I was asked a very fair question about my Boxing S&C Manual:
“Why haven’t you included a sample routine with the manual?”
The fact is, without knowing anything about the boxer performing the routine, I couldn’t say for certain whether or not it would be any good for them.
What would work brilliantly for boxer A, could be a colossal disaster for boxer B.
Furthermore, all routines have a ‘use by date’.
Whilst it would be effective for a short period while, results would soon stagnate and the boxer would essentially be wasting time and energy performing a workout, when they could be being put to much better uses.
But I don’t want to leave you all empty handed and in the dark about how to perform strength and conditioning effectively.
So, over my next few newsletters, I want to show you a little bit about what goes into constructing an effective strength training programme.
Part 1: Technique comes first
Firstly, as per the the first principle in ‘The Boxing S&C Manual’, you must firstly respect training age, as this will dictate what they do in the gym.
The table below gives a rough idea of where to focus strength and conditioning, based on training age:
This article series will be based on the beginner with ‘Low’ strength training experience, regardless of their level of boxing ability.
The absolute first step that all boxers must take on their strength training programme is to learn proper lifting technique.
Not only does this ensure that the exercise delivers the proper benefits, but it also keeps the boxer safe.
A sad fact is that many people who start a strength training programme never take the time to learn how to lift properly.
In the long run, this can hold them back from actually building strength, or worse, lead to injury.
There are 3 things a boxer needs to know about learning good technique:
- Keep the overall number of exercises low – the boxer shouldn’t have too much to try and learn at once
- For the more complex exercises, keep the number of reps on each set low – it’s much easier to concentrate and learn good technique with lower reps than it is with higher reps
- When learning the right technique, use light weights. I would recommend starting with an empty barbell – if the weight is too heavy, good technique will be impossible to master
In terms of which exercises to do, a great starting point for most boxers would be to select one exercise from each column and stick with it for as long as it takes to master good technique:
|Squat Variation||Deadlift Variation||Upper Body: Push||Upper Body: Pull|
|Goblet squat||Romanian deadlift||Press-up||Horizontal row|
|Front squat||Hex-bar deadlift||1/2 kneeling landmine press||Lat pulldown|
|Back squat||Conventional deadlift||Bench press||Chin-up|
- Click on each exercise for a video demonstration
- Perform around 3-5 sets for each exercise
- This strength training routine could be performed anywhere from 1-3 times a week (note that technique will be mastered quicker with a greater frequency, but this may interfere with boxing training)
- If an exercise hurts then it’s crucial that technique is assessed by an experienced coach – if technique is good but the exercise still hurts, then the boxer must use a different exercise
- The boxer can only add weight on the exercise when they are capable of demonstrating perfect technique
- If the boxer cannot master technique, then they should either seek proper coaching or see if there’s a different exercise they can perform instead
- After 4-6 weeks, the boxer should switch up the exercise selection
- The amount of time it takes to learn good technique will vary between boxers and the exercise being taught as well as training frequency, but on average, expect it to take anywhere between 1-6 weeks
- Note that the above programme only includes strength training and does not include mobility or stability work – this can be included within strength training sessions, either as part of the warm-up, or during the rest periods
In Part 2, I will discuss an appropriate strength training model for a boxer who has fully developed lifting technique.
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