How To Get Lean Like a Fighter: Shanie Smash’s Tips
It’s important to remember that we come in all shapes and sizes – your body is already beautiful and amazing, and capable of kicking butt on a heavy bag!
FightCamp Trainer Shanie “Smash” says don’t get hung up on a number on a scale. Her motto is if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. You should always have an end goal in mind with everything that you do.
The secret to success is that there are no shortcuts – you have to put in the work. You have to have a plan, a goal, and execute it. By following her tips and making healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes, you will see the results you desire.
Shanie’s Tips for Getting a Fighter’s Physique:
I opt for an early workout (like FightCamp) – first thing in the morning. This is helpful for two (2) main reasons:
- Ensures that you fit it in and get it out of the way--no excuses
- Boosts your mood and sets a precedent for the rest of the day
After my morning workout, I always nourish my body with a protein shake and healthy food.
I’m not superhuman. I also have days when I would rather stay in bed a little longer, but I don’t let myself. This is why discipline is so important – and my tip for staying disciplined is to have a routine.
I schedule my entire week in advance – my workouts and my meals and recovery days. You can start creating your routine with just a few simple steps:
- Plan the next day’s workout the night before
- Lay out your gym clothes for the morning so they’re ready to go
- Think about what to eat for breakfast depending on that day’s workout
You never want to wake up and let your morning brain decide because your morning brain is going to want to reach over and hit the snooze button.
To help stay on track I also suggest always having someone in your corner. Your support system could be a friend, workout partner, significant other, or a Facebook group.
Though it may feel counterproductive to take a rest day, even champs take days off. You can only train as hard as you recover.
A recovery day does NOT mean:
- Skipping a planned workout because you woke up and didn’t feel like it
- A cheat day where you lay on the couch and eat junk food
What a recovery day looks like for a fighter:
- Some extra sleep
- Myofascial release
- Foam rolling
- Percussion therapy
- Compression therapy
- Going on a hike
- Walking your dog
- Doing yoga
I decided to become a FightCamp boxing/kickboxing trainer because I genuinely believe that boxing and kickboxing are the best forms of exercise. Here are a few of my top reasons why boxing is a great workout:
- Perfect mix of cardio and strength
- Full body workout
- Helps flexibility
- Great core workout
- Burns calories
- Stress reliever
- Challenges your mind and memory
- Improves hand-eye coordination
- It’s empowering!
There is a misconception that boxing will bulk you up. Many people think that women especially will become bulky just by boxing or kickboxing, but the truth is it’s very difficult to do. Building large bulky muscle mass takes a lot of very heavy weight training, consuming a massive amount of calories, and years of training. Boxing and kickboxing will make you lean!
Athletes don’t diet and exercise, they train. Be wary of trendy, fad, or crash diets because most of them are not healthy. You want to make consistent, smart, and healthy nutrition choices that are sustainable.
I was raised a vegetarian and I am now a pescatarian. I’ve never had a problem with getting enough protein in my diet, and I only eat clean food. My golden rule is simple: the less refined and processed a food is, the more likely I am to put it in my body.
You have to stay hydrated, especially if you’re starting an exercise routine. Increasing your water intake is key to:
- Hydrate muscles
- Decrease soreness
- Flush out toxins
- Improve skin health
- Increase energy
How much water should I drink?
You should drink about 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight. If you sweat a lot, you are losing more water that needs to be replaced. You can measure this by weighing yourself right before and right after a workout.
My tips for drinking enough water include:
- Carry around a big water jug. If you find it hard to keep drinking it throughout the day, put lines on it with times to remind yourself to drink.
- Make it fun! If you don’t like to drink plain water, you can add fruit slices or even a flavored hydration packet (make sure it’s healthy!)
- Drink water first thing when you wake up. If you wait until too late in the day to get your daily water intake, you’ll be up at night to use the restroom.
Shanie’s Five (5) Takeaways:
1. Don’t get caught up in the numbers
2. Make a plan, and stick with it
3. Try a boxing/kickboxing class
4. Athletes do NOT diet and exercise – they eat and train
5. Get accountability by teaming up with a supportive trainer or community
Don’t get lean for the summer, get healthy for yourself. Remember that getting in fighting shape takes consistency and discipline. Sticking to a routine is the hardest part, but having support and accountability can help you reach your goals. If you’re ready to start transforming your life by learning to box at home, check out some beginner workouts with me, Shanie, and find the support you need with FightCamp.
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The Author: Shanie "Smash" Rusth is an undefeated professional mixed martial artist, FightCamp Trainer, and mother of two. She began training MMA in 2011 as a way to get in shape, learn a new skill, channel aggression, and feel empowered after becoming a young single mom. Outside of practicing martial arts and being a trainer, Shanie loves spending time in the gym and being active in the sunshine with her kids by going to the beach, running in the soft sand, and riding skateboards. Shanie is also USA Boxing Coach certified.