T Nation

When to Workout on Heavy Bag?


Hey all, I tried to use the search function but my computer literacy is pretty minimal, so sorry in advance if this has been asked.

My Question(s):

  • If my muscles are sore the day after a good work out, will a half hour to 45 min session of heavy bag drills damage my repairing muscles? (50-75 of each punch/kick, and then combos, all done with varying intensity from light to hard)

After a good 45 mins on the heavy bag I'm pretty exhausted and my muscles are pretty tired, I didnt know if this is in the same league as lifting and potentially over training if I'm sore? (when I say sore, I'm still able to move my muscles in any motion, just a kind of light ache)

  • If I work out on the heavy bag immediately following weight training will this benefit my heavy bag skills (speed, timing, power) when my muscles recover or will this damage my muscles and make them take longer to heal?

I'm pretty new to the concept of burning muscle, and honestly didn't know it was possible up until a couple months ago. My main concern is making my muscles take too long to repair, or worse burning muscle when I'm dropping money on protein and other supplements that don't come cheap. 5'10, 200lbs, I shoot for my body weight in grams of protein a day but financially its not always possible. Any input would be sweet, thanks.


Try to hit the bag in 1 to 3 minute intervals at high intensity. Do it 5 times,

Example: 3 minutes then rest 1min X 5 (I assume you only work in the bag for punching and not kicking)

Try to do it only 2-3 times a week. Do it ONLY after lifting ,you will lose fat quicker because your body is already tired, and if you do it before hiting the weights you will not have enough energy left for your weight training.

DONT hit the bag on leg day.(anyway if you do you leg workout right you shouldnt have any energy left to hit the bag)

And most important, if you want you muscles to heal quicker, eat right and sleep a lot. try to sleep 9-10 hours if possible. Eat some protein right after you workout and then take a nap.

I hope this helped.


Thanks. I've been reading about it since I've posted and you basically summed it up for me. I'm going to start that tomorrow.


I just did it after my upper body work out and my 16oz gloves felt like 8 pounds


Good. Just remember, get proper rest or you'll not make any gains.


Another unrelated question if your still monitoring this thread..

After I took the 16oz gloves off after my workout, I hit the bag with my 4oz gloves for a bit with no real time limit or combos just messing around, and my hands were flying with the 4oz gloves.

Question: If I were to buy (or make) weighted gloves would it help my hand speed? I've seen weighted gloves before and they are all really light. 2-5lbs. Is it reasonable to make 20lb weighted gloves or would that just hurt my joints?


I wouldn't do it. It might actually make you slower by throwing off your timing and technique.


It WONT help with your speed. You will feel faster because of the lighter weight, but it dosent make you hit faster. It WILL give you more stamina in a fight to train with weighted gloves.

However it is not very recomended, because it is very easy to hurt your shoulders elbows or wrists. Keep trying with 16oz"

Speed can only be improved (at least considerably) with the speedbag.

BTW now that you talk about injuries in your joints. If you re serious about boxing try to lift heavy when doing military press and lateral raises, this will increase stamina, strenth, and resistance to injuries and cramps.


Speed bag is the only thing I don't have in my gym at my house. I might get one soon. I've been hawking Craigs List for more gym stuff.

You'd be amazed how many people throw away their equipment for dirt cheap. I got a 100lb heavy bag, a thai bag, an olympic bench with a squat station on the back of it, 300lbs of olympic weights, an olympic curl bar, a lat pulldown machine that has a cable row station on the back of it, an exercise bike I never use, for under 500 bucks. Some stuff they literally just give away for free.

But I'll keep the military press and lateral raises thing in mind. I found these old dusty 2lb weights that use this velcro stuff to wrap pretty tight around your wrist. I'm going to try boxing with these after my workout tommorow. I think they were part of some trendy diet plan my mom tried like 10 years ago, seeing as they are bright green and say Jenny Craig on them....so I'm going to use these in the privacy of my own home and take a shower of shame after each use.


Some observations.

Are you training to fight or just to be big? Which one is more important? How much are you lifting?

Heavy bag work is a different kind of workout- it's cardio, but it's also explosive movements that take a toll on your body as well.

Weighted gloves isn't a good idea, not in my opinion anyway. The fact is, the weight you're using won't have any affect on your power or speed because while punching power is on the horizontal plane of motion- the weight is going to pull your hands down, and not provide resistance in plane you're moving in. It really becomes more detrimental and dangerous to your shoulders than it's worth.

And the speedbag isn't about improving speed, it's about endurance and timing. Improving your speed is going to come from shadowboxing, and working fast combinations that get to be second nature. Loren Christensen has also said that believing you've got fast hands will help also. I'm always partial to believing that handspeed is mostly born into you, like punching power is.

Good hand coordination does help, meaning that shadowboxing, jumping rope, and the pads are your friends.

If you train after lifting, you're going to be drained and most likely have very shitty form. If you do it before, you're not going to be lifting massive amounts of weight. It should be kept to a skills day... but also, this depends on your goals.


Yeah Fightinirish is right. You didnt mention if you wanted to be big or you wanted to fight. If you want to big muscles you should only workout in the heavybag on weekends, or days where you dont lift.


Does this Loren Christensen have a book by any chance? My friend let me borrow "huge in a hurry", and thats how I found this website, and have been lurking for a bit. 1 rep max for deadlift is 325, bench 245, curl bar 120, I have a squat station but rarely use it because I'm a procrastinating asshole and don't want to have to set it up because its a non user friendly pain in the ass on the back of my bench.

I've been alternating lifting heavy 65 percent or more of 1RM 3-5 reps, 4-5 sets for a week, then I lift lighter in sets of 8-12. My left elbow got messed up when I was lifting a few months ago, and if I live really heavy consitently, like two weeks in a row without switching to lighter weights it gets messed up.

I used to be into brazillian jiu jitsu and my weight class was 205 and up. I was 205, and "UP" is a pretty big number. So I'd end up wrestling around almost consistently with guys who were 250+ at practice. So my original goal, as I didn't weight train at the time, was that I was going to drop weight a bit to 200 or lower.

After awhile of rolling around with the big guys I started to get stronger just from trying to move these guys. So I thought I was going to drop weight and get huge and try to manhandle people in one weight class down. I'm not serious into it or anything, and have since stopped taking it because I cant cough up 150 a month anymore now that I have new bills. But I plan on going back to the same place and taking Muay Thai.

I'm not interested in entering any competition or anything, I just like the competitive side of "scrimage" or exhibitions with other local schools, and in school tournaments. I work and am trying to finish my bachelors so I dont have the time to focus on it

After I stopped taking BJJ my main goal has just been lifting just to look big and move heavy objects around. I just enjoy the heavy bag a lot, but I didn't want it to impede my weight training progress. Which is why I wanted to work out on the bag on days of rest, but I work out hard enough on the bag where I think I might slow or damage muscle recovery.

That was basically the long way of saying, "I rather be big."


Then just hit de heavybag on weekends- rest days.


Then do it on your off days. Work up to it though, because you may not have the work capacity to lift all the time and do bagwork in between.

And never put your curl weight in with your maxes.


I go at it like a madman once i’m done working out. It’s excellent cardio and helps with general movement.