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Since knocking Ronda Rousey off her throne at the end of 2015, Holly Holm has fought for in a championship bout almost every year since then. Going up against notable women’s MMA names like Miesha Tate, Germaine de Randamie, Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes, Holm has come up short in each of her subsequent four title fights, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that she was always game for a tough match-up.
A decorated, former boxer, Holm won multiple world championships in three weight classes. She defended her title 18 times and was voted Ring magazine fighter of the year in 2005 and 2006. Holm is also the only fighter in history to hold both a world boxing title and a UFC title.
In a 2015 interview, the fighter revealed that the more nervous she is about an upcoming bout, the harder she’ll train. “The whole plan is to not get hit. That’s what I’m focused on. I spend a lot of time in the gym. The more I fear my opponent, the more time I spend in the gym,” she explained.
“The more I learn the more confident I feel, which helps me feel more comfortable and not be overly anxious or be too nervous where I can’t focus and perform. Hard work helps me to get through that.”
On your journey to the top, there will be times when you don’t want to make the sacrifices. When you’d be happier spending time with friends, with family. So many times, I don’t want to hit the gym. I just want the work to be over. But then I would picture the victory. And that’s all it takes.Holly Holm’s Advice to Anyone Who’s Ever Felt Like an Underdog | Time
Holly Holm’s training routine & diet
During a fight camp for an upcoming bout, the former bantamweight champion is typically training six days a week, with double sessions on most of those days. In an interview with Muscle & Fitness shortly after the Rousey victory, Holm gave readers a rundown of a usual training week:
Monday through Friday every morning we have class and it’s intense. They’re pretty hardcore workouts. Monday there’s MMA sparring, Tuesday is sparring, Wednesday is wrestling, Thursday is MMA day, Friday is wrestling, and Saturday I do sprint runs. So that’s just the morning. Other than that I run five days a week with Saturday’s sprint run being one of them. Monday through Friday four out of the five days I’m running distance as well. I do mitt work three to four times a week. I go back to either jujitsu or wrestling at night Monday through Thursday. I’m working out about four and five hours a day depending [on my schedule]. Sometimes it’s more drilling; sometimes it’s going hard. I usually am doing at least two to three hard workouts and the rest of the time it’s technical drilling. Saturday I just run. The other runs I’m going slowly. I’m not training to be a runner; I’m training to be a fighter. When I sprint run I go as hard as I can. When I do distance runs I don’t care how fast I go. I do it to keep moving, keep the weight coming down and just kinda cruise.EXCLUSIVE: UFC’S HOLLY HOLM GIVES KNOCKOUT Q&A | Muscle & Fitness
To fuel her intense training schedule, Holm typically eats three main meals and a snack each day, according to an interview with Strong Fitness. For breakfast she’ll normally have a coffee with MCT oil and butter, and protein — eggs, protein shake, protein bar, chicken or beef — with some almond butter. Depending on the morning, she might also make a mixture of “coconut milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seeds to eat as well.”
At lunchtime she’ll typically have a chicken breast salad with light dressing and nuts, as well as some berries. After that, she’ll have a protein bar for her mid-afternoon snack. For her dinner, Holm combines some protein (beef patty, lean pork loin, grilled fish or grilled chicken) with some sides like salad, asparagus or brussel sprouts. Occasionally she’ll add in some sweet potato baked in olive oil.
When it comes to her fight night diet, it’s usually pretty similar to her regular diet, except she’ll try to eat lighter throughout the day. She described a typical fight day meal plan during a fan Q&A:
A light protein, maybe fish or chicken. I always have sweet potatoes. I might have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I might have trail mix. I like to have light proteins and good carbs. I might have some fruits. I don’t want to only do fruit because the sugar doesn’t last with you as long. I feel good when I have a good sweet potato, and nut butters and honey. I snack on stuff the whole time I’m in the locker room. I don’t want to be too full and have too much at one time, so I’ll eat little bites here and there, all the way up until about 30 to 45 minutes before the fight.EXCLUSIVE: UFC’S HOLLY HOLM GIVES KNOCKOUT Q&A | MUSCLE & FITNESS
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