This classic Boxing Science article from 2015 explores Floyd Mayweather’s training methods for his showdown with Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao is just one day away, training camp is done, the weight stripped off and media obligations are completed.
Before the ‘fight of the century’, apart from ‘who will win?’ there is only one question remains.
‘Have they done everything right in training’
Boxing Science will analyse both Floyd Mayweather’s and Manny Pacquiao’s training methods in preparation for the biggest fight of their careers.
Has Money done the business?
From chopping wood to Cryotherapy, there is no doubt that ‘Money May’ has stepped up his ‘Hard work! Dedication!’ for his Filipino opponent. But how much is this hard work without being smart?
Mayweather has taken this fight very seriously. So serious, there are a lot of new additions to his training regiment, including the vital ingredient Recovery. Floyd’s use of the ice chamber has been a big talking point, this is a method called Cryotheraphy.
Cryotheraphy takes place in a chamber that exposes the body to extreme temperatures of -130 degrees centigrade for a duration of between 2-3 minutes. This can relieve pain symptoms, inflammatory responses, injuries and overuse symptoms.
Mayweather does not do much strength work in the gym, none with significant external load anyway. However, he does pay a lot of attention to neck conditioning.
This is important for boxers as the head gets all its support from the neck, therefore to control the impact from head shots. It also has benefits of reducing back pain and improving posture, both common traits of boxers.
Now, don’t go out and buy a neck brace and do 100’s of reps with a heavy weight. Training the neck needs to be as strategic as developing strength elsewhere.
- Develop from various angles – supine, prone, and laterally
- Start with isometric holds, then move onto self resistance (Hand)
- Use various resistance methods. Towels, bands, cables, body weight and neck brace.
- Build up the volume of repetitions (15-20 repetitions) rather than large external loads.
We all know how important a structured nutrition plan is to make weight and fuel performance, so I am not going to list all the benefits in this article.
However, it is quite astonishing that Mayweather has got so far tucking into chicken burgers in the early hours of the morning. He seems to have got his act together by hiring a chef.
At a charge of $1,000 per meal, I am questioning my career choice of S&C, is it too late to switch over to the dark side?
TOO MUCH TOO LATE?
Although I praise Mayweather for making some positive changes for this training camp, I do question whether it is too much too late?
This is quite a speculative analysis, and short-term use is likely to improve his physical performance. However, we know that long-term consistent use of sport science methods are likely to have a bigger impact.
Talk to any fitness enthusiast, they will say how beneficial swimming is for you.
Yes, it takes away the external loads of the long, slow roadruns. With this in mind, we would advise to go swimming for active recovery.
However, it becomes tough for conditioning as you cannot control set intensities, therefore will struggle to overload and progress. Furthermore, swimming is very technical dependent, this makes it even more difficult to raise the intensity.
We recommend the following structure for a 12-week training camp.
Sprint Interval Training – 30 second sprints
High Intensity Interval Training – 4-8 minute Red Zone intervals
Taper training, with high intensity running and sprints.
What is this? Rocky 4? or the highest paid athlete in the world training for the biggest fight of his life?
I don’t want to go into this too much as it seems ridiculous and I haven’t ruled it out as a publicity stunt yet. However, I will ask these questions for any of those thinking about chopping some wood to prepare for their next fight…
- What measurements does woodchopping have been taken to correlate it to successful boxing performance?
- How will this be monitored?
- How will the volume progressed?
- How can you control overload and recovery?
- How can the intensity be increased?
If anyone can answer these questions… please get in touch.
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Training of greatness
Although we have questioned some of Mayweather’s training methods, we can only admire how hard he has trained and worked to get to the top of the sport. Here is a training montage to get you motivated for your next training session, or to read our next article….