On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
It’s the classic coming-of-age boxing story. A kid gets into fights at school, realises he is pretty good at it, looks for a boxing gym to hone his skills, gets really good at it, starts competing professionally and eventually becomes a world champion. That’s the story of Scottish boxer Josh Taylor right there.
“I was the smallest in my year at school, all the other boys were huge. They started to get hairy chests but if they tried to bully me I would defend myself. That continued until I was 17, 18,” he recounted in an interview with The Scotsman.
“But then I started boxing. I got good at evading punches and hitting folk properly. That was a good time to stop fighting in the street because I was developing useful weapons. I grew up a bit and learned how to walk away.”
Under the guidance of coach Terry McCormack, who he has been with since the very beginning of his career, Taylor won a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and gold at the 2014 one — the highlight of his amateur career. Since turning professional in 2015, Taylor has racked up an undefeated record of 17 wins with 13 knockouts and gone on to unify the light-welterweight titles.
“Josh was not long starting out but his punching power, even back then, was just incredible,” McCormack recalled in an interview. “It just showed how special he was and he’s just got better and better. When Josh was down training at the gym, he’d go around writing on notepads ‘Josh Taylor world champion’ so it’s all he’s ever thought about.”
I have to win. I’ve always had to win, at everything, right from being a laddie with the board games. If I was playing Snakes and Ladders with my mum and dad and I didn’t win the board would go right up in the air. I’ve always been a terrible loser. I’ve always been super, super competitive.Interview: Josh Taylor on his quest to be world champion | The Scotsman
Josh Taylor’s training routine & diet
On a typical training day, the Scotsman is up at 8.30am to have breakfast and start his first gym session of the day at 10.30am. He’ll train for a couple hours before taking a break for lunch. Between 3-6pm, he’ll start his second training session for the day, then dinner at 7.30pm and a snack at 9pm — “this will usually be chicken bites and sometimes a protein shake.”
He follows this training routine five days a week, and has a run on Saturdays. The gruelling schedule can take a physical and mental toll on the boxer from time to time, but for Taylor, it’s important to have those bad days to prepare him for fight night.
“On the day of a fight you might feel not quite at it. You might be nervous. Your body might not have woken up. Your hands and feet are maybe not working right. You need to know what that feels like,” he explained.
When it comes to his diet, Taylor has all his meals prepared in advance for him. They’re mainly made up of lots of protein and carbs — lean chicken, steak, turkey, rice, mashed potato, broccoli, lentils — and good fats like avocado.
Eating basically the same thing day after day can be a bit of a drag and the diet is repetitive but I know it’s the right food so it doesn’t really bother me too much. Variety is the spice of life but in my case spice is the variety of life.Josh Taylor fight diary: I go mental when I’m allowed a cheat day but sticking to strict diet has made me a champion | The Sun
“I think I could be pretty handy in the kitchen but the truth is I’m just too knackered after training to have the energy to cook,” he told The Sun. “All my meals are made for me which means I can just put them in the microwave and tuck in.”
“The last thing I want to do after two training sessions every day is stand over a hob, thinking about what I’m cooking. I just need to refuel and relax because rest is so important.”
Taylor allows himself one cheat meal a week on the weekend. “It could be a massive Chinese takeaway or pepperoni pizza, but more often than not I indulge in a burger with sweet potato fries,” he revealed. “It’s nothing too outrageous because I know everything I put in my body affects how intense my training is, the quality of my workouts and, ultimately, how I perform in the ring when it really matters.”
He completely stays away from alcohol though. “I don’t touch the stuff,” Taylor said. “I can feel the difference the next day even if I have just a small amount the night before. And it’s not because I’m a lightweight drinker!”
When I’m training for a fight I don’t see folk for months, sometimes a whole year. I miss weddings, stags, funerals, all kinds of family events – but the sacrifice will be worth it, I’m sure of that.Interview: Josh Taylor on his quest to be world champion | The Scotsman
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