Although many boxers hope to end a fight with one punch, the reality is that cardiovascular stamina and muscular endurance may be more important weapons in the ring. If you tire in the early rounds, you'll be fighting defensively from that point on. Improving your ability to fight effectively round after round helps you increase your chances of winning fights. Train your heart, lungs and muscles for boxing using sport-specific exercises and workouts to build conditioning for long bouts.
Because boxing is performed at a high intensity for short durations and with frequent breaks, it calls on your body's anaerobic energy system. Therefore, your training, especially as you get closer to your fight, should mimic the intensity and duration of a boxing match, with similar, short breaks. The resting phase between bouts of activity trains your body to recover for the next round, which aerobic exercise does not do.
With aerobic training, your emphasis is on longer-term performance, such as a 30-minute run. For boxing, you want to train your ability to recover between rounds, which means you want to train in shorter bursts. This requires sprint training. Sprint, or interval, training takes place at a high intensity for two minutes, with a rest after each round. American boxing trainer Jamie Wadman recommends training in bouts of 20 to 30 seconds for two minutes, then taking a one-minute rest before performing another round. His article on boxing training at the website of British performance coach Brian Mac recommends doing this three to five times before taking a longer break and moving to another exercise.
Throwing hundreds of punches while moving around the ring with precise footwork requires muscular endurance. Lifting heavy weights builds muscles, but doesn't train them for longer use. A circuit-training program creates muscular endurance. Perform exercises such as biceps curls, triceps extensions, leg presses, lunges and others using 40 to 70 percent of the maximum weight you can lift. This allows you to change exercises every 30 seconds for two minutes before taking a one-minute break. Repeat exercises for three to five sets before changing exercises.
Train your lower body with running that's specific to boxing. Multi-mile runs train your slower muscle fibers. You can improve leg stamina using quicker bursts of running. Wadman suggests training by jogging for 20 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of running, followed by 20 seconds of sprinting, then repeating the progression. Take a one-minute break after this two-minute workout, and repeat three to five times. Rope skipping develops helpful footwork, but done for more than two minutes, it can begin to fatigue your central nervous system and build lactic acid and other muscle inhibitors in your blood. Skip rope following the two-minutes-on/one-minute-off pattern, changing footwork every 30 seconds during your two-minute bouts.
Practice on the punching bag and shadow boxing similar to how you will fight in the ring. If you punch the bag for long periods of time, you'll tire and begin training with slower punches. As you get closer to your fight, follow the interval training patterns for developing your cardio and muscular endurance to train your arms for fight-specific punching endurance.