Every Wednesday, I visit 2 boxing gyms in London and take their boxers though a strength and conditioning session.
Between them, these guys have a vast amount of boxing experience, and some have a lot of potential as to how far they can go.
Their coaches were keen to introduce regular strength and conditioning to their training, as they knew that, when done properly, it can be tremendously beneficial to their boxing performance –
– Harder punches
– Higher work rate
– Faster movement around the ring
– Less likely to get ‘bullied’ or pushed around by an opponent
– More power late into the fight
Despite the fact that these guys have many years of boxing training under their belt, their strength and conditioning experience is very minimal.
Therefore, there has been a big emphasis on: –
- Lifting technique so that when they finally get around to lifting heavier weights, they can do it properly and safely
- Higher rep strength work in order to prepare the joints, connective tissue and muscles for training at higher intensities than they’re previously used to
- Jumping and landing mechanics so that they are fully prepared for high speed plyometrics
- Introduction to new conditioning methods in order to give them a training experience beyond the regular road running that they do, which will make improvements different part of their energy systems
As you can see, a lot of the training has been foundational and largely revolved around preparing them for more specific training methods in the future, however, we are still witnessing improvements in strength, speed, power and conditioning week after week, which I am also told is carrying over nicely into their boxing performance.
When I scour though my Instagram feed, I see many fancy and advanced exercises being performed by boxers and their strength and conditioning coaches, and whilst I’m sure this is justified in their programming; the guys I coach are not yet at this level of training advancement.
But it does concern me, because I know that other boxers, and their coaches will see this and think that is exactly how ALL boxers should be doing their strength and conditioning training.
If you’ve read the first 2 principles in my book, The Boxing S&C Manual, you’ll know that this absolutely is not the case.
The younger the training age, the less work is required in order to make improvements.
So, when strength and conditioning training is first introduced to a boxer’s training schedule, only a very basic programme is needed as this will be enough of a challenge to create increases in strength, speed, power and endurance.
It won’t necessary take them to elite levels, but it will certainly set them on the right path.
As the boxer advances in their strength and conditioning, their body will essentially learn to ‘ignore’ very basic training, which means more advanced exercises and training protocols are required in order to elicit further improvements in strength, speed, power and endurance.
But until that point, keep the training basic.
If you think about boxing training – what’s the first thing you do on day one?
Learn how to jab?
Get thrown into the ring for 10 x 3 minute rounds of sparring with a professional heavyweight?
Basics always come first.
Not too long ago, I wrote a 10-week training programme for boxers, and created the following table in order to determine what training they should undertake according to both their level of boxing experience and strength and conditioning experience –
As you can see, strength and conditioning is best introduced at an intermediate level, and even if a novice already has some S&C experience, then they won’t need a huge amount of volume in order to retain their strength and power.
If you’ve already advanced beyond the novice stage of boxing, then there really is no better time than now to introduce strength and conditioning alongside your current boxing training.
Simply start with the basics, and aim to make gradual progress over time.
The only person it’s bad for is your opponent.
Want to learn the 16 principles of strength and conditioning for boxing?
Fill out the form below and get your FREE copy of The Boxing Strength & Conditioning Manual TODAY: