When you first catch sight of four-time Muay Thai and kickboxing heavyweight world champion Alain Ngalani, the incredible physique of the Cameroon-born striker is enough to make you respect his physical prowess.
Ngalani looks the part, but it is not just about aesthetics. He is a finely-tuned martial artist with elite skills, speed, and power.
Many would spend a lifetime sculpting their body just to look like that, but “The Panther” focuses his energy on preparing for competition, and that hard work filters through to his monstrous build.
At 42 years old, many athletes may have slowed down, but not this man. Ngalani feels as youthful and athletic as ever, combining his martial arts training with an incredibly packed schedule.
As he prepares for his upcoming Open Weight Super Bout against Myanmar superstar and ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La N Sang at ONE: HERO’S DREAM in Yangon, he provides some insight into his daily schedule.
How Badly Do You Want It?
“For anything in life, if you want to achieve it, it is about how badly you want it. Do you actually want it? Are you willing to put in the effort? That is all,” explains Ngalani.
Although there are many people who would love to be competing at the pinnacle of martial arts, all while building their businesses simultaneously, the truth is many would not go to the lengths Ngalani does to make it happen.
It stems from being a dedicated martial artist all year-round, and then being able to fine-tune when he gets the call to step back inside the cage.
“When I am not competing, I am still at the gym. I still have to run the gym. I meet customers, I train them, and then when event time comes, my team addresses my training according to my opponent, what we have to work on, and so on,” he says.
“Sometimes, I will have from six to ten clients a day on my schedule, and then during that time I will also find the time to train myself. When I am not competing, I have at least two hours of training a day, and when I am competing, I have at least four hours of training a day.”
Turning It Up A Notch
“The Panther” starts his day at 7am, where he will do 30 minutes of stretching to prepare and maintain his body. There is a reason a man of his age and stature is famous for his spectacular splits, high kicks, and agility, and that is because he makes stretching the starting point of his daily regime.
“We do two hours of training in the morning, then two hours in the afternoon,” reveals Ngalani, who tries to keep every base covered while he prepares for his ONE Championship bouts. Around 10am to mid-day, he gets in his first training session.
“In the morning, I do a lot of strength and cardio training. I like to do high intensity interval training to keep my explosiveness going,” he says. “Then, I have something to eat and try to have a nap, because it is hard work.”
While some athletes would take the afternoon to have some downtime or relax, the heavyweight goes straight back to work.
“I take care of various appointments, training clients and preparing my school programs,” he mentions.
At 5pm, it is time for him to focus on himself again. During this session, he works on honing his skills for the upcoming clash with Aung La N Sang.
“In the afternoon, we will do sparring and specific technical training focused on my opponent,” he shares. “So right now, it is Brazilian jiu-jitsu, ground work, and takedown defense. There is still lots of striking, shadow boxing, and timing work, too.”
Fuel For The Fire
Fueling these intense days is just as important, and without the right nutrition to allow his lean 105kg frame to withstand this tough regime, it would all fall apart quite quickly.
Ngalani eats six to seven times every day, catching meals when he can, or having nutrition-packed shakes and soups when he is on the move.
“I have to eat as much as I train. I have to keep eating, so I have to eat every two to three hours,” he says. “I have to have big meals, my vegetables, fish, chicken, and so on.”
With most of the day taken up in the gym, preparing himself, and helping others, there is only one thing left to do at the end of it all.
“When I get home, I relax with the family, read or watch a movie, and then it’s bed time at around 11pm.”
By spending some quality time with his loved ones, he feels completely balanced after a long day of training and intense physical activity. And just looking at the smiling faces of his children makes the whole process worthwhile.
Come Friday, 3 November, he hopes those intense training days pay off in his monumental contest with Aung La N Sang.