Not many Australian boxers can boast a record of 20 wins to 0 losses, but Tim Tszyu can.
Australia’s current number one super welterweight boxer, Tim Tszyu is the son of the Soviet-born Australian boxer Kostya Tszyu, the man with multiple world championships in the light welterweight class.
Of course, while much of Tim Tszyu’s boxing talent may be natural, and inherited from his father, he obviously has to undergo some serious boxing workout routines to ensure he maintains his winning record. But what kind of boxing workouts and training regimes does he put his body through?
Allow us to reveal all as we run through some of Tim Tszyu’s favourite boxing workouts to keep him in fighting fit shape, along with other tips such as how he keeps his mind focused and his meal plans in order.
Check out some of Tim Tszyu’s best boxing workouts in the video below.
Building A Pro Boxer’s Mindset
It’s crucial to highlight the commitment required to reach Tim Tszyu’s level of competitive fitness. Freakish genes aside, Tim Tszyu is in the boxing gym 6 days a week with Sunday being his only recovery day. Part of his recovery for relaxing the body and mind involves:
- Physio once a week for a massage
- Sauna once a week which Tim alternates three times between hot-cold, hot-cold, hot-cold: “it refreshes me, my muscles and my body feels better the next day.”
Tszyu says the latter helps with his sleep, alertness and muscle relaxation.
A Pro Boxer’s Strength Training
When it comes to his strength training there’s no secret technique for Tim Tszyu. It’s all about structure, discipline and a bit of versatility. Below is a rundown of his regular week.
- 3 strength sessions per week all based on punching and leg movements (lots of push exercises including squats, deadlifts and chin-ups)
- 5 days a week of morning run sessions
- 6 days a week of afternoon boxing sessions which includes sparring and pad work with a trainer
When it comes to building muscle it’s nothing like bodybuilding in a gym. Depending on how close a fight is, Tim Tszyu will get into weights to build functional strength through:
- Sled pushing
- Battle ropes
- Kettlebell exercises
“Doing dumbbell curls isn’t going to help me produce anything in the ring. Everything’s based on punching and based on leg movements.”
As a boxer, you can lift heavier weights to build your strength, but you need to do it before your fight prep starts.
“As soon as you start boxing you start slimming down because you’re always worried about the weight [class]. So you have to keep that in mind.”
Speed & Reflex Training
To get the sheer speed of a professional boxer you’ll need to do some serious punching bag work. Tim Tszyu recommends the ‘2-4-6’ punch combo (2 punches in succession, then 4 punches, then 6 punches) with 1 minute on and 30-second rounds.
“Keep doing this,” he says.
“When you’re punching for speed you have to forget about power and do as many punches as you can. You don’t want to do too many though because it becomes endurance; you want them to become purely speed. Aim for 2 or 4 punches – 6 max. To improve your footwork in the ring, do sprint sessions.”
Building Stamina Like A Boxer
A fighter’s body needs stamina and it’s Tim Tszyu’s specific drills that give him the longevity he needs to take on his opponent. His pad work involves:
- 12 rounds or more with leg weights
- 3.5-minute rounds (the standard round is 3 minutes)
- Chasing medicine balls
- Punching medicine balls in reverse
- Extensive pad work with his coach
Beyond the ring, Tim Tszyu builds stamina by swimming. At first, he could only do 50m before gassing out. He eventually reached 500m and is now at 1,000m in sessions which last 45 at one session per week.
“It’s lots of upper body strength and [focusing on] your breathing. At first I thought everything was about your breathing, but once you get that right and you still don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll be smashed at 50m or 100m.”
In other words, get your swimming technique right alongside your breathing.
Rest Is Paramount At Pro Boxing Levels
For someone that trains as intensely as Tim Tszyu, rest and recovery are vital.
“You have to have your rest and recovery. You can overtrain so listen to your body. As soon as I know I have a fight, I’ll train pretty hard as I know the guy I’m fighting is training so I have to be three times ahead of him. The most important thing is you can’t just train hard, you have to train smart.”
Tszyu gets a 1 hour or 1.5-hour rest after lunch between training and is in bed by 10 pm most nights. He gets 8-10 hours of sleep a night and says that if you’re training at this level, you need rest otherwise “you’re stuffed”.
You Can’t Out Train A Good Diet
Apparently, there’s something called a ‘Russian boxer’s diet’ of caviar and Vodka, but Tszyu jokes that he’ll never try it. Instead, his real diet consists of:
- Clean food and lots of water
- Lots of vegetables and carbs – an ice cream container’s worth of salad, potatoes, chicken or fish
- Poached eggs and avocado for breakfast
“Diet is one of the most important things. You can’t be eating bad because you’ll feel crap and you can’t maximise your performance. As soon as you start eating clean and healthy, you’ll feel 100%.”