Boxing Training Tips ? Train Like a Pro!

by David Jenyns

Ever wondered what it takes to be a professional boxer? Apart from having the guts to step into the ring in the first place, it takes years of preparation, dedication, training and determination to succeed.
Many fighters follow the ‘’old school” approach to training that has been passed down from trainer to fighter to trainer etc… These follow the basic principles of strength, flexibility, speed, endurance and explosive power.
Let’s start with endurance. Many say that boxers require the endurance of a marathon runner to keep going for a possible maximum of 12 rounds. This is achieved through punishing roadwork (running), often in the early hours of the morning when the air is clear and there’s no-one around. There are different accounts of how far boxers really run. Some prefer shorter, faster runs (4-5miles at pace), whilst others will run for longer distances (10miles +). I think a combination of the two is best for your preparation – long runs initially with hill work to build up stamina then shortening the runs and increasing the pace closer to fight night finishing off with sprint sessions for speed.
Speed, strength and explosive power are achieved through hours of gym work. A typical session will follow the basic principles of a general fitness routine – warm up, stretch, cardio, resistance work, cool down, stretch:Warm up: This will involve 4-6 rounds of 3 minute duration of shadow-boxing with a 1 minute rest in between rounds. The purpose of this is to engage your neuro-muscular pathways (rehearsing the activity to follow so that your mind and body are switched on) and to increase blood flow and heart rate so that the body is ready for the intense training to follow.Stretch: A good stretch is important to help minimize the risk of injury.Cardio: This will take the form of pad work with your trainer and will actually include an element of speed, reaction time, hand-eye co-ordination and resistance work. (6 rounds +). This is then followed by bag work using a combination of heavy bags (if available in the gym). Speed balls and floor-to-ceiling bags are also used to assist speed and reactions. This is then followed by skipping with a speed rope.Resistance Work: This should vary and exercises should be altered so that the athlete can continue to improve by being “shocked” into doing things in different orders and intensities. Usually made up of ground work (circuits), weights, medicine ball exercises and partner work.Cool Down: A couple of rounds to “shake loose” in the ring with some light shadow-boxing followed by a longer stretch period to help improve flexibility.
When a fight is approaching it is also very important to get some quality sparring as the pads and bag work cannot simulate facing an opponent in the ring. This will help focus the mind on avoiding punches and also train the body in taking a few punches. It also gives you the final polish on your technique and sharpness before fight night.
This is just a general guide and will vary depending on the fight ahead, injuries and whether or not the boxer has a full-time job as is the case for many boxers on the long road to success.

Eddie Sica – Former Amateur and Professional Featherweight Boxer, personal trainer, Boxing fitness coach and owner of your guide to a healthier lifestyle and fitness training for everyone.

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