What It Takes to Be Mary Kom: The Diet, Training and Exercise

What It Takes to Be Mary Kom: The Diet, Training and Exercise

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35 years
6 World Championships titles
1 Olympic medal

MC Mary Kom is the world’s most successful female boxer. The 35-year-old Indian pugilist has made history by becoming a six-time world champion – the only woman and only the second boxer ever to have achieved it. This after having taken a break for almost two years recently, making a comeback in 2017 and her body having gone through childbirth twice.

There’s something about Mary. So, what does it take to be Mary Kom? What does it take for a sportsperson to dominate their field at this age? What’s her diet, training and exercise like?

FIT caught up with the legend herself.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/MC Mary Kom)

How Has She Maintained Such Fitness Levels at This Age?

“Regular practice. It only happens because I keep training regularly. I never miss my training,” say Mary as a matter of fact.

Her physio from 2010-2016, Nikhil Latey, explains it in detail:

She’s a six-time World Champion but she doesn’t take things for granted. She’ll put in the effort for training and that’s the key to success. She’s incredibly diligent about it. It actually just boils down to that. The reason Federer is able to go on for so long – it’s just the dedication and the hunger that they still want to win. 
(Photo: FIT)
Both! I can say I’m the fittest also. My experience has helped me a lot. No need to train for 3-4 hours. Young boxers need 2 hours at least. For me, 40-45 minutes is enough.
Mary Kom

The Body and Muscles Change With Age. How Does She Overcome That?

Latey explains that the strength doesn’t age with age. What changes is the recovery time. The ability of the muscles to recover between one training session and the next does is affected.

Now, here's the thing about Mary.

Of all the athletes I’ve worked with Mary has the best recovery. She just manages to recover that much faster. And she’s extremely smart. She knows how much her body can take. Like even if you saw her matches she’s very judicious about when to attack, when not to attack.
Nikhil Latey, Mary Kom’s Former Physio

Unlike someone who is a decade or more younger than her, who can keep going on for the entire nine minutes, she can't at her age. But that's where her intelligence and her understanding of the game comes into play.

Did Giving Birth Twice Affect Her Body?

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/MC Mary Kom)

Mary says having given birth twice (she has three kids, including a pair of twins) has never affected her body. “I keep training and I always focus. The change is only that the injuries have increased a bit. But the physios are there in the camp. They make me fit.”

The Diet Plan: What Does She Eat?

“I haven't changed my diet. Whatever I want to have, I eat. I keep eating different things.

Mostly, it’s boiled rice or sticky rice. Without rice, I won’t be able to survive! Sometimes, I eat sweets like jalebi, ice cream and all too. But no masala or spicy food. I take regular supplements and that really helps me. 

Nikhil Latey details her daily diet.

  • She has home-cooked Manipuri food.
  • Rice and vegetable with meat.
  • She takes protein and multi-vitamins.

How does she manage to maintain her weight to stick to the weight category she plays in?

“I deal with it easily. That is not a big issue for me. Obviously we have to maintain our category weight. Then I keep skipping, maybe I'll play badminton. I keep doing exercise to maintain fitness,” says Mary Kom.

Cameraperson: Shiv Kumar Maurya
Video Editor:
Kunal Mehra

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