On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
The current reigning Raw Women’s Champion likes to call herself the “EST of WWE.” It means that she’s the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, the quickest, the greatest, and the the best wrestler in the World Wrestling Entertainment.
For 33-year old Bianca Belair, her position at the top of the professional wrestling world is the result of a lifetime of athletics. Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Belair has been competing in sports since the age of 5 years old.
“I started in gymnastics and tumbling and then went into track and field, and did cheerleading, basketball, and soccer,” she told NBC Sport. “And then I ran collegiate track and field; I was a hurdler at the University of Tennessee. I was an all-American hurdler, all-SEC hurdler.”
After graduating from the University of Tennessee in 2012, Belair gave up on her athletics career and switched over to her new passion, CrossFit and powerlifting — which she would find later on helped immensely with professional wrestling.
“I really loved powerlifting, and all the skills that are needed to do CrossFit,” Belair said. “A lot of what we do in WWE is difficult, and it requires athleticism. But I’ve been able to pick up on things here very quickly, and physically, just from my athletic background.”
She competed at powerlifting competitions and in the CrossFit regional circuit until a rib injury derailed her future in weights. “I have shifting rib syndrome,” she explained in an interview with ESPN. “There’s no treatment, there’s no surgery, there’s really nothing you can do for it. I went to a million doctors and chiropractors, and nobody could tell me what was wrong. I was really defeated.”
Belair went onto work as a sales representative for a flavouring company Atlanta, where the bulk of her day was spent making calls — a far cry from her sports-filled life to date. Not happy with the way her life was going, she decided to try her hand out in wrestling. After entering her details into the WWE database, she received a message from the company a couple of weeks later. They had seen her profile on the CrossFit circuit and invited her to the tryouts. By April 2016 she was signed to the WWE and made her first appearance on NXT — the company’s developmental arm — that June.
Fast-forward six years later to April 2022, Belair faced off against Becky Lynch and defeated the reigning champion to capture her first title — the Raw Women’s Championship.
You have to be larger than life, and you have to know how to connect with the crowd and really engage the crowd. When you’re an athlete, you’re not really engaging with the crowd; you’re just competing. I really didn’t come from a wrestling background. I didn’t watch WWE growing up, and I didn’t imagine myself to be a WWE Superstar, but I’ve completely fallen in love with the art of it and the performance aspect.Someone Needs to Put Bianca Belair in a Movie With the Rock | The Cut
Bianca Belair’s training routine & diet
The current Raw Women’s Champion isn’t a morning person. With WWE’s tendency to put on late-night shows and her regular touring schedule, Belair can be up any time between 10-11am. The first meal of the day is her favourite. “I’m a big breakfast person,” she told The Cut. “I always do protein shakes. I love oatmeal because it fills you up really quickly. And I love protein pancakes: pancake mix with protein powder.”
After breakfast, Belair jumps right into her day. Life as a professional wrestler is often gruelling — both physically and mentally — with its unique blend of performance and athletics requirements. In an interview with NBC Sports, the champion described a typical week in her life.
It’s very, very demanding physically, probably more demanding than almost any sport that I did. I’m in the gym usually Tuesday through Friday doing cardio training, CrossFit-type of training. And then Saturday through Tuesday is when I’m traveling and having wrestling matches inside the ring. But on those traveling days, I’m still in the gym at eight o’clock in the morning. Then I’m at the show, having a wrestling match at eight o’clock at night, and then I’m driving to the next show until about 2am. And then I’m doing it all over again the next day. So it’s a grind, not just mentally, but physically as well.Bianca Belair – the ‘EST of WWE’ – never imagined being a WWE superstar | NBC Sports
For her lunch, Belair likes to keep things efficient, usually opting for a pre-packaged chicken salad from supermarket chain Publix. If she’s extra hungry, she’ll add in some baked potato and a cup of cottage cheese on the side for additional protein. She’s also snacking throughout the day to stay fuelled. “I love bananas and almond butter,” she told Women’s Health. “Or string cheese, or cheese with fruit, and I do a lot of chips and salsa.”
Since the WWE star likes to train late at night, her dinner (which also doubles as her post workout meal) is typically made up of lots of lean protein like turkey, chicken or salmon, with a generous side of carbs and veggies. She likes to cap it all off with a nighttime cereal bowl of plain bran flakes with bananas and strawberries. “I love the crunchiness of the cereal but the softness of the banana in milk. It fills me up and helps me sleep at night,” she told Women’s Health.
When it comes to Belair’s show prep, she ran through her competition routine in an interview with The Cut.
I have a nighttime ritual the night before my big matches: I eat pizza — if I’m confident in the work that I’ve put into preparing. Nothing I do the night before is going to jeopardize that. I know I’ve been working my butt off and preparing, and I’m nervous and wanna have comfort food. The pizza calms my nerves. The next day, I eat a big breakfast because once we get to the arena or the stadium, there’s not very much time to eat. Our shows usually start around 8 p.m., but we are arriving around noonish, preparing very early. Everyone sees us in the ring for maybe 20 to 25 minutes, but we’ve been there for hours leading up to that moment. Once I get to the venue, it’s nonstop movement from there: preparing to get in the ring, stretching, warming up, doing my own hair and makeup, putting finishing touches on my gear. I like to listen to gospel music before I perform because I feel like it’s just something that really gets you in a good mood. I love Kirk Franklin. It gets me pumped up, and it gives me a lot of confidence. I’m also mentally preparing myself. I’m giving myself mental affirmations all throughout the day. I try to sneak a meal in if I can.Someone Needs to Put Bianca Belair in a Movie With the Rock | The Cut
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