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Science Behind Training: The Missing Element 

Implementing the correct physical training regime can be the difference in how far you can take your boxer. For example, knowing how and when to train speed and power is essential to give your athletes the best possible chance to win their bouts. 

Boxing skills training can only take your athlete so far, and with the introduction of strength and conditioning your boxers will excel in all aspects of their training. 

Coaches need to be aware of Seyle's (1951) theorised research on the General Adaptation Syndrome, pictured below.  Seyle found that the body goes through a three phase process of physiological adaptation as a result of stress. Selye identified these stages as alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Understanding these different responses and how they relate to each other may help athletes / coaches understand the need to individualise their approach to training programme design. 


Fitness Components of Boxing 

Boxers must be able to react quickly to an opponent, therefore both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems are required during a bout. 

According to Bompa and Carrera (2005) the dominant energy systems are the aerobic (50%), lactic acid (40%), and alactic (10%), with glycogen and creatine phosphate been the energy sourced. 

Bumpa and Carrera (2005) lists the main limiting factors within boxing as:

  1. Power Endurance 

  2. Reactive Power 

  3. Maximum Strength

  4. Muscular Endurance of Medium Duration 

  5. Muscular Endurance of Long Duration 

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Seyle (1951) adapted by Garhammer (1979).

A basic example would be, if you squated a heavier weight than usual, this would overload the muscles. The weight of the load would stretch, tear and impair the hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteus muscles. The human body would respond by changing the gene expression (alarm phase) and making bigger stronger muscles in case you decide to lift the weight again (resistance phase). If for some reason you didn't leave long enough between training sessions (you under recover), or you did not feed the body the right nutrients to aid recovery (malnutrition), the resistance phase may not be able to adapt in time and could weaken performance or risk injury. It is also possible to leave it too long between training sessions, thus the body will refer back to its previous state and the workout would have been a waste of time. 

The Reason Why I Can't Tell You How Often You Need To Squat! 

Due to everyone been different there is not one set answer. There are numerous factors to consider when recommend training frequency and intensity, such as: 

  1. Chronological, biological and training age.

  2. Current fitness level vs genetic potential fitness level vs sporting requirements.

  3. Previous injuries and rehabilitation 

  4. Fitness and preparation phase (read up on periodisation)

  5. Lifestyle and work demands 

  6. Body Type 

(Adapted by Stone et al, 2007)



Bompa, T,O., and Carrera, M,C., (2005) Periodisation Training for Sports: Science based strength and conditioning plans for 20 sports. Human Kinetics. 

Seyle, H., (1951) The General Adaptation Syndrome. Annual Review of Medicine. 2. 327 - 342

Stone, MH., Stone, M., and Sands, WA., (2007) Principles and Practice and Resistance Training. Human Kinetics.

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