Mike Tyson had some of the greatest power in boxing. Many people attribute this to his insane physical training regimen and sheer genetic makeup. Tyson could knock you out in the blink of an eye.
Mike Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight champion and youngest man to ever win the WBC, WBA, and IBF world heavyweight titles as a 20 year old. His raw power and ability to knockout even the toughest of guys made his opponents look like they all had glass jaws. “Iron Mike”, also known as “Kid Dynamite”, won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, 12 in the first round, and was often considered to be one of the greatest ever until he was upset by Buster Douglas and went on to lose to the likes of Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. In Mike Tyson’s prime, he trained like an absolute beast! I would suggest that his losses may have been the result of giving up that heavy-duty training. Below was a sample of his workout in his prime that was performed 7 days a week:
Daily Regimen (7 days a week):
5 AM: Get up and go for a 3 mile jog
6 AM: Come back home, shower, and go back to bed
10 AM wake up: Eat oatmeal
12 PM: Do ring work (10 rounds of sparring)
2 PM: Have another meal (steak and pasta with fruit juice)
3 PM: More ring work and 60 mins on the exercise bike
5 PM: 2000 sit-ups, 500-800 dips, 500 press-ups, 500 shrugs with a 30kg barbell, and 10 mins of neck exercises
7 PM: Steak and pasta meal with fruit juice
8 PM: Another 30 minutes on the exercise bike then watch TV and go to bed
As you can see, Tyson took literally no off days. We wouldn’t recommend this for anyone. You definitely want to have at least 1-2 days of rest, especially when you train as vigorously as Tyson did. Your body only grows and recuperates when it rests. Tyson had some of the best genetics and training staff around. He was able to train with such short rest because he needed to consistently burn the proper amount of calories and condition himself as best as possible. What works for Tyson probably won’t work for you so we’d recommend rest days.
Before jogging in the morning, he did a lot of stretching followed by 10 jumps onto boxes and 10 bursts of sprints. Then he would do his jog. At 12 PM, he sparred. At 3 PM, he focused on mitt work and heavy bag work inside the ring. He warmed up for his ring work with light exercises such as skipping, shadow boxing or speed ball. At 5 PM, 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. Tyson said that the shrugs are what built his shoulders up to help him punch given his short arms.
“The Baddest Man on the Planet” didn’t follow a bodybuilder routine. Instead, he did floor exercises and natural exercises. Tyson explained that his punching power came from heavy bag work.
Adapted from a compilation of YouTube clips, documentaries, forums, interviews and/or features