On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, business executives and athletes to explore their routines, habits and rituals.
The world’s most talented active boxer, and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters right now, Vasyl Lomachenko, got his start attending traditional Ukrainian dance and gymnastic classes.
In a BBC interview with Bob Arum, CEO of boxing promotion company Top Rank, the promoter explained, “When Vasyl was a very young guy, his father would not allow him in the ring until he took ballet lessons. Then he made him do gymnastics. Vasyl has skills that other boxers do not have. When you see Vasyl Lomachenko you see a man with unbelievable qualifications.”
“Unbelievable” and “skills” are two words you’ll often hear thrown around when people talk about the Ukrainian boxer. Lomachenko boasts an incredible amateur record of 396 wins with one defeat, and two Olympic gold medals won at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London games.
As a professional — he made his debut in 2013 — Lomachenko became the fastest boxer in history to win world titles in three different weight classes. It only took him 12 professional fights, the previous record-holder, retired Australian boxer Jeff Fenech, did it in 20.
No one will train me but my father. No one will get credit for what he has already done.A father’s touch: The relentless regimen of Vasyl Lomachenko | ESPN
Every aspect of Lomachenko’s daily routine, from his training and nutrition, down to his psychology and mindset, is devised and overseen by his father, Anatoly. Lomachenko will incorporate the usual boxer’s routine — jogging, mitt work, sparring, strength & conditioning — but Anatoly also includes other unique techniques such as juggling, solo tennis, marathons and open water swimming to increase physical dexterity, as well as “mental flexibility.”
In a 2019 GQ profile leading up to his title defense bout against Anthony Crolla, Lomachenko described a typical day in training camp. Waking up at 5am, he begins his day like most boxers training for a fight, with roadwork. After running outside for an hour, Lomachenko will come back and work with his sports psychologist, “who trains my mind for the battle inside the ring.” At 10am, he’ll have breakfast:
I have oatmeal with fresh berries, nuts, and sometimes a chopped banana. I enjoy a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice each morning as well. Then, I’ll have some eggs and maybe an omelet, and of course, I need to have my morning cup of coffee.The Real-Life Diet of Vasiliy Lomachenko, the World’s Best Pound-for-Pound Boxer | GQ
At midday, Lomachenko will do some strength and conditioning work, usually a rotation of swimming, weightlifting or sport activities like tennis and basketball. “Lunch is usually a vegetable soup or meat soup with pasta and a little chicken,” he told GQ.
In the afternoon, he’ll head to the beach to workout more in the sand or swim, then come home to nap and have dinner, “it’s some kind of seafood with salad.” At 6pm, he’ll start his last workout for the day, which consists of boxing work for a couple of hours.
While this daily routine may seem extremely intense, Lomachenko will generally ease up as the fight gets closer to avoid burnout and overtraining, “as I get closer to fight, I might cut out the morning workout and just train in the afternoon and evening.”
After weighing in for a bout, most boxers will let themselves loose on the Las Vegas buffet tables and put on an additional 20-25 pounds before fight night. Lomachenko, however, will stick to his training camp diet, although he’ll add more carbs, salt and water to replenish his body. “Whatever I eat during camp is what I’ll eat after the weigh-in. Routine is important, and it has worked for me throughout my career.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t like to enjoy himself. A 2018 Quartz profile published in the lead up to his unification fight against José Pedraza revealed a Lomachenko tradition. After the weigh-ins, he and his team will head to an old school Italian restaurant near Times Square.
“I like the atmosphere, I like this restaurant. All my friends come to support me,” Lomachenko told Quartz. The order each time they dine there is the same — “a seafood pasta, penne with meatballs, and chicken parmesan, all served family style” — and maybe some dessert, “Italian cheesecake and an assortment of ice creams.”
History. If, in 10 years, or 20 or 30 years, you sit down with your friends and talk about boxing, you need to remember my name.A FATHER’S TOUCH: THE RELENTLESS REGIMEN OF VASYL LOMACHENKO | ESPN
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