On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
Ryan Garcia should have been feeling on top of the world. It was January 2021, and the 22-year old professional boxer was fresh off defeating Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell and winning the interim WBC lightweight title. Instead, Garcia was battling depression.
Three weeks after his bout against Campbell, instead of celebrating his hard-earned victory, Garcia felt the world crashing down around him. “I was lost in my head and words can’t really describe how I felt,” he revealed to DAZN’s Kate Abdo. “It was like being in a maze and didn’t know where to go.”
It got worse from there. The lightweight boxer started drinking heavily for the first time in his life, and at one point, even contemplated suicide. While training for his upcoming fight against former WBA (Regular) super featherweight champion, Javier Fortuna, Garcia burst out crying for no apparent reason in front of the whole gym.
It was at that moment that he realised he needed to put his boxing career on hold and take care of his mental health. He opened up to his fans about his struggles with mental health on Instagram.
I know this news may be disappointing to some of my fans but I am announcing today that I am withdrawing from my July 9th fight. At this time it is important to manage my health and wellbeing. I have decided to take some time off to focus on becoming a stronger version of myself. I hope to be back soon and am looking forward to stepping back into the ring when I am my healthiest self. I want to Thank God, my family, my doctors and my supporters.Ryan Garcia (@kingryan) • Instagram photos and videos
After he pulled out of the Fortuna bout, Garcia sought professional help for his depression and spent the rest of 2021 working on his mental wellbeing. On April 9, 2022, over a year since his last time in the ring, Garcia made his long-awaited comeback with a dominating victory against Emmanuel Tagoe.
“It [therapy] helped me a lot and then I kind of just went into this mode where I accepted it,” he said. “I stopped fighting against the current and just went with it, and let myself recover. It was a pretty good thing for me.”
Ryan Garcia’s training routine & diet
On a typical training day, Garcia wakes up at 7am (he goes to sleep at around 10-11pm). The former interim lightweight champion is serious about his sleep. “As an athlete, you have to,” he told Valet Magazine. “I’m not crazy about it, I just try to get at least seven solid hours a night.”
Every morning starts the same way, Garcia drinks a Yakult — a Japanese sweetened probiotic milk beverage — and goes on a 5-mile run. After coming home from his run, he’ll do eight rounds of shadowboxing holding two-pound weights; an ab circuit then a resistance band workout to wrap up his morning session.
More often than not, he’ll skip breakfast. “I kind of listen to my body more,” he said in an interview with Men’s Health. “Sometimes I won’t eat at all. But I always do a coffee.”
If he does decide to eat breakfast, a standard meal for the boxer is avocado toast with turkey breast, cheese and a fried egg, and a glass of orange juice. Otherwise, he’ll just have a protein smoothie to refuel. After breakfast, Garcia will chill out for a while before getting ready for his second of three training sessions of the day.
At 12 p.m. I head to the boxing gym for a three-and-half-hour session where I push my body to the limits. From there I head home where my chef cooks up lunch. I keep it lean during camp so my lunches consist of some sort of fish, vegetable and rice. From there I get a couple of hours of rest, then I’m headed to strength and conditioning at 6 p.m. for two hours. From there I shower again and recover. During camp, I’ll watch anime. It’s all about the warrior spirit!Q&A: A Day in the Life of Undefeated Boxing Prodigy Ryan Garcia | InsideHook
During his training camp, Garcia will have his personal chef, Manny Duran, prepare all his meals for the day. “They cook the food, weigh it, make sure I’m getting exactly what I need,” he told GQ.
For his recovery, Garcia will do a lot of cold therapy, Normatec compression sleeves for his arms and legs, as well as the Hypervolt massage gun. He’ll also get a massage done every other day as part of his training camp routine.
As an upcoming bout arrives closer to the date, boxers typically need to start restricting their calorie intake as part of the weight-cutting process. Garcia, who walks around naturally at over 150 pounds, needs to cut his weight down to 135 before the fight to meet the lightweight limit. It’s one of the hardest parts of preparing for a bout and many boxers hate the process more than the actual training itself.
“The meals get smaller,” he explained to GQ. “I’ll cut my meal short if I feel like I’m pushing it. I’m really trying to get just enough fuel for my body to keep going. As soon as I feel like I’ve had enough I’ll put it away. I’ll also be pretty strict on water intake. That’s the toughest part of cutting weight because it makes up so much of what you’re cutting before you weigh in. It’s not healthy, but you gotta do what you gotta do.”
While during training camp, Garcia will maintain a clean diet and strict training regimen for up to three months, after a fight he’ll let himself go wild with the food. The former champion’s meal of choice? Skittles and Whataburger.
I asked my uncle what sport he would recommend that would allow me to be in control of the work I put in, and he recommended boxing. I started young and just fell in love with the sport. Boxing for me is a spiritual endeavor. You get out of it what you put in, and I feel that I’m one of the hardest workers in the business.Q&A: A Day in the Life of Undefeated Boxing Prodigy Ryan Garcia | InsideHook
Before you go…
Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Arianna Huffington, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.