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Muhammad Ali Training Routine (24-Hour Breakdown)

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Written By: Brenton Barker
Last Updated: December 2, 2023

Muhammad Ali was a legendary boxer and social activist from the United States. He was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. Ali is widely considered one of the greatest boxers to have ever lived, thanks to his impressive accomplishments in the ring. 

He made history by winning the world heavyweight championship three times, a feat that had never been accomplished before.

TL;DR: Muhammad Ali's Daily Training Routine

  • Wake up at 5:30 am.
  • Stretch, 9.5 km run, stretch.
  • Breakfast, toast, eggs, and orange juice.
  • Calisthenics Training from 12 pm to 1 pm.
  • Lunch, chicken, potatoes, veggies, and salad.
  • Boxing training, shadowboxing, sparring, heavy bag, and speed bag.
  • Cardio training, jump rope, running.
  • Stretching
  • Dinner, steak, leafy greens, potatoes
  • Bed

Muhammad Ali's Boxing Routine Breakdown

Muhammad Ali had a simple but effective approach to boxing. He focused on the basics, like moving his feet, dodging punches, and throwing accurate ones. Ali spent most of his training time working on these core skills and exercises to build his strength and stamina. 


Ali, the dedicated boxer, spent a significant amount of time practicing his moves through Shadowboxing. He completed a total of 5 sets, each lasting for 3 minutes, with a 30-second break in between. During the rounds, he focused on improving his footwork and speed punching techniques, ensuring that every move was executed to perfection.


As Ali trained for his upcoming fights, he spent a lot of time practicing sparring. The team started with easy exercises and gradually increased the difficulty as Ali improved and the fight approached. 

Ali learned new techniques and footwork, which helped him execute more complex moves efficiently. With each practice, Ali got more confident and ready for the competition. All his hard work paid off in the end, as he felt fully prepared to take on his opponent.

Heavy Bag

Muhammad Ali enjoyed spending hours training with the heavy bag. His typical routine involved six sets of three-minute rounds, where he focused on perfecting his combinations and building up his stamina. 

After each round, he would take a 30-second break to catch his breath and prepare for the next one. Despite the intense workouts, Ali loved the satisfaction of seeing his progress and the sense of accomplishment it brought him.

Speed Ball

During their workout session, Ali especially liked the Speedball exercise and proceeded to complete 9 minutes of it, taking a 1-minute break before continuing. To be the best, you have to put in the work just like Muhammad Ali did. 

He was known for talking trash to his opponents and sometimes even insulting them, but he never underestimated them. Ali knew he had to train hard and stay focused to be a champion.

Muhammad Ali’s Conditioning Routine


During his time at the training camp, Ali was a highly committed runner. He realized the importance of staying fit and building endurance, particularly since the heavyweight title fights during his era could last up to 15 rounds, requiring a great deal of physical stamina. To achieve this, Ali prioritized running in his daily training routine, running 6 miles (9.5 km) a day, six days a week.

Skipping or “Jump Rope”

Ali spent 20 minutes every day skipping. It's an old-school boxing exercise where you continuously move around and never stay in one spot. Ali found it to be a great way to improve his heart health and become more agile and coordinated.

Muhammad Ali’s Calisthenics Program

Ali was known for his unconventional training methods. Unlike many other boxers who relied heavily on lifting weights, Ali preferred to incorporate bodyweight exercises and calisthenics into his training routine. 

He believed focusing on his body weight allowed him to build a leaner, more agile physique while improving his overall strength and conditioning. 

Some exercises Ali incorporated into his training regimen included:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Leg Raises

Bicycle Crunches

During his workout session, Ali chose to perform Bicycle crunches, a type of abdominal exercise that involves the movement of the legs and core muscles in a pedaling motion. This exercise is highly recommended for boxers as it effectively targets the core muscles.

Sit-Ups with Medicine Ball

To keep himself in good shape, Ali had a workout routine that included doing lots of sit-ups using medicine balls. Although no one knows exactly how many repetitions he did, most fitness experts think it was somewhere between 300 and 400. 

Leg Raises

Ali understood the importance of core strength in boxing, which is why he included leg raises as a foundational exercise in his training routine. By performing leg raises, he was able to target his abdominal muscles as well as the muscles in his lower back and hips. This helped him to develop a strong boxer.


In addition to his core workouts, he focused on strengthening his upper body to enhance his punching strength and improve his overall performance. To achieve this, he incorporated a range of push-up variations into his routine to target different muscle groups. By prioritizing his upper body strength, Ali was able to make noticeable improvements in his punching power.

Muhammad Ali’s Nutrition Plan

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important for everyone, including professional athletes like Muhammad Ali. To keep his body in top shape, Ali ate a mix of protein, carbs, and healthy fats every day. 

He typically chose the same foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Note: Muhammad Ali never drank or smoked. 

  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Eggs 
  • Fruits and veggies like green beans and
  • Potatoes

Ali also kept hydrated by drinking plenty of water and snacking on fruits throughout the day. By sticking to a healthy and balanced diet, Muhammad Ali was able to perform at his best as a boxer and remain a true champion in the sport.

The Bottom Line

Muhammad Ali was undoubtedly the greatest boxer of all time. He achieved incredible feats and won numerous victories, but what makes him exceptional is the hard work and dedication he put into his craft. 

We can all learn from his work ethic, especially young and aspiring boxers who dream of becoming great like him. Let his legacy continue to inspire and motivate generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was Muhammad Ali's daily routine?

Ali was a very committed athlete who began his day with prayer followed by a strenuous outdoor run. He worked hard to improve his physical strength and stamina, both of which were very important for a heavyweight boxer. Ali's passion for his sport was reflected in his daily routine, and it played a key role in helping him.

How did Muhammad Ali have so much stamina?

Ali ran 4.5 miles every day, but he didn't just jog; he actually ran. In addition to running, he did 800 sit-ups every day. He also trained his boxing skills by hitting the heavy bag for ten rounds, sparring for 8 to 10 rounds, and jump roping for eight rounds each day. At his training camp, he would even chop down trees, cut wood, and swim laps in a pool.

What made Muhammad Ali strong?

Muhammad Ali was a legendary boxer who was famous for his quick speed, fancy footwork, and his ability to take a hit without backing down. But what made him truly remarkable was his bravery and other intangible qualities that are necessary for any great fighter.

Check out the training routines of other world champions below

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