The Unconventional Way Fencer Miles Chamley-Watson Trained for the 2016 Olympics

The world champion fencer faced a live bear and Cirque du Soleil actors.

— -- Miles Chamley-Watson is the first American world champion fencer, and he's going for gold.

"For the Olympics, it's the most high-pressure situation 'cause it's like every four years you want this so bad, and it's just like you put so much extra pressure on yourself," Chamley-Watson said.

Training up for up to seven hours a day, Chamley-Watson said he's been dreaming of Olympic gold since he was 10 years old.

"I first tried fencing just for fun. It was offered in gym class. I fell in love with it right away, and when you start to win, you start to see an end goal," he said.

Just weeks before the games, Chamley-Watson took an unconventional approach to training, by focusing on his mind instead of his body.

"Being able to control emotions is the most important thing for any person in general. For an athlete, it's probably the most important," Chamley-Watson said. "This is so much more beneficial to me than just fencing or me going to the gym."

At Red Bull's "Performing Under Pressure" camp in Montana, Chamley-Watson came together with other extreme athletes, from rock climbers to big wave surfers, in the hopes of gaining an extra edge over their opponents.

One of the biggest lessons at the camp was facing down your fears. The athletes were confronted with a grizzly bear named Bart.

"I looked literally the bear in the eye and I was like, 'We're going to do this.' So If I can do that, I can do anything," Chamley-Watson said.

Chamley-Watson also learned to push through the pain and panic of high-pressure scenarios using enhanced breathing techniques pioneered by world-renowned "Ice Man" Wim Hof.

He was trained how to regulate the body's reaction to stress by hopping into a freezing cold ice bath. Deep breathing helped him to ignore the pain signals, allowing him to stay submerged in the ice for 10 minutes.

"It's so important to really focus on your breathing because if I didn't focus ... I would never have been able to stay in the water," he said.

Professional actors also coached the athletes in how to get in touch with their emotions. When he was asked to be sad, Chamley-Watson began hysterically crying.

"I thought about my dad, maybe, growing up … I was, like, not only crying, but also like, 'Okay, you can just let it all out.' It's like real men cry," he said. "For me, it's just like I block it out, so it's like, when you're forced to find the worst thing to make you cry, it's like, 'Okay, let's just go quick, super quick,' so I guess it just shows you that, even if you cover it up, you still think about it."

Chamley-Watson says the camp will have played a "huge role" in him winning a medal in the Olympics this year.

"You know you can't buy these experiences. I'm a step ahead of people I think normally, but now this is a whole other mental game that people don't have," Chamley-Watson said. "It is [like trying to unlock the secret sauce] because everyone has this inside of them."