On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
When Ronda Rousey was the reigning UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, her last four fights lasted a total of 130 seconds.
She ran through Sara McMann and Alexis Davis like they didn’t belong in the Octagon with her; submitted Cat Zingano with an armbar in 14-seconds (the second shortest match in UFC championship history) and knocked out Bethe Correia flat in front of the Brazillian’s home crowd.
To put it into persective, those four fights combined were less than a single sparring round Rousey would have done during her training camp. It was a different era for women’s MMA then. At her peak, Rousey was an active fighter, stepping foot into the Octagon two to three times a year, compared to most UFC champions who only fight one or twice a year at the most.
For her training, Rousey averaged 6 to 12 workout sessions per week, and put in about 4 hours of work every day. Her workout is made up of “usually judo, striking, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, conditioning, and swimming six to 12 times a week, depending on where I am in my training cycle,” she told StyleCaster.
“The boxing workout consists of sparring, back work, mitt work, and shadow boxing. My strength workout is a lot of core-work exercises, and judo, wrestling, and jiu jitsu is drilling and open sparring.”
Rousey also does a lot of stair work to condition her legs. “She runs the Santa Monica Stairs—there are almost 400—and she’ll run straight up doing one at a time,” said Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey’s former coach. “Then she’ll do side steps, first leading with her right leg, then her left. Then she’ll go up two stairs at a time and repeat the whole routine.”
If I say that I’m the best in the world, sometimes people think that’s really cocky and arrogant, but I had to work hard to be able to believe in myself.Ronda Rousey Shares Why She’s The Best Fighter In The World | Self
Ronda Rousey’s training routine & diet
In a 2016 interview with StyleCaster leading up to her comeback fight against current women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes, Rousey broke down a typical day of meals for fuelling her training:
I follow the Dolce Diet, and for breakfast I start the day off at 7:30am with a Dolce chia bowl. That’s two tablespoons of chia, hemp, and oats, add agave nectar, cinnamon, a couple blueberries, and a tablespoon of almond butter. My diet is about maximizing my nutrient intake instead of minimizing calories, and that keeps my metabolism burning fast. Usually when we’re in camp, I’ll have some kind of egg scramble with a bunch of vegetables cut up at 12pm—mushrooms, peppers, spinach, avocado, tomato—with turkey bacon, one slice of Ezekiel bread, Kerrygold butter, and cinnamon. Turkey chili at 7pm, which I made using four ounces of turkey, chopped-up asparagus, red pepper, red onion, tomato, beans, chili spices, and cayenne pepper.Here Is Ronda Rousey’s Exact Diet and Exercise Plan for You to Copy | StyleCaster
Leading up to fight day, Rousey switches her training priority over to cutting weight, from her average walking around weight of 150 pounds (68 kgs) to the bantamweight limit of 135 pounds (61 kgs). After the weigh-ins, which are held 24 hours before the fight, Rousey works with her dietitian, Mike Dolce, to rehydrate her body.
“Right after weigh-ins, we have to go and do press,” Rousey told Fox Sports. “Then I drink one coconut water, then Mike Dolce makes me another water with salt in it and I sip on that. Then he gives me berries and chia pudding for me to eat and open my stomach up.”
Between the time of post weigh-ins and stepping into the Octagon, Rousey was usually loading up on her favourite food (“gluten-free pasta with ground turkey. For some reason it’s what my body wants”) and resting for the big event, “I hibernate. I’m conditioned to wake up and start training. When I was a kid, my mum would make me sleep in between matches so I would just wake up and go fight.”
After a fight, Rousey rewards herself with gorging on hot wings. “I eat about 50 hot wings. I love hot wings,” she told comedian Chelsea Peretti. “After my last fight, one of the UFC owners flew in a private chef from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro so that he could make me hot wings, because there are no hot wings in Rio! That’s how important they are to me.”
In 2018, after back-to-back losses against Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, Rousey signed a contract with WWE, officially beginning her career in professional wrestling career.
In an interview with People magazine shortly after her wrestling debut, Rousey reflected on her new path, “I don’t really feel like I’m in fight or flight mode all the time. I’m ready to fight but I’m happy at all times and relaxed at all times. It’s pretty different for me to be able to relax and be in a high pressure situation at the same time.”
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