How to Build Boxing Muscle Mass

Success in boxing requires a combination of muscle, power, speed, quickness, endurance and coordination. The more muscle mass you have, the more potential force you can produce with every punch. However, even though building muscle mass is beneficial for boxers, it's important to understand that it shouldn't be the sole training objective, as there are other elements involved in becoming successful at this sport.

A female boxer hitting a heavy bag. (Image: AmmentorpDK/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Train at the appropriate time of the year. Boxing is an explosive sport, and lifting weights to build muscle is not conducive to increasing power. Therefore, be sure you participate in a muscle building program in the offseason when you don't have any competitive fights scheduled. A muscle building, or hypertrophy program, can be completed in six to eight weeks.

Step 2

Weight train three days per week. A 48-hour period for rest and recovery is necessary between sessions, so following a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday schedule is ideal.

Step 3

Develop the appropriate muscle groups. Boxing primarily requires strength and power in the legs, chest, shoulders and triceps. The leg muscles allow the boxer to move back and forth throughout the ring, and the upper body muscles are highly involved in the variety of punches. Each training session should include bench press, push-ups, shoulder press, upright rows, dips, squats, lunges and deadlifts.

Step 4

Complete the appropriate volume for each weight training exercise. To build muscle mass, complete four to six sets of six to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Make adjustments to the weight you're using as necessary so that you're completing the assigned number of repetitions.

Step 5

Increase your calorie intake. To put on muscle mass, you must consume an excess number of calories. A healthy rate of increase is 250 to 500 more calories per day. Increase you intake by eating three larger meals and by incorporating two to three snacks throughout each day.


Focus on improving your power, which is different than training for muscle mass, during competition season. Complete any muscle building program at least eight weeks prior to any boxing match.


Increasing your muscle mass will also increase the total amount of your body weight, and thus may affect your weight class. Take this into consideration when training and limit your muscle building training as needed.

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