How to Get a Body Like a Boxer

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Have you ever seen a boxing movie? How about a boxing match? You have?!? Nice. We’re assuming you’ve noticed something about the leader roles in those movies or the fighters in the ring…Boxers have an amazing physique!

These dudes and dudettes are ripped. We’re talking about:

  • Stallone in Rocky

  • Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw

  • Michael B. Jordan in Creed

  • Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby

How about real boxers? You know who we’re talking about:

  • Mayweather

  • Rory Jones Jr.

  • Holyfield

  • Sugar Ray Leonard

  • Mike Tyson

Not only are these dudes absolutely shredded, but they have that lean athletic physique that lines up with what we are after: The Zen Dude Physique.

Learn to Fight?

Sorry. Not here. We want to show you how train like a boxer in order to get a body like a boxer; you know how to get a body like a boxer. If you want to learn to fight, go check out our boy, the 3-time Australian Champ and former Olympian, Mateo Attalla over at Cartel FC.

Get a Body like a Boxer

We get it, we just mentioned the names of people who are paid to act, train and fight. It’s their full-time job.

What? You can’t quit your job so you can look awesome without a shirt on? Neither can we, so we’re going to tell you two ways you can achieve this look.

First, we’re gonna speak about spending all your time working out. This is the regime that our main dude Mateo follows.

Train Like a Boxer

We just mentioned it: Training is a boxer’s full-time job. A professional boxer is going to spend 3-6 hours a day, 6-7 days a week training. If you have that kinda time, here’s what you do:

Morning Workout (every morning)

5 mile run and/or 15 minutes jump rope

Main Workout

  • 3 Rounds – Jump rope (3 mins on rope, 1 minute push ups)

  • 12 Rounds – Boxing Specific Work in 3 minute intervals (bag/pads/sparring)

  • 10 Minutes – Bag work

  • 10 Minutes – Floor-to-ceiling ball

  • 500 Reps – Various Ab exercises (and increase over time)

All these rounds are at peak intensity. Boxers have to train like their lives depend on it (because, well… sometimes that’s the truth) so they are bringing 85 intensity to every session.

So you added that up, and you’re like, “that’s only little over an hour of work.” Remember because this all-out effort it’s being spread out over a couple hours at the gym… And after that…

The Warm Down

16 Minutes of jump rope (moderate intensity) 15 Minutes of stretching and/or yoga

You got it? Are you with us? Nice. Let us tell you about the rest.

Weight Lifting

What? You think boxers just box? Nope. They’re moving the iron 4 or 5 days a week! Here’s what split looks like:

  • Monday – Chest – 5 exercises – 4 X 15 reps

  • Tuesday – Legs -5 exercises – 4 X 15 reps

  • Wednesday – Shoulders – 5 exercises – 4 X 15 reps

  • Thursday– Back -5 exercises – 4 X 15 reps

To end a weight session, a boxer is going to warm down with some functional cardio work. We’re talking another 3-6 rounds of sparring, bag work, or jump rope intervals.

In total, this is going to take 3-6 hours depending on volume and how you space it out.

At Zen Dude Fitness we don’t expect you have this kind of time, but we wanted to share how an actual boxer trains.

Now we’re going to visit method number two, our favorite way, to get a body like a boxer:

Train Like a Zen Dude

Straight up: You NEED AT LEAST 60 MINUTES 5-6 days week. Remember, you have goals now so when you are at the gym put your phone down, kill that conversation and focus on your workout.

Jump rope and push up warm up

  • 3 minutes skipping

  • 30 explosive push ups

  • 30 rest

Repeat 3 times, but end with a 4th round of jump rope. This will take you 30 minutes.

Okay, so do you know how you are going spend your next half hour?

Explosive Weight Training

You want to mimic what was going on up above, but choose a format that works best for you. Go ahead and mix up the days and pick your favorite rep/set theme, but be sure to change it up and challenge yourself as you grow.

Get yourself a 5 day split… Maybe something like this:

  • Monday – Legs

  • Tuesday – Shoulders

  • Wednesday – Back

  • Thursday -Chest

  • Friday -Arms

You can do the split however you like. New to this? Checkout this 5-day routine from our friend Mike over at Olympic Muscle.

Alright, you should be feeling like Superman right now and if you kept your phone in your locker, you should have about 15 minutes before that hour is up. What’s next?

Abs and Core work

Abs are important for boxers, not just because they look cool, but they are literally protecting a fighter’s insides.

Get in 4 SETS of ab exercises – we don’t care so much which ones you do as long as you are doing them. Think about a circuit with some crunches, leg lifts, sit-ups, planks – heck, do Russian twists with a medicine ball. Just get the work done so your abs will pop once you’ve lost that body fat.

The Finish

To wrap it all up, we’re looking for 3-6 rounds of shadow boxing, weighted shadow boxing, bag work or some pad work if you have a partner.

Mix it up. Alternate days and finish with a different option as often as you can. Keep your body guessing.


In order to get ripped and lean, it’s likely you still need to burn some fat. Because this regimen is so intense we recommend you select “lose” as a goal with our calculator, but make sure you select “highly active.” Your body is going to NEED fuel to support all this activity so be conscious of actually “hitting your macro” requirements and don’t you dare adapt that “If I eat less, I’ll get results faster” mentality; it won’t help!

If we lost you a little with the calculator details, just pop on the video above and listen to Brandon explain at the 10:25 mark.

Food Sources

We always recommend that 70 of your intake comes from whole foods that are close to nature. We’re talking about lean meats, fish, chicken, fruits, veggies, nuts and grains like rice and potatoes. These are nutrient dense foods that are going keep you healthy and they aren’t as calorie dense as most processed foods.

Wait. What? Calorie Dense? Yup.

When you are eating processed foods that you find at the local drive through, one dinky cheese burger is gonna cost you (maybe) 800 calories and you’re left hungry and unsatisfied.

If you decide to grub on some of the foods we suggest, you’ll be eating 800 calories you’ll be enjoying things like a yogurt, some rice, a spinach salad, a ton of chicken and some delicious fresh veggies all in one meal! You’ll feel full and your body will thank you for providing it with a ton of healthy nutrients.

What about that other 30 of the time?

ICE CREAM!! Did we beat you to it?

We’re not saying go nuts, but getting lean and fit is all about sustainability. If we told you to cut the cake, chocolate, (occasional) adult beverage or whatever it is that you really enjoy, we could expect your results to stick.

You can eat your favorite foods, but let’s keep it moderate so you stay healthy!

You are now a professional fighter.

NO WAY! Like we said earlier, we’re gonna give you a plan to help you get a body like a boxer! That lean, powerful looking physique.

If you want to learn to get in the ring and fight, find your local boxing gym.


Now if you want to want to get started, but you aren’t ready to dive head first into this regimen… you’re in luck. We have a FREE 4 WEEK JUMP ROPE CHALLENGE that’s a great place to get started. You’ll add a ton of jump rope work into your life and have some fun doing it. The best part? It’s all bodyweight exercises so you can work on being explosive.


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