There is a popular misconception that weight training is not for boxers as you will lose mobility and become muscle bound. There is not even an iota of truth in this assertion… Research has shown that a properly designed weight program can increase the range of motion as well as speed and power. Muscular endurance and strength are both improved through weight training and if you want to succeed in boxing, you should find time for a good weight training routine. It is important to remember that you must train in a manner that is specific to boxing which is mostly anaerobic in nature therefore our training must be oriented accordingly.
Today’s boxers are bigger, faster, and stronger. The act of throwing punches, round after round, while contending with an attacking opponent is a daunting task. Boxing is arguably the most physically demanding sport of all. As a boxer, you must punch, slip, and block with flash movements and lightening speed. A boxer must be prepared to fight with intensity and untiringly round after round. You must have the stamina to throw the same hard punches in the last round that you started with in round one.
A boxer must opt for a sport specific training if he wishes to be successful inside the ring. Many old-school trainers strangely preach the importance of long, early morning roadwork sessions. The great majority of boxers today still run 4 or 5 miles on a daily basis. These long aerobic running sessions does precious nothing to prepare the boxer for the physical demands he will face inside the ring.
One of the best ways to condition the body for boxing is through what may be called interval running. Intervals consist of intense, sustained running for a predetermined distance or time. The general interval running for boxers consist of distances of 200, 400, 600, and 800 meters. Amateur boxers fight two-minute rounds. These boxers must be prepared to fight hard for the duration of the round. The 600-meter interval will meet the anaerobic demands imposed upon the body during the bout. As you are aware, most professional fighters fight for three-minute rounds. The 800-meter interval is ideal for these boxers. A general rule of thumb is to run one more interval than the number of rounds you will be boxing. For example, if you are fighting a four round bout, it makes sense to run five intervals.
It is best to run intervals 2 or 3 days per week. These workouts are intense in nature and your body will therefore need adequate time to rest and recover. You should not run intense intervals on days that you will be sparring as you have to enter the ring with a fresh pair of legs. This sample workout should integrate shadow boxing, sustained running, and 100-meter sprints. A similar program has been used at many US Olympic training camps. A weekly running program should consist of intervals, sprints, and an occasional aerobic run. One or two distance runs per week are recommended to give the boxer a break from the intense running sessions.
The actual boxing workout will consist of two primary forms of training – skill training and conditioning. The skill training portion of a workout will consist of shadow boxing, bag work (heavy bag, double end bag, and speed bag), punch mitt work with a trainer, sparring, and defensive drills. The fighter must also find time to work on his conditioning.