Muhammad Ali's Training and Nutrition Routines

Ali actually used sparring as an opportunity to improve his defensive skills.
Image Credit: Witthaya Prasongsin/Moment/GettyImages

In the world of boxing and beyond, Muhammad Ali is one of the most commonly-recognized athletes in history. And considering he was one of the greatest boxers of all time, it's certainly no surprise.

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Although Ali was truly unique in his success, just about any boxer (or athlete) can borrow a few healthy habits from his daily regime. Read on to learn more about Muhammad Ali's training and diet routines.

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Muhammad Ali's Workout Routine

Cardio Training

Ali was a dedicated runner when he was in training camp. Building stamina was a priority because, in that era of boxing, heavyweight title fights often went 15 rounds (that's a long time to be boxing). So, endurance was absolutely necessary. Typically, Ali ran about 6 miles per day, six days per week.

Jumping rope is a frequent tool used by boxers to improve quickness and build endurance. Ali also prioritized agility training, so the jump rope was another staple in his workout routine. Typically, he jumped rope for about 10 minutes per training session.

Boxing Training

Ali worked as hard in the gym as any fighter of his era. A typical Ali workout included 15 minutes of warm-up exercises to work up a good sweat before he started sport-specific training.

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Like most boxers, his strength training was sport-focused. A typical workout included several rounds of shadow boxing, followed by work on a heavy bag to practice punch combinations and endurance. Work on the speed bag was also a part of Ali's routine, alongside boxing-specific drills.

Ali also added core-focused exercises in his training routine. Typically, this included bicycle crunches, sit-ups and leg raises.

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Sparring

Although sparring is a common part of most professional boxers' training regimes, Muhammad Ali didn't actually spar too often, concerned for his partners' safety. Instead, he used this drill to sharpen his defensive skills, allowing his sparring partners to hit him, without actually punching back.

Muhammad Ali's Diet

For just about every professional athlete, a well-balanced, nutritious diet is a must. In order to perform, a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates and fats is necessary — Ali was no exception.

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Typically his daily diet included eggs, chicken and steak as sources of protein. But he supplemented these foods with plenty of vegetables, like green beans and potatoes. As far as snacks go, Ali ate plenty of fruit and made sure to stay hydrated all day.

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