Mike Tyson’s Daily Training Routine Was Insane Even by His Standards

For about a decade, Mike Tyson was the dominant force in heavyweight boxing and nobody could beat him. Not only did he have a shocking amount of power, but he also had great boxing technique. While some of those attributes were genetic, Tyson also had to go through a lot of brutal training to become as good as he was.

A look at Mike Tyson’s daily training routine

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As Sport Bible explains, Tyson’s workout routine started early and focused on every aspect of the sport. First, he’d wake up at 5 A.M. and go for a three-mile run. He’d return home by about 6 A.M. and go back to sleep. At 10 A.M., he’d wake up again and have his breakfast. Then, he’d start working on his boxing skills by sparring for about 10 rounds. 

Afterward, Reemus Boxing reports that he’d eat lunch before sparring more and working on boxing skills. Then, and the most brutal part of his routine, was his calisthenics workout. Over the course of a few hours, he’d do 2,000 squats, 2,500 sit-ups, 500 dips, 500 push-ups, 500 shrugs with an approximately 66-pound barbell, and then, 10 minutes of neck exercises. 

It was during one of those 2,500 sit-ups that Tyson realized he’d injured his back. This led to him infamously saying his back was broken after he won a fight. When his back isn’t injured though, he’d have dinner, work out on his exercise bike, and then finally go to bed by 10 P.M.

How Tyson’s workouts paid off

Mike Tyson, a heavyweight contender, warms up before a 1986 fight
Mike Tyson warms up before a 1986 fight | Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

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In part due to how intense his routine was, and in part due to how dedicated he was to his craft, Tyson easily dominated his opponents in the first few years of his pro career. Most of his early fights ended in the first round because he was a much better boxer. But his training also helped him as he faced tougher opponents.

As Reemus Boxing reports, Cus D’Amato, Tyson’s first trainer, believed the key to success was sparring. Unsurprisingly, “Iron Mike” did a lot of sparring every day to hone his boxing skills. This practice allowed him to be more than just a scary, one-punch knockout artist. It also allowed him to be a skilled boxer who could bob and weave and outsmart his opponents whenever possible.

That said, no matter how hard Tyson trained, he couldn’t stop himself from doing other things that would land him in hot water. Eventually, he was arrested and sentenced to prison, and that took a few years off of his career. By the time he returned, his age was starting to catch up with him, and he had to retire not long afterward, as no workout can solve getting old.

Is Tyson planning a comeback?

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The former heavyweight champion officially retired in 2005, and since then, he’s been having a good time doing his own thing, including running his own podcast. Still though, like many athletes and former champions, Tyson’s competitive drive remained in him. 

As CNN reports, Tyson may be gearing up for a comeback run, even at the age of 53. He’s been posting videos on his social media of his training, and it looks like he’s still got it.

That said, it’s unlikely that he will actually step into the ring to fight again. It’s hard for older people to train, let alone fight, and few fighters have done well by the time that they’re in their 40s. It’s possible that ‘Iron Mike’ will return for a charity boxing match, but it’s unlikely he’ll actually fight for a title again.