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Mike Tyson's Push-up workout!
ben alexander ben alexander is offline
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03-09-2009, 11:01 AM
I was looking through my old Boxing information, and i came across this information on Iron Mike's conditioning regimen up until 1988-1990. 500 press ups (good old traditional hard millitary style pushups), 800 dips, 2000 sit ups, 500 shrugs with a 30 kg barbell all within a hour timespan.

Also, according to the article, up until he fired Kevin Rooney in 1988, his ONLY diet was steak, pasta and fruit juice. How's that for discipline?

Daily Regime (7 days a week):
5am: get up and go for a 3 mile jog
6am: come back home shower and go back to bed (great workout for those huge legs of his)
10am wake up: eat oatmeal
12pm: do ring work (10 rounds of sparring)
2pm: have another meal (steak and pasta with fruit juice drink)
3pm: more ring work and 60 mins on the exercise bike (again working those huge legs for endurance)
5pm: 2000 sit-ups; 500-800 dips; 500 press-ups; 500 shrugs with a 30kg barbell and 10 mins of neck exercises
7pm: steak and pasta meal again with fruit juice (orange i think it was)
8pm: another 30 minutes on the exercise bike
then watch TV and then go to bed.

Before jogging in the morning he did a lot of stretching followed by 10 jumps onto boxes and 10 bursts of sprints, then he went jogging.
At 12pm he sparred.
At 3pm he did focus mitt work or heavy bag work inside the ring. He warmed up for all ring work with light exercises such as skipping or shadow boxing or speed ball.
At 5pm Tyson did 10 quick circuits, each circuit consisting of: 200 sit-ups, then 25-40 dips, then 50 press-ups, then 25-40 dips, then 50 shrugs, followed by 10 mins of neck work on the floor. What an animal!

Tyson said that the shrugs "built his shoulders up" to help unleash punches with his short arms whilst at the same time building endurance in the neck. It should be noted though that Tyson couldn't do any more than 50 sit-ups a day and 50 press-ups a day when he was 13, but gradually increasing the reps each week got him to a higher level over many years, so that he was doing 2000 sit-ups inside 2 hours every day by the time he was 20!

Mike told Ian Durke (Sky commentator) his above workout regime when he visited England to watch a Frank Bruno fight in March 1987. Durke told Mike that Bruno trained like a bodybuilder and asked Mike about this, but Mike said that floor exercises and natural exercises work better. Mike explained that his punch-power comes from nothing more than heavy bag work "works your strength through the hips" he said, despite doing shrugs with a barbell he said that lifting weights has about as much resemblance to punching as "cheesecake" (contradicting himself though due to doing shrugs).

His mentor Cus D'Amato realised that, due to Tyson's style, he needed punch-power (not that he didn't have it naturally anyway). So Cus got Mike very heavy bags to hit for a 13 yr old, and Cus gradually increased the weight of the bags Tyson used over time so that by the age of 18-19 Tyson was banging bags that no other man could budge! Also, Cus used to order Tyson to go jog 3 miles with 50lbs on his back because he didn't want Mike growing any taller (because it didn't suit his style)!

Whether Mike was exaggerating or telling tall tales (to frighten or confuse future opponent Frank Bruno), is not clear. However, you gotta remember this was Mike Tyson. He was already naturally very strong, bone structure of a dinosaur, unlike your average man, or any professional prize fighter for that matter!

The high reps dp make sense, though. Pushups and other calisthenics still build a lot of mental toughness and overall well being. You can also add resistance to your pushups by using a weighted vest or a power pushup strand.

I asked my dad, a boxing fan, what he remembered from his time in the gym. He heard that Sugar Ray Robinson, and Ali, never lifted weights. The way Ray Robinson trained back in the 1930's roughly the same way he trained in the 1960's.

Old fashioned boxing training was really just a specialized form of calisthenics. It is simple, effective and relatively inexpensive. The problem with it is that it becomes rather boring and that is why boxers are notoriously negligent with their training. Everything changed in 1977 when Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in a movie called Pumping Iron.

That is the point where weightlifting suddenly became a necessity in nearly every sport including boxing. Why you ask? The answer to that question is very easy, calisthenics are BORING! When you pump up your muscles you get a rush that you will never get from the old fashioned stuff. Training became fun when when the weights came out. Boxers are still negligent with their training, proper training that is. But I have noticed these past 30 years there are a lot more muscular boxers than there once was.

If you read Joe Frazier's book on boxing technique, he recommends not touching weights at all either. Calisthenics and cardio-type exercises can give you all the conditioning you need, aside from actual boxing workouts.

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gs300tx gs300tx is offline
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03-09-2009, 12:41 PM
Great post! I just got Joe Frazier's book "Box like the pros". One thing that i have noticed with highly developed/successful athletes is that they workout 7 days a week. Not just athletes, but just on our forum we have a lot of guys that are in great shape have great strength and they workout everyday.
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gruntbrain gruntbrain is offline
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03-09-2009, 03:10 PM
Since a boxer's goals are different than mine, i'd only cherry pick a boxer's training pgm. Moreover, I'm not confident that such published material is accurate or complete
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