Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Care to step into the ring with 22-year-old amateur boxer Mikaela Mayer? Chances are this former model will knock you out—figuratively and literally. In 2012, she secured the title of U.S. National Champion and brought home bronze and gold medals from the World Championships and Continental Games, respectively. The Los Angeles native was an alternate in the London Games (the first year women could compete), and has her sights set on gold in Rio. We talked training and being bikini-body ready for summer (have you seen her abs?), plus her genius secret for keeping that sweet tooth in check.
How did you discover boxing?
I signed up for Muay Thai at a gym near my house, and was practicing to keep myself busy. A few months in, I suffered a slight back injury that prevented me from kicking, so my trainer made me take boxing fights to develop my hands. Once I tried it, fell in love and never went back! I remember telling myself only two or three months in that I was going to be the best female fighter in the world.
Clearly that’s working out! How often do you train?
When I’m in camp for a tournament, it’s six days a week, two to three times a day for six weeks. It’s nothing but eat, sleep, train, repeat! The workouts will vary week to week, but it’s a mix of interval running, swimming, strength training, boxing and sparring three to four times a week.
Well, that must keep you bikini-body ready year-round, right?
Even when I don’t have major competitions coming up, working out is still a part of my everyday routine. Partly because I enjoy getting stronger and more skillful and partly because getting back in shape after you have let yourself go is too hard! So I always try to maintain. Staying in tip-top shape requires working out consistently. You can’t make excuses for skipping the gym. It needs to be a priority.
You gotta tell us the secret to your OMG abs then. Fave move?
I love the plank! If you're going for simple, it's super effective. However, you can do all the crunches and planks you want, but if you're not watching what you put into your body, you won't be able to shake that extra layer of fat. Make sure you're eating right!
So when you’re not training where can we find you?
Everywhere! I’m always doing something. I can’t seem to sit still. Working out provides me with an endless amount of energy! If it’s a beautiful day, there’s no place I’d rather be than the beach, so look there first.
What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?
When I’m on-the-go and need a little something, I love bananas. They’re high in potassium and don’t have as much sugar as most fruits. I also like to take one day to cook up a ton of sweet potatoes for the week. If I’m in a rush and need a little energy, I just warm one up! Sweet potatoes are one of the best complex carbs you can eat. They can also kill a sweet tooth.
That’s different! What is it that kills those cravings for you?
When I was in training camp with my coach and had no other sweet option, I just went for it and discovered that they curb my cravings and keep me full and energized. It may not sound like something you really want at first, but once you get into the habit, you'll see your sweet tooth disappear.
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