In the past, I think people would often think of big muscular powerhouses in regard to a boxer’s physique. Characters from pop culture like Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed had hugely impressive physiques from an aesthetic bodybuilding perspective. This led to many people assuming that this was the type of physique that most boxers have.
If you want the quintessential action-figure physique, just train and eat like a bodybuilder! But for those who want a genuine boxing/athletic physique, we’ve outlined a simple system for obtaining a “boxing physique” in 4 basic steps:
- Building Muscle To Look Like A Boxer
- Muscle Building Diet For Boxing Physique
- Getting The Ideal Boxing Physique
- Shredding Diet For Boxing Physique
However, in reality, most boxers maintain a lean and athletic physique as it allows them to operate at peak performance. Some of the heavyweights will carry more muscle mass but they will also carry more body fat as that is optimal for them since they don’t have a weight limit.
In order to obtain a boxer’s physique you’ll have to do a lot of athletic work and HIIT training in order to emulate a boxing training camp. Fighters like Kell Brook, Floyd Mayweather, & Errol Spence all have traditional boxing physiques. They carry moderate amounts of muscle mass in functional areas and have low body fat.
What Is A Boxer’s Physique
A boxer’s physique simply put is an athletic physique which great functionality. This means that all the muscle mass is functional for a sport like boxing and the body fat is typically quite low. That’s it.
Something else most people won’t tell you is that you don’t need to ever actually box to get a boxer’s physique!
What you really need is great nutrition and spending time in the gym. You don’t actually have to lace a pair of boxing gloves to obtain a fighter’s physique. Boxing can be used in your training if you so desire but it is in no way necessary in regards to obtaining a “boxer’s physique”.
Building Muscle To Look Like A Boxer
From all the training that they do, boxers do have a substantial amount of muscle. Its nothing compared to a bodybuilder or even you’re average gym rat and in t-shirts, you certainly won’t look extraordinary. The low body fat is what will make you look particularly impressive however, underneath that it is still important to build a solid base of muscle.
In order to achieve relatively fast results, I’d recommend that you train your shoulders, back, legs, arms, and chest twice a week. Join your local gym so you have access to some weights and train hard. There is so much fitness content on the internet created by bodybuilders and fitness specialists for those trying to gain huge amounts of muscle and optimize their physiques.
However, to obtain the classic athletic physique, you don’t have to go through all that trouble. Just stay disciplined with your training along with your diet and you should garner some good results.
This is the regiment that I use when I’m trying to gain a little extra muscle:
- Incline Press 3 Sets of 8-12 Repetitions
- Chest Press 3 Sets of 8-12 Repetitions
- 100 push-ups 5 Sets of 20 Repetitions
- Cables Flyes 4 Sets of 15 Repetitions
- EZ bar curls 3 Sets of 10 Repetitions
- Skull Crushers 4 Sets of 10 Repetitions
- Hammer curls 3 Sets of 8-12 Repetitions
- Shoulder Press 3 Sets of 8-12 Repetitions
- Lateral Raises 4 Sets of 20 Repetitions
- Pull-ups Front Grip for 10 reps
- Lateral Pull Downs 3 Sets of 10 Repetitions
- Pull-ups Neutral Grip 10 Reps
- Squats 4 Sets of 8-12 Repetitions
- Leg Press 4 Sets of 8-12 Repetitions
- 100 Sit-ups 5 Sets of 20 Repetitions
- Leg Raises 4 Sets of 20 Repetitions
Muscle Building Diet For Boxing Physique
In order to put on muscle you need to be in a calorie surplus which means eating more. This should be 10-20% more than your maintenance calories. Your maintenance calories are the number of calories that you need to live and maintain the same weight. If you add more you’ll gain weight and if you eat less you’ll lose weight. However, if you eat more of the right things and couple this with a working out, you should see an increase in muscle mass.
You don’t need a huge increase in mass and some of you may not need to do this at all. Adding 5-10lbs of muscle will make a substantial difference to your physique depending on how tall you are. However, if you have a smaller frame with little muscle, this will be greatly beneficial, coupled with the training routine above for building some muscle to gain that athletic frame.
However, this doesn’t mean you can just cram down an extra pizza and expect to see an increase in muscle mass. You need to fuel your body with the right food. Natural proteins and healthy fats are the way to go when bulking up. You want to incorporate more things like beef, chicken, salmon, whole milk, cottage cheese, eggs, avocado, rice, sweet potatoes, & oats into your diet.
Getting The Ideal Boxing Physique
Once you have a decent amount of muscle mass you can tone down the weight lifting and really focus on getting lean with better proportions. This requires a big change in your training regimen. You want to focus on explosiveness and athleticism. This means incorporating a lot of HIIT training and minimizing the amount of heavyweights being lifted. Instead, you should look to increase repetitions and also introduce some cardio into your training. Exercises that are good for fat burning and getting you into athletic shape include but aren’t limited to:
- Battle ropes
- Weighted neutral pull-ups
- Heavy bag work
- Weighted sled pushing
- Band resistance training
- Jump rope
- Vertical climb machine
You don’t have to incorporate all of these exercises into your training, just a handful that you personally enjoy and find the most beneficial. This kind of training is much similar to that of an athlete which will contribute to giving you that athletic tapered look that boxers are renowned for. The best way to use these exercises will be in circuits.
However, it is essential to mention that this is only half the story, the real work will be done in the kitchen and you’ll have to be careful about what you consume in order to get lean which we’ll explain in detail in the next subheading.
Shredding Diet For Boxing Physique
When it comes to creating a cutting diet for a boxer, it’s important to focus on maintaining energy levels and preserving muscle mass while reducing body fat. Here’s a sample cutting diet plan that you can consider:
- Calculate Caloric Intake:
- Start by determining your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), which is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight.
- Create a caloric deficit of around 500-750 calories per day to facilitate fat loss. This gradual approach helps preserve muscle mass and provides sustainable weight loss.
- Macronutrient Distribution:
- Protein: Consume 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight to support muscle maintenance and recovery.
- Carbohydrates: Choose complex, nutrient-dense carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Aim for 40-45% of your total caloric intake.
- Fats: Opt for healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Keep fat intake around 20-25% of your total caloric intake.
- Meal Plan:
- Oatmeal with berries and a scoop of protein powder.
- Boiled eggs (2 whites, 1 whole egg).
- Greek yogurt with sliced almonds.
- Grilled chicken breast.
- Quinoa or brown rice.
- Steamed vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, or spinach).
- Pre-workout Snack:
- Apple slices with natural peanut butter.
- Post-workout Shake:
- Whey protein mixed with water.
- Grilled fish (salmon, tuna, or tilapia).
- Sweet potato or whole grain pasta.
- Mixed green salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing.
- Evening Snack:
- Cottage cheese with sliced cucumbers or carrot sticks.
Remember, it’s important to consult with a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist who can tailor the cutting diet plan specifically to your needs and requirements as a boxer. They can also provide guidance on portion sizes and make adjustments based on your training schedule and individual goals.
Obtaining a boxer’s physique truly means obtaining an “athletic physique”. Since this is purely aesthetic-related, you don’t have to ever train like a boxer. While there are plenty of boxing exercises that can help you obtain this physique, they aren’t necessary. Lastly, the main thing to remember is just having a fighter’s physique doesn’t mean you’ll be able to fight.
Boxers don’t worry too much about how they look because they need to worry about skill, endurance, and functionality. Being in shape is an excellent thing to do – however, if its the actual boxing that you’re interested in, I’d highly recommend joining a boxing gym rather than trying to obtain peak aesthetics, to begin with.