Training Tips and Inspiration From Professional MMA Fighter Hamza Salim
I have to be honest, since Covid hit it has been a real struggle to find the new family life/work/world balance. Finally I am feeling like it’s happening and I can start writing again.
For this next post I would like to shine the spotlight on one of my favorite athletes who recently turned Pro, my former kickboxing and MMA coach, Hamza Salim. Recently I was able to catch up with him for an interview on what it is like being a professional athlete during the Covid-19 pandemic, what his training routine is like, and some of the most effective holistic and alternative therapies he uses to recover after his fights.
Hamza: Hello Michele thank you for the interview.
WHV: Hamza, what has inspired you the most to become a professional MMA fighter?
H: Becoming a professional MMA fighter was a natural transition in my journey as a martial artist. I started practicing martials arts when I was 13 years old. I kept competing and evolving until I got to a level where being a professional MMA fighter is the next challenge for me, and that was 5 years ago.
WHV: Now that you are back in the ring after the pandemic shutdown, what is your routine like as a professional athlete? Has it had much of an impact on your training or the way you prepare for a fight?
H: In the beginning the pandemic had a negative effect on training and life in general. I tried to stay active by working out at home so that I would not gain too much weight. I started doing a lot of solo training and studying videos and classic martial arts matches. Since phase 2 started a couple of teammates and myself started meeting and training together.
On a perfect day I wake up early, get a light snack, and then I head to my Strength and Conditioning session. Then I go home to relax till my afternoon grappling session. After that, in the evening I have my striking session which is usually the last training of the day. Between these sessions I eat healthy snacks and rest, if I can. Also, a very important part of my routine is recovery.
WHV: What holistic modalities do you find to be the most beneficial during training? And which ones do you find helpful when recovering from intense training or after a fight?
H: Recovering the body and the mind is one the most important aspects in my training routine. My number one priority when it comes to recovery is sleep. I have to get good sleep and rest if I can. Also food that is rich with nutrients and not just empty calories. I add some basic supplements like vitamins and proteins regularly in my diet, which helps. Mobility exercises, regular massages, sauna, hydrotherapy, stretching and meditation are great ways to prepare and recover the body and the mind.
WHV: Do you have any favorite products that you would recommend for other athletes or people who are training regularly?
H: Yes, a massage gun is a good product that I use a lot to help in recovery.
WHV: What advice would you give to younger athletes who are aspiring to become professional?
H: That is a big question, I will try to answer it. The main thing is not to let winning get to your head, and not to let failure get to your heart. Also, train smart before you train hard ,and remember it is a journey. It is a long process that needs to take its time, so consistency is a key.
Hamza, Thank you for taking the time to share some insight into your world as a professional MMA fighter. I’m sure many fans will find your words inspiring and helpful in their own life goals.
For those of you interested in watching Hamza’s next fight. Stay tuned in to Bellator MMA on YouTube. His lastest fight was Bellator #249 on October 15th against the tough and skilled Christian Edwards.