Many people mistakenly believe that weight training should not be practised by boxers as they tend to lose their mobility. Studies have established beyond doubt that a properly designed weight program can increase the range of motion as well as speed and power. Weight training, it has been shown, contributes significantly towards building muscular endurance and strength, hence a good weight training routine, is a must if you want to be a competent boxer.
Since the sport is characterized by short duration, high intensity bursts of activity, it requires significant anaerobic fitness. The weight training, therefore must be oriented accordingly.
In boxing, the effort required in continually throwing punches, round after round, while contending with an attacking opponent can be quite taxing. It is arguably the most physically demanding sport of all. Besides, speed is of essence when you punch, slip, and block. Stamina and resilience are also a must if one is to make it to the final round.
Although a boxer should definitely undergo specific training, running 4-5 miles a day as many old-caches advise is actually fruitless for boxing training.
One of the best ways to condition the body for boxing is through interval running. Intervals consist of intense, sustained running for a predetermined distance or time. The general interval running for boxers consists of distances of 200, 400, 600, and 800 meters. The 600-meter interval is recommended for amateur boxers who are required to fight for a two minutes bout.
However, as most professional fighters fight for three-minute rounds, the 800-meter interval is more suited for them. A general rule of thumb is to run one more interval than the number of rounds you will be boxing. For example, if you are fighting a four round bout, you should aim to run five intervals.
It is best to run intervals 2 or 3 days per week. This will give your body sufficient time to recover. You should not run intense intervals on days that you will be sparring, to conserve your energy for the latter. Your workout should ideally incorporate shadow boxing, sustained running, and 100-meter sprints. Such a program has been used to great success in the US Olympic training camps.
A weekly running program should consist of intervals, sprints, and an occasional aerobic run. It is a good idea for a boxer tired from the running sessions, to do one or two distance runs per week