Visually, Anthony Joshua is an absolute monster, at 6’6″ and 255lbs. The world heavyweight boxing champion is not just about aesthetics either, but skill, power, conditioning, and ringcraft.
That’s what makes his imposing physique so impressive, the fact that he balances all the other aspects of his training whilst still maintaining his bulky look.
Most boxers are exceptionally fit but they don’t look like fitness models.
Joshua is an exception, especially in the heavyweight division.
It’s because the primary focus of most boxers is not on building and maintaining muscle but performance – so how does ‘AJ’ manage to do both?
Genetics is a factor, of course, but the grueling regime the Watford man puts himself through is the real reason, so let’s take a look at how he stays both fit, lean, and muscled as he continues to dominate heavyweight boxing.
A lifelong athlete
Although Joshua was relatively late to boxing compared to some, starting in 2007 as an 18-year-old, he was known as a great sprinter and footballer as a youngster.
Skill, power, and explosiveness have always been familiar to him, and that helps to build the foundations.
It showed in his prodigious entry to the boxing world, winning the ABA Championships with just 18 bouts to his credit in 2010, and capturing Olympic gold in 2012.
Part nature, part nurture, it was clear from a young age that his desire and aptitude for the sport was there.
As he prepares to further his quest as undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, with the latest boxing odds listing him as the frontrunner in a potential bout with Tyson Fury, it should come as no surprise that athleticism is both in his veins and in his psyche.
Joshua combines traditional strength lifts and high-intensity workouts to give him the gains he wants and, in particular, fuses the parts together to make sure he is utilizing his time most effectively.
You’ll see him pulling big numbers on the deadlift but he’s not a powerlifter, and these types of full body exercises engage both upper and lower body, stressing it with the weight to grow.
There was an old adage in boxing that weights make you slow, but power is strength x speed, and Joshua works on both.
For the speed element, you’ll see him performing woodchoppers at pace with the cables, and manipulating his own bodyweight with rows on the TRX.
All of these help to combine speed and strength in explosive movements, which affords him the power to KO his opponents, whilst giving the muscles stimulus to grow too.
Food, and lots of it
The sheer volume of work that Joshua does, both in the weights gym and the boxing club, means he will inevitably stay lean.
However, to maintain his mass, he has to make sure he piles on the calories.
In order to stay lean, it can’t just be with junk, but he needs protein (plenty of it), fats, and carbs to fuel him.
A look at breakfast shows the volume he has to put away to get through the sessions and keep his mass, so ask yourself just how easy it would be to consume 4,500 calories a day?
Most people don’t even have the commitment to fulfill even the conditioning element to Joshua’s training, let alone the most important boxing training, so is it really any surprise that this man looks like The Hulk when he trains this way?