Long before Strength and Conditioning became a buzz word in the world of boxing, boxers were generally, well……strong and well-conditioned.
As with any sport, competitors are always looking for the upper hand in any way they can achieve it. Old school boxing training consisted of never ending road work, circuit training, countless burpees and sit ups with terrible form.
Better understanding of the energy systems involved in boxing has led to a shift in modern day training to less road work and shorter sharp interval training, and there is now a bigger emphasis on getting stronger.
My own thoughts on the whole strength and conditioning work for boxers is this….if you have two athletes, identical in nature, same height, same weight, same age, same skill set, the stronger of the two athletes will win.
Strength ties into so many other aspects of a fighter’s artillery. Endurance, Power, Flexibility and mobility.
With Power being such an important tool in a boxers arsenal it seems important to be able to develop it. And with Power being a product of Force multiplied by Velocity it would prove beneficial for boxers to develop force (strength).
Nowadays there is a trend to check out the latest videos on YouTube and copy the exercises that your favorite fighter is doing in the gym. The problem here is that people are missing the point, the fundamentals.
Proper movement patterns should be practiced, and a base level of strength in the most basic of lifts should be reached before performing more advanced exercises. It’s all good and well being able to perform a 20kg snatch for 20 reps, with appalling technique and a very imminent danger of shoulder dislocation, but first let’s see you deadlift 2 x your own body weight as a basic standard.
Here are some standards to look to aim for to develop a solid foundation of strength.
Deadlift 1.5-2.5 x your current bodyweight
Squat 1.5-2 x your current bodyweight
Bench press 1-1.5 x your current bodyweight
Get the basics down and you will already feel a difference in your training, then you can move on to more advanced lifts and training.
Guest post by Matt Nuttall - BSc Hons Applied Sports Science, CSCS,