Firstly - Should Boxers Lift Weights?
Sould a boxer lift weights is a question that i often get asked. Many people will say that there is not an easy yes and no answer to that question. Old school boxing trainers and fighters will typically say no, a boxer should not use weight lifting as part of their training routine at all. The theory behind this is simple and there are several reasons included in it. They claim that by adding extra muscle mass to your frame a boxer can tighten up, slowing down your punches and your all round boxing ability. Additionally, adding a lot of muscle mass can decrease your stamina as muscles are major oxygen hogs in your body. The more muscle mass you have, the greater your oxygen requirements, and the greater the chances of the boxer running out of fuel towards the end of a fight. Finally, you can also pack on enough muscle to effectively move yourself to higher weight classes, where you might not wish to be fighting at.
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Basically there are four types of body stength........
Maximal strength - Maximal strength relates closely to the idea of a bodybuilder pressing a great deal of weight for a single rep. Maximal strength involves exerting an ultimate amount of force at maximum effort.
Endurance Strength - Endurance strength involves long durations of muscle use. “Stamina” is the colloquial term for endurance strength. Contrary to common belief, stamina does not always relate to a single exercise. Endurance strength is commonly practiced using intense interval training, which involves several different exercises that are performed successively.
Speed Strength - Speed strength involves quick movements with relatively low resistance. Throwing a series of quick punches while wearing boxing gloves is an example of speed strength. The punches are thrown at maximum speed with the resistance of lightweight gloves.
Explosive Strength - Explosive strength is the ability to expend energy in quick, powerful movements. Explosive training requires you to complete a movement as fast as possible. These movements are normally practiced with considerable resistance, such as free weights or resistance bands.
As a boxer, it's the final three that you want to concentrate on improving with weight training exercises.
Weightlifting For Boxers
Boxers want to have solid, lean bodies, but not be overly muscular. Lifting weights as if you were a rugby player, bodybuilder or regular gym-goer can result in changes to your physique and your abilities, and that can detract from your boxing game. But learning to weight train correctly can and will make a boxer stronger and better prepared for the tough challenges you face inside the ring.
The first key for "weight lifting for boxing training" is that you should avoid lifting very heavy weights, with low repetition sets. This kind of weight lifting is designed for quickly packing on a maximum amount of muscle mass, which is not what you want to do as a boxer. Instead, you should focus on weight training with lighter weights and more reps, ideally between 12 and 15 reps per set. Additionally, when weight training, boxers should try to focus on building their core strength.
Your "core" is where your real power comes from, it involves your abdominals, oblique muscles, lower back and upper back muscles. Don’t spend too much time with bicep curls, focus instead on compound exercises that will help increase your functional strength, not just make your arms look a wee bit better in a tee shirt.
When you hit, , jump rope, etc. you are performing muscular endurance work. When you step into the weight room it's time to switch modes.
Boxing is a sport that requires the development of multiple factor qualities. Speed, strength and endurance are all motor qualities that must be developed in a fighter.
Traditional boxing training develops muscular endurance, as well as coordination and skill. My goal in the weight room was not usually to slightly increase "absolute strength" through the use of heavy weights, but to increase speed and strength by moving moderate weights more often at faster speeds.
Notice that this section is entitled strength training and not weight training. There is a big difference between these two terms. Strength training involves the use of resistance exercises in the pursuit of increased strength. Resistance can come from several sources such as body weight (ex. pull ups, free weights), medicine balls, odd-objects (ex. sandbags), and resistance bands. Strength training is a small but very necessary supplement to a much more varied boxing training routine.
Much of a boxers time must be spent training for his specific event. Examples include, hitting the punch bags, working one-on-one with your , partner drills, conditioning workouts, etc. The strength training workouts are just a small piece of a much larger training jigsaw.
Most boxers do not need to do more than 2 to 3 strength workouts per week. Remember to always focus more on quality over quantity during your strength training.
Strength training for a boxer, like roadwork, is a great supplement to your workout routine. Your primary focus should always be to improve your technique and mechanics in the ring. Mixing in strength training however, can definitely improve your overall athleticism. The strongest boxer doesn’t make the best boxer, but the stronger of two equally skilled boxers definitely has an advantage in the boxing ring. In general, a boxers strength training workout should be brief, yet effective.
It's also a good idea to refrain from doing any strength training exercises in the week leading up to a bout.
Firstly, you have to plan how much weight to workout with, bearing in mind that the weights should not be too heavy in boxing training. A basic rule of thumb for boxers is to exercise with weights that are between 60% and 85% of your maximum ability. For example - If the most you can bench press is 100 pounds, your weight training regime should have you doing bench presses of between 60 and 85 pounds.
A Typical Basic Boxers Weight Training Routine Might Be
Dumbbell Snatches......3 sets x 5 reps per arm
Bench Press......3 sets x 6 reps
Plyometric Push-Ups......3 sets x 10
Power Cleans......3 sets x 4 reps
Dumbbell Lunges......3 sets x 6 per leg
Weightlifted Pull-Ups......4 sets x 6
Dumbbell Swings......3 sets x 12 per arm
Note that the bench presses and plyometric push ups are performed together as a complex set. Perform one set of plyometric push ups immediately after completing one set of bench presses.
Remember when doing your weight training to move the weight in an explosive manner to maximise speed and power. For example, when performing the bench press, push the weight up forcefully and quickly........Basically - Train fast to be fast........Don't concentrate too much on upper body work either. All properly executed boxing punches originate from the legs, and it's reckoned that about 70% of the power unleashed in a punch come from the leg muscles. Yeah much of that also comes from your technique too, but without powerful leg muscles you are reducing your effectiveness at throwing those power punches that do the most damage.
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