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Refilling Heavy Bag and Boxing Question


Got a 100 pound everlast heavy bag. It's a few years old and the inside contents have settled at the bottom leaving a very soft top and firm bottom.

Fortunately I can refill it. Any suggestions on what to put in there, should it be rice or sand, and does it matter if winds up not weighing 100 pounds anymore?

Secondly onto the boxing. About 2 months ago I got a very large interest in combat sports. I have lifting background and primarily focused on powerlifting.

A buddy of mine is a kick boxer and also does BJJ. He began training very intensely for an upcoming fight and allowed me to tag along and I pretty much fell in love with it.

As of the moment I have an upcoming powerlifting meet so that is my primary focus.

I also have read a lot on here that strength training is not always applicable to combat sports and doesn't mean much a lot of the time.

However, I want to keep boxing 3-4 days a week. Generally we do several rounds of focus mitts and then some BJJ rolling.

I have a jump rope, access to a track and treadmill, the heavy bag.

I was wanting to see what kind of beginner routine would suit me best. I lift 4 days a week totaling 8 hours. I run 2 days a week totaling about 45 minutes per run. I was also doing about 2 hours of pad work and rolling 2-3 days a week. However my training seems to be sporadic and all over the place I like consistency and a plan just like my workouts. Something I can write down and say today I'm doing x y and z and not stopping until its complete. I feel accomplished like that.

So any help would be appreciated. I might try and take a stab at a fight after my powerlifting meet or at least train for one. We got a boxing gym about 15 minutes from my house which I plan to join once I'm home for the summer. I have a pretty good knack for this and pick things up quickly and I have fairly good cardiovascular abilities and pack a decent punch but I just want to get better.


Well, from the looks of it, your training is erratic because your goals are erratic. You powerlift, and you're going to do a meet, but you kind of want to learn a combat spot, so you can maybe fight in the future, but you love powerlifting.

That's a difficult thing, and a lot of "maybe's" to train for haha.

If your powerlifting meet is your first concern, concentrate on that right now, and work in combat sport training when you can but not enough that it's going to affect your main goal, which is powerlifting.

When you're done with your meet, reconsider what your goals are. Do you want to fight? Really? Because if you do, you're going to have to cut way back on that eight hours in the weightroom.

There's a huge, HUGE difference between training for a fight and training because you like to do it for conditioning or fun or whatever. A good coach will have you running every morning, at least five times a week, for a few miles doing intervals of jogging and sprinting.

Later in the day, you're going to be doing at least an hour of skillwork, including bagwork, pads, mitts, and the like. That's going to beat the shit out of you, especially before you get accustomed to it.

Lifting hard and heavy isn't a bad thing in itself, just as being strong isn't a bad thing in itself. It's just the toll it takes on your recovery that's the bad thing.

If you want to fight, and I mean you REALLY want to fight, you're going to run in the morning five days a week, and you're going to do skillwork five days a week.

Start off by doing a beginner's boxing workout - go for a 3 minute round, with one minute breaks, and do this all the way through.

2 rounds of jumping rope
2 rounds of shadowboxing
3 rounds on the heavy bag
3 rounds on the pads
2 rounds on the speed bag.

Then do abs.

Start doing that maybe twice a week. Then move on from there.

I know you've looked at my log -I do between 12-15 rounds three times a week, I run just under 2 miles twice a week, and I lift twice a week. This has let me continue making progress on my lifts while letting my get better in boxing. It's not optimal for boxing though, and I'd cut the lifting back further if I was training for a fight while working full time and all.


Alright cool.

I want to make it clear since powerlifting is the primary focus, at the moment boxing is for fun/conditioning.

I like combat and want to get better at it. I also feel I have the recovery abilities and time to train both and get better at both.

I appreciate the routine and will begin doing something along those line.

Just for clarification I want to know the purpose of each activity, I think I kind of know but want to make sure.

Bag - Build power in your punches.

Speed Bag - Make hands faster.

Jump Rope - Footwork and Balance.

Jogging - Endurance in the ring.

Focus Mitts - Work Combinations. I really need a boxing gym because I only have one friend that knows how to hold them, had someone else who is getting into this as well try and had a less than stellar workout. Felt like I was punching thin air.

Shadowboxing - Work on technique.


You will get better at both, but just very slowly on the boxing end.

Well this is a bit tricky. That's a breakdown that I would have given you before I started boxing, but in reality, that's not how it functions (in my opinion.)

They all overlap heavily, and one tool is not specifically for one thing. But the closest I can give you is probably this -

The heavy bag is not going to "build power" by increasing strength. It's going to give you a fairly accurate measure of power involving several facets of punching, though, and it's going to force you to perfect your range, distancing, and technique - because once you know how a punch is SUPPOSED to sound, anything that happens on the heavy bag otherwise you'll find to be dissatisfying. It's going to get your stringing your combos together well, and it's going to be the mainstay of your practice.

The speed bag doesn't really increase hand speed, but it does help you develop rhythm, timing, and raise your endurance. It will greatly increase your hand-eye coordination, and if you can keep your hands up for six minutes at the end of your workout, your delts are becoming accustomed to the workload. It's also going to get you understanding when and where you can hit something as it approaches you (timing). It's probably the least important part of your workout, so you do that last unless you're intentionally trying to pre-exhaust yourself.

The jump rope is going to help your balance, is essential for your footwork skills, and is great for endurance as well. It will help to kind of "beat the whiteness out of you" as i like to say... we're not exactly born with slick skills or good footwork.

The pads are for combinations, but so is the heavy bag. The pads are sometimes controversial because some think too much importance is placed on them, but I've always found them to be extremely helpful. I can tell by the snap if I'm distanced right, or throwing my punches well, and it helps to have someone physically coming at you while you're throwing punches. Depending who does the pads with you, it can alternately work your footwork heavily, your defensive skills, and the like.

Your shadowboxing is possibly the most important part of the entire thing, and it's where every piece comes together. Working on your own by throwing punches, slipping and ducking, moving and pivoting and throwing all while visualizing another fighter coming at you is going to put everything together. It's where you're going to develop your style, where you're going to fix your mistakes, and where you're going to perfect the technique that you've developed with your coach. Shadowbox constantly, all the time, without fail. It's the most important part of your game.

And running is your base of endurance. It's great for keeping weight steady, increasing ring endurance, and learning how to function when you're totally out of breath and dying. Do sprints, do long distance runs, do everything, do it constantly. And I don't give a shit what any fake ass internet guru tells you - fucking complexes won't do dick for you in the boxing ring, and if you don't run, YOU WILL SUCK AS A FIGHTER.

If you want to box in ANY capacity, you must have a coach. You must. If you don't, you're going to ingrain shitty habits that will turn into big problems later on. You need a coach. Get a coach. Make sure of it.


Thanks Irish, actually very happy for such a thorough explanation on everything.

Just getting lessons from my friend it's so amazing that throwing a punch is not just throwing a punch, the mechanics, foot, hip, shoulder, elbow position that come into play was something I just was not aware of 2 months ago. Learning and improving day by day, but I enjoy knowing that I suck at this right now because it's providing a lot of motivation to get better.

I don't mind running either and know just how much these sports take out of you from prior wrestling experience. Endurance is so important.

Anyways, again appreciate all the advice, can't wait to construct a little routine to do 3-4 days per week and once summer hits I will be looking into MMA/Boxing gyms in my area back home.


It's funny, I was working with a friend on Sunday, teaching him the basics and all that, and he more or less said the same thing - that before I started teaching him all this, he just thought a punch was a punch and it wasn't all that hard.

Once he was struggling with the simple things, like stepping correctly and the stance, he started to understand that boxing truly is a science, in every facet.

It's also at times like those - watching a new guy suck it up and be stunned at how hard it actually is - that I realize how far I've come in the past couple years.

A couple of tips - watch as much boxing as you can. Watch the great fighters like Ali and Frazier and Mayweather and Marquez, watch the mediocre fighters like Ward and Gatti, and watch the shitty fighters. Watch everything they do, watch what they do differently from each other, what they do the same, how they win, why they win, and the like.

The more you immerse yourself in boxing, the more you'll find yourself picking up little bits here and there about how to improve your own style.

If you need help with anything else get at me.


Late to this.

Listen to Irish.

I would add:

1.) Get a copy of Championship Fighting by Jack Dempsey. It does an excellent job of breaking down how power, really momentum, is generated and used when hitting. Just don't go full IronClaws and you will be good.

2.) Points on Heavy Bag Use

a.) Be careful not to overdo it since you are training for PL at the moment.

b.) Please note that FightinIrish mentioned the SOUND the bag makes when you hit it properly. This will be an important cue to make sure you are using it to practice and re-enforce proper technique. The bag should "pop" or "crack" when you make impact. Ideally it should also flex around your fist when you hit. It should not swing as a whole away from your strike.

c.) Many big, strong, guys get into trouble with punching/striking because they are way too tense. Flexing in places you don't need to burns energy and just slows you down. Additionally, if you tend to push your punches you will "feel" the impact with the bag more. This can trick you into thinking you are hitting with tremendous power because you have more feedback coming your way. This may need to be consciously avoided. Hitting is about creating momentum and using it to crash part of your body into a vulnerable part of the other guy. Technique will allow you to do this as efficiently as possible.


Robert A


Gentleman, many thanks.

I have been watching a ton of training videos of all the greats current and past.

MSG + had fights on tonight as well between 8-10pm EST that I also enjoyed watching.

Getting the hang of thing little by little.

Found a nice youtube channel by a guy named Albert Pope which went over some cool basics (Bob, Weave, Slip), footwork, a few simple combos etc., that have been helping.

The shadow boxing is the best especially with my full length mirror, can see my feet, hands, face. I'll go over a move slow until I get it and then hit it fast.

Still need to figure out the bag though.

My dilemma is it is soft at the top. I have a heavy bag stand which has the bag lower than one you would see in a boxing gym. When I crack body shots with hooks I get that nice popping sound that the gloves make connecting with the bag after a good punch. I get the same pop with my higher face punches and jab crosses, but again the bag is soft at that spot so it's more muffled and unfortunately not what I am looking for.

Either got to fill this thing with rice or something or just take a baseball bat, flip it over and literally beat the shit out of it until the insides redistribute.

I really like working the bag with some combos, followed by power punches and then would hit the back fast with 1-2s keeping it elevated which fucking killed my shoulders. I almost think this training will help me develop better delts in a bodybuilding aspect with some indirect carryover. Haha