When training for boxing, as with any sport, smart training is better than hard training. The whole idea is to condition your body. Different individuals have different requirements and require different fight plans which lead to different training routines. They have different strengths and weaknesses. Just because two fighters compete in the same sport doesn’t mean that both should work with the exact plan. It’s vital to recognise this and work in sync with your trainer on a routine that targets your objectives.
Scientifically speaking, boxers use both aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways during a single match and they also must be able to tolerate high heart rate and high levels of blood lactate. Both VO2max (highest rate of oxygen consumption attained during exhaustive exercise) and anaerobic threshold have been related to performance in the ring with aerobic endurance playing a enhanced role in the professional theme. So, training for boxing must develop both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems of the person. Boxers must also be able to react swiftly and powerfully to an attack. A boxing training program that consists entirely of strength endurance training fails to sufficiently enhance the reactive power important in the boxing sport.
The emphasis is not on bodybuilding which involves aesthetics without any concern for athletic qualities such as speed, power, and endurance. We must instead examine more specific strength qualities like
- Maximal Strength – amount of force that one can exert under voluntary effort
- Explosive Strength – ability to express significant tension in minimal time
- Speed Strength – ability to quickly execute an unloaded movement or a movement against a relatively small external resistance
- Strength Endurance – ability to effectively maintain muscular functioning under work conditions of long duration
- Core Strength – core musculature bridges the upper and lower body and the stronger and more able they are, the greater the synergy of body movement
Since combat sports are multifaceted, a fighter requires a unique blend of each of the above strength qualities. Strength is not primarily a function of muscle size, but appropriate muscles powerfully contracted by effective nervous stimulation and as a result, the nervous system is the true indicator of strength; not bulging muscles.
With a proper and smart program design, strength training can be a valuable supplement to a combat athlete’s training plan. Some crucial points to be kept in mind for training for boxing are
- Train the body not as a collection of small pieces but as a whole unit
- Target to improve multiple strength qualities
- Never sacrifice conditioning and skill for pure strength work
- Focus on quality rather than quantity
- Keep your strength workouts brief
- Most of your time must be focused around compound movements
- Incorporate diversity into your strength program
- Never limit yourself to one modality
Gaining mass takes you one step ahead in gaining strength. But the catch lies in gaining a healthy body mass. Some things to be kept in mind during gaining body weight is never to rush the process and to focus on the total package. One must understand that body building is not required for gaining size and plan smartly.
Always remain flexible during training for boxing and improvise your routine to maximize the success results. Modify your routines according to the goals and weaknesses you must overcome. Another crucial aspect to be focused upon is to avoid wasting your energy. It is vital to use smart techniques for most efficient utilization of one’s strength during combat rather than drain ones energy. For example, pushing is a bad technique. During combat, force should not be generated by colliding/exploding into your opponent which is what happens in pushing. On the contrary, force is generated by transferring the momentum of your body dropping downwards, into a forward punch which is done during relaxing. Moving by relaxing keeps your center of gravity stabilized,resulting in more efficiency, balance and control! This helps the combat athlete to punch with the force of gravity rather than against it.