Don Nelson

AGE: 49
DON’S BIO

Coach Don Nelson’s dream of opening a boxing club in Oshawa became a reality in 1993. Motor City Boxing Club is now one the most respected boxing clubs in Canada. Don’s boxing resume is impressive. He was Nova Scotia’s Lightweight Champion in 1984, Ontario Welterweight Champion 1992, battled in 81 amateur fights and has spent over 25 years as a boxing coach.  You can find out more about Don and the Motor City Boxing Club here.


  1. When did your start working out?
    I grew up in the country so I was always active, played hockey from about 5-years-old. I did many other sports but started boxing at 13 and have been boxing ever since except for 4 years, when I gave it up from 17-21.
  2. What adversity have you had to overcome as athlete?
    As an athlete, nerves and a lack of self confidence were my down fall but I became a better athlete when I was coaching and just having fun with the sport. I learned to relax, enjoy the moment and found my confidence.
  3. How has working out impacted your life?
    Working out has shaped my entire life. It is who I am, everything is better with activity in it. If I couldn’t exercise I’d find a way to carry on but I can’t imagine how different my life would be.
  4. How often do you train and for how long?
    I coach actively 3-6 times a week for about two hours per session, I run five kilometres about three times a week and try to get in two or three strength training sessions, doing whole body weight circuits which is about 40 minutes.
  5. What are some keys to working out intensely and avoiding injury?
    I run a “warm up” session for our boxers at the club at least twice a week. It’s 30 minutes but it’s intense. It’s not really a warm up but its a workout. Some members of our club do it and leave. It’s probably the key factor for me staying in shape and still working as hard as the kids. On injuries it’s all about form, stretching, balance and managing them because if you’re an athlete something is always hurt, its just a matter of how bad, can you work through it or should you work around it. With age, I’d say it’s more of working around it….lol.
  6. What is your #1 fitness tip?
    Don’t quit on yourself, you have to have the willpower to make yourself uncomfortable when your exercising and never stop pushing yourself to be better, at any age you can set goals to aim for. Don’t go on diets or fitness binges thinking you’re going to lose weight and get fit in no time. Even if you have a big weight loss and get into better shape. If it’s a diet or fad you’re just going to go back to where you were or worse. If you want to be fit at any age just change your life style and make healthy eating and activitys part of it forever not something you’re doing until…

Lorne’s take – Don has some great thoughts on the importance of self confidence in sport and the ability to stay relaxed and have fun.


Posted by Lorne Marr.
Lorne Marr is a Toronto-based fitness enthusiast and lifelong advocate of healthy living. He is on a journey to discover the best methods of training and nutrition for athletes and weekend warriors over 45. Connect with Lorne on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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