Since the S4 Kick-off Press Conference already covered the fight's back story, we thought we'd focus on some other things instead. Read on to learn some of Turbo's attitudes toward diet, nutrition, and training, and get a peek behind the curtain of an elite full-contact karate fighter.
Dane Curley (DC) : Let's talk diet, nutrition, and training, Dr. Turbo!
What are you eating and drinking during training camp? And how different is that diet from what you enjoy year-round?
Ross "Turbo" Levine (RTL): My diet is pretty simple!
I have the best nutritionist in the business in Tricia Cornell (Fuel Nutrition). She helps plan out my calorie intake, macronutrient breakdown, and provides my entire rehydration plan for after weigh-ins. Right now, I’m still taking in a good amount of carbs to keep my energy high for building strength and staying explosive. In general, it’s a lot of lean proteins, a good variety of vegetables, and a ton of water!
When I’m out of camp, I definitely have a sweet tooth! However, over the last few years I’ve done a really great job keeping myself in check and staying within striking range of my target weight for competition.
DC: So do you have more of a year-round training routine, or do you prefer the peaks and valleys of taking some layoff time in between extra rigorous camps closer to the build up of your fights?
RTL: I certainly take some time off in between fights to enjoy the simple things in life. Like everything, there must be balance. With my career on the trajectory that it is now, I definitely indulge way less. I’m super focused and ready to make this run at the title.
Editor's Note: Levine vs. de Castañeda is a Title Eliminator match. Its winner will fight Shahin Atamov for the Karate Combat Middleweight World Championship.
To be at the championship level, I’ve got to sacrifice more than I ever had. Not only am I prepared for that… I am willing to do what it takes. Most people miss that last piece!
DC: That involves doing some things you might not enjoy. So, what is your least favorite training drill? And is there any particular style of training (cardio, stretching, etc.) that's hardest to motivate yourself for?
RTL: Honestly, there’s nothing about my training regimen that I don’t enjoy. Even the soul-crushing cardio classes are crazy challenging, but I embrace them. I see it all as part of my journey. My team and I always say: I don’t have to do this, I get to do this. These opportunities wake me up in the morning so it’s easy for me to get up and get after it.
DC: Then let's move in the other direction! What's your favorite part of training?
RTL: Is it too cliché to say I love it all? Certainly sparring is great because that’s where I get the opportunity to put it all together. If I had to pick one style of training though, it would be the heavy bag classes. There’s no better feeling than knowing I gave it everything I had on the bag…full power, full speed and leveling up my cardio every single time. There’s nothing better.
DC: If elite fighters are all sharing in a cliché, it's probably a cliché others should be taking part in.
What quality of yours do your coaches/training partners most compliment?
RTL: If I had to speak for them, I would say that they appreciate my professionalism. I show up for business. I work hard, help others, and try my best to grow a great culture in the gym. All of my training partners play a pivotal role in my success… it’s not all me in there. My team is strong and we are essentially all in there together. I’m just the vehicle that we ride in.
DC: Your wife is on that team! How often do you train with her?
RTL: My wife is my #1 training partner! We are typically paired up on the heavy bag together. Nobody pushes me like she does. At least 2-3x/week we are getting some work in together!
DC: Let's close up with this: What's some good advice for all the young karateka out there?
RTL: Keep your dreams big and always outwork everyone in the room!
There is finally a platform for karatekas around the world to work towards. Go after it with all your heart and I’ll see you at the top!
Ross "Turbo" Levine vs. "The Iberian Bull" Igor de Castañeda is coming in Season 4 of Karate Combat, Spring 2022!
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