Moldovan-born Dublin boxer Victor Rabei (5-0) spoke to the For Fit Sake podcast about the ins and outs of a fighter’s preparation and mindset during training camp.
It’s very easy for the average combat sports fan to take every fight at face-value. You get to see the fiery interviews, the heated staredowns, and, of course, the fights themselves but the work that goes into bringing it all together is often left unappreciated.
Rabei is still in the early days of his professional career but after hearing him speak on the most recent edition of the For Fit Sake podcast, it’s clear that his commitment behind the scenes matches his successes under the bright lights.
Speaking to the For Fit Sake podcast, Rabei broke down his day-to-day schedule during an ongoing fight-camp and as you would expect, it’s a case of being all-in or not at all.
“It’s intense. You don’t do anything else outside of training. Personally, I wake up, I go to training, come home, have a nap, go back to the gym, come back, jump into bed, watch TV and make sure I get to bed nice and early so I’m asleep by ten or half-ten.
“It’s usually six days a week, twice a day.”
Gameplanning, of course, plays a massive role in one’s preparation but given the intense physical demands or working at and sustaining such a high pace, you really do have to ease yourself into the swing of things.
“You know who your opponent is so you and your coach will sit down and go over his techniques.
“At the start we do fitness pads. So we just get punching and get used to punching again. Whereas two weeks in we will have spotted some weaknesses in our opponent – so my partner would hold pads, give me gaps but not say too much and just wait for me to find the gaps.
“You need your sparring partners to be what your opponent is like so you get used to that style of fighter.”
When you’re quite literally training to step into a ring with someone who is looking to separate you from your consciousness – you have to dig deep to keep yourself on the ball over the course of a training camp’s length.
The fight is won and lost in the gym but maintaining discipline even when you step outside of those doors is absolutely essential.
“The first two weeks we start off easy enough just so we get used to our body coming back into camp. We do one hard day, one easy day.
“You can train so much but recovery is so important. My aim is to train hard but to get that rest.
“Training is tough. Like they say, it’s 80% physical and 20% mental whereas in a fight it’s the opposite way around, 20% physical and 80% mental.
For those of you who have an interest in combat sports and even potentially have an eye on getting involved in fighting to some degree, FFS Episode 21 featuring Victor Rabei in its entirety is an absolute must.
A major part of the collaboration is an engaging and informative podcast like no other, titled ‘For Fit Sake’. The mission of the podcast is to help people become the strongest version of themselves, by delving into the mindsets of elite athletes, whilst also providing invaluable tips on how to improve your own performance, ‘For Fit Sake’ is a must-listen for all active sportspersons.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena