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“I want to become a world champion! To make my country and family proud and also create history for Malaysia.” says Malaysia’s Professional Boxer and SEA Games Medalist, Adli “Goldenboy” Hafidz before heading down to Singapore for an upcoming professional boxing championship – the SFC (Singapore Fighting Championship) X KBX, which will be held on the 30th of April 2022.

He may be one of the top athletes in combat sports, but boxing is an endurance sport and requires a lot of cardio training to last in the ring. Therefore, cross-training is extremely important when it comes to building overall muscle strength as well as endurance.

National athlete Adli Hafidz shares what attributes he needs to get prepared for the competition and the best tips for training during Ramadan.

What are the best cardio workouts for yourself?

Basically, I do a lot of cardio workouts aside from intensive training for my boxing preparation, on an alternate basis. I also add jumping rope into my workout routine which I find skipping quite a fun form of cardio. Besides that, I do interval runs as well as long-distance runs just to ensure that I am in my best form.

What other sports do you play besides boxing?

Although my priority has always been boxing, I do play other sports too, such as golf, cycling, swimming, and football. This is to ensure that I am always in an active rest mode and my body is able to recharge before focusing on my boxing training or workout.

How do cycling and running help your boxing performance?

Running and cycling really help in my boxing performance as they could improve my cardiovascular endurance. Long aerobic running sessions can only do so much in preparing for the physical needs that I would face in the ring. However, running does help in ensuring that I would feel more energized and less winded thus, increasing my endurance.

Prior to the Singapore Fighting Championship, what is your training like?

I have been in training mode since November 2021 as this tournament has been postponed thrice. During this training period, I am focusing more on tactical focus for mitts and sparring.

What has been the hardest part of training during the Ramadan season?

The hardest part of training during Ramadan is figuring out how to maintain and sustain energy. But I never see this as a challenge because to me, there are always ways to cope with it. In the morning, I will train as early as 5AM and will continue my training routine at 3PM. I will just sweat it out but keep in mind to always keep myself hydrated.

The fasting month definitely makes your training regime more challenging, how do you mentally prepare for the competition?

Always set in your mind before training- what to do tomorrow, rest, and sleep well including eating healthy food for recovery. To be ready for a competition means I would need to be mentally and physically prepared. I believe mental health is as important as physical preparation in getting yourself ready for upcoming competitions.

One of the mottos I live by, of course, is in line with a strong message from Under Armour, “The Only Way Is Through” which really speaks to me and keeps me positively motivated. It has helped to push me forward especially when it comes to preparing for the championship.

To be honest, there are days when I feel like giving up as I go through challenging training and there are days that turn out to be physically challenging especially when it comes to fasting before a big championship. But this motto has always kept me going and motivated me to push myself harder and do my best to reach my goals.

Do you have any training tips to share that help you get through the fasting month?

Ramadan is not an excuse for me to skip my training and workout routine. During Ramadan, I will focus on cardio workouts because, during the fasting month, you would lack energy during the day but glycogen in the body will help to supply energy. Besides that, I would recommend anyone who is fasting carry out a medium-intensity workout. Always keep yourself hydrated, right after breaking fast so that your body will have the right amount of liquid needed to keep it going.

What are the types of meals to eat and to avoid during Sahur and Iftar to keep fit to maintain the strength he requires for your competition?

During Ramadan, dates are my greatest meal companions. They are a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during training and workout. Besides that, I consume varied food rich in macronutrient profile and high in nutrients which are essential for performance and recovery. I do limit my meal intakes to moderate sizes and always keep myself hydrated. I believe in eating well as it helps me in my training.

The right boxing gears indeed help you boost your performance and recovery, what are they?

To be honest, I am a fan of Under Armour gears and performance wear even before I joined the Under Armour family as an ambassador. Under Armour is very innovative and groundbreaking in using technology to ensure that their performance wear is designed and catered for different workouts and I believe this has played a part in maximizing my performance during training.

To boost my performance and energy, I would wear the UA RUSH™ range for my training regime and I will always put on my UA RUSH™ Seamless Short Sleeve, UA RUSH™ HeatGear 2.0 Leggings, and UA RUSH™ Quarter Socks before I train. For recovery, I usually put on my UA RECOVER™ Shorts and UA RECOVER™ Crew Long Sleeves before I sleep to help me recover after a long, tough day of training.

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