Fight camp is the supercharged version of my daily life.
More training, more cardio, less calories, and of course, no "cheat meals." There are carefully chiseled out times devoted to mental decompression and physical recovery. Sleep cycles are not to be interfered with, and most social activities take a back seat.
For those who are curious what a fighter's schedule is like, I'll walk you through an average day of my life during fight camp.
*Note: Most days have 2-3 sessions of training but I’m including all possible sessions to show the type of training and time frames.
8am: Wake up. Eat breakfast, take vitamins and savor one extra large coffee for this caffeine addict. Pack a bag for the day: vegan meals on the go, training gear, extra clothes, and for me, my sidekick of a dog, Boogie.
10am: Get to the gym. Warm up. Train a specific martial art depending on the day of the week. Monday—kickboxing. Tuesday—jiu-jitsu. Wednesday—MMA grappling. And so on…
Noon: Finish morning practice and head to physical therapy. "The OC Fight Doc" is a chiropractic office, but in fight camp they are closer to miracle workers, and a true necessity.
A protein shake & lunch are eaten in the car to save time.
*Track days replace physical therapy 2 days out of the week. Sprints, timed miles and shuttle runs are done with the team.
2pm: Head home to shower, rest and power nap if there are no errands to run.
3:30pm: Head to strength & conditioning.
4pm: Train speed, power, explosion and movement in an array of different exercises.
5:30pm: Drive straight from conditioning to night practice. Yes, I know I missed a shower right around here. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!
A snack bar & second protein shake are consumed in transit.
6:30pm: Jiu jitsu or Muay Thai. End the night with a few hours of grappling or striking.
8-10pm: Arrive home to shower and eat a light dinner. If it’s early-ish (8PM) I’ll foam roll in my living room after dinner and wind down by watching a TV series or reading a chapter or two of a book while Boogie lays on my feet the whole time.
This schedule lasts anywhere from 3-8 weeks, depending on the amount of notice the organization has given my coaches and I. Shorter notice camps will have less intensive training as to not burn out the body, allow for a healthy weight cut and not peak too soon. Longer camps allow for more training, the ability to break the body down and repair, while gaining skills and game planning.
Weekend nights in fight camp are usually spent relaxing and preparing the body for the training week to come. Massages, hot tub and sauna sessions are common.
Some athletes like to go out and be social during camp, but I prefer to take the hermit approach as to not be tempted by naughty food, ruining my sleep cycle or just expending more energy than needed.
Seem exhausting? It is. But it's worth in the end.
In fact, I am writing this on a plane right now flying to Germany for my next fight (September 3!). By the time you read this I will have arrived to start my pre-fight duties.