T Nation

Improve My Bag Workout


When I first started, I'd just pummel the heavy bag for 2 minutes, rest a minute then get back to it for 10 of these 'rounds'. Quickly though I learnt that this knackered the hell out of me.

More recently I've been experimenting with new approaches, trying the following:

round 1- jabs
round 2- 1,2s
round 3- 1,2,3s
round 4- go crazy (anything goes)
round 5- same as 1
round 6- same as 2
round 7- same as 3
round 8- same as 4
round 9- clusters (10 jabs, 10 1,2s, 10 1,2,3s etc)
round 10- go crazy

The thing is, I don't feel the same intensity with this new, more targetted, refined approach and certainly dont burn up as much of a sweat.

What would you guys recommend for a good heavy bag workout?


A lack of intensity is a lack of intensity- doesn't owe to the punches you're throwing.

If you're just standing in front of the bag and throwing some punches, then no, it wouldn't work up a sweat, but if you're really moving with the bag, creating angles, using head movement, and hitting hard, I can't see how you wouldn't be just as exhausted.

The only round I could see not killing you might be the jabs, just because there a few jabs that are thrown for different purposes. But any power shots combined with movement should be beating the shit out of you.

The fact that you can do 10 two minute rounds and you're not shot to shit already tells me that you're either not really working very hard or you're in good enough shape that you should be going to full three minute rounds and possibly shortening your rest periods.


x2 on intensity coming from inside you rather than from the workout.

However, if you're just looking to change things up & keep it fresh, I love the Bas Rutten workouts. A lot of guys here use them for guided shadowboxing, I use them to hit the heavy bag.




x2 on using Bas for heavybag.

If you're not puking, you're not doing it right.


Thanks guys. So basically, just go harder and really beat the cr@p outta that thing? :smiley: Anyone point me in the right direction of this Bas Rutten workout?


go to Amazon....where i bought mine.


It's not so much "beating the crap" out of the bag as it is "working the bag."

Move with it, create angles, act like it will hit you back if you stand still.


If you're a cheap ass bastard (and who isn't) you can piece together the workouts from YouTube.


Is this just your cardio or is there a different purpose for your use of the heavy bag? If it's just for cardio then I'd say keep the force behind the punches high but pace yourself and switch between tempos.


Is this just your cardio or is there a different purpose for your use of the heavy bag? If it's just for cardio then I'd say keep the force behind the punches high but pace yourself and switch between tempos.


Irish has it right. I'm a fan of practicing specific combinations for portions of rounds, but I rarely do any combination, let alone a particular punch (such as the jab) for an entire round. I tend focus my work on, for example, my left hook for the round. In that case, I will work several combinations and lots of footwork and defensive strategies that feature the left hook. I think keeping a creative feel to it keeps it more fun and more valuable given the unpredictable nature of a fight. Also, it helps you to identify certain combos and counters that you really like, and others that don't feel as good.

At any rate, use the heavy bag to work on moving around a target. Work inside on the bag, work at a distance, work off angles. Keeping that kind of focus will be more beneficial than simply beating the hell out of it until you puke, or jabbing over and over until your arm is dead.


If you have a training partner, have them hold Thai pads for you, since this will force you to move and adjust to their movements. Second, AFTER AND ONLY AFTER technique drills, have your partner hold the heavy bag and move clockwise and then counter clockwise, while you have "full power" shots for one minute, no holding back, each shot with your full weight and follow through with the hips. Switch off, hold the bag for him/her, one minute on, one minute off. Sounds easy, but, its a killer way to finish a bag/conditioning workout.


if i followed your routine, id be bored as hell

are you trying to develop cardio? refine technique? just beat the hell out of the bag? thought that your routine sounded cool?


There are many ways to work the bag and its all defined by what you want to accomplish.
You can throw punches,kicks ,elbows to experiment with angles,distance and timing.Or work on your footwork=entry,lateral evasion,getting out,etc.
Your can power-punch to build up power or try to throw as many punches/kicks in a minute/round to build power-endurance.

Here is one method I used effectively to build my hitting power.
Lets say you want to increase the power in your left high kick.You would throw 10 left high kicks as fast as possible.Then,you take a few breaths,relax for a few seconds.Then,you throw 3 single left high kicks as hard as possible.
Thats one set.
Rest for a minute or two,and repaeat the set.keep repeating sets until you reach the peak of power.
Stay strong!!


btw, the Bas Rutten CD's have 4 different workouts, and each one has a beginner (2 min rds) and intermediate (3 min rds) level.....there is a boxing workout, muay thai, all-around fighting, and all-around workout (that includes calisthenics in addition to the combos).

i can't suggest this enough...it's a great tool.


I totaly agree with Danew, you have to treat the bag as if it were an opponent, moving around as if the bag is throwing punches too. Move with the bag and treat it as a sparring partner, making combinations and creating openings. You will defenitley feel a workout.


find a coach

why hasn't this been mentioned?