The boxer’s physique is well-known across the world. It includes chiseled abs, defined muscles, and an overall lean look and finish. Whether you’re a boxer or not, the boxer’s look is one that many men and women desire to achieve, devoting hours in the gym to achieve a mean set of abs, strong shoulders, and bulging biceps. Not to mention the overall athletic build.
With this being said, many people do not know how to properly train like a boxer or how to get a boxer’s physique. Far too often, individuals train with no real training plan or knowledge of training, aimlessly performing exercises in the gym with hopes of looking like Anthony Joshua or Floyd Mayweather.
To see results, it’s essential to understand the training and nutrition side of things, and in great detail, too. Therefore, this article will discuss how you can get a boxer’s physique, whether you’re a fighter yourself or you just want to arrive at summer beach-ready.
Dial-in on your nutrition
Out of all the components that make up a boxer’s physique and with any fitness program or regime, nutrition is the most important. SImply put, nutrition is what we eat and drink to fuel our body, it’s how we lose weight and how we gain weight.
If you have poor nutrition, for example, you eat calorie-dense foods far too often, you will struggle to lose stubborn fat and may never achieve that solid six-pack you so desperately want. You can’t out train a bad diet, and that concept even applies to professional boxers. And yes, even if you train seven days a week but your diet is not dialed-in, you will see little to no progress.
When considering your nutrition, you first need to decide whether or not you need to bulk or cut. Bulking is when you eat foods higher in calories to put on muscle while cutting is focused with losing weight to better display muscle and/or lose body fat.
In training, we all go through phases of bulking and cutting, with these phases lasting anywhere from four weeks to four months or longer. Whether or not you should bulk or cut is up to you, however, if you currently have very little muscle mass, then you should probably bulk. For most people, however, you will be looking to cut/lose weight. Don’t worry, you can build muscle and tone up at the same time as well, especially if you’re relatively new to training.
You need to be eating the right foods
When you hear the word “cutting” many people think of this as torture. And if you’ve ever tried it, you likely know why. However, many people fail to lose weight due to a poor choice of foods, usually being too restrictive and binge eating to compensate. Instead, maintaining balance is crucial, allowing you to lose weight without the urge to binge on other, perhaps, more unhealthy food choices.
Example lean foods that boxers consume include:
- Lots of fruit and vegetables
- Steaks and other lean meat cuts
- Nuts & grains
- Greek yogurt
- Protein shakes
- Other supplements (BCCAs etc.)
There are plenty more foods available too. However, you should generally choose leaner meat cuts and foods lower in calories. This allows you to eat more food, allowing you to feel full, resulting in you being less likely to crave other foods.
Why not look at my boxing and keto diet article for cutting? I also recommend you check out either Expert Boxing’s Fighter’s Diet ebook or my review on Chris Algieri’s The Fighter’s Kitchen which both have fantastic options to get you started.
You need to train like a boxer to look like a boxer…
Aside from nutrition, your actual training will play a massive role in how your body looks. For instance, if you take a professional cyclist, there bodies are designed to be slim and lightweight, with the bulk of their muscle on the lower legs including the quadriceps and calves. Boxers, on the other hand, require muscle all over while also staying lean – this is a little more difficult to achieve.
Cardio is a large part of any boxer’s training routine. If you’ve ever seen any boxing movie, hopefully the Rocky franchise, then you likely know that jumping rope is a large part of it. Skipping or jumping rope is an excellent cardio workout and also improves footwork and ankle strength. However, that’s not the only kind of training you’ll need – you should also run and perform sparring circuits to further get that cardio kick.
If you’re looking to obtain a boxer’s body but not train like a boxer, you don’t need to perform all these different types of cardio. Instead, you can pick one or two types, after all, this cardio is here to help shed body fat to reveal your abs while also conditioning the body to suffering and hard work.
I recommend you check out my review on Crossrope who have put together a brilliant jump rope program which is great for beginners.
Weights and bodyweight training
Cardio only gets you so far, it’s the weights and other bodyweight exercises that sculpt the body, mainly by adding and defining muscle. To look like a boxer, you should lift weights two to three times a week (at a minimum), focusing on high reps to tone muscles and lower reps and more sets to build muscle and bulk up. This depends on whether you are bulking or cutting, so it’s important to decide this before starting your training.
Alongside lifting weights and performing exercises such as dumbbell curls, bench press, and overhead press, you can also perform bodyweight exercises, including push-ups, squats, and walking lunges (another great exercise for boxers).
We can’t forget abs, the bread, and butter of any boxer’s physique. There’s no denying that getting abs is difficult, requiring hours of dedicated training and scheduled nutrition to achieve.
Out of all the components that make up a boxer’s physique, this is the one that most people struggle with. So, to sculpt the perfect six pack, we recommend performing ab exercises after every workout if possible. It’s not essential to do an entire ab workout, however, a few exercises a day will help sculpt and body a solid core.
Example ab exercises you can do include:
- Hollow hold
- Reverse crunches
- Abs-roll out
- Bird dog
There are many other ab exercises available too, some of which can be done weighted. However, these exercises are simply a great starting point for beginners. You can check out my article on how to get boxer abs here.
Finally, we have recovery. Recovery is a crucial aspect of training for all boxers and athletes, allowing your muscles to repair, recover, and grow back bigger and stronger. If you’ve been training for a while and have not been seeing results, you may have been neglecting your recovery.
If you’re a complete beginner, you need more recovery than a professional athlete or boxer, taking just as many, if not more rest days than training days. As a general rule of thumb: you don’t want to push yourself to complete muscular fatigue or exhaustion in each workout, but you do want to test yourself.
So, be kind to yourself and take rest days. These can also be active rest days including light cycling or walking, pumping blood through the muscles and removing negative toxins and general muscle soreness.
I highly recommend your check out my articles on muscle recovery and common boxing injuries for more detail in this area.
To help discipline yourself you could participate in a specific training program to help you commit and give you a point to start.
By following a training program it can sometimes just give you the discipline to stay on top of regime. While you can also learn new methods and techniques to reach your goals even quicker.
If you are a complete beginner it might be worth considering some of these online boxing courses, or even fitness course of some description. I recommend checking out my review on Phil Daru’s Body Armor or Fight Ready training programs which I’ve found very useful.
Getting a body like your favourite boxer is no easy challenge. It will require hours of dedication in and out of the gym, including a strict nutritional plan. To see results I recommend keeping a log of your training and taking progress pictures. This allows you to see how far you’ve come over a set number of weeks, tracking this and using this as motivation when training gets tough.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that you can do this. Building a boxer’s physique is achievable for everyone; but it does require a lot of hard work and discipline. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to build the body you’ve been dreaming of.
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog and that it will give you the motivation to start really training consistently, change your diet, try out a few new exercises or even try out one of the above ab program!
For more boxing training advice visit the link here or check out some related useful article and blog below:
- 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
Thanks for reading!
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