Pound-for-pound lists in boxing will always be sketchy, and there can’t ever be a clear consensus winner. But if a fighter is in the top 3 according to everyone whose opinion matters, then you can be certain that this is truly one of the select few best fighters on the planet.
This has been the case with Terence “Bud” Crawford throughout his rise in the sport. The undefeated Omaha native is perhaps the most complete boxer in modern times and has too many excellent qualities to be known for just one of them. Hand speed, power, counterpunching, adaptability, flawless switch-hitting abilities, and most importantly, his ring I which has propelled him to world titles in three weight classes, including the undisputed light welterweight title in 2017
But like with every great champion! Their training and way of living are sometimes what it takes to become considered the very best. In this article, I’m going to delve deeper into the training methods of Terence Bud Crawford, his team, and his mentality.
Table of Contents
You can watch my video version or continue reading below:
Crawford’s Training Regimen
Now to start off the training segment of the article it would not be possible to create such a complete boxer as Terence Crawford without the complete training regimen. And having watched just about every pre-fight documentary, read as many articles and interviews on this topic. However, it was hard to nail down the exact regimen of what Bud does each day as he said himself:
“It’s all different and every day is different. Like today, we woke up and did strength and conditioning. Later, we will go to the gym and spar and we might do something after the gym. My days constantly change up as we go.”– Terence Crawford talking to Muscle and Fitness
Now in terms of his actual training routine. It’s pretty hard to nail this down but from all my research Crawford and his team look to change it up every day. But going off pre-fight documentaries and interviews with publications here (sources at bottom of this article) is what I have come up with:
Bud’s Training Routine Table
|MORNING||– Team Meeting: Coaches discuss strategies and goals for the day|
|– Strength and Conditioning: Focus on specific areas such as footwork, handspeed, coordination|
|– All team members participate in the workout, with individual variations|
|– Adaptive Drills: Tailored exercises to address specific weaknesses or areas of improvement|
|– Morning Run or swim|
|AFTERNOON||– Technical Training: Focus on boxing techniques, defensive and offensive drills|
|– Sparring: Adapted to mimic different opponents and simulate fight scenarios|
|– Switch Stance Training: Practicing techniques from both orthodox and southpaw stances|
|– Strategy and Tactics Discussion: Analyzing potential opponents and adjusting game plans|
|EVENING||– Cross-Training: Swimming, cycling, or other cardio activities to enhance endurance|
|– Recovery Session: Stretching, massage, and other techniques for muscle recovery|
|– Mental Conditioning: Visualization exercises, meditation, or sports psychology|
|– Rest and Regeneration: Adequate sleep and relaxation to support optimal recovery|
Now obviously this is just my interpretation from everything I have watched and read. But as Bud said this can change every day. A clear observation is that Crawford embodies the qualities of a champion – he maintains his physical fitness, doesn’t drink or smoke, and takes his training seriously with unwavering dedication.
Another important factor to consider is his training environment. When he’s not in a fight camp, Crawford trains in his hometown of Omaha to stay in shape. However, during fight camps, he and his team relocate to Colorado to avoid potential distractions.
Being away from home also helps him establish a solid foundation and structure with the support of his team, which enhances his focus and champion mentality. Many champions have preferred to isolate themselves from family and friends to concentrate on their goals.
Team Crawford – Training team
“Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable, than loyalty.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Before I discuss the technical and physical aspects of his training, it’s crucial to recognize the team that supports him.
Of course, no fighter can reach the summit all on his own, and Bud has a team that has supported and elevated him since his very humble beginnings.
Crawford has three coaches who were very unknown in the wider boxer world: the characterful head coach Brian “BoMac” McIntyre and two assistant coaches in “Tuto” Dieguez and “Red” Spikes. Terence and McIntire have known each other since the day Bud entered the C.W. Boxing Club in their hometown.
BoMac started helping the younger kid in the gym and, in time, started coaching more and more until he finally succeeded lead coach Midge Minor.
And even though Omaha had no history of producing boxing champions and McIntire was learning his job as a coach and manager for a professional boxer on the spot. The duo is living proof that when you go all in on something, you can make even the wildest dreams a reality.
Crawford and his team are like a family and despite some strong voices urging him to go to established professional coaches when he began as a pro. Bud and his homebred team made it to the pinnacle of boxing. Check out their roles below:
Brian McIntyre (Co-Manager and Head Trainer):
- Oversees and coordinates the overall training program.
- Provides strategic guidance and game plans for each fight.
- Works closely with the other trainers to ensure cohesive training sessions.
- Mentors and motivates Crawford, helping him maintain focus and mental toughness.
- Is also the head chef while working with a nutritionist.
Tuto Dieguez and Redspkies (Assistant Trainers):
- Assists Crawford during training sessions, providing technical guidance and feedback.
- Works on specific boxing techniques, footwork, and defensive maneuvers.
- Supports Crawford’s mental and emotional well-being by fostering a positive and supportive training environment.
- Contributes to the overall team dynamic and helps maintain a family-like atmosphere within the team.
Jamie Belt (Strength and Conditioning Coach):
- Designs and implements strength and conditioning workouts.
- Focuses on improving Crawford’s physical attributes, such as strength, speed, and endurance.
- Emphasizes injury prevention through efficient training techniques.
- Collaborates with other trainers to integrate strength and conditioning exercises into the overall training program.
With an impressive record of 30 knockouts in 39 fights, and many decision wins prior to his championship days, Crawford understands the importance of having a reliable gas tank.
While he rarely needs to exhaust himself completely, the key lies in knowing that the reserve is there when it counts. When an opponent is hurt, Crawford possesses the remarkable ability to unleash explosive power and swiftly finish the fight, regardless of the round. This level of performance demands serious cardio conditioning.
In addition to the boxing-specific training that naturally enhances cardiovascular fitness and some regular road work, Crawford incorporates a rather unique element into his routine—swimming. Swimming offers the advantage of being gentle on the joints while simultaneously engaging the heart and lungs in ways that few other exercises can.
In a revealing interview from 2016, Crawford’s strength and conditioning coach disclosed their use of specialized swimming exercises and intervals to enhance core strength, speed, lung capacity, and recovery time.
This unconventional approach underscores Crawford’s commitment to exploring innovative methods for optimizing his performance.
Colorado – Altitude Training
Furthermore, altitude training plays a pivotal role in Crawford’s world-class cardio conditioning. While his training camps commence in his hometown of Omaha, since 2013 they have consistently moved to Colorado Springs—a serene setting at a high altitude that perfectly aligns with Bud’s needs.
“Colorado has been my training base for a long time. It offers tranquility, allowing me ample downtime to relax and visualize the upcoming fight. I can take a leisurely walk, gaze at the majestic mountains, and breathe in the fresh air. The altitude there provides a significant advantage. When I return to sea level, everything feels effortless.”– Terence Crawford
Training at higher altitudes challenges Crawford’s body by reducing the oxygen supply to his muscles. This intensifies the difficulty of his workouts, leading to greater stamina and resilience. It’s no surprise that he has consistently showcased exceptional endurance throughout his career, a testament to the rigorous nature of his training regimen.
One of Crawford’s frequent training companions in Colorado is the renowned Manitou Incline—a towering staircase consisting of approximately 2,700 steps and an elevation gain of 615 meters. Every Sunday, Crawford and his team conquer this formidable challenge. Despite the arduous climb, the conditioning benefits and breathtaking scenery make it a worthwhile endeavor. Not to mention they usually run back down!
Moreover, the transition from high-altitude training to activities at sea level provides Crawford with a noticeable advantage. The reduced effort required in oxygen-rich environments allows him to perform with greater ease and efficiency.
Terence Crawford’s warm-up includes the essential jump rope routine. It enhances coordination, footwork, and endurance while setting the tone for his training. This comprehensive approach engages muscles, improves agility, and fosters a focused mindset, reflecting his dedication to peak performance.
By incorporating swimming routines, altitude training, and conquering formidable challenges like the Manitou Incline, Terence Crawford has cultivated an unparalleled level of cardio endurance. These unconventional methods, combined with his unwavering dedication, contribute to his remarkable performance inside the ring.
Boxing in its perfect form is about hitting and not being hit, and this is exactly what Crawford has been taught to do his entire career, first by Midge Minor and later by Bo-Mac.
Bud’s boxing training always strives to perfect both his offense and defense, as can be clearly seen in his pad work sessions.
If we have to pinpoint a standout skill in Crawford’s arsenal, it has to be his fluidity in both orthodox and southpaw stances.
This was not always favored by his coaches, but once they understood it was a lost battle to convince him otherwise, they started training in both stances regularly. This is something you can easily spot in his training to this day.
“It got to the point where they were like, ‘All right, we can’t get this habit out of you, so we might as well train you both sides you will be equally as sharp and as good in the conventional stance and the southpaw stance,“– Crawford recalled talking to Gazette.
Terence Crawford’s shadowboxing is a masterclass in composure and versatility. With fluid movements, he effortlessly changes rhythms and combinations, showcasing his adaptability inside the ring. His relaxed demeanor belies the intensity and precision of his techniques, as he seamlessly transitions between offense and defense.
While occasionally he’ll like to try out harsh environments for his mental toughness.
In addition to his shadow boxing routine, Crawford incorporates light 2kg dumbbells into his training. This approach adds an extra layer of conditioning and resistance to his workouts. By utilizing the dumbbells, he strengthens his muscles while maintaining speed and agility, enabling him to deliver powerful punches while staying light on his feet.
Overall, Crawford’s shadow boxing and incorporation of light dumbbells exemplify his commitment to honing every aspect of his craft, ensuring he remains a formidable force in the boxing world.
Working on the pads is perhaps the most important part of the development of Crawford’s very high boxing IQ. Crawford has been with his coaches for pretty much all of his life, and they have developed great chemistry.
On the pads, he can often be seen working without too much power or speed, but rather playing out different scenarios, both offensive and defensively.
From what we’ve seen, the mitts are reserved purely for technique and tactics, while power and speed are left to the other training tools.
Crawford and his trusted coaches also employ reaction noodles in their training, as well as a punch shield, although again, the focus is more on movement and precision than power.
From watching all his trainers though I feel Bo-Mac does a lot of the more tactical elements whereas Red and Tuto do more conditioning or combination sequences.
The heavy bag has always been the main tool for developing punching power, and Crawford uses it as intended. You can see him whipping out KO shots, machine gun combinations, and everything in between.
Many boxers like to use a heavy bag to build up shoulder endurance by hitting it constantly with low power, and Crawford is one of them. Mixing up the rhythm with soft and hard shots is another common exercise in his heavy bag work.
Double End Bag
To add a bit to the accuracy and develop timing, Bud also likes to use the double-end bag in his training, and from watching him he is a natural.
I really love how he switches his stance when using this, making sure to move around the bag using footwork and slipping using head movement. All vital elements are needed for your game when in the ring.
While it’s also great to see BoMac add another element of the surprise with precision sticks to force Bud to be defensively responsible and react.
While in camp, sparring is very frequent, as often as every other day, and plays a crucial role in fight preparation.
Early in his career, Terence was employed as a sparring partner for high-level boxers like Timothy Bradley, impressing them and showing his world champion potential.
Today, things are the other way around. There are some videos of Crawford doing sparring bouts with other high-level boxers, but his adversaries rarely walk out the winners, if ever.
Despite being a natural right-hander, Bud usually terrorizes his sparring partners with the southpaw stance he is equally comfortable in.
There is is some great clips of sparring in Gleason’s Gym in New York many years ago. Beating up the likes of middleweight Carlos Adames. Watch below.
Just from watching the limited sparring available, you can tell there is no messing around from Bud here. It’s all about opposing his will on them.
Strength and Conditioning
Aside from the three main coaches we’ve highlighted there is a fourth important person on the Crawford team who has been on board for a long time, and this is the strength and conditioning coach Jamie Belt.
Belt is responsible for all of Crawford’s S&C programs, which aim to fit as much power, speed, agility, and endurance into the 147-pound frame of the boxers as possible.
Unlike old-school boxers and trainers, Bell and Terence take advantage of the full palette of modern conditioning knowledge and equipment available.
Example of Crawford’s S&C
The legs and core of a boxer are the most important areas for a boxer for generating power, and this is why Crawford does a lot of work focusing on those areas with a huge variety of plyometric exercises like box jumps, burpees, and a variety of other similar exercises that require the legs and core to put in a shift.
But, Bud does not shy away from weights, However, they are always used in line with the demands of boxing and will be things like medicine ball throws, dumbbell presses, deadlifts, or lateral raises.
Outside of camp, he is using heavier weights in his deadlifts while closer to the fight, the focus changes to speed and endurance.
Pulling weighted sleighs or pushing the prowler is also something you will see him use which is once again a perfect way for building power, strength, and overall muscle mass. Something I’ve seen Golovkin use as well.
To combine cardiovascular conditioning with technical training, Crawford will also partake in continuous HIT circuit routines that keep his heart rate relatively steady. While keeping him in great conditioning outside of camp.
While the vast variety of exercises also helps to improve things such as coordination and balance which are so key when you are in the ring.
Sometimes, fighters receive criticism for performing various strength and conditioning exercises. However, in my opinion, Crawford is not only determined to become the best boxer in the world but also strives to be the best athlete he can be. Even Jamie Belt has suggested the same (watch below).
Diet and Recovery
Diet and recovery knowledge is constantly evolving, and high-level athletes have too much on their minds to consider every single meal. This is where dietitians and nutritionists come into play. While in training camp, Crawford lets his coach Bo-Mac handle everything about his diet. The coach and nutritionist make the plan, then the food is prepared. In the words of Crawford himself,
“They cook it, and I eat it.”
Bud’s regular meals consist of things like baked chicken, baked fish, brown rice, and vegetables like potatoes and broccoli. Sometimes, pasta is added to the mix to add some variety to his diet. However, avoids eating things like beef and pork.
Out of camp, he is not so strict about the specifics, but he has always been highly disciplined and conscious of what is good for him and his career. Crawford does not drink, smoke, or eat junk food outside of camp, removing the need to first get back into decent shape before beginning to prepare for a fight because he is always in shape.
Yoga and recovery
In terms of his recovery, a big part is to do with Injury prevention. And is often an area that becomes crucial in modern sports, aside from using various band exercises and getting massages.
Crawford has been using something rarely done by boxers: yoga.
Ever since 2013, he has used it as a way to stretch and work out at the same time. Yoga has immense benefits aside from stretching, especially in breathing patterns. The breathing exercises and patterns in yoga help him master breathing while throwing and receiving punches.
One of my favorites now has been doing yoga — I’ve been doing this since about 2013. I always had a problem with stretching — I never enjoyed it. So it became like, let’s find a way to stretch in which it becomes a workout. We began doing yoga and the benefits have been amazing.– Terence Crawford
Here he is talking about this on the Joe Rogan podcast:
The championship mindset
It’s hard to imagine a boxing champion who isn’t competitive, but Crawford takes it to the next level with his extreme competitiveness.
From the moment he first stepped into the gym, Bud wanted to win and be the best at what he does. But this is just his mind for everything in life, not just boxing as he knows will take 100% if he wishes to be the best. Crawford described said the following:
“Even when I was a little kid believing I was always better than the next person, no matter what sport it is. In basketball I always wanted to guard the best, I wanted to wrestle the best, and I wanted to spar better fighters because growing up, going up against the best will make me better.”
“You’ve got to be dedicated and committed. You’ve got to be serious about your profession to be a world champion in the ring because you may come across a person who is determined and strong-willed.
“He may not have the same skill level, but he’s got heart and is in tremendous shape, and he’s going to wear you out and beat you in a fight you shouldn’t have lost because you weren’t prepared.”– Terence Crawford talking to Muscle and Fitness
This notion is supported by all who have known him from his early days. Crawford always sparred against bigger and more experienced guys to become better. Even as a teenager, he often shared the ring with grown men and more than held his own. As a top-level pro, Crawford still thinks he is the very best in the game and is willing to put his word to the test at any time.
When in camp during his chill time he always plays games with the camp team. Bud is always looking to win at all costs in any game they might play. Whether that be pool, chess, cards you name it! He is always looking to win.
This just shows you how mentally competitive he always is and someone that has to win at all costs.
Terence Crawford emerges as a true embodiment of a champion. His mindset, training, and lifestyle intertwine to create a remarkable story that resonates with fans around the globe.
His training regimen is a testament to his unwavering dedication. Crawford pours his heart and soul into each session, leaving no stone unturned. His disciplined approach and sacrifice set him apart, as he works tirelessly to achieve long-term success.
But it’s not just about the hours in the gym. Crawford’s lifestyle reflects his commitment to excellence. He embraces healthy habits, from meticulous nutrition to disciplined rest and recovery. With a team of experts by his side, he prioritizes his physical and mental well-being.
Terence Crawford’s journey is a symbol of the indomitable human spirit. His story inspires millions to pursue their dreams with unwavering determination. He stands as a shining example of what can be achieved through a relentless mindset, unwavering training, and a disciplined lifestyle.
Why not read my Terence Crawford style breakdown here?
You can also get more boxing training advice by visiting the link here or related useful articles below:
- Top 10 Exercises To Improve Hand Speed For Boxing
- 10 Exercises To Improve Your Reflexes For Boxing
- Shadow Boxing Exercises For Home Or The Gym
- 10 Exercises To Increase Your Punch Power For Boxing
- Simple Boxing Workout Routines For Home
- 6 Key Boxing Defensive Techniques – Hit And Don’t Get Hit
- Top Rank, Camp Life, Terence Crawford
- BT Sport, Full Terence Crawford documentary | The untold story | No Filter Boxing
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