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Sugar Ray Leonard Training Routine (24-Hour Breakdown)

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Written By: Brenton Barker
Last Updated: January 4, 2024

Get ready to be amazed by his diet plan, out-of-the-box boxing training, and cutting-edge exercises.

Sugar Ray Leonard was a famous American boxer known for his incredible talents, agility, and finesse in the ring.

He had a remarkable record of winning 36 out of 40 professional bouts and many titles.

Leonard began boxing at a young age and quickly became skilled at it.

He won an impressive 145 out of 150 amateur bouts and earned two National Golden Glove championships in 1973 and 1974 and two Amateur Athletic Union championships in 1974 and 1975. Additionally, he won a gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games.

In 1976, he won a gold medal for boxing in the light-welterweight class at the Olympics. After this outstanding achievement, he retired from boxing but returned to the ring as a professional on February 5, 1977.

TL;DR Sugar Ray Leonard Training Routine

If you want to try one of Sugar Ray Leonard’s old workout routines for the new year... Here's one that he posted on Facebook.

  • 5 am
  • Running 3-4 miles
  • 12-1.30 pm
  • Shadow-boxing
  • Skipping - 5 minute intervals
  • Sparring - 5-10 rounds
  • Heavy bad - 4 rounds
  • Speed bag - 3 rounds
  • Sit-ups 100-200

Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing Workout

Leonard was a great fighter who understood the importance of training both his body and mind. He believed that mental strength and discipline were just as important as physical fitness when it came to winning fights. To prepare himself, he would often imagine how his fights would go and plan his strategies and tactics ahead of time.

Bag Work

He made sure to take care of his fitness every day, and part of that included practicing boxing. He spent a lot of time working on improving his skills by punching both a heavy and a speed bag. 

He focused on making his:

  • Punches stronger
  • Getting faster and
  • Improving his hand-eye coordination.

He also worked on being able to react quickly to what was happening around him. He put in a lot of hard work and always challenged himself to get better each day.


Leonard had a tough training routine that included practicing with a partner. or "sparring." This kind of training was really important for him. It helped him get better at his moves and timing, and even imagine what it would be like to fight in a real situation.

By doing a lot of sparring, he got really good at making smart plans and executing them perfectly. This part of his training was essential in helping him become a world-champion fighter.

Sugar Ray Leonards Cardio Workout

To be a good boxer, you must have a strong heart and lungs. This means you need to do exercises that make your heart beat faster and help you breathe better, Sugar Ray knew this better than anyone. 


Leonard loved to run, and he made it a part of his daily routine to run 5 miles. He had a unique way of running where he would add short bursts of speed throughout his run. He did this to improve his overall strength and endurance, which was important to him as it helped him perform better in his athletic activities.

Jump Rope

Sugar Ray Leonard followed a rigorous training regimen. One of the vital aspects of his training was jumping rope. This exercise helped him to improve his:

  • Footwork
  • Coordination, and
  • Stamina.

These skills were essential for him to move swiftly and gracefully inside the boxing ring. By including jumping rope as a regular part of his training, Sugar Ray Leonard managed to improve his overall fitness and eventually became one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Sugar Ray Leonard Circuit and Calisthenics Workout

Sugar Ray was known for his rigorous fitness routine that helped him stay in top physical condition throughout his career. One of the main elements of his training was circuit training, which involved doing a series of different exercises in quick succession with minimal rest in between.

Circuit Training

His circuit training routine was designed to combine strength exercises with aerobic activity to provide a complete workout that would improve both his muscle endurance and cardiovascular health.

He would do a variety of exercises, such as:

  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Squats
  • Lunges and Jumping Jacks (Star Jumps)

Sugar would also mix in short bursts of high-intensity cardio exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, and jump rope.

This combination of strength and cardio helped to enhance Leonard's overall fitness level, making him stronger, faster, and more agile in the ring. Also, the circuit training approach allowed him to work multiple muscle groups at once, which helped him build lean muscle mass and improve his overall physique.


Leonard was a big believer in doing calisthenics as part of his training. Calisthenics are just exercises that use your own body weight, like sit-ups, pull-ups, and push-ups. These exercises helped him build up his core strength and muscle endurance.

This was really important for his style of boxing, which was fast and dynamic. The exercises helped him:

  • Stay strong
  • Move quickly around the ring, and
  • Hit hard.

Sugar Ray was so dedicated to these exercises that he kept doing them even as a world-famous champion.

Sugar Ray Leonard's Nutrition Plan

Back in 2013, Leonard shared a valuable nutrition tip on Facebook. In a post titled "Training Tip Tuesday - Eat Right," he recommended a specific combination of food that could help boost stamina and endurance. According to Leonard, consuming a mix of:

  • Bananas
  • Apples, and
  • Peanut butter - which contains both proteins and carbs - can help athletes go the distance.

This is because the carbs provide quick energy, while the proteins help to sustain it over a longer period of time. So, if you're looking for a natural and effective way to improve your athletic performance, you might want to consider adding this delicious and nutritious snack to your diet.

The Bottom Line

Sugar Ray Leonard was a great boxer who had a unique way of training. He didn't just focus on his physical strength but also on his mental toughness, his technique, his diet, and his recovery.

He believed that a well-rounded approach to training was the key to success. Although his training routine was quite intense, we can all learn something from his dedication and focus on fitness planning and recovery.

By adopting some of his strategies, we can significantly improve our overall health and fitness and even become better boxers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much did Sugar Ray Leonard make from boxing?

He won championships in boxing in five different weight classes and was the first boxer to make over $100 million in prize money. Besides his success in the ring, Leonard also made smart business decisions, such as investing in real estate and working with companies to promote their products.

Was Sugar Ray Leonard a good fighter?

Many people considered him to be the best boxer since Muhammad Ali. Angelo Dundee, who trained both fighters, even said that Ray Leonard had the same charisma and energy as Ali. In the 1980s, Leonard had some epic fights with Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, and Marvin Hagler that are still talked about today.

What ended Sugar Ray Leonard's career?

Leonard was a professional boxer who retired twice, first in 1982 and then again in 1991, but he made a comeback at the age of 40 in 1997. Unfortunately, he lost the fight in the fifth round due to a technical knockout. Throughout his career, he won 36 fights, 25 of which were by knockout, lost 3 fights, and drew 1.

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