David Haye’s training and diet regime revealed as former heavyweight world champion looks back to his prime at 40 years old with stunning body transformation
David Haye is getting back in a boxing ring three years after what was supposed to be his final bout.
The Hayemaker, 40, last competed when he lost to Tony Bellew for a second time back in 2018, but now he is getting back in the ring this weekend to take on his close friend, Joe Fournier.
The fight takes place on September 11, and is part of the undercard of boxing legend Evander Holyfield stepping in for Oscar De La Hoya against MMA star Vitor Belfort.
Despite his time out of the ring, Haye has managed to keep himself in magnificent condition. A strict training regimen and diet even in retirement has been the key to Haye’s success.
Given his condition, many have wondered if Haye might seek more lucrative exhibitions should this one go well.
“This is strictly a one-off,” Haye said. “My next project is opening my academies to get youngsters off the streets and into boxing.
“I’m feeling the nostalgia. When Joe first began challenging me I said it was inconceivable I would ever fight again. But here we are.”
Haye is a two-weight world champion having conquered cruiserweight and then heavyweight, but injuries took their tool on him at the back end of his career.
He had spinal surgery in 2015, and also had to deal with shoulder and bicep issues as well as the snapped achilles tendons that killed his chances against Bellew in their first bout.
“With two Achilles tendons snapped, I should be able to find a way to win this fight,” Haye said of his upcoming showdown. “He just doesn’t see my body holding up for eight rounds, he doesn’t see it.”
Most fighters ease off when they go into retirement. Training to be a professional fighter is an entire lifestyle and many struggle with the weight cuts that are normally involved.
For Haye, he’s never wanted to change and that’s why he remains in optimum condition for his comeback.
“I’ve not had cheese or milk for the last two years and I’ve felt the benefits from that,” he told animal welfare charity PETA back in 2016.
“Since cutting out meat I’ve felt healthier – cleaner, lighter. My skin, my nails and hair, I stopped getting dandruff, there are loads of really positive effects I got from that.
“I woke up brighter and fresher in the mornings. I don’t feel as drowsy.
“I remember after a meal I would just want to crash out and go to sleep. But now I can eat and feel more awake and my energy levels felt better.”
Haye also went vegan at that stage in his career and he has continued with that lifestyle today.
“I get a lot of my protein from plant-based protein powders.
“I’ve had to develop my own plant-based proteins from quinoa, brown rice and yellow pea which gives you a nice spectrum of plant-based protein.
“I try and get at least 200g of protein per day from that source alone, minus everything else – that’s just from three shakes.
While fighting, nutritionist Aidan Goggins has him eating five meals a day to keep him strong, healthy and injury free. Prior to that, he was eating 24 eggs whites and four tins of sardines per day just to get all the protein he needs.
Haye also says he eats something called ‘sirt-rich’ foods, which activate proteins in the body called ‘sirtuins’ that regulate key biological processes in the body like ageing, cell death, inflammation and metabolism and apparently protect cells from dying when under stress – like rigorous training.
The foods most important to this system include celery, turmeric, chillies, walnuts, apples and red onions.
Haye makes no secret that he prefers to work out in the sunnier climates as he believes it’s good for his skin and overall health.
But he’s very aware of what works for him and what doesn’t. He remains in a magnificent physique because he never changes his routine.
“There’s so many elite sportsmen who once they don’t have to train for their job, their standard of living in my opinion goes down,” he explained.
“They may be able to go to lovely, fancy restaurants but they’ll look in the mirror every night and I’m sure they’ll think, ‘Come on, get it together.’ But for some reason they don’t.
“I just wouldn’t want to be in that bracket. I really want to know be a good role model for my kids to continue training, continue looking good.”
Haye says he trains Monday to Friday and while he might casually exercise at the weekend, he doesn’t do anything serious. He aims to do 30 minutes of work during the weekdays. He considers doing regular workouts like that better long-term than heavy sessions followed by rest.