo?

That’s a secret.

Favorite workout song?

Just has to be loud.

Most embarrassing workout song?

Phil Collins

Dogs or cats?


Favorite cheat meal?


One thing you won’t eat?

There’s nothing I won’t eat.

Xbox or PlayStation?


Last show you binge watched?

“Stranger Things”

If you were an Olympian, in which event would you like to medal?

100 meter. But… ya know…

What is the family wager when Trojans play the Ducks?

The Trojans have dominated the Ducks recently so there is no wager.

Photo credit: Courtesy of CytoSport