Surrey boxing star Nick Webb (12-0) lifts the lid on a heavyweight’s diet and dispels a few unwanted myths.
It’s easy to believe that because a heavyweight doesn’t have to make a weight limit like other divisions do, that they can eat whatever they like.
However, the diet they follow can actually be just as complex as any other weight category in the sport.
The 30-year-old on the brink of title fights shared his controlled diet plan with BBN to reveal just what a heavyweight eats in training camps and why getting the weight right is so vitally important.
Despite what people think, I’ve got to really watch what I eat. I started my amateur career at 147kg so I know where I’ve come from to get where I am today. Combat Nutrition give me a strict diet plan to follow, basically it’s high protein and low carbs. I have to cut out sweets, chocolates and all the goodies. I’ve got a sweet tooth, so chocolate is my worst enemy!
They say the optimal weight for heavyweights is between 110-112kg, that’s around 240-246lbs. I’m just outside that at 114-115kg, but I’m a big heavyweight and you have got to do what’s right for yourself.
If you’re a heavy heavyweight that tries to keep the weight down, it is hard, it’s not as easy as some people think.
Anthony Joshua’s pro debut was at 235lbs and was as light as 219lbs for his third pro fight, so he has built himself up since then to be heavier, he went right up to 256lbs for the Gary Cornish fight, so for him it’s hard to keep eating a lot. Someone like me wouldn’t be able to eat as much as AJ.
If you’re too heavy then it would mostly affect you in the later rounds; the legs get slower, the speed and energy drops. I always use the analogy that the heavier you come in then it’s like carrying a rucksack full of stones on your back and the extra weight will eventually wear you down.
If a heavyweight comes in too light, then it could make them feel weak and lacking strength.
One fight I had on the David Haye v Arnold Gjergaj undercard, I tried a new diet with juices and I came in at my lightest ever at 112kg, which was great confidence and will power for me to stick to this diet but this did not suit me, it made me feel weak and it was the first time I was taken the distance.
It all depends on yourself, you have to keep tweaking your diet until one works for you, and that can take many fights to get right and your body changes from fight to fight so it’s never an exact science. Being a heavyweight, the diet and weight can fluctuate, despite what people think.
To use Anthony Joshua again, his weight differs depending on his opponent. If his opponent is more mobile then he will come in lighter on the scales, like against Joseph Parker, he was back down to the 230’s. Depending on your opponents' style, weight and what strategy you have can all take an effect on what you will weigh for when you fight.
I haven’t had to use those strategies yet because I’m still on four and six-rounders, but I will for championship fights. I was quite light for the English title fight against Nathan Gorman because he has fast hands, so I needed to be that bit lighter, but that fell through in the end.
4 whole eggs
200g chicken breast
300g sweet potato
150g green veg
250ml skier yoghurt
handful of blueberries
200g white fish
2 tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil
150g green veg
200g chicken breast
2 tablespoon natural almond butter (meridian brand)
large green salad
Time4 shake 3 scoops
Time4 : 3 scoops recovery after training main session
2 x servings bcaa intra workout
30g glutamine a day (10g upon waking, 10g after training, 10g before bed) put in warm water
Whey – as directed
I’ve seen a lot of boxers that are light but trying to put weight on and it doesn’t always suit them, they’re not used to being that heavy.
My advice is don’t concentrate on adding muscle and bulk, just concentrate on how you feel and your fitness.