The Fighter - Mark Wahlberg's workout
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Fitness coach Bo Cleary reveals the boxing drills he used to get Mark Wahlberg into ring-ready shape for upcoming movie The Fighter.
Mark Wahlberg has always been in great shape, but it was for his starring role as American boxer Micky Ward in his new movie The Fighter that the Hollywood star got superfit.
‘By the end of our time training together Mark could have fought professionally,’ says Bo Cleary, the fitness coach behind Wahlberg’s incredible new physique. ‘Mark has always been a hard trainer, but he surpassed himself in the gym and in the ring, and you can see the results in how he’s looking.’
The movie centres around the life of professional boxer ‘Irish’ Micky Ward and his older brother, played by Christian Bale. ‘Christian would train with us sometimes too, joining us for a run or doing some drills in the ring,’ says Clearly. ‘Both guys are true pros and prove that working hard in the gym is the quickest way to getting into really great shape.’
With Wahlberg playing a boxer renowned for his fighting style and boxing ability, Cleary designed a training programme that wouldn’t be out of place for a genuine title contender. He’d make him skip, spar and do bag work.
‘We’d do 15 rounds some days, so I was really pushing Mark all the time, trying to force as much out of him as I could,’ says Cleary. ‘He was getting better every day and looking more and more like a pro. I could have put him in a pro fight and he’d have won. That’s how hard he’d worked and how good he’d become. His punch was hard and he’s got a rock-solid chin. He took some blows during our training and he didn’t bat an eyelid.’
‘I wanted to keep Mark in the mentality of a boxer, so all the training was broken into three-minute rounds,’ says Cleary. ‘Do the workout below in order, taking a minute’s rest between each three-minute round. Mark also did a lot of plyometric and bodyweight training, so he did box jumps, pull-ups and press-ups, to get stronger and fitter, but not so big that he lost flexibility, which is so important to boxers.’
- 3 minutes of shadow boxing to warm up all the major muscle groups
- 3 minutes of easy stretching, especially chest, back, shoulders and legs
- 3 x 3 minutes of combination punching on the speedball to improve reaction speed
- 3 x 3 minutes pad work in the ring to improve movement and delivery
- 3 x 3 minutes rope skipping to improve footwork and cardio fitness
- 3 x 3 minutes on the speed bag to work on hand-eye co-ordination
- 3 x 3 minutes sparring to improve everything
- 3 minutes of total-body stretching to cool down
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