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Marvin Hagler Training Routine (24-Hour Breakdown)

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Written By: Brenton Barker
Last Updated: November 29, 2023

Marvelous Marvin Hagler was an American boxer who was a force to be reckoned with in the middleweight division from 1980 to 1987. He defended his title twelve times, knocking out all but one of his opponents.

He holds the record for the sixth-longest reign as champion in middleweight history and has the highest knockout percentage of all undisputed middleweight champions at 78 percent.

Hagler was a highly respected and successful boxer who was inducted into both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. He was twice named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America.

TL;DR Rocky Marciano Training Routine

  • 7 am: A 9km run (6miles) up hills and 1km running backward
  • 9 am: Breakfast (Note: there is very little information on Hagler’s diet)
  • Daytime: Rest, lunch, analyze fight footage, sleep
  • 6 pm: Boxing, sparring, heavy bag, speed bag, pads
  • 7 pm: Aerobic and strength and conditioning training, including calisthenics
  • 8 pm: Dinner
  • 9 pm: Sleep

As you look at a day in the life of Marvin Hagler, you'll find that it's not something that will blow your mind. It's a straightforward and time-tested approach to training that shows that you don't need to make things too complex.

However, it does require total dedication and focus. Now, let's take a closer look at the details of their training routine listed below, explained in a way that's easy to understand.

Marvin Hagler Boxing Routine

Marvelous Marvin Hagler had a unique and effective approach to his training. He would follow a routine designed to simulate an actual boxing match, with specific timings for each activity.

This helped him to physically and mentally prepare for the intensity of real fights. Hagler would perform each type of training for 3-5 rounds to ensure he was well-conditioned and skilled in the techniques.

His dedication to this training regimen significantly impacted his success as a professional boxer.

Heavy Bag

Marvelous Marvin Hagler was known for his strength and endurance in the ring. It is said that he used the heavy bag in his training, although there isn't much visual evidence of this.

Nonetheless, boxing enthusiasts widely believe that the heavy bag played a crucial role in his training regimen. Despite the lack of video, it is still thought that Hagler's use of the heavy bag contributed significantly to his remarkable success as a boxer.


Goody Pertonelli would ensure Hagler was ready to face his opponents by bringing in sparring partners similar in style and build to those he would face in the ring. For example, when Hagler was preparing to fight Tommy Hearns, Goody brought in sparring partners like Bobby Watts and Jerry Holly, who were of similar stature to Hearns.

Hagler's training was known for being very tough, and he would often push himself to his limits. He sometimes injured his sparring partners during training because he punched so hard. As a result, many of his sparring partners were instantly sent packing.

To make things even more challenging for Hagler, Pertonelli would sometimes make him wear heavy gloves or increase the length of the rounds. This ensured that Hagler was fully prepared for whatever his opponent would throw at him in the ring.


As you watch Hagler closely, you can tell he uses a unique visualization technique to improve his performance. He imagines that an opponent is standing in front of him while he practices his moves.

He works very hard to keep his balance and move quickly and accurately. Marvin also practices in front of a mirror to see how he looks and ensure he is doing everything correctly.


As he prepared for his fights, Hagler would spend hours honing his skills with his trusted trainer, Goody Pertonelli. Together, they would work on the pads, meticulously practicing a variety of combinations and tactics.

Although there is limited footage of these training sessions, there is no doubt that they were a critical component of Hagler's success in the ring.

Speed Bag

As a boxer, Hagler's training was intense, and the speed bag greatly improved his shoulder strength, timing, and rhythm. He practiced consistently with the speed bag, which helped him develop the necessary skills and techniques to perform well in the ring.

The speed bag also helped him build his endurance and stamina, enabling him to sustain his energy levels for longer periods during tough fights.

Marvin Hagler Cardio Training

Marvelous Marvin Hagler was known for his unwavering commitment to his training routine. One of the key elements of his daily regimen was his morning run, which typically spanned around 6 miles (9.5km). 

What made his running routine even more remarkable was that he did it while wearing combat boots. Hagler believed that relying on running shoes for roadwork made people soft, and he was determined to cultivate his mental toughness. Even after his illustrious boxing career, Hagler remained a symbol of dedication and discipline.

“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler was known for his intense training regimen, including running in the biting cold winter months at Cape Cod's Provincetown, right next to the majestic Atlantic Ocean.

In order to build his endurance and strength, Hagler would tirelessly run through deserted bike trails and on the beaches next to the sea, with the sound of the crashing waves serving as his motivational soundtrack.

It’s also noteworthy that Hagler was known to have run at least one mile backward to help strengthen his legs while improving his coordination and balance.

Jumping Rope (Skipping)

Boxers often incorporate jump rope into their cardio-based workouts, and it is a common exercise that is used during training sessions. Typically, a boxer like Hagler would jump rope for a 3-minute round, which is usually part of the warm-up or warm-down routine during their afternoon boxing training.

Jumping rope helps to improve:

  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Develop footwork
  • Agility, and
  • Coordination which are all essential skills for boxers to possess in the ring.

Marvin Hagler Strength and Conditioning

Goody was a boxing trainer who had a unique way of helping boxers improve their strength and endurance. He believed conventional weight training wasn't practical for boxers as it could make them slower and less flexible.

Instead, he used a type of exercise called Calisthenics that helped boxers build strength without sacrificing speed or flexibility.

Goody's routine included exercises like:

  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Leg lifts, and
  • Crunches.

But the most important exercises were the sit-ups, which helped strengthen the midsection, making the punch more powerful and able to withstand punches. Goody's commitment to building core strength was a critical factor in his success as a trainer, and he was able to train some of the most successful boxers of his time.

Above and Beyond

As a professional coach, I find it fascinating to learn from the training methods of successful athletes. Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of the greatest middleweight boxers ever, believed isolation was crucial to his success.

During his training camps, he would retreat to a remote location in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, where he could focus on training without any distractions. Despite the harsh conditions and the remote location, Hagler remained committed to his craft.

He found inspiration from fellow boxers who also adopted a similar approach to their training. This dedication ultimately led to his success in the boxing world. Hagler spent countless hours analyzing his past fights and studying his rivals, often isolating himself from others to maintain his concentration. 

Even outside, he preferred to be alone, lost in thought as he visualized his future bouts and strategized his moves. Marvin instructed his family not to contact him during his 6-week camp to commit to his training fully.

“You’re supposed to seclude yourself, all the great champions did the same. Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali up on his mountain at Deer Lake. They put themselves in jail. I put myself in jail.”

Marvelous Marvin Hagler 

The Bottom Line

I've read and studied many articles and books about Hagler, and I think he was one of the hardest-working fighters of all time. His training routine was insane, like something out of a Spartan movie, and it really paid off.

Even though he faced a lot of obstacles, he never gave up and trained in ways that most boxers wouldn't even consider. Hagler was determined to be a monster in the ring, to crush his opponents. He showed us that the key to success is hard work, not taking shortcuts.

Hagler's example teaches us to push ourselves beyond our limits, to do what others won't, so we can truly stand out.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many days a week did Marvin Hagler train?

The Brockton champion used to train very hard. He would train for six days a week, twice a day. When he was getting ready to fight against Obelmejias, he would wake up very early, at 7 a.m., and go for a long run in the cold winter weather of Cape Cod. He would run six miles daily to stay in shape for the fight.

How tough was Marvin Hagler?

Marvin Hagler was an exceptional boxer, and people called him "Marvelous" for a good reason. He was tough, strong, and could deliver some powerful punches. He stated that he never hit the canvas, although some people believe he did once.

Why did Hagler retire?

Marvelous Marvin Hagler, the great middleweight champion, lost to Sugar Ray Leonard in a controversial split decision on April 6, 1987. Despite his impressive record, the judges gave the victory to Leonard, and Hagler retired from boxing.

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