How To Train Like Canelo Alvarez

How to train like Canelo

Canelo Alvarez is without a doubt p4p one of the best boxers in the world and just like with any of the greatest fighters, their training, preparation and routine is a key part of their development as much as fight night is.

In this blog I will look at some of Canelo’s training routines including boxing drills, strength and conditioning, strategy and nutrition. 

Canelo’s Training Routine

Before getting into the detail of some of the things Alvarez likes to work on, it’s important to identify his actual training routine. This training routine was revealed in Boxing News, on the lead up to his fight with Golovkin in their rematch. 

Now remember Canelo is a full-time fighter so you won’t be able to implement all of this within your own routine, but you can definitely take some of these. Check out below:

Canelo Daily Training Camp Routine:

TimeActivity 
6am – 6:30amMorning run (except Sundays)
6:30am -1pmBreakfast, rest and prep for the gym 
2pm – 5pm (Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays)Strength and Conditioning, Boxing skill drills, Skipping rope, mitt work etc 
2pm – 5pm (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) Sparring
6:30pm – onwardsPost workout meal, recovery, strategy and sleep
SundaysRest day 

As you can tell from the above, the Mexican is truly dedicated to his craft. Canelo really likes keeping to a strict routine while in the middle of his training camps. I imagine towards the end of camp his sparring sessions would drop off to help reduce injury and fatigue. 

Running

Canelo on early morning run

Like with any of the great champions, running is definitely a fundamental part of the routine to help with overall cardio. By getting up at 6:00am, Canelo starts the day on a positive front helping him to maintain/lose weight and improve his stamina. 

Alvarez will not only just run in the morning for cardio work, but will also mix this up by combining with explosiveness interval sprints.

When you consider Canelo’s boxing style, it makes sense that he also combines this within his running routine to imitate that same burst of energy you would use in the ring when throwing punches. 

Check out my top 5 reasons why running is important for boxing here.

Boxing Skill Drills

Canelo using the double-end bag

Canelo has certainly perfected his skills over the years with Eddie Reynoso being the key in his growth as a fighter. From looking at clips online, Canelo will do a lot of drills that will involve head and waist movement along with power punches. 

By watching footage of Canelo’s training sessions it is clear his coach Raynoso, likes to get Alvarez to work on using creative combinations with a finishing power shot (head or body).

These drills are done at repetitive nature for Canelo so it is embroiled into his boxing style. Additionally so he won’t have to think too much and create muscle memory with his movements. These include:

Reaction Drills: 

  • Cobra bag – slipping and reflexes
  • Mitt work – combination punches
  • Double End bag – reflexes and timing.

Check out Canelo using the Cobra bag below:

Power shots:

Check out Canelo practising his power shots on the above equipment below:

Here is a brilliant video by The Modern Martial Artist who takes a closer look at some of these drills and how Canelo uses these come fight night: 

Sparring

Like with any fighter, sparring is an essential part of their regime to give them the most authentic experience before fight night. This is no different for Canelo Alvarez who spars at least 3 times a week in camp. (This may vary depending on the upcoming opponent and the fighters physical state.) By sparring a lot, it helps Canelo to a lot more comfortable come fight night. 

Canelo’s boxing style is also quite evasive for the most part. Even when he is pressure fighting, he takes a lot of shots on the gloves and arms. Moreover, he also uses his defensive skill set to slip, roll and use footwork to dodge punches. 

If you have a style where you like counter and don’t take too many shot sparring often is a great way to test your skills before a fight with headgear. Canelo will also spar guys from all different weights and styles making him able to adapt to whatever upcoming opponent he has coming up. In interview with WBN, he confirms how he adapts his sparring partner depending on who he is facing: 

With sparring, we usually go based on someone who is similar to the fighter in order to have the same style-the height and the weight. That’s usually what we focus on, to get somebody like that.”

Saul Canelo Alvarez

Check out this great footage of Canelo sparring with heavyweight Frank Sanchez, before he faced Calum Smith (similar size) who stood at 6ft 3.  

Strength and Conditioning

Canelo in fantastic shape before facing Kovalev

Now as much all the boxing skill drills and sparring will help prepare Canelo his strength and conditioning is a huge part of his overall conditioning to get him in the best shape possible. Having jumped around the weight divisions from light middleweight all the way up to light-heavyweight Canelo has had to adapt to each weight category he is in. 

In terms of the exercises Alvarez will do, it will mainly involve exercises that will help require explosiveness for his whole body and will use lighter weights to help with slight resistance to certain exercises. 

  • Core Medicine ball exercises – check my blog for more ideas
  • Calf raises – to help explosiveness of punches
  • Press ups – upper body strength and punch power
  • Bent Over Row – 
  • Kettlebell Swing 
  • Dumbbell Shoulder exercises  
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curls 
  • Squats – increase explosiveness and overall body strength
  • Neck strength exercises – help reduce the chance of knockouts
  • Shadow boxing with weights – help increase punch power and hand speed

As you can see from the list, Canelo puts in a huge amount of work to condition himself to get in the best shape possible. Here are some highlights of Alvarez doing some of these exercises below. 

I recommend you check out my exercises to increase punch power blog for more useful strength and conditioning ideas.  

Diet and Recovery 

As many know it’s sometimes it’s outside the gym that is just as important. Having a protein high diet is key for your overall recovery, so you can continually perform in the gym. In case of Alvarez a typical day will look like this in an interview with GQ in 2017:

Breakfast – Egg whites with ham and orange juice

Lunch – Chicken with carrots, squash, broccoli and cauliflower

Snacks – Apples, cucumbers, grapes, jicama

Dinner – Protein shake with no carbs

In terms of other recovery methods, Alvarez has been seen to use ice baths after training. This helps by reducing inflammation and increasing the way blood and other fluids like lactic acid flow through the body. Therefore Canelo is able to recover quicker for each training session.

Additionally, the Mexican has also been seen to use the more expensive cryotherapy as war for even quicker muscle recovery.

You can check out muscle recovery blog for more tips and advice in this area. 

Strategy 

Strategy is key before any fight

Finally Canelo during camp will sit down with Eddie Reyenso and his other coaches and strategize around how they will defeat the opposition. One of the great things about Alvarez is that he continually develops his style.

Undoubtedly, this is down to the fact he and his team like to adapt for each upcoming opponent. In interview with WBN in the lead up to his first fight with Golovkin he stated:

“Usually training is almost always the same, but the strategy is different because every fighter is different. The strategy depends on the fight. While you’re preparing for a fight, you don’t know what happens once you’re in the ring.”

Saul Canelo Alvarez

Interestingly enough in the second fight with Golovkin, Canelo changed his counter punching boxing style to a more aggressive typical Mexican pressure style. Ironically Golovkin even said to WBN before the rematch…I’m sure he was eating words after that! 

“I will not change my style. Canelo is the one who needs to change… if he wants to win.

Gennedy Golovkin

For more in this area I recommend you check out my Canelo Boxing Style Analysis blog here, to see how the Mexican tends to approach fights.  

Final thoughts

Canelo is a brilliant example to follow for anyone who wants to become a boxer or live the fighter lifestyle. I think his use of defensive drills combined with power shot drills is what makes him one of the most dangerous fighters out there. 

If you are looking for an example to follow I definitely recommend taking up some of Canelo’s training regime. Equally if you are a boxing coach, as some of these drills will really help to develop fighters to be more proactive with their defence, while being more dangerous in offence. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or check out more boxing training advice by visiting the link here or check out some related useful article below:

Jamie - Boxing Life

I'm an amateur boxer and blogger trying to pass on my boxing experiences and passion to anyone looking to learn or find out more about the sport of boxing. Whether that be reviews, news, training tips or my own personal journey, I'll be covering it on "Boxing Life".

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