Wrestling

Exclusive ‘Nature Boy’ clip: Ric Flair’s hardcore wrestling workouts revealed in new ESPN ‘30 for 30’ film

In a clip from the new documentary, legendary wrestler Ricky Steamboat recounts the "hardest" workouts he and Flair ever did.

Wrestling legend Ric Flair is about to get his closeup.

Flair is the subject of the new ESPN Films 30 for 30 documentary, Nature Boy. The film will detail Flair’s career and his rise to the top of pro wrestling, as well as the hardships he faced along the way.

The exclusive clip above gives fans a look at some of those hardships.

Before he became a wrestling legend, Flair was just another up-and-coming hopeful looking to become a star. To help hone his craft, Flair and fellow wrestler Ricky Steamboat visited pro wrestler and trainer Verne Gagne at his camp in the 1970s—but the two had no idea about the intense training they were about to get into.

Steamboat called the camp the “hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” and described some of the intense workouts that Gagne put the wrestlers through. Some of the highlights: Running up and down 21 flights of stairs; doing “fireman carries” with other wrestlers up those stairs; and doing “a thousand” bumps, ring falls, and rope bounces, all of which left bruises and rope burns on the wrestlers’ bodies.

The workouts were so rough, in fact, that Flair almost quit wrestling altogether. But after a stern talking-to from Gagne, Flair got back in the ring.

Watch the clip above and see the documentary when it premieres on Tuesday, November 7, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN.