MIND OVER MATTER Inside Anthony Joshua’s new ‘mental training’ plan after losing to Usyk
TWO time world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has said he is now taking a more ‘mental approach’ to training after losing to Oleksandr Usyk.
The 32-year-old said he is increasingly focusing on the mental aspects of his boxing training.
Anthony Joshua has revealed the way he is tackling training in the lead up to 2022
The 32-year-old said he is increasingly focusing on the mental aspects of his boxing training
Speaking at an Under Armour panel, Joshua said he was turning to ‘uplifting activities’ to help put him in the right headspace.
“I’m not happy with what happened in my previous fight. You have to be angry at losing and it’s not acceptable,” he says.
“My losses should be put in my highlights reel really, as that’s the stuff that shapes you, it’s always on my mind.
“I don’t take losses well, I fight the best consistently, and I try to overcome obstacles.”
Joshua’s next fight is set for April 2022 and after September’s loss, he’s taking on a new approach.
Mental health is key to all of us, and can make a real impact for any athlete; it’s something Watford-born Joshua puts a lot of emphasis on.
Joshua says mental recovery is really important for him and explains that keeping his mental health in good condition helps him feel strong and perform at his best.
Keeping an eye on his social media usage is a crucial step in managing his mental health.
“It’s all about the environment I create around myself and the information I let in,” says Joshua.
“It’s too much of an effort to block out social media. If you like it, jump on it, but when you’re on it, control what you let into your life.
“If you use it, it’s fine, get the positives out of it.
“You have to fill your life with motivation, because life is hard.
“I’ve been at the bottom so I need to see things that are uplifting.”
Another way he keeps his mental health topped up is with a chilly daily ritual.
While many influencers and athletes like to post photos of themselves luxuriously lounging in hot places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Joshua much prefers the cold, and Joshua likes to take a cold shower first thing.
It’s a shock to the system, and a boost for his mental health.
“A cold shower is one of the first things I do in the morning,” he says.
“It’s all about being uncomfortable.
“Each day presents me with millions of obstacles and I just feel like if I can get through a 30 second cold shower, then I can deal with 10 minutes of stress.”
Icy weather training might be something he struggles with, but he says: “It’s that mental blockage that you need to overcome.”
He remembers his trainer telling him to go for a run outdoors, in freezing temperatures.
“I knew I had to go outside. The spartans and the vikings would always be outside, but I’m a new school guy.
“My coach showed me a video of someone running in the snow, so I knew what I had to do.
“I had to overcome my thoughts and I felt alive when I came back from that run.”
Training at low temperatures can be hugely beneficial for your physical and mental health, if you can get yourself out the door.
“Being in a warm environment relaxes you, you shut down,” says Joshua.
“The cold signals to your brain and the rest of your body that you need to wake up.
“It’s all about being switched on and that’s what cold weather training does for your mind and body.”