T Nation

Explosive Power

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
HolyMacaroni wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:

Spending too much time in the weightroom is a big mistake for a boxer.

IMO so would not spending any be.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t. Maybe a day or two a week. But it’s last on the list of importance.[/quote]

I would say that it depends on the fighter. If you are in your final training camp for a fight then obviously you shouldn’t be spending too much time in the weight room.

At other times, why would you not want to be getting as strong as possible at your weight and having the best possible body composition possible in a sport that has weight limits?

For a beginner, it depends what you want. If you want to just get in a gym, train and spar a bit, then that alone will get you in great shape. If you are planning to be a competitive fighter, you need to work on all areas.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
HolyMacaroni wrote:
box jumps help with punching power?

Depends who you ask. A lot of people think that punching power is something you’re born with- you either have it or don’t. You’ll see bangers who learn to box, but never pure boxers that learn to bang. You got it or you don’t.[/quote]

I think it is more that boxing trainers are too ingrained in the fact that you can’t teach power so they don’t bother trying. Of course you can improve power, same as you can improve sprinting speed. Some athletes will naturally be very good at it already, and some will have physiological limits that are hard to overcome but that doesn’t mean that you should just ignore this.

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Nope.
Pushing iron mindlessly “to get stronger” is a mistake.
Your goals should be specific.

oh gosh you’re right! lifting weights ‘to get stronger’ is most definatly a mistake!

did i just read that correctly? on a BODYBUILDING website? good jesus.

Schwarzfahrer wrote:
And: the exercises you suggested shouldn’t be recommended to someone training martial artist at the same time.

While some handle weighted dips very well, recommending them to most guys who’d box 3-4 times a week equals intentional deltoid murder.

This goes for all complemental training (raodwork, conditioning, strength, mobility etc) - the chance of injury shouldn’t rise too much. Compounding injuries should be avoided.
For this reason, problematic movements like weighted dips, upright rows, behind the neck work should be ditched. Power movements, where you use body language to increase poundage (eg push press)are out, too. Just like sloppy technique and egolifts like BPress with a deadlifting spotter.

i don’t get the big deal with you guys. i do MA 2-3 times a week, including full speed rolling around and sparring. i also lift. heavy. you know, so i can get stronger and shit.

you guys sit back and wail and wail about how you’ll get injured lifting and doing MA. i call bullshit.

granted, if you’re boxing 5 days a week, i may understand. however i’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest the OP is fairly novice in his training.

in that case, if it doesn’t hurt him, why CAN’T he do the lifts i suggest while boxing as well.

sheesh, it’s like you guys are afraid to get bigger and stronger.[/quote]

The important thing is that he is doing the right excercises in the right way to strengthen where he needs without risking injury.

[quote]Big_Boss wrote:
HolyMacaroni wrote:
i don’t get the big deal with you guys. i do MA 2-3 times a week, including full speed rolling around and sparring. i also lift. heavy. you know, so i can get stronger and shit.

you guys sit back and wail and wail about how you’ll get injured lifting and doing MA. i call bullshit.

granted, if you’re boxing 5 days a week, i may understand. however i’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest the OP is fairly novice in his training.

in that case, if it doesn’t hurt him, why CAN’T he do the lifts i suggest while boxing as well.

sheesh, it’s like you guys are afraid to get bigger and stronger.

Well,I’m definitely not an enemy of getting bigger and stronger. Nothing is wrong with lifting heavy weights…I lift heavy as well twice a week on top of skill training and conditioning. BUT the key is that as a boxer,mma fighter,muay thai fighter…etc…you have to find a fine balance. Especially,when as a combat athlete…technique and skill is EVERYTHING.

Sure you need conditioning…and strength. But keep in mind that training of fighting skill should never revolve around strength training…That is the point that is trying to be made. I think the stigma of weights being bad comes from this: If you are putting in a ton of training with boxing,etc…and you start lifting heavy 3-4 times a week…there is a degree of overtraining that is likely to happen. You overtrain…you tend to get injured. Of course,the culprit is always put on heavy weights…which is not necessarily the case. It’s a matter of the VOLUME of training that causes injuries.

But i think the we have gotten a little off track of the OP’s inquiry. In relation to the OP’s issue…weights are only a fraction of the answer in increasing punching power…
[/quote]

Overtraining for an amateur is unlikely. It is possible that they have inadequate recovery due to problems with nutrition, lack of sleep etc but overtraining is very unlikely.

[quote]Cockney Blue wrote:
Big_Boss wrote:
HolyMacaroni wrote:
box jumps help with punching power?

I don’t know…maybe indirectly. Box jumps would definitely be of great benefit for grappling…and kicking power. If any plyometrics might be of use for punching power,it would be stuff like clapping push-ups,heavy medicine ball throws,etc.

I’ll reiterate my stance that nothing beats drilling power shots(with technique) on a heavy bag for increasing punching power.

Why would you just focus on upper body stuff for punching. A good punch is about total connection and coordination of the body from the tip of the toe through to the fist. Getting drive from the legs is vital on this.

Things like power cleans are a good way of working the transfer of energy from a leg drive into upper body motion.

That said, I agree, working the heavy bag is one of the best ways to increase power.[/quote]

I was just naming plyometric exercises off the top of my head that are usually associated with increasing upper body explosiveness. There is nothing wrong with strengthening both ends of a chain…but you have to put it all together.

I recognize what is needed for transfer of energy into a punch…why else would I recommend the heavy bag? There is nothing better to improve the actual “transfer of energy” than actually hitting(and kicking) an object with proper technique.

Power cleans are great for explosiveness…but they don’t help with rotational explosiveness through the hips…which is required for punching,kicking power.

[quote]Cockney Blue wrote:
Big_Boss wrote:
HolyMacaroni wrote:
i don’t get the big deal with you guys. i do MA 2-3 times a week, including full speed rolling around and sparring. i also lift. heavy. you know, so i can get stronger and shit.

you guys sit back and wail and wail about how you’ll get injured lifting and doing MA. i call bullshit.

granted, if you’re boxing 5 days a week, i may understand. however i’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest the OP is fairly novice in his training.

in that case, if it doesn’t hurt him, why CAN’T he do the lifts i suggest while boxing as well.

sheesh, it’s like you guys are afraid to get bigger and stronger.

Well,I’m definitely not an enemy of getting bigger and stronger. Nothing is wrong with lifting heavy weights…I lift heavy as well twice a week on top of skill training and conditioning. BUT the key is that as a boxer,mma fighter,muay thai fighter…etc…you have to find a fine balance. Especially,when as a combat athlete…technique and skill is EVERYTHING.

Sure you need conditioning…and strength. But keep in mind that training of fighting skill should never revolve around strength training…That is the point that is trying to be made. I think the stigma of weights being bad comes from this: If you are putting in a ton of training with boxing,etc…and you start lifting heavy 3-4 times a week…there is a degree of overtraining that is likely to happen. You overtrain…you tend to get injured. Of course,the culprit is always put on heavy weights…which is not necessarily the case. It’s a matter of the VOLUME of training that causes injuries.

But i think the we have gotten a little off track of the OP’s inquiry. In relation to the OP’s issue…weights are only a fraction of the answer in increasing punching power…

Overtraining for an amateur is unlikely. It is possible that they have inadequate recovery due to problems with nutrition, lack of sleep etc but overtraining is very unlikely.[/quote]

Same pie…different slice. :wink:

[quote]Cockney Blue wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:
HolyMacaroni wrote:
box jumps help with punching power?

Depends who you ask. A lot of people think that punching power is something you’re born with- you either have it or don’t. You’ll see bangers who learn to box, but never pure boxers that learn to bang. You got it or you don’t.

I think it is more that boxing trainers are too ingrained in the fact that you can’t teach power so they don’t bother trying. Of course you can improve power, same as you can improve sprinting speed. Some athletes will naturally be very good at it already, and some will have physiological limits that are hard to overcome but that doesn’t mean that you should just ignore this.[/quote]

I disagree.

They’re ingrained in it because that’s what they see day in and day out. This is going to give them a little bit better of a base to work off of then you or I.

While it may be able to be improved marginally by a lot of heavy bag work I don’t think there’s any way to raise someone’s punching power much more than they were born with.

If there is, no one has found it. NO ONE.

Well your punches can get a lot more powerful from training. If you gain bodyweight, with the strength to go with it and hit the bag quite a bit. You will be able to hit harder.
If you haven’t lifted weights or anything though…and you can see the guy can throw fast powerful punches, and can already move pretty good…then he’s just got it.

Aside from that though I made the mistake of not even training for a fight at ALL…only lifting weights…actually prepping for a PL comp, and I took the fight…no conditioning whatsoever…i SURVIVED the 3 rounds haha. I did manage to dislocate the guy’s jaw, but I gassed within the first 60 sec. of the fight.
Anyways though I still did okay…but lost on split decision for points.
lol I told myself never to do something so stupid ever again…
If you have good power and strength…with all the conditioing you do prepping for a fight you WILL lose some.

What I do is only 2x a week lifting…short and intense…just the right amount to maintain all that power and strength…everythin else will fall into place if you are hitting pads, sparring and all. But really if your competiting more than 2x a week of lifting is overkill.
Right now I’m not competeting so I’m lifting 3-4x a week with more muscle stimulation…and 3-4x a week combat.

[quote]Big_Boss wrote:
Cockney Blue wrote:
Big_Boss wrote:
HolyMacaroni wrote:
box jumps help with punching power?

I don’t know…maybe indirectly. Box jumps would definitely be of great benefit for grappling…and kicking power. If any plyometrics might be of use for punching power,it would be stuff like clapping push-ups,heavy medicine ball throws,etc.

I’ll reiterate my stance that nothing beats drilling power shots(with technique) on a heavy bag for increasing punching power.

Why would you just focus on upper body stuff for punching. A good punch is about total connection and coordination of the body from the tip of the toe through to the fist. Getting drive from the legs is vital on this.

Things like power cleans are a good way of working the transfer of energy from a leg drive into upper body motion.

That said, I agree, working the heavy bag is one of the best ways to increase power.

I was just naming plyometric exercises off the top of my head that are usually associated with increasing upper body explosiveness. There is nothing wrong with strengthening both ends of a chain…but you have to put it all together.

I recognize what is needed for transfer of energy into a punch…why else would I recommend the heavy bag? There is nothing better to improve the actual “transfer of energy” than actually hitting(and kicking) an object with proper technique.

Power cleans are great for explosiveness…but they don’t help with rotational explosiveness through the hips…which is required for punching,kicking power.[/quote]

Cool, seems like we pretty much agree.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Cockney Blue wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:
HolyMacaroni wrote:
box jumps help with punching power?

Depends who you ask. A lot of people think that punching power is something you’re born with- you either have it or don’t. You’ll see bangers who learn to box, but never pure boxers that learn to bang. You got it or you don’t.

I think it is more that boxing trainers are too ingrained in the fact that you can’t teach power so they don’t bother trying. Of course you can improve power, same as you can improve sprinting speed. Some athletes will naturally be very good at it already, and some will have physiological limits that are hard to overcome but that doesn’t mean that you should just ignore this.

I disagree.

They’re ingrained in it because that’s what they see day in and day out. This is going to give them a little bit better of a base to work off of then you or I.

While it may be able to be improved marginally by a lot of heavy bag work I don’t think there’s any way to raise someone’s punching power much more than they were born with.

If there is, no one has found it. NO ONE.[/quote]

There is a hell of a lot of dogma in sports training. I would have thought that readers of this site would be able to cut through it. The argument is similar to what has been happening in swimming over the last few years. Competitive swimmers have historically trained by doing lap after lap of their chosen stroke. Very little time was dedicated to the weight room and the majority of the laps swum in practice were not at race speed.

Over the last couple of years a few trainers have started to adapt a more modern approach. Strength is built in the weight room and less laps are swum at a higher % of competition speed. The result has been that these athletes using the modern approach have really pushed the boundaries forward. This is most notable in Womens swimming.

Another example would be your typical Karate warm up. Handed down from master to master static stretching pushups and crunches. I hope you will agree that as a warm-up this leaves a little to be desired.

[quote]rasturai wrote:
Well your punches can get a lot more powerful from training. If you gain bodyweight, with the strength to go with it and hit the bag quite a bit. You will be able to hit harder.[/quote]

This is simply untrue. There are many, many fighters who DO NOT carry their power up through the weight classes. Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Floyd Mayweather just to name a few. More bodyweight and more strength DO NOT equal more punching power.

[quote]Cockney Blue wrote:

There is a hell of a lot of dogma in sports training. I would have thought that readers of this site would be able to cut through it. The argument is similar to what has been happening in swimming over the last few years. Competitive swimmers have historically trained by doing lap after lap of their chosen stroke. Very little time was dedicated to the weight room and the majority of the laps swum in practice were not at race speed.

Over the last couple of years a few trainers have started to adapt a more modern approach. Strength is built in the weight room and less laps are swum at a higher % of competition speed. The result has been that these athletes using the modern approach have really pushed the boundaries forward. This is most notable in Womens swimming.
[/quote]

I don’t disagree that it makes you stronger. I do disagree that it improves punching power. I’d love to say that there’s a middle ground here, but the empirical evidence over the last hundred years of boxing does not support it. Some have lifted, some haven’t, but the fact remains that the three fighters with the highest KO percentages (Marciano, Foreman, Tyson) in fact never lifted weights. On top of this, no feather fisted fighter has noticeably increased their power. It simply doesn’t happen.

People are still very unclear as to what punching power exactly comes from in the first place, or what influences it. It is not a case like women’s swimming where it is always improved by weightlifting.

Again, I’m not saying fighters shouldn’t weightlift. However, they shouldn’t expect to punch any harder from it.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

I don’t disagree that it makes you stronger. I do disagree that it improves punching power. I’d love to say that there’s a middle ground here, but the empirical evidence over the last hundred years of boxing does not support it. Some have lifted, some haven’t, but the fact remains that the three fighters with the highest KO percentages (Marciano, Foreman, Tyson) in fact never lifted weights. On top of this, no feather fisted fighter has noticeably increased their power. It simply doesn’t happen.

People are still very unclear as to what punching power exactly comes from in the first place, or what influences it. It is not a case like women’s swimming where it is always improved by weightlifting.

Again, I’m not saying fighters shouldn’t weightlift. However, they shouldn’t expect to punch any harder from it.
[/quote]

mike tyson didn’t weightlift? i find that hard to belive

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:

I don’t disagree that it makes you stronger. I do disagree that it improves punching power. I’d love to say that there’s a middle ground here, but the empirical evidence over the last hundred years of boxing does not support it. Some have lifted, some haven’t, but the fact remains that the three fighters with the highest KO percentages (Marciano, Foreman, Tyson) in fact never lifted weights. On top of this, no feather fisted fighter has noticeably increased their power. It simply doesn’t happen.

People are still very unclear as to what punching power exactly comes from in the first place, or what influences it. It is not a case like women’s swimming where it is always improved by weightlifting.

Again, I’m not saying fighters shouldn’t weightlift. However, they shouldn’t expect to punch any harder from it.

mike tyson didn’t weightlift? i find that hard to belive[/quote]

Before he went to prison, he did not. He did a ridiculous amount of crunches, pushups, and dips, something like a thousand of each a day or some shit, but he didn’t lift until after prison.

Ironically when he started lifting, his career derailed. The two had nothing to do with each other, of course, but the larger and more intimidating he got, the more he lost. The guy was simply a genetic freak… no one can get to 5’10, 210-215 of solid muscle just doing pushups. I wish I could.

First Irish is right… too many boxers moved up in weight and lost their KO power.
its a moot point as to how to develop a trait you may or may not have KO power,

can you develop explosive power- sure but there are many ways to skin a cat.
and we go in circles here.

two- this is a weight lifting site that has a combat sports section-

so you are going to get catalog ninja- or big strong dude to answer your questions
ask a power lifter he is going to tell you one thing , ask a body builder they are going to tell you another.
and thats fine too.

ask a catalog ninja he is going to refer you to his training long on sherdog that one not so much.

I did it for a living- so to speak.
wrestling paid for school a free trip to the OTC in colorado to get smothered in someones armpit for a few weeks, got the free sneakers, free trips free cups to pee in, and a free jock.

I went to foreign lands of Canada ,Chekrepublic and other lands so alien like michigan or Ohio, where turks and Iranians used my body to wipe their sweat. In Ohio and Michigan I just had kids beat on me.

all paid for and if you think thats not work, think again.
kids to take my tests in class, dudes to drive me to the gig.
cause if you are driving yourself to the gig, your a weekend warrior type and thats ok.

Now wrestling is not MMA but I can tell you about over training

it happens not to bodybuilders but to fighters or wannabes training on a calorie deficit.
Actually deficit isnt close.

go train for 3 to 6 months 6 days a week on 1200 calories and you tell me you wont hurt like hell,
your teeth with hurt your feet are rotting bones.
your shoulders and hips are on fire all day. your neck too for that matter.
Your gobbling asprin by the cosco sized bottle, you might poo once a week, and your dry, dry like a frog in the hot sun and your eyes will turn yellow.

oh and the rashes- bruises take a long time to go away when your eating like this Par for the course in
NCAA and beyond.

your waiting to eat your “meal” of a lime, and you can not fucking wait to eat it trust.
and you are dreaming of eating something like a pat of butter.

do your big road work, your hills your 3 hours of rolling or what ever,burpees and pull ups til you puke.
ride your exercise bike in your plastics and tell me your gonna bench tonight or cycle in some heavy other work or “retain” your strength with just big sets of 3x3

Your high.

Its pressure.
the scale is pressure, your patners are pressure shit your coach had better be pressure.
fear had better be pressure
and that other guy on the matt with you , you know he is bringing the fucking pressure.
and there is "friendly"from people who want their investment in you like the acedemic dean
or admissions dude, or the “tutor”

Now lets put this in to perspective with a more normal life-

technique conditioning iron

find time for them all
get it down to two to three hard hours in the gym a week and that is plenty

my advice, go look up prelipin’s Table for your set rep scheme
do a day of squat/deadlift a day of pushpress/bench a unilateral day
lift big, rest more.

kmc

Tyson probably lifted some weights.
It’s hard to obtain information about this, because a lot seems to be pure hearsay, much like with Bruce Lee.

However, I remember reading a few times from respectable sources that he pushed 200-220 lbs on the bench the first time he would do the exercise, which is pretty damn good. I think he was eighteen at that time.

Also, during his prison years, he will probably played a bit with iron as top athletes usually have access to a lot of training gear. I believe every prisoner would try out as many toys as he’d be allowed to, wouldn’t he?
I also don’t think that Cus would have allowed the young champion to really hit the weights. Being old school, he would have been totally against it.
And Mike on the other hand, was probably relieved after leaving the gym for the day that he could relax and hang around.
On top of the usual boxer bodyweight stuff he did Dbell shrugs, however.

Foreman was just a freak, plus weights were even more frowned upon in that period.
A genetic beast + caloric surplus + lots of physical activity + various non heavy ass weight exercises like chins etc can definitely lead to respectable size.
However, many oldschool gyms also didn’t necessarily view two or three very basic barbell exercises as bodybuilding. They would most certainly go for reps, though.

This protocol caused an uproar when it was published. It’s a routine Holyfield used.
Made for him by Dr. Squat himself.
http://www.sportsci.org/news/news9709/hatfield.html

Today a fighter competing at heavyweight HAS to push some weight, because of the technological arms race.
If it’s a serious benefit to your punching power or not is hard to determine.
But having 40lbs more meat thanks to iron and Vitamin S seems to be a no brainer for most guys these days.

Let’s see about this when Klitschko fights against Haye.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Cockney Blue wrote:

There is a hell of a lot of dogma in sports training. I would have thought that readers of this site would be able to cut through it. The argument is similar to what has been happening in swimming over the last few years. Competitive swimmers have historically trained by doing lap after lap of their chosen stroke. Very little time was dedicated to the weight room and the majority of the laps swum in practice were not at race speed.

Over the last couple of years a few trainers have started to adapt a more modern approach. Strength is built in the weight room and less laps are swum at a higher % of competition speed. The result has been that these athletes using the modern approach have really pushed the boundaries forward. This is most notable in Womens swimming.

I don’t disagree that it makes you stronger. I do disagree that it improves punching power. I’d love to say that there’s a middle ground here, but the empirical evidence over the last hundred years of boxing does not support it. Some have lifted, some haven’t, but the fact remains that the three fighters with the highest KO percentages (Marciano, Foreman, Tyson) in fact never lifted weights. On top of this, no feather fisted fighter has noticeably increased their power. It simply doesn’t happen.

People are still very unclear as to what punching power exactly comes from in the first place, or what influences it. It is not a case like women’s swimming where it is always improved by weightlifting.

Again, I’m not saying fighters shouldn’t weightlift. However, they shouldn’t expect to punch any harder from it.
[/quote]

let me dive in here and say, you are spot on right, without the correct technique, all the strength in the world will not make you a power puncher. I just differ in that I think that punching power can be coached through coaching proper technique and that power punchers who already have the technique down can get even better by increasing their strength.

kmcnyc, thank you for that lovely post.

Ballistic exercises using 10-30% of your 1rm. Ballistic means to project the weight out of your hands or jump off the ground, like broad jumps, jumping squats, explosive pushups, jumping lunges, medicine ball slams and throws, etc. Do 6-8 sets and 3-5 reps, with about 1 minute rest between each set. This will emphasize speed and power, but with more emphasis on building speed.

You can also lift explosively using the same set/rep pattern with 40-60% of your 1rm. Go down slower than normal, and then explode through the movement. Deadlifts might not be the best exercise, but squats, any pressing exercise, bent over rows, seated rows, and weighted pullups or chinups are great for this. This will also emphasize speed and power, but with more emphasis on power.

Lastly, you can perform 6-8 sets of 1-3 reps with 85% or more of your 1rm on the primary powerlifting moves (cleans, deadlifts, bench press, squats). Stay at least 1 rep short of failure so that you can perform the cleanest rep(s) with perfect form that you can with the heaviest weight possible. This will really increase your maximal strength and help translate into more explosive power, especially when combined with ballistic and explosive exercises.

You can also perform an upper body push and pull and a lower body exercise 4-6 days in a row by using similar, compound movements (pull: rows, chinups, pullups; push: bench, incline, shoulder press; legs: squat, romanian deadlifts, power cleans) mixing explosive and maximal lifts. By doing 6 sets and 2-4 reps, you won’t get enough volume to make you sore, so you can do chest, back and legs several days in a row, and by doing a compound move explosively and maximally so often, your body trains itself through increased motor learning to quickly, efficiently, and powerfully perform various movements. It’s like golf: if you want to practice your swing, you don’t hit 500 golf balls one day a week, you hit 100 balls 5 times a week. Plus, all of these workout templates won’t wear you out too much to practice your sport at the same time.

Oh yeah, and you probably won’t gain a significant amount of weight following this advice either, so you can stay in your weight class. Hypertrophy won’t happen this way, although you will start to look stronger, but there just won’t be enough volume to start adding a lot more muscle. You’ll simply be making the muscle that you do have much, much more powerful. If you can’t lift any significant fucking weight though, you might want to build up a decent base level of strength first.