Want to Look Like This? Start Fencing

 Olugbenro Ogunsemore/Red Bull Content Pool

Miles Chamley-Watson, the 6’4” London-born Olympic fencer, is the flesh-and-blood answer to a question no one ever asked: What would a model look like if you gave him a sword? The answer is, predictably, an absolute machine.

“Obviously growing up I didn’t think I would be fencing and making money, it was just something I tried out,” Watson says. “I thought I had something good and people would be like ‘alright whatever.’ I’m the one laughing now.”

Watson just became the face of Lokai’s new “Black and White” campaign, a project meant to instill a sense of empowerment and the ability to change your own destiny. Sure, it’s just a bracelet (with good intentions). But for Watson, a kid uprooted from home when he was eight years old and constantly in trouble until he found his sport, it struck a chord.

“Everyone has these things in their life where some things are great and some things are bad,” Watson says. “It’s a powerful reminder.” For the fencer, that reminder to persevere is important. As his sport is a niche one, there’s not always that outside encouragement to get up and go to the gym in the morning and push yourself. And yet Watson is there six days out of the week.

“I don’t have days like that anymore,” Watson says about skipping gym days. “I set my alarm every day for 6 a.m. and I just get up. The hardest part is when you second-guess yourself. Those five seconds are the hardest part.” To get his body, the athlete says he works out Monday through Saturday.

“It has to be varied or I get bored,” he says. “So [I do] everything from UFC to boxing to flipping tires and sledge hammer throws.” Amongst his focus area, Watson zeroes in on balance, stamina, and flexibility, sometimes going as far as mixing in ballet to tighten up his footwork. “When it comes to fencing, footwork is all about balance,” he says.

Here's a typical day for Miles Chamley-Watson:

  • 6:30 a.m.: Sauna and steam room
  • 8:00 a.m.: Strength-training and cardio-conditioning: deadlifts, boxing, sparring
  • 10:00 a.m.: Cool-down and stretching for flexibility
  • 12:00 p.m.: Healthy lunch break (lean fish and salmon)
  • 2:00 p.m.: One-on-one technical lesson on technique and strategy
  • 4:00 p.m.: Fencing group class: footwork, drills, open bouting, fencing matches
  • 6:30 p.m.: Healthy dinner (beef, chicken, and sweet potato)