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Question about lifting and boxing
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samsamsam Offline
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Post: #576
RE: Question about lifting and boxing
So my right knee has been bugging me a bit lately and it has made it difficult to box.

When I do train it is for a couple of hours. Usually with the first 30 mins just in warming up and some basic moves in front of the mirror. This is all driven by my trainer.

But my right leg does most of the work when I am pushing off for the first punch and to stop my momentum when going backwards. My trainer insists on a lot of 2 steps forward and 2 steps back warm ups.

I told him, I need to find a better way to train to strain my knee less.

So warmups don't have these jump moves that he used to want to do - for example while running, he would clap, then I had to jump and throw punches while in the air.

He has turned out very good boxers, but I know I am not going to turn pro. I want to keep training because I love this sport, but I don't want to be doing unnecessary damage. Any thoughts?

Thanks.

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02-09-2017 01:12 AM
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king bast Offline
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Post: #577
RE: Question about lifting and boxing
It all depends on what kind of injury we are talking about? How long has it been bugging you and is it showing signs of improvement?

It might suck at the time, but sitting out for a few weeks while an injury heals is nothing. I wish I had done it more in my life instead of toughing it out, to be honest. If it's a minor, temporarty complaint then you're golden. But if it's chronic, you might need to find something else that works around your injuries.

About 18 months ago I had to give up kickboxing after many years because of patellar tendonitis in one knee that kept getting reaggravated. I turned to boxing for 6 months or so before having to give that up after tearing my medial meniscus (unrelated to boxing) and being unable to move laterally. Both injuries still require constant management. The patellar tendonitis will never resolve, and I'd probably need surgery to totally fix the meniscus, so I just have to avoid fucking them up further. I loved striking and I still miss it but I just can't keep putting these known weak points at risk.

I'm now doing wrestling, which is good, though very different from everything I've drilled into me from previous styles. It's still tough on my knees, but in a different way to boxing and kickboxing, so I'm able to cope. In a way the forced change is a good thing - I was coasting somewhat in striking because I'd been doing it so long, but to be frank, I'm pretty shit at wrestling, so it's forced me to step out of my comfort zone and into another endeavour where I have to start from the bottom again.

I don't mean for this to sound like a call to quit boxing, it's not that at all, but just that you need to assess the likelihood of being able to continue without negatively impacting your whole life. I don't know how old you are, I'm 35 and I'm just starting to come to terms with the fact that my ability to heal and recover isn't as great as it was, and will only deteriorate further.
02-09-2017 04:50 AM
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the chef Offline
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Post: #578
RE: Question about lifting and boxing
(12-07-2015 07:31 PM)the chef Wrote:  my trainer for the past 6 months used to be sparring partners with a lot of HOF fighters and was on the olympic team before turning pro too late. here's a bunch of nuggets of wisdom i've learned with our time together:

1) apart from sparring and 1 on 1 mitt sessions, shadow boxing is the most important part of training that everyone neglects and treats as a warm up. you learn so much from shadow boxing, and it forces you to look your movement and technique. i used to lazily shadow box as a warmup for 2 rounds, now after a stretching routine every training session starts with 5 rounds of shadowboxing. foot movement and "stepping with your punches" is the big emphasis here. a lot of fighters have to get set when they punch, but the best fighters coordinate their shots with the push off their foot, and know how to close distance and pivot to prevent counters. too much heavy bag work in front of a bag that doesn't really force you to step to it can cause this problem.

2) pretend you're sitting in a chair when you're in the pocket. i was taught you should crouch in the pocket, but i never really focused on keeping my ass low and knees bent when i'm really up close. this helps with my favorite touch and go combinations and counters (ie. tuck my elbows to my torso and slightly rotate and dip to parry a body shot/upper, then use my weight to explode up with an upper-hook-straight counter).

3) more speed work and less road work. you have to do roadwork, but not as much as old school trainers will tell you. you need road work to get the weight down if you enjoy eating (like me). boxing is a series of explosive bursts, you have to train your legs and body in this same fashion. instead of running 5 miles 4 times a week, run 10 100's twice a week and an easy paced 30 minute run on your rest day.

4) if you hit the weights, you HAVE to stretch. especially if you're one who likes to lift in the 8 rep range. i always used to think that the whole "lifting weights makes you slower" stuff was just a bunch of old school crap. i was wrong.... partially. lifting weights in an explosive manner (3-5 rep maxes) will put more spring on your punches, only if you balance it out with just as much stretching. when my trainer first started doing mitts with me, he would say "your shots come out like a hammer, not like a whip." once i started stretching i learned that he was on to something.

5) bag work is very important, but it comes second to mitts and shadowboxing. learning the technique comes from a person who knows what their doing teaching you properly (mittwork), practicing the technique in the ring comes from shadowboxing. conditioning that technique comes from bag work. all of this comes together and you're able to apply it once you're sparring.

6) one thing that the old school method of training that's missing nowadays is the importance of feet first. nowadays everyone wants to throw combinations and look like a badass, but only at a stationary target. the best hits are on the blind side when circling, or catching an opponent off guard with a pot shot combo down the middle. for the first week of training he had me walk forwards and backwards for 4 rounds before telling me to jump rope for another 4 (i was pissed and confused because i've been boxing in the amateurs for close to two years) - and that was the whole workout. the next week he had me learning how to pivot correctly once my front and back feet touched the ropes. once i got to a level of fluidity to where i could throw with much more power and control distance did i realize how little i knew about how to use my legs. apart from being in the pocket, every combination starts with a "step", either with a step to the "outside" or "down the middle", followed by "rolling out".

I’ve learned a lot in the two years since this has been posted. Moved to a new city and experienced different training methods, sparred—and gotten totally outclassed and dominated by Olympians and contenders, and also trained alongside them. I’d like to revisit this post and reflect on how my approach has changed since.

1) Still valid. Shadowboxing is still the most important thing in training second to sparring. I’ve probably thrown tens of thousands of double jabs since I’ve started boxing, and my mechanics can still be tweaked. As I’ve gone deeper down the rabbit hole, I’ve shadowboxed with more purpose—each week polishing a single tactic or technique. Most of my gains have come in the first 5 rounds after I warm up and skip rope. I still believe that shadowboxing, and more importantly drilling with full attention, is the nucleus of training, and it is for most fighters who are worth a damn.

2) Eh, not a maxim. Being small in the pocket is generally accepted as the standard, but it depends. Sometimes if I focus too much on posturing with a quarter squat, I miss out on opportunities to cut angles or set up more deceptive, impactful shots. I’ve also seen a couple of longer fighters who stand tall in the pocket and pop out to position their opponent into eating a chopping overhand right. I don’t necessarily agree with this anymore.

3) I’ve tried my very fucking hardest to rationalize not doing roadwork for years, and this was one of them. I couldn’t have been anymore wrong. You don’t put in the miles often enough, you’ll never reach your potential.

I still believe that speed work, and interval training are the most effective ways to get explosive via neuromuscular recruitment, stimulation of type IIb muscle fibers, and for conditioning lactic acid tolerance; but the biggest problem with this, is that all of these things done often while doing sport specific work, is a recipe for disaster. One or two sessions of speedwork or interval training a week, spaced out with a couple days of rest between them, is all you need. Everyone loves citing the tabata protocol, where aerobic capacity increased in subjects undergoing interval training, but the biggest problem I have with this study is that it is confined to six weeks. Boxing isn’t seasonal, and to improve, year round conditioning is necessary. I’ll take the fighter that consistently puts in his 3 miles over the fighter that sprints on a treadmill for 6 weeks before frying his adrenals and blowing his ACL.

Secondly, people who only do HIIT and fight never make any gains. There are too many chronic movements in boxing that aren’t an all out flurry. Sliding laterally, moving your head, and feinting—and pretty much any tactic that requires sustained motion is not trained by doing HIIT. Fighters who only do HIIT have no concept of breath control, are too tight when attempting to weave and catch punches, and rely on erratic flurries when attempting movements that require grace. Their understanding of pacing isn’t quite right, and they end up more sluggish than intended.

Aerobic work can be done almost every day of the week, and can be improved upon steadily. It lays a foundation that allows you to recover quicker and increase efficiency in the gym. Jogging two miles every other day won’t make you slow, but doing more intervals than aerobic work will.

4) Similar to no. 3, I don’t believe in lifting weights as much anymore. I was going through a phase in life where lifting still had that novelty to me. I liked the looks I would get since I was never seen as hardbodied or athletic as a kid. I derived a lot of my self confidence and improvement from lifting, but that’s mostly transitioned over to boxing.

I think every man should go through a phase to build muscle. But for me, I’ve mostly phased weights out of my training. I only lift once a week, to maintain my frame, and keep my overall strength levels high—not that absolute strength really applies to boxing at all. I touch weights for about 45 minutes a week, maybe an hour if I’m feeling up to it. I warmup, switch over to plyometrics, do one big olympic lift at a sub maximal weight (50-60%), do a 3x8 superset of pull-ups and clapping pushups, and finish with more corrective/postural exercises. I do prefer olympic lifts over power lifts because of the triple extension and rate of force development. Squatting and deadlifting, while valuable in developing the lower extremities and kinetic chain, emphasizes driving through the heel, which doesn’t really transition over well.

Since decreasing my weight training, I’ve been punching harder than ever and can still hang with bigger guys in the pocket. Like HIIT, I believe that lifting is best done in phases, or to build a strength base. Once the neuromuscular and strength benefits are reaped, it’s best to pull back and focus more on improving fighting efficiency.

5) True.

6) Also true.
(This post was last modified: 11-05-2017 03:57 PM by the chef.)
11-05-2017 03:49 PM
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H1N1 Offline
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Post: #579
RE: Question about lifting and boxing
The original and this follow up were both really nice posts. I particularly like your thoughts on shadowboxing and roadwork, as their value is rarely appreciated properly. There comes a time where, if done properly, for a certain type of fighter shadow boxing becomes perhaps as important as sparring - if not more so. In your early years you take a lot of punishment on the way to becoming a competent fighter, and that does wear on you as time goes on. By the time you've done a few thousand rounds, you have your toughness ingrained, and your style ingrained, and you reach a point where you can really do an awful lot of your work through thoughtful shadowboxing. I found, by the end of my time in boxing, I was better for doing 10 rounds/week sparring, with a shit load of shadow boxing, than I was from 40 rounds of sparring (which I did for years) and slightly less of an emphasis on shadow boxing. This isn't true for everyone, of course - some guys need to get a lot of fighting rounds in because that's how they're wired. For some fighters though, the more cerebral types who rely less on their toughness and durability (relatively speaking), the increased freshness of a reduced sparring schedule can have tremendous benefits.

I also really like the emphasis on the distance roadwork. I agree completely - this is your slipping, head movement, body movement, and edge-of-range foot movement conditioning - basically all the stuff you're doing when you aren't biting down on your mouthguard saying come at me bitch. Being conditioned for that means that your anaerobic conditioning can all be saved for the exchanging of punches. I'm no S&C expert, but that kind of separation of energy systems always made sense to me when breaking down a round of boxing.

Great posts, mate, and glad to hear your training has gone so well. It's a hell of an eye opener the first time you step in the ring with a championship level fighter. My first time with a former national champion I was so frustrated and discouraged after my 3 rounds were up that I very nearly cried.
11-06-2017 05:41 AM
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