WWE Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair shines bright under the WWE spotlight, but the self -proclaimed “StrongEST, FastEST, and ToughEST” athlete has learned that heavy is the head that wears the crown. Having chronicled her rise to the top of WWE with M&F before her historic first world title victory at WrestleMania 37, Belair checked-in with us ahead of SummerSlam 2022 to reflect on life at the top of the mountain, explaining on why she works hardEST when the cameras are off and the crowds have stopped cheering, so that she can continue to blaze a trail for as long as possible.
1. Bianca Belair has it all sewn up
This super athletes’ seamless transition from NXT rookie to WWE champ is owed, in no small part, to her ability to stay grounded. Incredibly, even with her current hectic match schedule, media obligations, and countless hours spent in the gym, Belair still designs and makes all her own ring gear. Paying homage to her track and field hero, Flo-Jo (Florence Griffith Joyner), Belair believes in outshining her rivals with both her physical performance and a creative flare for fashion. Her outfit for WrestleMania 37 took weeks to complete and was only finished the night before that huge main event victory over Sasha Banks. It’s a ritual that the dedicated WWE superstar continues to this day.
“Doing my gear definitely keeps me grounded,” says Belair. “Being champion, my workload has increased even more. I’m fighting to find time to do my gear, but that’s something that I’ve done since day one. It’s part of who ‘Bianca Belair’ is, so I want to hold on to that, and I wouldn’t feel right walking into the ring without gear that I had made.”
2. Bianca Belair leaves it all in the gym
You can take the girl away from CrossFit competition, but Bianca Belair still loves cardio and CrossFit style workouts to keep her conditioning in top shape now that she is a champion in WWE. In fact, the “EST” is so serious about putting herself through challenging workouts that she leaves it all in the gym and likes to feel sore in order feel like she has given it her all.
“I’ve been an athlete my whole life,” says Belair. “So, I love the feeling of working hard, the pain of being in the gym, I love pushing myself. I love being uncomfortable so I’m sore right now. It’s kind of my ‘norm.’ If I’m not sore, I’m like: ‘ok, I didn’t work hard enough, I need to go back in the gym. I understand the importance of rest, but I love the feeling of being sore because I feel like that’s my hard work paying off.” In terms of supplements, Belair shares that C4 Smart Energy is one of the champs’ essential gym bag items for both work and play. “C4 is so key to me, especially when I’m trying to workout in the mornings,” says Belair. “Because I’m not a morning person. My husband (fellow WWE superstar, Montez Ford is the person that is up yelling at 7 O’ Clock in the morning.” The champ explains that C4’s Smart Energy drink not only gets her amped up for epic workouts, but the cognitive benefits also help her to stay focused behind the sewing machine.
3. Bianca Belair has learned to love herself
Having laid it all out in the WWE ring, and on the gym floor, the champ has learned that taking care of herself is a must, if she is to continue to reign supreme as the Raw Women’s Champion. So, to that end, Belair is learning to take moments for herself here and there. “My husband forces me to do some yoga, which is hard for me because I don’t like to stay still,” laughs Belair. “I’m a big foam roller person because, coming from the track and field world, we always foam-rolled for warming up and afterwards. We’ve also started doing ice baths again.” Still, there’s nothing that the “EST” loves more after enthralling her WWE fans than catching up on some Netflix. “You can go hard, but you have to stop and take care of yourself,” she says. “Some people have this misconception that self-care has to be, you know, cucumbers on the eyes and facemasks… but sometimes my self-care is just lying in bed, steaming my favorite show, and resting my mind and my body.”
4. Bianca Belair understands that becoming champ is only the beginning
“I feel like a lot of people think that you do all of the hard work to get to be champion, but it all starts over … because now you have a big target on your back,” says Belair. “Everyone is coming after you. You also have more appearances and more media, so it’s harder to find time and keep your fitness game correct.” Belair also feels that she is going harder in the gym than ever before, and if you think that’s impossible, her PR’s say otherwise!
“I did a recent PR for pullups and dips,” she shares, enthusiastically. “A couple of years ago, if people had followed my story before I got into WWE, I had a huge injury with my ribs. I had costochondritis, where the ribs popped from my sternum, so I wasn’t able to do any pullups or dips. So, this week, I did 17 strict pullups in a row and then yesterday I did 22 strict dips, so I am very excited about that because I know where I was a couple of years ago, and I see all the hard work paying off now.”
5. Bianca Belair knows that WINNING starts with TRYING
“My parents raised me to work hard and ‘what’s for you, will be for you,’” says the champ. “I know people say that you can be anything that you want to be but sometimes life happens, you know? And sometimes plans change but that doesn’t mean that you give up. My big thing is just trying. Montez and I talk about this all of the time. Just try, and don’t be afraid to not be good at something the first time. Keep working hard and trying and be ok with your direction [taking a different route] sometimes. As long as you are moving forward, that’s the right way to do things.”
Bianca Belair hopes to move forward once again at SummerSlam 2022 in Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN on July 30 (live on Peacock in the US, and WWE Network internationally). When, the “EST” will finally get to erase her ‘blink and you missed it’ title loss to Becky Lynch in a rematch from last years’ event. “I’m very excited about SummerSlam,” shares Belair. “Everyone knows that I am a Tennessee girl. I’m from [Knoxville] Tennessee, born and raised, my mom is actually from Nashville … It’s SummerSlam and everyone knows what happened last year at SummerSlam for me. I walked in with the title and Becky Lynch took my title in 26 seconds, so (drawing a deep breath) even though I took this title from Becky Lynch at WrestleMania, this is a full circle for me.”
Bianca Belair is proof-positive that it is how hard you work when no one is watching that really matters the most. “I want to put one hundred percent into what I do,” she affirms. “Inside of the ring, but also outside of the ring, so I work hard when the cameras turn off, I work hard when I’m not in the ring, and all of that translates over. It correlates with each other, and all of that shows when I step in the ring.”