Athletes & Celebrities

Pro-File: Venus Williams

The 34-year-old tennis icon reveals her training secrets, life-altering dietary changes, and her ultimate goal to help other women achieve their own dreams.

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Pro-File: Venus Williams

You’ve had so many incredible ­athletic achievements. To what do you attribute your success?

In order to be successful, discipline is a must. It’s essential in professional sports, and it has allowed me to become one of the best at my craft. I’m also driven by the motivation to win. It makes me want to be better. My motto has always been, “Look good, play well.” I think there’s a connection with what you wear. If you don’t feel good about what you’re wearing, you aren’t going to feel confident and you aren’t going to be able to concentrate.

You changed your diet after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder). How has that affected your training and performance?

I try to eat all-natural and organic foods as much as possible, and I follow a mostly vegan diet. Before Sjögren’s syndrome, I ate a lot of meat. At first, it was an adjustment, but now it’s a way of life. Making this switch to a mostly raw and vegan diet helped relieve many of my symptoms, such as fatigue and inflammation, and I feel significantly better. I drink a glass of hot water with lemon to keep hydrated, and I use things like peas and nuts to boost energy.

Give us a typical week in the life of Venus Williams.

I try to do something active every day. Besides training to stay in shape for my sport, I use fitness as a vehicle to stay healthy and strong. I like to keep it fresh. My workouts are always changing due to my travel and tournament schedule. But when I’m not traveling I try to mix things up. I use Sundays to recuperate from all the physical stuff I do during the rest of the week, especially if I’ve been in competition. I know I can perform at a higher level when I let my mind and body decompress from all the demands I place on it. I usually like to take my dogs for walks and listen to music. It’s like a moving meditation. The rest of the week I work on my game, do sports-specific exercise at the gym that strengthens my body for tennis, and perform high-intensity training. I’ll also do yoga as well as agility and stability exercises. A fantastic team of physiologists and trainers help keep me running solid.

What’s the story behind your clothing line EleVen?

EleVen stands for being better than 10. It’s about bringing your best every single time. We do a lot of different prints, so you can mix and match pieces, and they’re all really fun to wear.

 

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