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Fighting Fit – Training a Commonwealth Champ

In their latest blog post, T2 Fitness Education look at what strength & conditioning it takes to prepare a boxer for a fight - featuring pro boxer Luke Watkins.

We have a great relationship at T2HQ with fight sports.

The art and majesty of hand-to-hand combat is something we appreciate, marvel at and truly enjoy watching. We are also in the privileged position to be training two different types of fighters.

Every week we host Luke Watkins and Craig Rawlins for sessions in our T2 Elite programme. The guys have a lot of similarities but they also have some dramatic differences.

Today we focus on Luke.

Luke ‘The Duke’ Watkins

Insta: @thedukewatkins

Facebook: /thedukewatkins

Twitter: @thedukewatkins

Visit Luke's website here

On June 6th Luke defended his Commonwealth title in the Cruiserweight division in York Hall, one of London’s most prestigious and historic boxing venues. 

His opponent for the night was be GB Olympian Lawrence Okolie, a man not to be dismissed. Both men were undefeated and as they say in boxing ‘someone’s ‘0’ has got to go’.

Luke started his T2 Elite journey around a year ago and the reason for writing this piece is to shed light on what it takes to not only be a professional athlete, but a professional boxer. 

It takes a special kind of human to go through the rigors of an intense training camp with full knowledge that they are to pit their combat skills against another man who has done the same thing. 

We have a lot of students through our PT courses that want to work with professional athletes and hopefully this will give a little insight into exactly what that means.

‘The Duke’ brought T2 Founder Stu Gatherum into his team to focus on the conditioning aspects of his training. Stu is now part of a team that includes:

  • Steve York – another strength and conditioning coach who focuses on strength and power development  
  • Kate Cady – a Sports Therapist responsible for delivering Masters’ courses 
  • Paddy Fitzpatrick – a renowned boxing coach and the key figure in coordinating Luke’s career to date. 

This team has successfully worked together to deliver the very best Luke Watkins to the ring every time he steps inside the ropes. 

The entire group is focused on ensuring no stone is left unturned in preparation for each fight and that we keep our mans’ body in tip-top shape from a strength, power, conditioning and injury-prevention point of view.

But it’s not all down to us. 

The structure of the team is something Luke has a massive hand in. 

He has selected his ‘inner circle’ carefully and vetted each person’s skills to ensure they are qualified to enhance his career.

The fact that his training sessions take place in at least four different facilities each week allow him the change of scenery he thrives on, making sure he doesn’t get into a bland routine, while becoming a ‘part of the furniture’ at each one.

Luke is a man who likes structure and thrives in challenge. We can speak easily about the conditioning sessions we share together at T2, ones where we progressively increase intensity throughout camp to the point he is easily able to complete 12 rounds of demanding energy system work. 

All the while, Luke will impose ever-increasing demands on himself within each session to ensure he has no slippage in intensity. 

The premise is that it is easy to get up for the first and last three rounds of a fight, but what about the middle six? 

If you train harder than you fight there will be no let-up under the bright lights.

On June 6th, the Commonwealth belt was the focus of a Watkins fight for the 3rd time.  


If you're an aspiring athlete and would like more information on our T2 Elite programme, please email

Alternatively, if you dream of becoming a Strength & Conditioning coach for competitive sportsmen and women, check out our Strength & Conditioning course.

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T2 Fitness Education

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