To Build Speed Do Weighted Shadowboxing

“If you want to develop speed, you need to do things that target your fast-twitch muscle fibres,” says Yarde. “To develop faster hand speed, hold a 1kg weight while you shadowbox, then take away the weight – your hands will move more freely. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and throw uppercuts, then straight punches, then shots with a full twist and arm extension. Do one minute of each of those so it’s the same as the length of a round, then have a short rest. Try to get into a fluid rhythm.”

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To Improve Footwork Move Like An Athlete

“I like to use cones and speed ladders to improve my footwork,” says Yarde. “It’s something you see footballers and track athletes doing too and I’ve trained in both those sports in the past, so I’ve taken elements from them. Don’t take long or wide steps – you should be doing short, quick bursts of about 20 seconds. Go as fast as you can and then have a short recovery period. It’s important to get a thorough warm-up before you do work like this that targets your fast-twitch muscle fibres. I’d probably put these drills in the middle of a training session so that you’re fully warmed up but still relatively fresh.”

To Stay Fresh Try Different Sports

“When you see some guys who’ve only ever done boxing they can be a bit stiff in their upper body and a bit flat-footed,” says Yarde. “My football background taught me to have quick feet and my athletics background gave me dynamic flexibility and explosive power. Having different influences also makes you open to new training ideas – I’ve always been open-minded about how to train.”

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To Develop Mental Strength Clear Your Mind And Stay Relaxed

“Anything you’re passionate about can be scary because it matters to you and you want to do well,” says Yarde. “Boxing is an extreme example of that but it applies to other things, like making a speech. If you’re facing a challenge or you’re feeling nervous, it’s so important to clear your mind and not put too much pressure on yourself. Five minutes before a fight, I try to clear my mind and just go out like I’m in the gym. I don’t think about my opponent. I just try to relax.”

To Eat Like An Athlete Focus On Recovery

“I’ve changed my nutrition a lot in recent years,” says Yarde. “Now I work with a nutritionist through Maximuscle and the biggest difference I see is in my recovery. I always just used to deal with the post-training pain –but now, with more attention to detail with my nutrition, I recover faster. A big thing for me is using BCAAs during training and then in my post-workout shake. I also get cravings for sweet things and I find the flavour satisfies that, which means it helps to regulate my appetite.”

To Punch With Power Never Skip Leg Day

“Legs are so important in boxing,” says Yarde. “It’s about being explosive and agile, and you also want to avoid being static in the ring. I do jump squats at the end of my sessions. They are just bodyweight but the intensity is an all-out effort. I also do explosive press-ups, which help with punching power.”

To Last The Distance Take The Old-school Approach

“Some people try to complicate things but, for me, doing old-school long runs works well,” says Yarde. “Of course, different things work for different people but I don’t really touch weights – it’s mainly explosive bodyweight stuff. Most of the time I’m just running with my dog! What do I say to people who don’t like that part of training? Well, if you want the results you need to do the work. That applies whether you’re training for a fight or running a business.”

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Anthony Yarde is a Maximuscle ambassador and was speaking at the launch of Maximuscle’s Home of Gains. Visit maxinutrition.com