Sports operate on varying levels of the aerobic-anaerobic scale, with long distance marathons being on the extreme side of aerobic and shot put on the anaerobic side. Boxing operates as a mix of the two spectrums, requiring high levels of both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. The work to rest ratio is a 3 minute round followed by a 1 minute rest period. For title fights this ratio is done for 12 rounds total.
Depending on the weight category, these 3 minute rounds can be fought with a pace of as high as 100 punches thrown in one round. It’s no secret that at the elite levels of the sport, fighters will experience high levels of acidosis and blood lactate concentrations. Likewise the aerobic fitness and buffering capacity of these athletes must be optimal to ensure recovery in between exchanges so that they can continue fighting at this pace. Simply put, a high anaerobic level is needed to throw powerful punches during exchanges and a strong aerobic baseline is also necessary so that you’re not a sitting duck in between exchanges.
How will a non-combat athlete benefit from this energy system workout? For lifters and athletes of other sports, this workout serves as a total conditioning workout that’ll increase your recovery levels allowing you to work at a higher volume. Much like how plyometrics have been used to develop explosiveness, throwing power punches is an excellent tool for developing optimal motor unit recruitment. And lastly as far as conditioning workouts go, pounding away on a heavy bag is fun and a great stress reliever.
This workout involves a jump rope warm up that gets your blood flowing and initially works the aerobic system. If you’ve never jump roped before focus on doing as many jumps as you can continuously, from there an ideal pace to use once you have more experience is about 70 rope rotations per minute. The next phase of the workout involves a mix of the aerobic and anaerobic system. For the weighted power punches you want to choose hand weights ranging from 3-8 lbs. Choose a weight where you feel a moderate amount of resistance without your punching technique and speed being too compromised. For this portion of the workout you shadowbox while holding the hand weights. For reference if you weigh anything under 140 lbs, aim for a pace of 30 punches a minute, if you’re between 141-170 aim for a pace of 25 punches per minute, and anything over 170 aim for 20 punches per minute. For maximal effectiveness each punch has to be thrown with power. Lastly the anaerobic finisher involves throwing 100 continuous punches with 30 seconds in between sets. The amount of time required to complete the finisher is dependent on your own pace, just make sure you reach 100 punches.
Boxing Energy System Workout
-jump rope – 3 rounds x 1 minute rest
-weighted power punches – 3 rounds x 1 minute
-power punch finisher: 100 punches each x 30 seconds rest
hooks (50 each hand)