Most rappers dream of living out their acting fantasies on the screen, only to see such dreams realised to muted applause and critical acclaim. But if ever there were a rapper who has successfully made the switch from the stage to the screen, it’s Tracy Lauren Marrow – better known as Ice T – who has become something of a household name thanks to his role on Law and Order. It’s hard to believe that it was his debut album “Rhyme Pays” that catapulted the rapper into the spotlight way in 1987. Later, in 1991, he released one of the most formative albums in gangsta rap with “Original Gangster”. While Ice T has never strayed far from his music, his role as Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on Law and Order has granted him lasting success, but it’s also a role that demands dedication to his fitness routine to ensure he can keep up with the fast-pace life of acting.
At 64, Ice T is showing no signs of slowing down and in a recent interview with GQ UK,he revealed that a strict approach to his routine means he continues to have energy to attack the day. He favours regularity, often doing the same workout daily, and eating the same breakfast. Speaking to the publication, he said the importance of looking after yourself can’t be underestimated. “I’ve seen some of my friends pass away in their forties from just neglect. It’s a wake-up call now, as men – especially black men – we don’t go to the doctor until something’s wrong. I want guys to know it’s OK to look out for your health, care about your family, and care about your loved ones.”
What that routine looks like is often a 5am wakeup call, with Ice T required on set by 7. He makes sure to get a workout in first thing in the morning. “I have an elastic resistance band. So I’ll stand on that, even sometimes in my closet, and I’ll do 100 bicep curls,” he says. He then has coffee, goes to the gym and does “10 pull-ups, 25 dips, and 25 to 50 bench presses every single morning. That whole workout right there takes less than 10 or 15 minutes. I have always felt that anything is better than nothing.”
A fan of Cheerios, Ice T has cereal post-workout but often skips lunch for intermittent fasting. While he says the cereal is like cheating, he also admits that he hasn’t had anything all night and likes to have some energy for the workout. Moderation is also key, and while there’s nothing Ice T doesn’t eat, he limits eating out to about twice a week and often enjoys anything from tacos to pasta. But he also knows the importance of serving size when it comes to staying in shape. “We’ve been trained to eat everything that’s on that plate, and that’s not necessary, especially because you might be full even though you have things on your plate. I’ve learned it’s better to stay hungry than to always get full,” he said.