Fitness | Training | Jul 19 2019

Understanding Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning routine

Former pro heavyweight and current strength and conditioning coach for Manny Pacquiao, Justin Fortune, talks about training the Filipino icon
Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao and Justin Fortune in the gym  |  Wendell Alinea/Manny Pacquiao Promotions

My journey
I STILL train my own fighters. I was training fighters with Freddie Roach and someone was doing an interview one day and asked me, ‘What do you do with Manny Pacquiao?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I suppose I do some strength and conditioning.’ That was 2004. Before that there were no strength and conditioning coaches for fighters and then it just sort of blew up. Everyone’s a strength and conditioning coach now! That’s all well and good, there’s a lot of good guys out there, but with fighters it’s a different ball-game. It’s an individual sport and the other guy over there wants to beat you up. If you haven’t been in the ring and experienced what a fighter experiences and know what it is to dig down, suck it up and fight, it’s really hard to relay that to a fighter and expect him to give you his respect and his 100 per cent. If you’ve never been where he’s been, it’s just harder. If I had some guy telling me what to do who’d never been in the ring, I’d be like, ‘Really? Give me a break. What do you know?’

“We work so well together” Wendall Alinea/MP Promotions

The Pacquiao team
I started working with Manny in 2002, stopped in 2008 and then came back for the last Timothy Bradley fight [in April 2014]. The other guy [Fortune’s predecessor Alex Ariza] was an idiot.

When me, Freddie and Manny are together it’s a good team. We work so well together. Freddie was my trainer since 1992 and we just know each other so well. I know what Freddie wants from a fighter and it’s very easy for us to work together. And Manny was happy, because we’re friends to start with, all three of us. If your athlete is happy, you’re going to get 110 per cent out of him.


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