What does it take to train like a World class boxer?


There’s less than a week to go until the Rio Olympics, and to find out what it’s like for the stars of the Games—the athletes—we’re chatting with female sports stars to find out how they train, live, and eat. Today we’re speaking with Marlen Esparza, an American boxer who took the bronze at the 2012 Olympics in London in the women’s flyweight division. Esparza’s been sponsored by Nike, Chobani, CoverGirl, and even landed a Vogue spread ahead of the 2012 Games. Here, she spilled exactly what it takes to be a world-class athlete, so keep scrolling.

For breakfast I had:

I usually make a smoothie for breakfast around 8 a.m. that includes Nutty for ’Nana Chobani Greek yogurt with chopped-up bananas, organic honey, powdered peanut butter, chia seeds, almond milk, and steel-cut oats all blended together. 

For lunch I had:

Protein! I had grilled chicken, sweet potato, and asparagus for lunch around 1 p.m.

For dinner I had:

I will usually have chicken, steak, some kind of protein and more veggies for dinner around 7 p.m.

Today I snacked on:

I love Mango Chobani Greek yogurt, it’s one of my favorite snacks. Another snack that I pre-make is a special oatmeal, which is whole-grain steel-cut oats with cashew milk, powdered peanut butter, organic honey, and chia seeds, and I let it sit in the refrigerator overnight and eat it cold.

The one thing I would never eat is:

Egg yolk, I only eat egg whites.

My all-time favorite workout is:

Running! I love to listen to music and clear my head when I run.

I think the health and fitness trend that will dominate in 2016 is:

Juicing and “boxercise.”

The health trend I just can’t get behind is:


My favorite healthy restaurant is:

Bowl of Heaven in San Diego. I love acai bowls!

My go-to smoothie ingredients are:

Nutty for ’Nana Chobani Greek Yogurt with chopped-up bananas, organic honey, powdered peanut butter, chia seeds, almond milk, and steel-cut oats all blended together.

Each week I usually work out:

I usually work out twice a day, six days a week. My first workout I do mostly running and conditioning and my second workout I do boxing drills and sparring.

Some of the fitness blogs and websites I follow include:

Nike NTC, Self, and Shape.

My favorite Instagram accounts are:

Nike Women, Nike Running, and Women’s Running.

The three ingredients you’ll always find in my kitchen are:

Powdered peanut butter, bananas, and some flavor of Chobani Greek yogurt.

My signature healthy dish is:

I do a healthy dessert to cut down on cravings after dinner that is yogurt, almonds, chopped-up banana, peanut butter, and one scoop of cottage cheese all mixed together with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

The health app I couldn’t live without is:

Nike NTC app! It has challenging workouts when I need to change things up in the gym or even in hotel rooms when I am traveling.

The top three songs on my workout playlist right now are:

“Impatient” by Jeremih, “Controlla” by Drake, and “Summer 16” by Drake.

The best part of my job is:

Getting to do what I love and have such an intense passion for. I love being a role model for girls in the younger generation since I did not have a female to look up to when I was starting out in the sport, and that made it difficult at times.

At the beginning of most days I:

Take my dog, Magic, for a long walk! Once I get back, I make my favorite breakfast smoothie (above).

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