Miles Chamley-Watson on the Olympics, fencing and his NYC favorites

amNewYork caught up with the Red Bull athlete at Fencers Club Inc. in Chelsea.

If you’re a regular at Equinox or the DogPound, you may have worked out alongside Miles Chamley-Watson.

At 6-foot-4 with bleached-blond hair, sleeves of tattoos and a well-defined six-pack, he can’t be missed. And though his model looks have helped him walk the runways of New York Fashion Week, the London-born New Yorker’s main focus is fencing. And he’s pretty good at his day job.

Since winning the Junior Olympics at 13, Chamley-Watson, 26, went on to place fourth in the men’s foil at the 2012 London Olympics, and in 2013 he became the first American man to win an individual world title in fencing when he won the men’s foil at the World Campionships. Now, the Midtown East resident is gearing up for this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

amNewYork caught up with the Red Bull athlete at Fencers Club Inc. in Chelsea, where he trains, to find out how he’s gearing up for the Olympics.


How did you get into fencing?

I moved from London to New York. I was 10 years old. I got into trouble for talking. I was that British kid who wouldn’t shut up. They made me stay after school. There was a sword in the corner, a foil. I picked it up and started fooling around with it. The teacher was like, “You’re pretty good.”


What were your first competitions like?

I entered a local tournament [with] 10 kids, and I won. Three months later, I went to a national [competition] in Miami, and I won that. I qualified for the Junior Olympics when I was 13 and won that, too. I was like, maybe I should take this seriously.


What is your fitness routine?

I wake up at 8 a.m., and work out at 8:30 a.m. I go to the DogPound and Equinox. I go stretching from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and then physical therapy from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., and fencing from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. When I’m fencing, it’s drills, footwork, lessons and sparring. I’ll watch a video of myself and see what I need to work on. Home at 6 p.m. Five and a half days a week.


What does your diet consist of?

I have a really strict diet. I eat protein and vegetables. During the week I try to cook fish, steak and chicken. I eat quinoa and sweet potato every day. On the weekends, I eat whatever I want.


How many calories do you consume daily?

4,500 maybe. I used to eat 10,000 a day. I was 200 pounds at the [2012] Olympics. I wanted to be big and strong. Worst idea of my life. Now I weigh 184 pounds and I feel amazing.


How competitive is this sport?

Very competitive. The field is 250 people, every tournament. There are a good 16-32 athletes who are strong. The field is getting pretty deep — almost 2 million fencers in America. It’s huge in Asia and Europe.


How are you gearing up for the Olympics?

Keeping my same routine. The Olympics, technically, is the easiest tournament. It’s just 48 people — but the strongest. I think the pressure is why people don’t compete at their [top] level.


What are your tattoos?

[Points to Olympic rings on left bicep] It says “From London To London,” so it’s special. After I won the world championships, I got “8.9.13” in Hungarian. My most memorable one [“CALNAM”] means “Create A Legacy, Not A Moment,” and that’s my trademark. That’s the mantra that I live by.

Miles Chamley-Watson’s NYC

Where he trains: “Equinox and Fencers Club Inc. I crosstrain at the DogPound for boxing, three times a week, on top of everything else. That’s my favorite distraction.”

Where he gets his fencing gear: “My sponsor, Absolute Fencing. They’re in [New] Jersey. They send me everything!“

His favorite NYC fitness apparel store: “Niketown, but I hate going to stores. Online is where I live.”

His go-tos for healthy meals: “Whole Foods is my best friend. Sweetgreen I love. Westville I like because you can get random sides, and the meat is really good.”

Where he got his fencing-related tattoos: “New York Adorned, by Brad Stevens.”

AMNY Newsletter

Eat it. Drink it. Do it. Tackle the city, with our help.