How To Train Like Vasyl Lomachenko

How to train like Lomachenko

Vasyl Lomachenko has to be regarded as one of the greatest and skillful boxing champions in the last 10 year. With an amateur record of 396-1 and becoming 3 weight world champion in just 12 professional fights. The Ukrainian’s training routine and unorthodox techniques have definitely played a part in him reaching the pinnacle of the sport. 

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

Lomachenko’s Training Routine 

First up let’s go over Lomachenko’s actual training routine from what I have researched online in interviews and pre fight camp videos. 

It’s important to note Lomachenko is a full-time fighter who implements this routine for a title fight, but you can definitely take some of these for your own training. Check out below:

TIMEACTIVITY
5am – 6am Morning run
6am – 8am Shower and work with sport psychologist (Mind Drills)
10am Breakfast and rest
12pm- 2pm Strength and conditioning, swimming, or additional cardio
2pm – 6pmLunch, sleep or rest 
6pm – 8pm Boxing related workout – sparring, mitt work, double end bag, 
8pm – onwardPost workout meal, recovery, strategy and sleep (sometimes mind drills)

*Please note: these times are not exact, but taken from interviews and inside video footage of his camp from pre fight shows.

His training routine have also changed over time which I will discuss. Even Loma has admitted to his routine changing as it gets closer to fight night, as he said to GQ here: 

“A training day is extremely regimented, but as I get closer to fight, I might cut out the morning workout and just train in the afternoon and evening.”

Vasyl Lomachenko

The interesting thing about this training routine is how different it is different to most typical boxers. Especially with introduction of mind related drills or other sports which I will discuss below.

Running and Cardio 

Lomachenko running

As mentioned and like any top professional boxer, a morning run is usually an essential aspect of their training. 

By getting up at 5:00am, Lomachenko starts the day very early with a 30 min to an hour run. This can also include short interval sprints or hill runs too.  

This helps to force the body into a catabolic state. It therefore usually means you will be able to lose a few extra pounds. This is a great thing for boxers like Lomachenko as it helps to cut and maintain weight as they approach the fight.

However, in more recent interviews, the Ukrainian has stated how he does not run as much as he used to. Instead he does other athletic activities, such as swimming, skipping, beach volleyball and beach sprints. 

I can only imagine this is because running can damage the cartilage in your knees if done too often. So this is probably why he tries to incorporate other cardio related activities. It also means it keeps his training fresh and different which can only be a good thing. 

Loma’s brain, mind and reaction training 

Now let’s get into the more unorthodox training he does with his Sport Psychologist. 

If you have ever heard of the saying Boxing is 80% mental, this is very much the case. As there are so many mental elements, including the pressure of an opponent trying to literally knock you out. It forces you to think quickly and be able to change up your strategy.  

All these mental tasks help to improve Lomachenko’s concentration while still fatigued from his workouts.

Schulte Table 

Lomachenko will often work on using the Schulte table which was originally created by a German psychologist, Walter Schulte. 

This is a grid that has 25 randomly distributed digits to help train peripheral vision, speed reading and visual perception. 

You basically need to find all the numbers up to 25, it can be quite distorting as the blocks and numbers can be different colours and and be hard to find quickly. 

This really helps to train your mind and vision to work quickly. When it comes to boxing, this can help Lomachenko to be one step ahead of his opponent to quickly react to what is in front of him.

Try it out in the video below!

Math exercises 

Lomachenko has also been seen to do math calculations with blocks, where he has to work out and match answers. 

This is form of mental training is to keep him constantly maintaining his focus when physically fatigued from his training. Therefore this help translate into the ring when he start to physically get fatigued, he still able to think sharply.

You could also argue it gives him the mental capacity to work out solutions when inside the boxing ring. 

Balance and coordination drills 

Loma has also been seen to use Jenga blocks where he gets asked to match and move blocks at the same time with both hands. 

This helps the Ukriainin to become more ambidextrous with both hands, while also helping his mental coordination. 

By being able to balance the pieces of Jenga, it helps his mind to create balance, process and react to what is in front him while using both hands. E.g. just like when he is in the boxing ring.  

This is what Loma’s Sport psychologist, Andriy Kolosov, had to say about why they do some of these drills:

“These are special exercises for mind flexibility…Just imagine you do these after 3 hours after training and you need to relax your mind…This is where he switches from muscle work to intelligence work, this is a way of improving (your) thinking.” 

Andriy Kolosov

See Loma trying out these exercise below:

Reaction lights

Lomachenko was certainly one of the firs boxers to be seen using reaction lights before they became mainstream.

This is used by Loma team to simply help improve his reflexes, as the light forces you to react as quickly as possible to the lights flashing. This translates into the ring so the Ukrainian is trained to react quickly to his opponents movements.

Check out Loma in action below doing reaction light training: 

Holding breath underwater

Another bizarre training method we have seen Lomachenko using is holding his breath underwater. He is said to have managed to do this for 4 minutes before resurfacing, which I can only imagine to be very difficult thing to master!

By why does the Ukrainian star do this? In his own words in the interview with GQ Magazine, he said: 

“My record is 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I did that before my second Olympic Games in 2012.”

“It took me years to reach that level. Right now, I can hold my breath for about three minutes, but if I trained every day to do it, I believe I could break my record.

“It’s how you gain control over the fight and your opponent. Because of this, I am as strong in the twelfth round as I am in the first.

“Underwater [exercises] trains your mind and your psychology. It’s helped me.”

Vasyl Lomachenko

This underwater training technique is therefore used for the psychological element. It basically helps the former Olympian to become more aware of his senses. While also potentially stopping heavy breathing while he gets deeper in the rounds in a competitive bout. 

(Please note – I do not recommend you try this underwater training unless with someone else)

Boxing Training  

Photo Credit: Chris Farina – Top Rank 2014

First up let’s go over the actual boxing training Lomachenko works on. Now as much as Loma has some very unorthodox training techniques, he still does all the old school boxing training.

Heavy Bag: Just like with any boxer, Lomachenko has been seen to use the heavy bag. This helps him to practice his punch combinations, power shots and muscle conditioning.

Double end bag: Another traditional piece of kit Loma likes to use is the double end bag. This helps to improve his reflexes and punch timing. 

Pad work: Loma will also use pad work with his trainers. But from looking at training footage online, it will mainly be to help train him for specific combinations or defensive movements. 

Sparring: For any great champion sparring is another necessity and that is no different for Loma. I have to admit it must be hard to get sparring partners that are able to really push someone of Lomachenko’s ability. Nevertheless this still will help Lomachenko with real fight situations even if his sparring partners can’t handle him. 

Shadow Boxing: Another thing most boxers will do and Loma is no different. The Ukrainian’s shadow boxing is a joy to watch as he uses various punching combinations and intelligent footwork.

Reflex Ball: Loma has also been seen to use a reflex ball which like a double end bag is great for reflexes, timing and hand eye coordination. This tool is best for a quick warm up or warm down, while still working his boxing skills. 

Check out all this boxing training in action below by Rainy Day Boxing’s video of ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko. 

Strength And Conditioning 

Having come from an Olympic background, Lomachenko has always been familiar with strength and conditioning work. 

Looking at footage online for this, he has been seen to do a lot of body weight related exercises along with some use of gym equipment. This includes:

  • Press ups 
  • Pull ups
  • Gymnastics ring press ups 
  • Core work
  • Battle Rope 

Check out Loma doing a core workout session below:

Diet and Recovery 

As many know it’s sometimes outside the gym that is just as important. Having a well balanced diet is key for your overall recovery, so you can continually perform in the gym. In the case of Lomachenko, a typical day will look like this:

Breakfast – Oatmeal with fresh berries, nuts or bananas. Fresh squeezed orange juice, eggs such as an omelet, cup of coffee 

Lunch – Vegetable or meat soup, pasta and chicken

Snacks – Lot’s of water 

Dinner – Seafood dish with salad 

In terms of other recovery methods and rest days, Lomachenko is aware of the importance of this. He told GQ:

“I am a big fan of recovery massages. I also juggle tennis balls, and do exercises with limited muscle involvement. It’s very, very important to eat well-balanced meals. And it’s perhaps most important to get a good night’s rest. The next day’s workout begins the previous night.”

Vasyl Lomachenko

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

Additional training and sports

On top of everything else that Lomachenko will do, he will try to change up his training activities. This is to no doubt help his athletic physical abilities and keep his training fun and fresh. 

Boxing can be a very repetitive sport at times, which is a necessity. However, being able to try different sports helps Loma to stay motivated and enjoy his training camps. This has included:  

  • Gymnastics 
  • Dancing
  • Swimming 
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Canoeing
  • Football 
  • Badminton
  • Basketball

Final Thoughts

To conclude, Lomachenko in my opinion has one of the most versatile and interesting training camp routines in the sport.

His father Anatoly Lomachenko, is definitely the brains behind all of this. Making his son the most all round and complete boxer by giving him lots of different variation in his training – physical and mental. 

If you are looking for an example to follow I definitely recommend taking up some of the Lomachenko’s training regime. Especially if you a looking to develop your mental performance or reflexes. 

Makes sure to read my boxing style analysis on Lomachenko here or why not check out my article on Canelo’s training regime.

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