At just 26, homegrown pro boxer DAVID LEMIEUX has already established quite the name for himself in the sport he loves, and that he embraced professionally at 18 after winning the Canadian Nationals many times. Driven and unafraid to take chances, the self-described “explosive fighter” has already taken on formidable opponents, winning game-changing fights and losing others. Yet, despite any bumps in the road (or rather the ring), he always gets up after the fight to rededicate himself, and inevitably prove detractors wrong with a slew of fresh wins.
David Lemieux is the real deal. You can see the resilience and passion of a champion in his eyes, clear indicators that no matter how impressive his career has been to date, the young athlete – managed by Eye of the Tiger Management – has only begun to carve out his impact. In this exclusive interview accompanying our shoot with him at Midtown Le Sporting Club Sanctuaire, we sat down to talk training and commitment, as he shared some of his fitness and lifestyle tips (adapted for mere mortals, of course).
Although we mere mortals cannot aspire to your pre-fight training prowess, it can nevertheless inspire. How often do you train when in training camp?
During training camp, we train every day, twice a day, for about two or three hours per session.
What about fuel, nutrition?
Nutrition-wise, we eat about six times a day.
How are the workouts structured?
It depends. In morning workouts, we usually do cardiovascular and strength training, physical workouts.
What do you do for cardio?
We do sprint exercises, and running exercises. We also do strengthening work with abs and muscular workouts with weights, and explosive workouts with whatever the coach has prepared for us.
Who do you work out with?
I have three main trainers. Marc Ramsay is my head boxing coach. Luc-Vincent Ouellet is my second boxing coach. He also wraps my hands and takes care of that end of things. My physical strength coach is Jarek Kulesza. He’s a Polish trainer and quite a character!
We like characters at Diary. They keep us on our toes. So, one of the three is always with you for the duration of the workouts?
Yes, one of them is there with me three times a week, the others for additional workouts, and then I work out on my own as well, with detailed plans. My boxing coaches are there with me all the time, every day.
So it’s clearly a well-oiled machine. When you talk about explosive workouts, what do you mean?
I mean cardio mixed with strength and endurance. For example, running a certain distance with a medicine ball; combining exercises to max out the cardio, endurance, and strengthtraining potential.
Do you have any secrets or tips for regular people looking to stay in shape?
Yes, while workouts are important and should be incorporated regularly, nutrition is key too.
What do you eat when in full-on training mode?
I stay away from sweets, and eat very healthfully; a lot of raw veggies, protein and good carbs, depending on the workouts and what I need to burn. When in training, I have to be very careful with nutrition because, even when training twice a day, extremely hard, you can still gain weight. Nutrition is very important. Be careful what you eat!
What’s a typical breakfast for you?
In the morning before a big workout, I’ll have a bit of oatmeal with apple. Then I’ll work out. During that workout, I’ll have some BCAA (drink), which is great for recuperation.
And for lunch?
For lunch, I’ll likely have some protein, maybe chicken breast or leg with some rice and salad. Then I’ll have my second workout followed by a protein shake, and then later on, a healthy dinner.
It doesn’t sound like you’re consuming lots of carbs. Pretty lean trimmings.
It’s definitely lean, but the nutrition and type of meals also depend a lot on what stage I’m at in my training camp, and how much I have to start bringing the weight down.
When not in training mode, post-fight, do you let go and enjoy sometimes?
When I’m not training, oh boy, I do a lot of sweets. I do cheat sometimes!
What are your weaknesses?
Sweets from Première Moisson. They have those little pastries and cakes. I go with my daughter. She eats a tiny bit and I’m the one left with half the cake!
Glad to hear you Moisson every now and then; good for the soul! Finally, I’m still not clear on your recommendations for real people workouts.
Boxing training is really good. It’s a wellrounded workout for both the upper and lower body, combining cardio with strength work. Plus, it doesn’t build big muscles, keeps you lean, and burns calories. It’s great for a lot of things. I also love and recommend running and jogging. That’s my personal best way to lose the weight. That and the sauna, but saunas are an extreme resort.
Do you jog every day?
No, not every day. Like right now, I’m on vacation, on break. So I’ll run two or three times a week.
How long would you run for?
When not in camp, I can still go running for two or three hours. Good running. Good jogging. I don’t get tired.
David, this was certainly informative and fun! Thank you so much for your time and tips. Wishing you continued success.
Photography NEIL MOTA