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Mike Tyson: bodybuilding, training and diet

Mike Tyson: bodybuilding, training and diet


Mike Tyson used to systematically start his training with a run at 4:30 in the morning. One day, a journalist asked him:

"Why do you train so early"?

He replied:

"because my opponent is always asleep at that time"

As a child, Mike Tyson wasn't what we're used to seeing. He was a shy kid, who was seen as the whipping boy of his classmates, often ridiculed and beaten up.

Often taking refuge alone, he used to feed the pigeons, and one day, one of his classmates cruelly killed one of his pigeons.

This event unleashed his inner boxer.

After beating the crap out of the teenager who had committed the act, he realized his potential and that, with the right training and diet, he could change his life with his fists!

Mike Tyson's debut

At the age of 16, Mike Tyson's father died. The boxing legend of the time, Cus d'almato, took him under his wing and decided to make him the world's youngest champion.

Cus d'Almato et Mike Tyson

At that age, Mike Tyson was already bigger than his fellow competitors, weighing between 80 and 90 kg.

When he began training for boxing and bodybuilding, he established a weight-gain diet to help him cope with his long, intense workouts.

Mike Tyson's diet

His diet ranged from 3 to 4,000 calories a day, and consisted of large portions of carbohydrates and proteins to build body weight.

His meals consisted mainly of pasta and rice, and for breakfast he often ate fruit, which provided the necessary fiber and vitamins. His protein intake was also very high, consisting of large portions of chicken breast and lean beef.

Diet example

Breakfast: Fruit + oats + eggs

Lunch: Rice + plenty of chicken breast + fruit juice

Snack: Protein powder + bananas

Dinner: Pasta + lean beef steak + vegetables

Evening snack: Protein + milk

Mike often indulged in "cheat meals" on a regular basis because of his sweet tooth, and only had to endure a few, thanks to his fast metabolism.

Tyson's training

mike Tyson's training was truly intensive. Often twice as intense as those of his opponents.

His daily routine included 2,000 empty squats, 500 tricep extensions, 500 30kg weighted shrugs and 15 minutes of neck strengthening, as well as serial pull-ups to failure. This was his strength training, done in parallel with his boxing and cardio training.

His cardio training was spread over two hours a day, and between 10 and 20 rounds of training in the ring (techniques + sparing + punching bag)

Sample program

- before sunrise, 4 a.m.: 45-minute run

- Morning: 10 to 20 rounds of technical training

- Afternoon: muscle strengthening, 2000 squats, 500 extensions, 500 shrugs, neck, pull-ups

- After dinner: H.I.T training (skipping rope, accelerations, etc.)

- Evening: 45 min technical training

As you can see, not everyone can do this type of training. It requires extraordinary dedication and motivation. Some will find this type of training eccentric or inappropriate, but one thing's for sure: Mike Tyson became a boxing legend with this type of training.

Mac Tyson musculation


"Before crying foul about this champion's training (unbalanced for a bodybuilder, but not necessarily for a boxer), we need to put things into context.

1- this program is not for a bodybuilder, but for a boxer; it's about muscle strengthening, not a complete bodybuilder's program.

2- It's a program from the '80s, when bodybuilding didn't have all the scientific information available today, and above all, the aim here wasn't solely oriented towards muscular hyperthrophy.

3- In those days, Mike Tyson trained at bodyweight, and didn't use machines until the 90s, when he had to gain a lot of weight to compete with the super-heavyweights in his preferred category."

Author Alexandre CARPENTIER

Bodybuilding Champion N.A.C 2012

Alexandre shares his bodybuilding experience with MegaGear blog readers

Posted in: Sports athletes