Archive for the ‘barbell’ Category

Strength Training for Boxers

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Strength Training for Boxers

This question came up the other day on the military forum and while it’s not military specific I do get a fair few martial artists contact me for training and there is obvious crossover to military applications (hint, don’t fight boxers, unless you can get them on the ground they’ll beat the S@#T out of most people)

Anyone have a good workout to increase power and strength for boxing. I am boxing three times a week doing glove work, sparring, bag work and floor stuff. But I would like to do another three days in the gym working on power and strength. Also I have plateaued on pull ups for ages, stuck on 13. Would love to get to 16 if any one has any tips?


In answering this I’m going to make some assumptions

1. The boxing sessions probably involve plenty of cardio in various forms of interval training like skipping and also the glove and bag work so I’m not going to add any extra cardio.

2. The boxing sessions are going to be fairly demanding on recovery so the aim is going to be to add strength and power with the minimum volume of extra training.

3. Boxing is a weight class sport so the best outcome is for only a moderate increase in muscle mass, restricted to the upper body as much as possible.

4. The main focus should be on maximizing the strength and particularly the power of the upper body muscles lien.

So with that in mind I would recommend the following two workouts for boxers alternated over the 6 workouts of a 2 week cycle so the first week is ABA and the second week BAB.

Keep in mind that this is assuming a minimal base of strength training and once a couple of months of this training has been completed we can switch to a more power based program which I will detail in a later blog post.

Workout A

Deadlift 3 sets of 5 reps with the heaviest weight that can be handled with good form.

Bench press 5 sets of 5 reps working up to one maximally heavy set on set 3 and then 2 back off sets at 20% less focusing on speed.

Pullups 5 sets of 75% of max reps

Medicine ball chest pass 8 sets of 5 reps focusing on reactive speed (have someone pass the ball to you and return it as fast as possible).

Workout B

Barbell power snatch or dumbbell hang snatch 5 sets of 3

Double kettlebell or barbell jerks 5 sets of 5 reps

Weighted pullups 5 sets of 5 reps start with 5kg and add weight each set if possible.

One arm row 5 sets of 8 reps

You will notice an absence of squats. To be clear I love programming heavy squats but boxers are the one exception to this rule. Squats tend to add too much mass to the legs which then means a fighter can carry less upper body mass in the same weight class.

The deadlifts and power snatch here provide enough strength and power stimulus to the legs and posterior chain while keeping muscle mass gains down.


Ok so that’s our plan for an intermediate boxer. In a week or so I’ll post part two with some more advanced routines.


Jim Wendlers 5-3-1 for maximum strength

Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Pulling 240kg in April

Pulling 240kg in April

In my experience the vast majority of athletes are always on the look out for the magic program that is going to boost their performance into the stratosphere while making them 10X sexier to the opposite sex.

They are normally impatient for the performance and sexiness to arrive and try 4, 6, 8 or 12 week super cycles that promise the world but often deliver overtraining, frustration and injury instead of results.

While it may not provide instant results or sexiness (your mileage may vary) Jim Wendlers 5-3-1 system is a definite antidote to the endless skipping through radical plans.

It’s more of the slow cooker approach to strength development and if you’ve got a tiny bit of patience for the first few weeks then you’ll reap some big rewards.

I’ve been using 5-3-1 now for a few months, testing out variations of the program in my own training and want to share some observations so that you can decide if it’s a good option for your training.