Get Fitter through Boxing

Get fitter through Boxing

It’s been well documented that a solid boxing workout works the entire body from a strength and fitness point of view. It’s the energetic nature of applying this particular sport within the fitness environment that allows Claudefit to deliver great results with my client’s fitness and conditioning. It’s also a lot of fun once you have the cardio base to push yourself harder.

I’ll get right to the point and go over a simple yet effective template that I use with my personal training clients. The criteria are simple, get fit and have fun while you are challenged and level totally worked.  For general fitness it’s easier to adjust as you go along and wont interfere with fitness objective.

Get fit, burn the calories and have fun. Ok then, let’s get you Boxing!

The warm up

  • 3×2 min light bag work at around 70% exertion will allow most people with the ability to last out the timed rounds. No point in attacking the bag for 30 seconds flat chat and floating around wondering where the energy went. Remember the plan is to last out the session, not deteriorate within the warm up.
  • 3×2 min Skipping will add value to any cardiovascular workout. A solid set of 3 rounds will go a long way in working out your shoulders, ankles, warm your core and hit the heart rate a treat.
  • 3×2 min Shuttle runs and punch-out drills will introduce the running component. Yeah, you have to run. For those who neglect the running part you are greatly diminishing the returns on any true fitness workout. For the rest of you embrace the movement and reap the rewards. Remember, athletes run.

The core work

My favourite go to core and abdominal drills for the boxing clients is to work the following exercises together as part of your  non-boxing component and rest before you continue the theme and glove up again later and be expected to work harder.

  • Medicine ball – These drills can be simply the old school throw and catch where you are performing a sit up while having you partner/trainer throw the ball. Simple and sinister when performed at high volumes. Old school is still the best here.
  • Gymnastic ring drills- I use this one in particular for my female client as it not only his core in a dynamic way but had the benefits of effectively working the hips region. A clear favourite with my female clients as it hit the hips and core nicely.
  • Hang knee raise – A classic movement that work the same muscles as a traditional crunch, however this movement delivers more bang for your buck in that it works your grip strength, stretches out you shoulder region and with the lower body isometric hold adds up nicely in delivering a solid core workout. Give 15+ a go and hit them hard.

Time to push Intensity

3×3 80%+ Bag work drill – Moving onto the next phase where you will hit the heavy bag again. This time you will be sufficiently warmed up, have you timing, co-ordination and be ready to bang! The 3 rounds at now 80%+ exertion will certainly take its toll. It’s time to get down to business and let go with all the energy you have, work the bag well and move constantly. Once you complete the rounds and depending on you skill-set/fitness you will be totally charged up.

Focus pad rounds – Keep in mind that with proper focus pad work you are feed the information and it will be up to you and your work output to proactively strike the target while moving around. Time to put in champ! With an experienced pad holder you get to move around so be prepared to go harder. You won’t beat the pads though, its part of the drill. This is where you decide how much work you want to put in. Time to leave it all on the line.

Skipping/shadow work– Once the heaviest workload has been completed it’s now a matter of preparing to complete the session with an eye of lowering the heart rate and allowing your body and mind to start winding down. For the fitter ones feel free to work the skipping a little more vigorously, for the not so fit it just a matter of finishing the rounds.

Close the workout

Stretch & cool down this is the best part of the session (if you have done the work) time now to focus on slow and gentle movements and hit the areas that need the work. The body is pretty much all warmed up and any stretching should be done correctly. Not a good time to go the full reach and hurt yourself.

Rest and nutrition

You have worked hard and have managed to smash out another session. Well done. Now it’s time to property fuel yourself and take in plenty of water. This is where your nutritional program is important.  Why waste your time in eating junk after you have worked so hard.

Getting your rest post exercise is part of the workout. Here’s a tip. You will go a long way with your fitness and weight management goal if you are diligent with both your nutrition and getting in proper rest/sleep.

Claudefit is an experienced personal trainer located in Mill Park in the outer Northern Suburbs of Melbourne.

Mill Park Boxing Trainer

Mill Park Boxing Trainer

Very satisfied with having recently updated my boxing credentials with Boxing Australia. it adds credibility to my Personal training services and confirms that it is one of my key skill sets on offer. one that I’m quite proud of.

The workshop was informative and allowed us to improve on out working knowledge of this dynamic sport. It was conducted by my original boxing coach Nick La Rosa who has been around the traps for a long time. He in the past has proven his status within the boxing community stating of a competitor himself then progression now onto helping others both in and out of the boxing ring develop their own set of skill.


The day started with the usual introduction and course overview and to the delight of many, it was soon time to put the books aside and get on with practical side of workshop. For me this refresher was an opportunity to upgrade my current skill set and confirm what I was doing was still relevant and any additional understanding I needed.

It’s important to me and clients of Claudefit that my skill set is always up to date.

Before long  we were in the middle of progressing through basic punches and footwork with a few other adjustments, You see when the head coach of Australian boxing makes an adjustment it help to be aware so you don’t have your athletes at a disadvantage if they look at competing.

For me I just enjoyed moving around and practicing what I enjoy – no contact.

Once we covered all from punches, footwork,stances and then taking turns at coaching each other in small group , we received our feedback and closed off the first half of the day ready for lunch.

The rest was going over the excellent boxing coaches’ manual and doing all the admin stuff……..necessary I guess.

To sum it up it was a high level boxing course for Boxing coaches and ensured all participant where aware of their expectation on being a registered coach with Boxing Australia.

Boxing for fitness at Claudefit

As noted on Claudefit personal training Boxing page

Some of the benefits of boxing training are;

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle tone
  • Increased agility and coordination
  • Greater fitness all result from boxing
  • There’s no need to worry about bulking up either.

Is perfect for women who want to lose weight around their bottom and thighs as part of an overall reduction program and especially good for toning your bottom and quadriceps muscles. People incorrectly think that boxing is all about the arms but it is actually a full body workout for you cardio and strength if performed properly.

It’s important to continue to develop professionally in order to deliver a real and effective service to my clients at Claudefit to see me when wanting to practice the sweet science known as Boxing.

Go here for my boxing page.


Boxing Coach Mill Park

Boxing Coach Mill Park

Boxing is a high intensity full-body workout that will make you physically stronger as well as aerobically and anaerobically fitter. It is a complete workout for your cardiovascular and endurance systems as well as training upper body, lower body and core strength. Calorie expenditure and fat burning are quickly elevated during a well planned boxing session due to its high intensity in utilizing the larger muscle groups while keeping you constantly moving. Boxing does not tend to add muscle bulk as much as tone and define muscle because it involves such high repetitions. You can enjoy more benefits aside from the physical aspects of boxing training. Cardio intense boxing workouts allow you to burn anything from 500 to 800+ calories in just an hour. Boxing is a workout that can accommodate for all levels of strength and fitness and can be enjoyed by beginner to advanced participants. Drills can easily be modified to increase or decrease intensity and complexity of the workout.

What benefits will I see?

Weight loss, increased agility and coordination, muscle tone and greater fitness all result from boxing. Many people think that boxing is all about the arms but it is actually a cardio work-out for the whole body. It’s especially good for toning your bottom and quadriceps muscles, which is perfect for women who want to lose weight around their bottom and thighs as part of an overall reduction programe. There’s no need to worry about bulking up either. Boxing is very much a high repetition work-out so you’ll see tone rather than muscle. It’s also very empowering and people really get pumped up and stuck into it during the moves. Generally by the end of the first class/session, you should be able to throw a solid punch, or few!

I’ve never boxed in my life. Will I be able to do it?

Boxing is all about technique so once you pick up the moves you should be fine. If you’re not particularly fit then that’s not a huge problem. Boxing is actually easier for a lot of people than running, especially for those with excess weight.”It’s easy to modify the exercise to suit you so every one of all ages and fitness levels can participate.” Boxing helps to build and boost your self-confidence through the self defense techniques and combinations learnt during the sessions. Apart from being fun, it’s important for both men and women to feel like they have some idea of how to deal with conflict and confrontation and develop the confidence to protect themselves. You will also experience a sigh of relief and feel that you are released from stressed. This training also helps you to get rid of that anger that is inside of you. Once these things are release, you may feel lightness in your body and peace of mind as well. So come and join me and enjoy the fun and benefits of Fitness boxing with Claudefit.

*Boxing is one of the most demanding but also most rewarding forms of exercise training. It conditions your entire body and provides one of the most challenging and enjoyable workouts of any sport. The physiological as well as psychological benefits of boxing are extensive. It conditions your entire body and provides one of the most challenging and enjoyable workouts of any sport. The physiological as well as psychological benefits of boxing are extensive. These include increased self discipline and self confidence, increased agility, speed, coordination, endurance and strength. Unlike most forms of training, reflexes are also improved and skills are learnt. Increased self discipline and self confidence, increased agility, speed, coordination, endurance and strength. Unlike most forms of training, reflexes are also improved and skills are learnt.

Strength Training for Boxers

Strength Training for Boxers

The purpose of this Article is to demonstrate that a Maximum strength bias program can easily fit into a boxer’s current training regime in allowing the developments of a more conditioned and resilient boxer/fighter without the negative view of putting on too much bulk.

The article will relate it to the specific strength elements that a boxer needs in order to be an efficient and properly prepared athlete. In addition it will touch on elements of speed, flexibility and energy system adaptation to athletes conditioning. Its view is to demonstrate with sample programs and recommendations that having a strong base of maximum strength to build from not only benefits boxers at all levels put has a positive influence on other sports.

It also ties in the other elements required in the overall development of a fighters conditioning without interfering with the old school way of thinking that only boxing specific training in this day and age is sufficient for a boxer to be successful. A sample strength bias program that is flexible in application is included to support authors view.

In the past many old school Boxing trainers have frowned upon the use of free weight in the preparation of their boxers, taking the view that too much weight training would inhibit the movement of the boxer by making them less flexible and rigid. In addition the perception was that their boxer would get muscle bound rendering them “too bulky” and unable to move freely in executing their skills. This old way of thinking is now somewhat coming to a close with now a more educated field of experienced strength/boxing coaches who are taking a more rounded approach in periodising their athlete’s combat training in a more comprehensive way. Boxers and their coaches can now give themselves a better chance in fully maximising the potential and skill set in a more organised effective way as they now cover in their training several of the strength traits that a fighter needs in their preparation for a bout.

Strength is a quality that is necessary for boxers; it is made up of strength of body, strength of mind or resilient strength. To varying degrees all are trainable. (2)The proper training for boxers should emphasises neural training and myofibril hypertrophy which does not cause significant gains in muscle mass.  (Boxers are not bodybuilders; therefore should not train like bodybuilders) In addition weight training that involves full range movements has been shown to promote and increase flexibility. However boxers should not get too carried away with being flexible as boxing does not require a great deal of flexibility. Boxing does require adequate flexibility but excessive flexibility is detrimental to force production.

Boxer’s today train with weights much more that they have in the past, as a result they have become stronger and quicker that they ever were in past history of the sport. An undisciplined and poorly designed weight program will not help boxers when in the ring.  Getting it wrong with weight training can have a negative effect of making the fighters slower and stiff. The following are strength skills that a boxer needs to excel in this uncompromising and demanding sport.

  • Required Strength element in boxing; (1)
  • Maximum strength
  • Explosive strength/Power endurance,
  • Reactive power,
  • Muscular endurance of medium duration and
  • Muscular endurance of long duration.

Maximal strength

Maximal strength training normally requires the highest force that can be performed by the neuromuscular system during a contraction. When designing their boxers overall program, a coach should work on building solid base of Maximal Strength, then develop the other traits on top of this foundation. “Maximal strength drives so many other physical qualities – it gives speed and power, it gives efficiency and through that mechanism aids recovery between rounds. How much strength is needed in boxing? Enough to be at least as strong as, if not stronger than your opponent”.(4)For example a fighter in a given weight class would be able to bench press or squat at least his own bodyweight would be quite a solid base of strength, anything else over 1-1/2 body weight bench or twice bodyweight squat would likely get to a point where the strength reaches a point of diminishing returns. Maximum strength will aid with structuring a specific strength program in complimenting the boxer, and not just randomly working out with weights. In boxing and other combat sports the more resilient the body becomes, the better the body can cope. It’s primarily this reason why it’s essential to have an adequate strength base in support of your chosen sport. In our case Boxing.

The development of maximum strength is probably the single most important variable in most sports. The ability to increase maximum strength depends on the diameter of the cross sectional area of the muscles involved, the capacity to recruit fast twitch muscle fibres, and the ability to synchronise or simultaneously call into action all the primary muscles that are involved in the movement (3) Maximum Strength is the heaviest load an athlete can lift in one attempt and is normally expressed as 100% of maximum. (1RM) it’s generally a good idea for an athlete/coach to keep a track of 1RM for the major movements in prescribing more accurate maximum strength programs.

To understand the relevance of maximal strength training, it is important to first understand how the body functions then able to relate it back to the direct benefits of possessing a solid base of maximum strength. Firstly muscle fibres are grouped together within a motor unit. A motor unit contains hundreds of muscle fibres and one nerve that deliver a signal to the muscle fibres. All of the muscle fibres contained within the motor unit are of the same type. Either fast twitch or slow twitch. When the signal is passed for the motor unit to contract, all of the fibres within that motor unit will contract. So if you are only moving around a lighter weight and not a max weight, you will most likely only be recruiting a minimum amount of the fast twitch fibres and not building strength. It is only during a maximum lift effort that a greater portion of fast twitch motor units are recruited. It is this reason that maximum lifting is regarded as a superior method of improving inter and intra muscular coordination.

The following quote from Supertraining explains it in the following manner: “Strength is not primarily a function of muscle size, but one of the appropriate muscles powerfully contracted by effective nervous stimulation.” (5) In targeting the nervous system you will gain strength. This can be effectively done without weight gain. The example of Olympic weightlifting could be used to confirm this process. Similar to boxers, they compete within several weight classes suggesting a strong emphasis in an increase of pure strength been the key, not weight or bulk.

As previously mentioned the following strength related traits relevant to a boxer should be developed on top of the base of maximum strength in creating a more well rounded and conditioned athlete.

The development of power endurance (P-E) and explosive strength are an essential requirement in the arsenal of a boxer, the ability to continuously generate the power output round after round is reliant on the endurance engine of a properly prepared boxer. To be successful the boxer has to train endurance as well as power as they will be required to perform the striking action anywhere from 50 – 150 times per round on average with the sole intention of hitting an opponent with impact. Just having power is not enough for a boxer. The continued ability to generate punching output during an intense round is required given the very nature of the sport. When training for power development, the boxer/athlete must target the fast twitch muscle fibres. If the exercise does not stimulate a fast twitch motor unit, the muscle fibres contained within the unit will not adapt to the training (critical for a boxer). Essentially, if the motor unit is not recruited, no response occurs. So the old saying of training like you fight holds true when we discuss power endurance in combat sports.

Explosive strength is a critical strength quality for any competing boxer. Explosive strength is defined as the ability to express significant tension in minimal time. Vladimir Zatsiorsky, highly regarded strength and conditioning consultant for the Soviet Union Olympic teams, has mentioned that:”The ability to produce maximal forces in minimal time is called explosive strength. Strong people do not necessarily possess explosive strength.” (7)  This is where an athlete has to build on their strength base and convert to power, not simply continue to get stronger. Clearly, the development of one strength quality (MS) does not guarantee the development of another (ES). Explosive Movements/exercises recruiting the fast Twitch fibres would consist of examples such as Power Cleans, Dumbell Snatches, Dumbell Power Jumps. This type of training will also increase speed and power explosiveness.

Reactive power is best explained as the ability of the athlete to jump immediately following a landing. (1) In the case of boxing it’s the ability to continually move around the ring under duress constantly utilising both footwork and head movement in either defensive or attacking manoeuvres. This attribute needs to be worked on as part of the skill segment of training and it’s a strength component of the boxer’s skill-set they cannot do without. The ability to move fast and efficiently (flow) in the ring during a fight/bout that is supported by a properly planned strength and conditioning program would allow a boxer to remain out of range when required and be in ready state to execute their own game plan. Without reactive power movements the boxer increases the opportunities of their opponent in striking them causing a potentially knock out or loss on points.

Power endurance of medium/longer duration is basically the endurance required to maintain the intensity over a time period of two to five minutes long. This is of benefit when preparing for amateur boxing rounds that are two minutes in duration, with each bout consisting of three rounds. For the professional ranks a longer power endurance (of long duration) should be developed as these rounds are three minutes in duration but can last up to twelve rounds during a professional fight. A clear difference in the conditioning and skill set is evident within professional and amateur boxing.

Speed work and Flexibility

In addition speed strength is also very important for fighters. Unfortunately, many athletes train improperly, hence sacrifice this strength quality. World-renowned sport scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky and colleagues established that: “Excessive maximum strength training can impair speed-strength and technical skill in boxers.” (6) This is where the strength coach should take into account how strong the boxer is required to be, otherwise the boxer will reach a point of diminishing returns in their strength program. This training time would be best used up with boxing specific conditioning.

A common myth related to strength training deals with flexibility and range of motion. Many trainers believe that free weights will compromise flexibility. This is completely untrue. Taking the example of an Olympic weightlifter you would accept that these are some of the most powerful and strongest athletes in the world. Yet they are able to also execute the lifts with a high level of flexibility.  The two competitive lifts (clean and jerk and snatch) along with the various supplementary exercises demand both flexibility and power. It is worth noting that most weightlifters spend a great deal of time stretching and working on their flexibility. If athletes that do a great deal of heavy weight training do not do much flexibility work they will get stiff and have poor flexibility.

Energy system utilised in boxing.

The primary energy pathway utilised in boxing is the glycolyctic pathway which is part of the anaerobic system. The dominant energy systems are made up of 10% alactic,40% lactic acid and 50% aerobic.(1) Boxing is not a predominately aerobic sport. There is no need to run 8 klm’s every day. Done on occasion this would be fine. In general running 3 to 5 klm’s 3-4 times per week is recommended. Sprinting is more beneficial for athletes involved in boxing. Sprinting at a moderate or low intensities can be performed 2 days per week. While sprinting at high intensities is performed once per week. For example the 400metre distance at a perceived exertion of 85% + could be run to tax the anaerobic system by a well conditioned boxer , alternatively a series of shorter distances of 40-100 metres sprint’s in explosive short bursts and a perceived exertion of 90%+ would challenge most well conditioned athlete/boxers. A series of 3-5 repeats would be plenty with a rest period of 30seconds to one minute rest or even allow the time they take to lightly jog back and then repeat effort. Ideally a coach will keep a record of times run in order to benchmark performance and monitor their athlete. It’s a matter for the coach to determine what element they will be focusing on the day without disrupting the main program of boxing time.

In summary a basic strength training program should be used to build a solid foundation, giving you muscle density and strength gains. The workouts should consist of compound movements for each muscle group. “Compound exercises such as Military press, Bench Presses, Squats, Power cleans, chin ups and Deadlifts”(4). These major movements exercises will develop strength, along with helping to increase overall structural balance throughout the body. The matter of food comes into play requiring calories been monitored so that the physical size being gained is quality muscle and not additional weight made up of body fat. A strength workout two to three times per week will keep you fresh for specific boxing work with the number of reps per set never exceeding the three to five range in keeping with strength protocols. Rest periods of approximately five minutes between sets with the Intensity kept above 80% of your one rep max. Body Exercises and Core Training such as Pullups, Pushups, Hindu Squats, Box Runs and Medicine Ball drills to name a few. A properly selected set of exercises will preserve the Boxer’s body for its operational/functional purposes.

A strength program should be designed to improve the performance of the boxer. A properly implemented strength program should not drain a fighter of their hard gained energy reserves and rendering then too fatigued when training. Objectives such as skill, tactical, strategic work and conditioning should not be negatively affected. Similarly a boxer’s strength workout should not leave the boxer sore for days like in bodybuilding programs as they will be unable to properly function through the following drills involved in sparring, use of heavy bag and trainer held focus pad sessions as required. A balanced approach with the emphasis on complimenting the fighter’s skill and conditioning should be the focus on the strength program.

Recommended strength program for boxers of Medium to high level of condition.

This is a sample (strength bias) weekly training for a boxer that is quite adaptable and can be

Altered depending on status of athlete/boxer.

Strength work should be performed before boxing training.


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Med intensity Med – high intensity Medium intensity – long training duration Light aerobic workout , light shadow , circutr work partner work High intensity Sparring night Light Recovery for the fighters and REST
75-85% 80+ 75-85% 50- 75% 80 -100% 75-85% Stretch
  1 Minute recovery between rounds Light sparring for multiple rounds with 1 minute rest 1 minute recovery between rounds 1 minute + recovery 1 minute for 3-5 rounds short sharp and high intensity “game time approach” 1 minute recovery between rounds  1 Minute recovery between rounds

Day 1 and 2 are to be included with strength block with possibly the 3rd day as optional based on the judgement of the coach keeping in mind overall workload.

Day 1








Military press




chin ups


10x 5


Day 2




Bench press




Power cleans




kettlebell jerks




Day 3 Optional based on current levels of Strength and conditioning of boxer
Exercise Sets Reps Load 
Kettlebell swing 5 5×20 swings Light
Kettlebell TGU 5 1x medium KB light
Kettlebell snatch 5 5x 10 each side Light

(1)  Bompar, T., Carerra, M., Periodisation training for sports,2nd Edition , Human kinetics,Champaign, IL. 2005.

(2)   Enamait, R Strength training for fighters.  Available at: . Accesses Sept, 2012.

(3)   Howard J,D., Ritchie, M,R., Gater, D,A., and Enoka, R,M. Determining factors of strength: Physiological foundations. National strength and conditioning journal, 7(6):16-21. 1985.

(4)   Read, A Fuzzy Strength. Available at:

Accessed Nov, 2012.

(5)   Siff, M.C. Supertraining, 6th Edition. Supertraining Institute. Denver, CO. 2003.

(6)   Verkhoshansky, Y.V. Fundamentals of Special Strength-Training in Sport. Sportivny Press, Livonia, MI. (Original work published in 1977, Moscow, Russia: Fizkultura i Spovt). 1986.

(7)   Zatsiorsky, V.M., Kraemer W,J., Science and Practice of Strength Training. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. 2006.

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