Workout Routines

Pound-for-Pound Boxer's Workout

'M&F' gloved up to find out what it takes to build a boxer's physique.

by CSCS
Boxing
Duration 7 days
Exercises 22
Equipment Yes

In the real world, boxers are some of the leanest, most well-trained athletes. Champs such as Vladimir Klitschko, Shane Mosley, and Mike Tyson were all human wrecking balls in their prime and had the builds to show for it.

Gyms that are built on the idea of boxing-for-fitness are popping up left and right across the country, most advertising the promise of helping you burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour. Seriously? So, sadist that I am, I decided to glove up and enlist the help of famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach, making his Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood my fitness home for 12 weeks.

By the end of my time with Roach and company, I may not have been ready to swap blows with a pro, but I was faster, leaner, and stronger than I had been since college. Train this way and maybe you can salvage a bit of your youth, one punch at a time.

By the end of my 12 weeks at Wild Card, I'd gone from 178 post-honeymoon lbs to a trim 161. My bodyfat had dropped from 17% to around 10%, and my abs had made a cameo for the first time since...well, ever. I was executing combinations on the mitts like a seasoned vet, working out twice a day was pretty much common practice, and I was tackling 5-mile runs at the crack of dawn without complaint.

The training split

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Day Training (Body Parts)
1 Boxing Workout
2 Weights (Back, Legs)
3 Boxing Workout
4 Weights (Chest, Arms)
5 Boxing Workout
6 Rest/Optional Run (work up to 5 miles)
7 Rest
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Note: Because of the volume of training you get during boxing workouts, avoid regular weight training for shoulders. If this is a lagging bodypart, incorporate no more than 6–8 sets of basic presses and raises on Day 6.

Days 1, 3, 5 Boxing Workout

Exercise 1

Jump Rope You'll need: Jump Rope How to
Jump Rope thumbnail
3 sets
3 min reps
<1 min* rest
*Rest no longer than one minute between sets. Between exercises, rest only as long as it takes to get set up on the next activity.

Exercise 2

Speed Bag
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
3 min reps
<1 min* rest
*Rest no longer than one minute between sets. Between exercises, rest only as long as it takes to get set up on the next activity.

Exercise 3

Shadowbox
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
3 min reps
<1 min* rest
*Rest no longer than one minute between sets. Between exercises, rest only as long as it takes to get set up on the next activity.

Exercise 4

Heavy Bag
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
3 min reps
<1 min* rest
*Rest no longer than one minute between sets. Between exercises, rest only as long as it takes to get set up on the next activity.

Exercise 5A

Squat Thrusts You'll need: No Equipment How to
Squat Thrusts thumbnail
4 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5B

Lunge Thrust
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5C

Lateral Leap and Hop You'll need: No Equipment How to
Lateral Leap and Hop thumbnail
4 sets
20 reps
<1 min* rest
*Rest no longer than one minute between sets. Between exercises, rest only as long as it takes to get set up on the next activity.

Exercise 6

Plyometric Pushup
plyometric pushup thumbnail
6 sets
To failure reps
<1 min rest
Choose three different versions of plyometric pushups. Complete two sets of each, stopping the set once you begin to lose momentum.

Exercise 7

Combo Shoulder Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Combo Shoulder Raise thumbnail
3 sets
3 min reps
<1 min rest
Choose a light set of dumbbells and work on 30–sec cycles within each 3–min set. A typical circuit with Fortune involves 30 secs at a time of straight punching, overhead punching, rear-delt raises, lateral raises, shoulder presses and a 30–sec hold.

Exercise 8

General Situp You'll need: No Equipment How to
Situp thumbnail
3 sets
3 min reps
<1 min* rest
*Rest no longer than one minute between sets. Between exercises, rest only as long as it takes to get set up on the next activity.

Day 2 Back and Legs

Exercise 1

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Bench, Lat Pulldown Bar How to
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Barbell Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
Man Barbell Squat thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5A

Leg Extension
Leg Extension thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5B

Lying Leg Curl
lying-leg-curl thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Bench How to
Seated Calf Raise thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Day 4 Chest and Arms

Exercise 1

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Warrior Fit Incline Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Incline Dumbbell Flye You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Flye thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4A

Bodyweight Dip You'll need: Dip Station How to
Bodyweight Dip thumbnail
3 sets
to failure reps
-- rest

Exercise 4B

Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest
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