Professional boxer Chantelle Cameron grew up loving martial arts and held several world titles in full contact kickboxing before switching to amateur boxing at the age of 18. On track for the Olympics with numerous wins under her belt, she narrowly missed out on selection and switched her focus to going pro. Since her professional boxing debut in May, Chantelle has won all 5 of her fights and now holds the crown of IMO World Lightweight Champion.
Here, the 26-year-old British fighter reveals what a typical day in her life looks like.
I got into fighting at the age of 12 because I loved martial arts films and TV programmes. It was amazing to win my titles, including the recent IBO World Lightweight Champion, but I aim to win a lot more.
As a professional athlete sleep is very important, so I always try to ensure I have 8+ hours’ sleep. This allows me to get plenty of recovery. I aim to get to sleep before 11pm and wake-up around 8am, and I always have weekends off from training.
Morning: Fasted run, strength or sparring session
My first morning session might be a steady run around 8.30am on an empty stomach to kick-start the day. A steady run will vary from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how I feel.
Sometimes, [if I don’t run] I’ll train later instead, with my first session at around 10.30am. This might be a strength and conditioning session or maybe a sparring session.
If I wait until 10.30am for my first session, I’ll eat a light breakfast before I train. This might be eggs, or porridge, with a coffee. Sparring usually lasts 45 minutes with rounds and breaks. If I’m doing strength and conditioning work this usually takes around 45 minutes.
After my training session I’ll aim to get some protein into me as soon as possible.
Lunchtime: Eat and recover
For lunch I’ll usually eat chicken or fish with loads of vegetables and some carbohydrates. How much I eat and whether I eat carbohydrates depends on my weight and what weight I’m matched-up [to fight at].
Around lunchtime I’m usually just relaxing, shopping or watching TV. Then I’ll put my feet up before my next session and let my food digest – again recovering, so I can give it my all and put everything into my next training session.
I train twice a day and sometimes I dread the second session if I feel tired or drained [from an earlier, tough session]. But I always feel so much better after I’ve completed it. I think it’s all mind-over-matter.
Afternoon: Round two of training
My next training session will either be sparring (if I haven’t sparred in the morning), pad work or strength and conditioning. I usually won’t eat before this session as it’s hard to train on a full stomach, but I’ll have a coffee or a nibble on a little snack like nuts.
If my body is a bit sore or fatigued, I usually fit a massage in during the day to enhance recovery and help my body get through the sessions. It also helps reduce the risk of injury. When I fit a massage in depends on how my day and training schedule plans out. If my second session is late in the evening, I squeeze it in beforehand but I usually prefer my massage when all sessions are finished for the day.
Evening: Hot tub, sauna and steam
I don’t like training too late in the evening. I like to be finished around 7pm so I can grab some food and relax for the evening. For my last meal of the day I don’t eat carbohydrates – it’s usually meat or fish with loads of vegetables.
In the evening I like to visit the spa centre for a nice relaxing hot tub, sauna and steam. It’s a perfect way to finish a day of training and to relax and unwind.