Anthony Joshua is an Olympic gold medallist and heavyweight champion of the world, but he is also a tremendous athlete. Without a disciplined and varied training regime, no matter how hard he can punch, it won’t be enough to get to the top of the game. Can you learn from his lead, improve your fitness and reach your sporting goals?
Normally big guys have a tendency to fatigue, but for a heavyweight boxer going twelve rounds with the biggest hitters in the world, fatigue is not an option. While Joshua looks ripped, it’s actually a bi-product of a total body training plan aimed at working core and leg strength alongside power, speed, explosiveness and cardio work. If you think you can match the effort Joshua puts into his training workouts then take a look at what happened when three regular gym guys put themselves to the ultimate Anthony Joshua test.
Strength & Conditioning – For boxers, generating power comes from the legs, so squats are a must. Joshua’s regime includes deadlifts, a variety of single-leg movements like split squats as well as plyometric jumps and leg presses – all of which are completed using bursts of explosive speed.
Core – Every gym-goer knows that great fitness always starts with a strong core. Joshua is no different, because leg strength and flexibility (to maintain a powerful punch) must go through the core. It means spending a considerable amount of time doing rotational movements, headstands and planks to improve core strength – so much so, he can become a human flag.
Cardio – Joshua’s day usually starts early, allowing him to complete a run, building up his cardio and aerobic capacity. This normally ramps up the closer to a fight he gets. Just as important as lacing up his running shoes is lacing on the boxing gloves for multiple sparring sessions, mimicking the job he’ll be doing in the ring. On top of this is the battle ropes, helping him condition his arms and shoulders.
The Sand Pit – Ever wondered why Brazilian footballers always seem to be more nimble on their feet? It’s probably got something to do with training on sand. Working out on unstable surfaces like sand makes your leg muscles work much harder, helping improve both strength and conditioning whilst also adding better stability.
The effort Anthony Joshua puts in is why he is in control of any potential heavyweight boxing unification fight with Deontay Wilder right now. If the fight does go ahead sometime next year then Joshua’s physical conditioning and boxing ability might mean predicting the outcome is a no-brainer – Joshua is currently a 21/50 favourite for the fight. However, gym-work and training can only give a sporting superstar the best platform to show off their talents. Getting over the line takes mental strength too.
That dedication is reflected in other sports too, Cristiano Ronaldo’s training ground work ethic at Manchester United and Real Madrid was well known, but he also took that attitude to the gym allowing him to avoid significant injury and capture five Ballon D’Ors. That same ethic is what helped Rafael Nadal become one of the best tennis players ever and one of the fittest sportspersons in the world – regularly confound opponents by returning the unreturnable. That level of success starts in the gym – the rest is up to you.