A boxing training program must focus on reactive power, power endurance, muscular endurance, anaerobic endurance and aerobic endurance.

Boxing is unique in that, unlike most team and individual sports, competition events are limited during the year. The majority of the annual plan is spent on preparatory training phases planned so that the boxer is at a physical peak for the fight. Amateur boxing consists of a greater number of competitive bouts in the year, so periodization of the training program may look quite different.

Boxers use both aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways during a single bout and must be able to tolerate high levels of blood lactate and a high heart rate (1). Both VO2max and anaerobic threshold have been related to performance in the ring (2) with aerobic endurance playing a greater role in the professional sport.

Training should develop both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Boxers must also be able to react quickly and powerfully to an opponent’s attack. A boxing training program that consists entirely of strength endurance training (such a classic circuit training routine), fails to adequately develop the reactive power important in the sport.

Finally, agility and reaction time are vital components of a boxers armory. Foot and hand speed, reactive power and hand-eye co-ordination can all be significantly improved with proper conditioning.

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By Jenny Anderson Sport Fitness Advisor