Why Boxers Need Weight Training

February 12, 2021 3 min read

Why Boxers Need Weight Training

Whether you enjoy boxing recreationally or aspire one day to step under the big ring's spotlights, you need to work on several characteristics. 

One important thing to work on is your physical strength and vitality. Boxing success relies on skill and endurance. But you also need to possess power and strength to make your blows effective and your defence impenetrable.

Today, we'll go over practical ways to combine boxing with weight training.


Why Boxers Need Weight Training

As a boxer, you might be wondering, "Shouldn't I focus on developing my skills as a boxer instead of curling dumbbells?"

To a degree, you're on the right path. You do need to focus on building your skills. But to make yourself an effective fighter, you also need physical strength.

Sure, the overarching goal is to land effective punches and avoid getting hit. But the degree to which you can do both is heavily influenced by your physical preparation. Take, for example, punching:

The power generates from your foundation (feet) goes up your legs, through your core, and transfers through your back, chest, shoulders, and arms. Because of that, your training should focus on developing these muscle groups. 


The Best Weight Training Exercises For Boxing

You've probably heard that proper boxing is taught from the ground up. In other words, you learn footwork before throwing a punch. Weight training can follow a similar model in that you start with the muscles in your lower body before progressing up.

Fantastic movements for the lower body include: 

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Deadlift
  • Hip thrusts

Great strength and muscle-building movements for the upper body include:

  • Bench press
  • Military press
  • Barbell row
  • Pull-up
  • Tricep extension
  • Bicep curls
  • Hanging leg raises


The General Preparation

Unless you plan on boxing competitively, a general preparation plan will be more than enough to help you reap the benefits. The goal of general preparation is to help you develop a solid foundation of strength, power, and muscular development. 

Before getting into the specifics, it's important to note that specific boxing training will be your priority. So, you should do your weight training well after boxing or on separate days to prevent feeling tired or sore for ring work. Separating your boxing and weight training will also allow you to do both training types in a fresh state and reap greater benefits.

Here are some guidelines for your general preparation weight training:

  • Train three times per week
  • Under normal conditions, no workout will take you much longer than an hour
  • Do two to four sets per exercise, depending on your energy levels and ability to recover
  • Aim for 8 to 15 repetitions across most sets, depending on the particular exercise
  • Warm-up well before weight training


Here are three sample workouts:

Workout 1

Barbell back squat - 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Military press - 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Romanian deadlift - 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Alternating forward lunges - 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps (per leg)

Hanging leg raises – 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps


Workout 2

Hip thrusts - 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Bulgarian split squat - 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 15 reps (per leg)

Flat barbell bench press - 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Bent-over barbell row - 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Hanging leg raises – 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps


Workout 3

Pull-ups - 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Trap bar deadlift - 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Goblet squat - 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Bicep curls - 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps

Tricep extensions - 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps

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