Whether you love him or loathe him, it is clear that heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury is a fighter in and out of the ring. His troubles have been well documented and not only has he survived a very nasty cut and dirty tactics to beat Otto Wallin, but he has also overcome a mountain of problems in his personal life.
It could be said that some of Fury’s problems have been self-made, with publicly spoken sexist and homophobic comments. Then there were the battles with depression, alcohol, and cocaine, which earned him praise for his openness and willingness to discuss these issues.
Those latter problems led to a spell outside the ring for over two years where his weight shot up to over 400 pounds. As the Gypsy King battled his problems and his weight, he returned to the ring with one of the most remarkable comebacks.
This was made partly possible by his incredible workout routine.
What was so incredible about Tyson Fury’s comeback
It is difficult to remember many other boxers or athletes that have successfully come back from an extended break and had to battle so many problems. Ricky Hatton was famous for ballooning in weight between fights as he binged on Guinness and pies but that lifestyle caught up with him. When he did try to come back he said himself that there was nothing left in the tank.
Vinny Pazienza was one great comeback and the tale of how he broke his neck, battled back, and beat the legendary Roberto Duran is told in the movie Bleed For This. For every Pazienza there is a Sugar Ray Leonard. Tyson Fury, however, is firmly proving that he can not only come back but rule the division too.
Beating Deontay Wilder in the first fight would have been one of the greatest comebacks ever but judges saw things differently to most other fans. It will be interesting to see if fans will witness something different in their third installment.
How did Tyson Fury lose all that weight?
As method actors such as Robert DeNiro and Christian Bale will tell you, putting the weight on is the easy part, losing it again is the tough bit. Tyson Fury was around 400 pounds at his biggest and this was caused by a combination of depression and self-medication with drugs and alcohol, plus a lack of training.
When Fury decided to get back in the ring, he had to get himself into shape first. Incredibly, he lost over 100 pounds, or 51kg, or the size of a small adult woman, for his comeback fight with Sefer Seferi.
This was done through a combination of diet and exercise with his trainer and nutritionists.
What was Tyson Fury’s diet then?
When Fury was at his lowest, mentally and physically, he would down 18 pints of lager followed by spirits and mixers. A pint of beer contains around 500 calories, or better described as ‘empty’ calories. He would then follow those drinks by eating takeaway pizza and kebabs, known ironically in parts of the UK as the breakfast of champions. Unfortunately, kebabs are anything but champion fodder.
As Fury decided to return to the ring, his diet needed a drastic overhaul. His first change was to switch to a dirty version of the keto diet. This meant following the basic rules of a ketogenic diet but allowing certain other foods in too, such as margarine, mayo, and cheese.
A keto diet normally advises eating healthy fats and a minimal amount of carbohydrates. The dirty version lets the individual consume fat through junk and unhealthy sources. The effect was that Fury lost weight quickly and constantly. 30 pounds were dropped over one 30 day period, however, it left the boxer weakened.
Fighting in the ring is one of the most physically demanding and toughest sports in the world, and it takes stamina, strength, and conditioning to be successful. Fury had to change his diet.
The new Tyson Fury diet
Fury brought in Greg Marriott initially to help him lose 10 stone and later worked with Connor McGregor’s nutritionist, George Lockhart. This man is famed for his dietary advice and has worked with boxing greats such as Floyd Mayweather.
As Fury himself said, you can work yourself to death in the gym but if you’re not putting the right food in, it is three steps forward and two and a half backward. WIth weight loss no longer being the primary concern, adding the right fuel is what Fury’s diet is all about now.
When he is in training and coming up for a fight, Fury will consume around 4,500 calories a day. To be able to put on his boxing gloves and perform in the ring, Fury needs to consume a huge amount of food a day. Around six meals a day are needed to keep the big man at his peak weight and this will include salmon, spinach, quinoa, red meat, chicken, lots of fruit, shakes, and plenty of Greek yogurt.
Each meal contains around 700 calories each and there are also around 4 shakes to drink each day. These calories are consumed for a reason, and that is to provide the energy for his incredible workouts.
What does Tyson Fury do in his workouts?
To many people including his fans and critics, he is something of an enigma. He is incredibly mobile for a fighter of his size and is arguably the best heavyweight in the world. He has battled depression, and admirably talked about his mental health issues, and yet he continues to baffle people by trying to pull out of events such as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
One of the other ways Fury shows he is not your average fighter is through his workout. Determined to never balloon to that size again, he puts heart and soul into making sure he is in great fighting shape for the ring.
During the recent lockdowns, Fury and his wife posted workout routines on YouTube, and in one of these, he did an incredible 700 sit-ups in one session. One thing Tyson Fury does every day is run. When he started on the road back to being able to fight again, the first thing he did was run.
The gym is used six days a week too, with weights being spread across five of those. This way different body parts are being trained on different days. The basic routine is running and cardio in the morning, weights in the afternoon, plus there will be conditioning work and sparring.
Tyson Fury has an insane routine that is based around a huge amount of calories and fiery curries to help reduce inflammation, along with daily cardio work. Fury says that he cannot relax on holidays and also cannot let a day go by without going for a run.
It is doubtful that Fury will ever be as squeaky clean and press-friendly as Lennox Lewis was, and only a year ago he was facing an 8-year ban if he had been found guilty of interfering with a UK Anti Doping investigation. However, he is a fighter in the truest sense of the word and has brought back some excitement to the heavyweight division that was sorely lacking.