Many youngsters (and older individuals as well) enjoy an exciting round of boxing. What most people fail to realise is that boxing as a sport goes beyond just throwing one’s arms around in a ring for a couple of rounds. Boxing is a complex dance that couples greatly refined technique with speed; power with agility. There are few means of testing one’s mettle and resilience that can match up to this particular sport. Boxers often have great mental and physical endurance that other sportspersons can only dream of. As we’ll see later in this article, this isn’t at all by chance, but through rigorous training regimens employed by trainers.
Old school boxing training mainly consisted of a lot of road work and technique training. And while, this form of training is still widely used by the older generation of trainers, the exponential advancements experienced both in sport science and our understanding of the human body in recent years seem to be directing us on a different path. Most sports have adapted more contemporary approaches to training that are largely guided by the athletes’ situation on the field of play. Boxing is a largely anaerobic sport, and so fighters are involved in explosive movements, usually under lower tissue oxygen concentration, for most of the match. It then follows that boxers should train their bodies to endure such conditions. Aerobic exercises, such as long slow distance running, are therefore being phased out and replaced by more high intensity training regimens that matches their situation in the ring.
Since boxing is about 70% anaerobic in nature and played in rounds, modern training regimens are more focused on exercises that result in high muscular stress in intervals. Amateur boxing matches consist of four two-minute rounds for women and three three-minute rounds for men. You must therefore be ready to maintain high intensity performance throughout all the rounds if you wish to win the match. The training regimens that will be suggested here are geared towards helping you achieve that level of endurance.
Amateur boxers are recommended for five days of training in a week. Each training session should be about 3-5 hours long, and how these hours are split will depend on the trainer and yourself, as the boxer. Your regimen should cover strength and power training, skills and technique, as well as speed and endurance training. You are also encouraged to do your road work early in the morning to allow your bodies to rest before embarking on skills and conditioning training in the evening. This is because a tired body is an inefficient body and this will slow your rate of improvement.
When it comes to speed and endurance training in particular, a good exercise to consider as an amateur boxer would be interval running. These intervals should be run at high intensity throughout so as to bring your body’s metabolism and heart rate to anaerobic levels. Doing six intervals of 600m with a one-minute break between each run might be a good place to start. With time, your time and heart rate will reduce and this is a show of improvement and better adaptability to the strenuous conditions during fights. Interval running, however, should not be done on consecutive days so that your body has time to rest. Sparring on interval days is also not advised as you always want to enter the ring with a fresh pair of legs.
During non-interval days, skill and conditioning training should be done, with a special focus on skill. While this may greatly cut short time for conditioning, that does not mean conditioning is to be overlooked. Conditioning must be brought to the gym. This means that every punch thrown when in the ring or when doing bag drills must be intense. This goes a long way in conditioning your body and making it more efficient. Drills such a shadow boxing, bag exercises and sparring are designed to enhance your skill. This is the backbone for all boxing. Learning how to slip punches, block punches and to counter attacks will go a long way in helping you in the ring. If you can build your skill and strength at the same time, you are bound to be a formidable fighter.
At the end of the day, training as boxer, just like any other sport, involves preparing you for how the real deal is. While training regimens will depend on the trainer and the boxer, training in a more anaerobic fashion will guarantee that you always make the most of your five days of training. In case of any doubts or queries when it comes to amateur boxing training, visit a Police Citizens Youth Club NSW near you. Our services and facilities might be just what you need.