Boxers can overlook weight training, as it is associated with gaining muscle, which can increase body weight and reduce flexibility. However, this isn’t really the case, as proven by Olympic lifters. It’s more that too much muscle or not enough flexibility training could cause an issue.
It is also a fantastic way to improve speed, power and strength as part of your overall boxing training and fitness; as long as you do it in the right way.
Boxers should focus on increasing functional strength, rather than muscle mass.
Why you should weight train
Here’s a rundown of the benefits you could expect from a tailored weight training programme:
1. Improved speed-strength
One of the best benefits of weight training in boxing is improving speed-strength. This is achieved by moving moderate weights – whatever that is for you – at rapid speeds as if punching an opponent. Doing this when training means that when you fight without weights you can hit faster and more effectively before your opponent has a chance to hit first.
Over time you can up the resistance by using heavier weights; practise without weights, with weights and then without to see the change in speed.
2. Maximal and explosive strength
Boxers can increase their maximal strength through weight training. Maximal strength is the maximum force that you can exert at any given time. You can improve it by lifting heavy weights andcompleting rep-for-rep movements.
In turn, this power can be used to improve explosive strength. Explosive strength is the ability to produce maximum force in the shortest possible time frame. This added speed is invaluable when you’re up against an equally matched opponent and every move counts.
Jade Ashmore, #togetherwebox ambassador and member of Team GB, said, “Weight training is great for explosive power and strength and my favourite exercise is squats.” For more inspiration, follow the GB star’s Instagram account where she posts about her fitness routine.
3. Improved endurance
In addition to improving strength, weight training will also improve endurance or stamina, which is ideal for overall health and fitness. In essence, you can make your body work harder for longer with increased consistency in performance. This pays off both in day-to-day life and in the ring where you need to stay strong for multiple rounds.
Improved endurance can also reduce the chance of injury and muscle strain or tiredness.
- Think of your body as a whole and train all aspects
- Train for a strong core and stamina
- Combine skill and conditioning training with strength work
- Keep strength workouts brief compared to other focuses
- Check your plan with a strength and conditioning coach
It’s worth noting there is no ‘magic route’ to weight training and within boxing, it’s important to see it as part of becoming a better boxer. If you think you’d benefit from the strength and endurance it can bring to your skillset, add it to your routine for a trial period (12 weeks) and assess the benefit.
View our range of gym equipment and weights here.