Circuit training provides a format that allows boxers to condition themselves physically, as well as focus on the development of specific skills. Circuits can focus on development of endurance, speed or power. Focus on one skill or combine various exercises to cover them all in a single circuit to become a better conditioned boxer.
Boxing requires anaerobic bursts of energy but also requires the staying power needed to remain strong and effective through a full 12 rounds if necessary. Circuit training for endurance can be a simple combination of bag work and running. Start with a three-minute round on the heavy bag. Instead of taking a rest period, take yourself outside or get on the treadmill and run a quarter mile at a steady pace. Continue alternating between bag work and running, with no rest in between, for a full nine rounds.
Speed gives you an edge over your opponent. If you can get your punch out and land it before your opponent strikes, you gain a significant advantage. Start with a three-minute round of speed punches on the heavy bag. Focus on speed and punch the bag with straight 1-2 punches as fast as you can for 15 seconds. Rest 15 seconds and then go right back to punching. Continue the cycle through the full three minutes. After a minute of rest, move to the floor and shadow box nonstop for a full three minutes. Move your feet very little and concentrate on making your punches as fast and fluid as possible. At the end of three minutes, immediately drop to the floor and do as many full pushups as you can as quickly as you can. After a minute of rest, work a three-minute round on the speed bag or double-end bag focusing on speed and precision with each hit. Rest for three minutes and then repeat the circuit two more times.
Knockout power comes from conditioning your muscles to load as much potential energy as possible and then releasing it as quickly as possible. Training for power should not be isolated to just your power punches. A powerful jab can be as valuable as a powerful right hand or left hook. Hold a 10-pound dumbbell in your right hand and punch the air with the dumbbell for 30 seconds. Immediately drop the dumbbell, put on your glove and strike the heavy bag with your right hand as hard as you can for the next 30 seconds. Switch the dumbbell to your left hand and repeat the cycle. Switch to medicine ball chest passes, throwing as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then resting for 30 seconds for a full two minutes. Finish with two minutes on the heavy bag, tapping the bag with light punches. But every 30 seconds, change which punch you choose to hit the big using maximum power. Be sure to cycle through your jab, right, hook and upper cut with only light taps on the bag between each power shot. Repeat the entire circuit four times.
Any circuit can be modified by introducing new exercises into the circuit or by changing the interval times. For example, running in the endurance circuit can be replaced with three-minute rounds of jumping rope instead. Circuits can also be arranged to incorporate exercises that work endurance, speed and power all in one circuit. These skills don’t have to be worked independent of each other and can complement each other over the course of a single circuit. Always be sure to start your circuit training by warming up and stretching the muscles used when finished. If you're new to boxing, start conservatively with the circuits and do what you can, gradually working your way up to the full-round times and increasing the number of rounds per circuit.
- ExpertBoxing.com: Hand Speed Drills and Exercises
- Dale Herring; Head Coach and Owner; Fight Sport Fitness; Hixson, Tennessee