T Nation

Weight Training for Boxing


I've recently started boxing and do not want to completely stop lifting weights as I strongly believe that lifting weights will be beneficial to my boxing. I currently box 3 times a week and play 5-a-side football once a week.
The boxing is really taking it out of me in terms of fatigue and recovery so I will have to keep my weights volume down, and I want to get the best bang for my buck as I won't be able to do a significant ammount of weights training.
I reckon I can get two weights sessions in per week, one after a boxing session and one dedicated weights day. I have limited access to the gym (weekend opening hours are restrictive), hence only one dedicated weights session.
I have access to a couple of olympic bars, plenty of weight, a squat rack, a bench press, dumbells up to about 30kg, a lat pull down and cable station. The ceiling is too low to push over my head while standing so push presses and snatches are out. I want to use a full body training session on each day using compound movements only.
Where I am seeking advice is on which exercises to incorporate and what kind of set/rep protocol would be advantageous.
Everyone at the gym is trying to push me into high rep exercises to "build stamina", frankly I think this is total bollocks, the trainers are good boxing trainers but what they know about weight training I could write on the back of a postage stamp. I figure the boxing training will take care of stamina issues and the weight training is to aid in the development of power.

Exercises that I consider to be essential:
Bench press
Bent Row
Rotational Ab exercises

I think the way to go is to have two full body workouts using different exercises and/or set/rep protocols and alternate between the two, one shorter lower volume for after boxing and one higher volume more comprehensive session.

Oh, and I'm also currently trying to cut down to be a light heavyweight - 175lbs, from my current weight of just over 200lbs. This probably won't affect my training, just my diet and maybe some additional cardio at the weekends.

I'm not asking for someone to prescribe me a full program here but any suggestions or advice will be most welcome.


Im sure this will help....



schweet, some light reading for after work.

Thanks man.


overhead squats must be a great exercise for boxers, but watch out for CNS overload


I agree with your call of bollocks on the 'trainers'. Your "stamina" will be fine from the frequent boxing practice, as well as from the soccer (err...football, whatever). With limited training time, you really want to stress basics, basics, basics. I'd definitely go full-body both days. Probably using the same exercises, but different set/rep parameters.

Two top notch moves for martial artists (and technically, boxing is a martial art) are cleans and full contact twists. Find a way to include them, and you're mostly golden.

Alas, the foul concept we call reality tries to spoil an otherwise perfect suggestion. But I'm not going to let you off that easy.

I really want to see an overhead press in there somewhere. I recently brought my weights down into the basement, from the outside garage. The ceiling is just about 5 inches above my head, so I'm in a similar situation.

What I do: 1 - Clean the bar (a power clean from the hang is fine). 2 - Take a step back, as in a reverse lunge. 3 - Quickly step back with the "forward leg". You should end up with both knees on the floor, thighs pointing mostly straight up, and the bar still in the rack position. 4 - Proceed to press. When your set is done, dump the bar forward to the floor. It takes a bit of practice, but I think overhead pressing is worth the time and energy. Plus, that whole series by itself is a wicked little complex (clean, reverse lunge, press). Bonus points.


Thanks guys.

Full contact twists? anyone got a link or a description of this exercise?


They're described here:

But, the picture series isn't my favorite. I usually keep my feet pointing straight ahead, and pivot just a bit on the balls of my feet, while rotating the upper body.

If you get in the right groove, you can feel your body working, starting at the ankles, going up through the legs, hips, abs, and shoulder...just like a good punch.


ditch the weights bruv, Boxing trainers know what they are talking about when they say stop lifting weights, OK if your Evander Holyfield and you have Fred Hatfield designing your weight program and have exceptional boxing skills then of course you can add weights, your technique wont suffer much but as a novice you need to devote as much time to sparring and bag work as possible plus the strength you get from lifting weights doesnt translate to strength in a punch, punching power is best developed through medicine ball training and heavy bag work,


it is true people need to focus a lot on their technique but weights is a good thing to have anyways. Especially full contact twists. And as to trainers knowing what they're talking about...yes about boxing not always about weights



I sort of agree. Sparring and bag work are important. But so is intelligent weight training.

Extra wrong.

Very debatable, so I'll say...mostly wrong.

It's only when boxers, or any martial artists, believe Fiction Fitness magazine propaganda, and start training as if they're bodybuilders who know how to throw punches, that problems arise.

An intelligently designed strength program, emphasizing basic, free weight, compound exercises (like the bench press, deadlift, squat, clean, overhead press, and row) can make a person stronger and faster. And a stronger and faster athlete is a better athlete.