On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
A perfect career in boxing is a rare thing. There are few other sports where you witness the extreme highs and lows as boxing — one minute you’re on top of the world with a world championship belt wrapped around your waist; the next minute you’re picking yourself up from the canvas, asking the referee what happened. Very few fighters know when the right time to go is.
Like retired UFC champion Georges St-Pierre said, “I see a lot of fighters get damaged, and I don’t want to be one of these guys. The fighter is always the last to know when it’s time to stop, but I wouldn’t have a problem right now to pull the plug and live my life healthy and happy.”
Andre Ward is one of those rare cases. When the former Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champion retired on September 21, 2017, he capped off a career which includes an Olympic gold medal, perfect 32-0 professional record and two legacy-defining wins against Sergey Kovalev. Not to mention he was leaving the sport with all his senses and finances intact; sadly not a very common occurrence in the boxing world.
I just keep my head down and keep working. The goal is to look up when it’s all said and done, exhale and then assess the career. I let people say what they want to say and feel what they feel.Boo All You Want: Andre Ward Couldn’t Care Less If You Don’t Like His Style | Bleacher Report
During his prime years, Ward was one of the most talented boxers in the world, and after Floyd Mayweather retired in 2015, was widely recognised as the top pound-for-pound boxer. As always with any world class athlete, natural talent plays a factor in their success. But for the most part, it’s the day-in, day-out work and unglamorous grind that yield the best results.
In a 2017 GQ profile, leading up to his rematch with Kovalev, Ward broke down his daily routine during a training camp. Waking up at 5am, Ward is out the door by 5.30am for his cardio training — “running the hill, a track workout with my intervals, and sprints, or a pool workout.”
He’ll spend an hour working on his cardio, before heading home for breakfast, which is typically a mix of oatmeal with fruit and some eggs. After breakfast, he’ll relax for a few hours, until lunchtime, “some type of fortified good salad with some nutrient-dense, high-quality food” and then he’ll head off for his afternoon gym session, “I try to stay no longer than three hours and that’s warming up and cooling down.”
On his way home from the gym, Ward would drink a carbohydrate and protein recovery drink, then have dinner a little later, “Dinner is a high-quality protein. It can be anything from a bison burger with sweet potatoes and a big salad. I eat a lot of fish during training camp, so dinner can also be sea bass, salmon with rice, potatoes and pasta.”
To supplement his diet, Ward also drank a liver shake, made up of raw liver blended with bananas, cherries, before he went to sleep.
I know I’m not going to be the biggest guy and I’m not going to look the most imposing but I’m going to be in tip-top shape and I’m going to be strong.The Real-Life Diet of Andre Ward | GQ
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