MF caught up with Amir Khan ahead of his hotly anticipated fight against Luis Collazo on May 3rd in Las Vegas. Khan gave us an insight into his typical weekly diet plan, strength sessions, cheat days and his most hated exercise ahead of the fight.
What is a typical weekly diet plan for you in the build up to a fight?
• On a typical day when I’m trying to make weight I’ll stick to my usual diet but cut down slightly on carbs to help me trim down. I start the day at 5am with a protein shake, then after my early morning running session I have porridge with blueberries and raspberries or strawberries. At 10:30am I have a second breakfast of scrambled or poached eggs with coconut oil on toast, tomatoes and beans. Nothing fried. A pre-lunch snack is a protein bar, chocolate most of the time because I have a sweet tooth!
• I usually won’t have lunch, although I do have energy and protein drinks throughout the day. After my second breakfast my next meal isn’t until about 6pm.
• In the evening, I’ll start with soup, then potatoes with some meat. Usually when I’m trying to cut weight I’ll eat a lot of fish and chicken instead of red meat because it’s a lot lighter. Also, plenty of vegetables and salad. Some vegetables, such as potato are high in carbs so you have to be careful with these foods if you’re trying to make weight for a fight.
• After the morning session I’ll have a Promax Lean shake to feed my muscles. They’re packed full of protein and contain caffeine as well as natural vitamins. After that, I will have a super-food shake which includes chocolate, acai, rosehip, maca and coconut water. In general, after every high-intensity session I’ll have a protein shake.
• My snacks through the day include super-foods such as cacao beans and goji berries. I also have protein bars to satisfy my sweet tooth.
What supplements do you take during or immediately after the fight?
I always have a protein shake after a fight or training session because during a fight I work hard and it is very demanding on the old muscles. It’s important to have a protein intake as soon as you can in order to help your muscles recover and perform again.
What’s your favourite meat?
It varies a lot actually. Obviously, I don’t eat pork but I really enjoy other red meat. When I’m in a training camp I eat a lot of fish because it’s light and it contains omega 3, which is good for the body, particularly my joints. I eat a lot of chicken as well and maybe have some steak twice a week.
How many strength sessions do you do per week?
I only dedicate one day a week to pure strength and conditioning, but I will usually have some kind of strength session six days of each week, and many of my other training sessions will help me build my strength and power.
How many cardio sessions do you do per week?
Roughly four days a week will be focused on cardio. On Mondays we focus on track running and sprints then as the week goes on we will have cardio sessions in the pool, some stair running sessions and sand dune sessions. When I’m in LA I’ll do some cone drills and lateral drills, which are similar to what football players do.
Do you find it easy to keep to a strict diet?
It’s not easy to cut out all the junk food especially when I can see my friends around me eating chocolate and crisps, that can make me be a bit snappy at the start. But after about two weeks you get used to it.
What’s your favourite snack?
I am a big fan of the mixed nuts bags with cashews, almonds and raisins etc.
What’s your signature dish?
You can never go too wrong with a good roast leg of lamb.
How many meals do you eat a day?
Usually three meals a day. Two breakfasts and dinner with plenty of nutritional snacks in between.
Do you have diet cheat days?
No, not when I’m building up to a fight. I have to be strict with my diet then. It’s after the fight I get to rest and be more relaxed in terms of what I eat. It’s all worth it though because it makes it even sweeter when I’m finally allowed to indulge!
How many take-away meals do you have per month?
It’s bad, but probably around twice a week when I’m not training. But I don’t have any at all while I’m in training, so it’s OK.
What’s your favourite gym exercise?
If I had to pick one it would be squats, as I can see and feel the difference after every set.
What exercise do you hate?
To be honest, I hate most exercises. Only because I push I myself so hard though!
What’s your highest bench press one-rep max?
What’s your top tip for making weight?
It’s very important to ensure your body weight never fluctuates too far from your fight weight. As a guide I would say to stay within 5%, otherwise you’re at risk of trying to lose weight too quickly as your fight is approaching, which can be dangerous and detrimental to your training, performance in the ring and health.
What are your post-fight rituals?
I always make sure I cool down properly with plenty of stretching and refuel my body as soon as I can.
Amir Khan feeds his muscles with MaxiNutrition protein when training and competing #feedyourmuscles maxinutrition.com