BEFORE Sergio Martinez became a boxer he was a competitive cyclist. It’s a habit that he has incorporated into his daily routine, though it’s not one used by many boxers.
“It helps with my stamina and keeps my legs strong,” says Martinez as he pedals furiously with little apparent effort. “It also helps my knees and my hips.”
In lieu of running every day, cycling has become a regular part of his daily regime with an emphasis on rapid pedalling. “Some days I’ll do 45 minutes and other days an hour,” Martinez says, adding that this can also be used as a way of warming up. After his body temperature has risen, the stretching work is simple and quick for Martinez. It lasts about 10 minutes.
Another novel routine the Argentine boxer has adapted involves a little Southern Californian influence. Martinez uses a surfboard to work on his balance. He does this almost daily in a canal flowing behind his Port Hueneme home. “I feel balance is very important in a fight,” said Martinez, explaining that he stands on the surfboard for as long as he can as it floats on the water, in order to build up his leg muscles, core stability and overall balance.
“The exercise strengthens those muscles that you need for balance and movement,” he stated. “When you have to move quickly from one side to another, those muscles are very important.”
“I do everything as if I were actually fighting,” Martinez says. “I prepare to emulate what I’m going to do in the ring. I throw punches as fast as I’m going to punch in an actual fight. I think it’s strange that other boxers prepare at a slow pace.”
Speed is the cornerstone for everything that makes Martinez one of the best poundfor- pound fighters today. The velocity of every single exercise – from hitting bags to shadow-boxing – is performed at a rate uncommon to all but a very few boxers
“I don’t hit so hard but I’m fast. I like to train at the maximum,” said Martinez.
THE ‘MARAVILLA’ PHILOSOPHY
Even among fellow pro boxers, Argentina’s Sergio Martinez has a work ethic that overshadows most others in his field. The former light-middleweight and current middleweight world champion believes that his focus, discipline and training regime enable him to compete at the highest plateau. “In Argentina we have a saying: ‘train harder and the fight will be easier’,” says Martinez who first captured the WBC middleweight title by defeating Kelly Pavlik in April 2010. Incidentally, Pavlik attended a rehabilitation clinic for alcohol abuse, while Martinez does not imbibe. “I never drink,” said Martinez who abstains, even when outside of camp. “An alcoholic beverage has never been in my body.”
Martinez is a fitness freak of the highest order. When not fighting he weighs about 170 pounds and thinks he’s fat. “I’m very overweight,” he claims with a look of sincerity.
Over the years Martinez has tinkered with various training routines. “My trainers like to try new things. Little by little, we find a way to put it together. Right now is the right time,” said Martinez. “In each combat I try new things. We’re getting better.”
Martinez has fought all over the world and realises there are many different fighting styles. He adapts. “You have to prepare for how you’re going to fight,” said Martinez who is a very agile southpaw. “Genetically, I’m made for speed and velocity. I don’t hit as hard but I’m fast.I train harder so I can win the fight.”