A professional boxer needs to be in top shape. Speed is just as important as strength and stamina. It takes quite a bit of discipline to give it your all. Australian boxer Tim Tszyu has brought out his workout sessions and he certainly confirms that discipline needed. Meanwhile, the son of former light welterweight world champion Kostya Tszyu has a record of 12 wins to his name with zero losses. So if we can learn from anyone how to train like a professional boxer at the peak of his career, it is Tim Tszyu.
Without discipline to reach a high level, you will not go far. You have to be willing to go all the way. Tszyu’s way? Training six days a week and Sunday time to recover. To get through these days, he goes to the physio once a week for a massage. He also visits the sauna one day a week and then alternates between hot and cold three times. This makes his body and muscles feel better the next day. It also helps his sleep, alertness and muscle relaxation.
If you want speed, you have to forget about power and make as many strokes as possible. Tszyu says the ‘2-4-6’ punch combo is a proper method. This involves punching a punching bag twice in a row, then four punches and finally six. You do this with rounds of 1.5 minutes and keep repeating over a number of rounds. However, the idea is not to continue until you can’t do any more, as you will be focused on endurance. To improve the speed of your feet, sprint sessions work very well.
The Australian boxer says it doesn’t come down to a secret technique. It’s all about structure, discipline and versatility in strength. Three times a week, he schedules strength training based on punching and leg exercises. In doing so, he focuses mainly on push movements. Including squats and deadlifts! He also runs five days a week in the morning. Finally, he has a boxing session six days a week in the afternoon where he sparts a lot and goes loose on a punching pad. His approach is totally unlike bodybuilder work-outs. Instead, the boxer is focused on getting into the right weight class, while a bodybuilder is focused on showing off his muscles to their best advantage.
A professional boxer’s body needs stamina. That is one thing for sure. For that, Tszyu uses specific exercises in order to beat his opponent. He does at least 12 rounds of 3.5 minutes with leg weights. Choose an exercise that works for you with the right weight here. In addition, the boxer is a big fan of the medicine ball to exercise his abdominal muscles. Outside the ring, he swims to increase his endurance. At first, he swam only 50 metres until he was exhausted, but now he stands at 1,000 metres. This is because swimming sessions demand a lot of upper body strength and breathing. Therefore, the idea that it is purely about breathing is definitely wrong. Technique is just as important!
For someone who trains so intensively, rest and recovery is of great importance. Overtraining yourself is a lurking danger and you have to watch out for it. So don’t just train hard, train smart. The professional boxer goes to bed most nights at around 10 pm. He then sleeps eight to 10 hours, giving him enough rest to get back to work properly the next day. All in all, a combination of strength training, speed training, fitness training, sufficient rest and a good dose of discipline is the recipe to reach top level.