Even if you were underwhelmed by the mega-hyped fight between Floyd (Money) Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, you surely were inspired by their physiques, and maybe even aspire to look like them. Well, we’ve got you covered :
Workout NO. 1
Early Morning Roadwork
Do this 5 days a week, and feel free to shadow box as you jog. It’ll get you used to throwing punches as you move your feet.
Intense bursts of cardio, such as sprints, better replicate the explosive combinations of a fight. They also help boost human growth hormone (HGH) levels, helping us burn fat while maintaining muscle.
Sprints are great for improving conditioning. They’re also easier on the body due to the lessened impact on our knees when sprinting at full speed (in comparison to the typical “heel/toe” gait of a jog that creates a high degree of impact on the knees and lower back).
I like performing sprints up hills or stairs due to the added difficulty. If you have access to either, use them. If it’s your first time running in a while, warm up with 10 minutes of skipping, and only sprint at 85% to avoid pulling anything. After an initial session or two, up the intensity to 95%, then to 100%, and remain there for the duration of the program.
Depending on your conditioning levels, do these sprint workouts 1-3x a week as a part of the plyometrics and footspeed drills (below). Start with once a week, as over-training can occur if you do too much too early.
6 sec sprint; 54 second recovery x 4
8 sec sprint; 52 second recovery x 4
8 sec sprint; 52 second recovery x 4
10 sec sprint; 50 second recovery x 4
12 sec sprint; 48 second recovery x 2
12 sec sprint; 48 second recovery x 4
14 sec sprint; 46 second recovery x 4
16 sec sprint; 44 second recovery x 4
Plyometrics and Footspeed Drills
Too many fighters focus on their upper body to build power, when our lower body is where our power originates. Take a look at a guy like Rocky Marciano; he had tree trunks for legs and a relatively skinny upper body. He ended his career 49-0 with an 88% knockout percentage, and the heavyweight championship around his waist.
Footwork and agility are also very important in all combat sports. It’s often the guy with the best footwork, who can create the best angles and get his opponent off balance, who wins the fight by decision or knockout.
In the following video I’ll show you plyometric exercises that are great for developing explosive power. To improve agility and footspeed, I’ll also show you some “ladder” drills.
What’s great about the following workout is that you can do all the exercises outside. Do the workout 3-4 times a week:
Perform each exercise seen in the video for one set, there and back on a 15-20-foot line (they’re usually done with a ladder, something that most of us don’t have, so we’ll use a line instead). Take no rest between each exercise. Only rest after completing all 5 exercises for 60 seconds.
Start with 4 sets, and then add 1 set to the workout every week.
A. Box Jumps 1 (12-15 inch box); 4 sets of 10 reps; Rest: 15 seconds
*Add 4 reps every week.
B. Box Jumps 2 (tall as possible); 4 sets of 6 reps; Rest: 60 seconds
*Add height to the box every week.
C. Drop Jump; 4 sets of 6 reps; Rest: 60 seconds
Note: Stretching is very important with training. Be sure to stretch your hip flexors, groin, gluteus, hamstrings, and calves after a workout like we’ve just done. Here’s a quick tip with stretching:
Perform each stretch in 3, 15-second increments. Stretch for 15 seconds, relax the muscle for a 2 second count, and then get back into the stretch. We experience more positives from stretching in the first 15-20 seconds of a stretch. By stretching in 15-second increments, we’ll experience these benefits more than we would in a static 45-second hold.
Workout NO. 2
1. Everything is done at full speed while still being in control of the weight you’re lifting, pressing, or pulling. Good form comes first. Then, and only then, should we work on exploding with the weight.
This is especially true for the concentric contraction of each exercise. You’re always going at full speed on this phase of each exercise (press in a bench press, pull in a chin-up, lift in a deadlift).
2. Work hard! The thing that separates how the best fighters train isn’t what they do, but how they do it. Yes, they do things a little differently as far as choosing exercises and the reps they use. But the work ethic is where a fighter is truly unique.
Treat each set as if it’s the one and only set of the workout. Don’t “pace yourself” for a big finish.
A1. A2. = Superset. Do both exercises back-to-back, with the rest period coming at the end of the set. Repeat for however many sets are shown.
B1. B2. B3. = Giant Set. Do all 3 exercises back-to-back with the rest period coming at the end of the set. Repeat for however many sets are shown.
C1.C2.C3.C4. = Quad Set. Perform all 4 exercises back-to-back with the rest period coming at the end of the set. Repeat for however many sets are shown.
Workout #1 – Lower Body Dominated
Warm-up: 10 minutes of skipping
A1. Hack Squat – Reps: 8,6,4,6,8
A2. Dumbbell Snatch – Reps: 8,6,4,6,8
Rest: 60 seconds
Giant Set #2
B1. Deadlifts – Reps: 10,10,10
B2. Weighted Box Jump – Reps: 8,8,8
B3. Box Jumps – Reps: 6,6,6
Rest: 45 seconds
C1. Quarter Squat – Reps: 15,20,25
C2. Squat Jumps – Reps: 15,15,15
Decline Weighted Sit-ups – Reps: 15,15,15
Roll-outs – Reps: 15,15,15