ArticlePDF Available

Strength and Conditioning for Professional Boxing: Recommendations for Physical Preparation


Abstract and Figures

Professional boxing is a popular pan-global sport that attracts considerable interest and revenue. It is a high-intensity sport that requires a range of well-adapted physiological characteristics as likely pre-requisites for successful performance. Serious consideration has been given to medical aspects and potential health risks from partaking in training and competition. However, despite this there are no comprehensive sources of applied sport science research on the preparation of professional boxers for competition. In this review we present research in physiology and strength and conditioning to form a knowledge base for those involved in preparing professional boxers for competition.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Strength and
Conditioning for
Professional Boxing:
Recommendations for
Physical Preparation
Alan D. Ruddock, CSci, MSc,
Daniel C. Wilson, MSc,
Stephen W. Thompson, MSc,
Dave Hembrough, MSc,
and Edward M. Winter, DSci, PhD, CSci
Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom; and
of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Professional boxing is regarded as
one of the most physically and
mentally demanding sports in
the world, yet despite this recognition
and popularity, professional boxing
has received little attention within the
scientific literature. A PubMed search
(July 23, 2015), for “Professional Box-
ing” returned 44 results, the majority of
which had a specific focus on brain
injury. In contrast to this low volume
of academic interest, professional box-
ing contests have the potential to gen-
erate considerable interest and local
and international revenue. Indeed, in
an article in The Guardian on May 12,
2015, unverified reports estimated rev-
enue in excess of $500 million for a sin-
gle professional boxing event. To date,
however, there are no comprehensive
scientific reviews or practical recom-
mendations for the preparation of pro-
fessional boxers for training and
competition. The reasons for the lack
of applied sport science research are
likely diverse and beyond the scope
of this article, but it is surprising,
given the growing body of scientific
research in sports with similar world-
wide interest.
A professional boxer’s preparation is
complicated by the requirement to
include conditioning, strength, and
boxing-specific training within a short
time frame before a contest, usually 8–
12 weeks (Figure 1). Given the com-
plexity of the training process and time
demands, professional boxers and their
trainers would benefit from evidence-
based guidance to supplement existing
training practices. The preparation of
a boxer should be considered in con-
text, with a clear understanding of
the determinants of successful perfor-
mance. Therefore, this article will
provide an overview of the rules gov-
erning professional boxing competi-
tion, highlight a variety of theory
and research relevant to the demands
of professional boxing, and provide
practical recommendations for test-
ing, and developing strength and con-
ditioning programs.
Address correspondence to Alan D. Ruddock,
boxing; physiology; strength; combat;
force; physical preparation
Copyright ÓNational Strength and Conditioning Association Strength and Conditioning Journal | 81
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Similar to most body mass restricted
combat sports, professional boxers are
required to weigh-in and meet their
contest body mass 36 to 24 hours
before competition. Lower standard
contests might comprise of 4 32 mi-
nutes with a 1-minute interval between
rounds, but an elite professional boxing
contest can last up to 12 33 minute
rounds. During the 1-minute interval
between rounds, a trainer is allowed
in the ring to offer coaching instruc-
tions; they might also wish to provide
ice, iced towels, and water, but stimu-
lants (which include carbohydrate-
electrolyte beverages) are prohibited.
Perhaps the most well-known way to
win a boxing match is by knockout. A
knockout is usually caused by a single
blow, but is often preceded by repeated
high force legitimate blows. In the case
of a head strike, a knockout is caused
by acute neurological trauma, due to
large magnitudes of internal torque
applied to the cerebellum and brain
stem (14). A second way to win a con-
test is by technical knockout. This oc-
curs when the referee has decided that
the opponent is in no position to
defend their self or is being outclassed.
This is most likely preceded by dem-
onstration of attacking skills and
accompanying high force blows; in this
circumstance, it is common for the cor-
ner to “throw the towel in” if they are
concerned for their boxer. However,
a professional boxer’s primary aim is
not to knockout their opponent, but
to demonstrate superior physical, tech-
nical, and tactical skills; these are par-
amount in the third way to win
a boxing contest, by a points decision.
Points are awarded using subjective cri-
teria, but are based on the boxer’s at-
tacking and defensive skills; the relative
importance and content of these broad
categories are both judge- and contest-
specific. In this circumstance, prepara-
tion of the professional boxer is crucial
to improve their chance of winning
a round and the whole contest, because
poor physical fitness would limit per-
formance capacity.
Data regarding physiological demands,
and exercise to rest ratios in profes-
sional boxing are not available in scien-
tific literature, however, based on our
experience it is reasonable to assume,
along with data relating to punch vol-
ume and intensity (33), force-velocity
(30), and impulse-momentum relation-
ships (28), that professional boxing
comprises repeated high-intensity ac-
tions interspersed with brief periods of
low-intensity actions or recovery. These
high-intensity actions are derived from
electrical, chemical, and mechanical
physiological processes, most of which
require rapid hydrolysis and phosphory-
lation of adenosine triphosphate through
nonoxidative energy pathways. How-
ever, because of the repeated high-
intensity demands, these needs cannot
be met in full by nonoxidative sources.
Hence, energy derived primarily through
oxidation of muscle glycogen supports
a large proportion of adenosine triphos-
phate hydrolysis and phosphorylation
Figure 1. Overview of a typical 12-week preparatory phase for professional boxing.
Figure 2. Assessment, prescription and monitoring recommendations for condition-
ing. HR 5heart rate; LT 5lactate threshold; RPE 5rating of perceived
exertion; iTRIMP 5training impulse.
Boxing Training
VOLUME 38 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2016
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
to meet systemic demand, the magni-
tude of which is likely a determinant of
professional boxing performance. The
assertion that performance demands
a large contribution from oxidative
energy pathways is supported by peak
oxygen uptake values (derived from
incremental exercise tests) of 58 67
in Italian middleweight
amateur boxers (13) and up to 64
in senior international
amateur boxers (32). The author’s data
indicatesvaluesof.60 mL$kg
in our observations of elite professional
boxers. Simulated amateur boxing has
been reported to elicit large energy
demands (4,31) (approximately 80–
90% peak oxygen uptake) with 77%,
19%, and 4% of energy derived from
aerobic, phosphocreatine, and anaer-
obic glycolysis energy pathways,
respectively (9), which suggests a reli-
ance on muscle glycogen as a primary
fuel source.
Professional boxing is primarily a tech-
nical and tactical sport; external de-
mands such as the requirement to
attack or evade determines physiolog-
ical strain. A boxer must perform
appropriate attacking or defensive ac-
tions at an intensity that does not exceed
their ability to control the ring using
footwork skills and the precision of their
attacking or controlling punches. If
a boxer can perform at an intensity that
induces low physiological strain, then
they might have the potential to control
the contest and avoid fatigue. However,
if the external demands imposed on
a boxer induce physiological strain, or
when successive high-intensity actions
compromise rates of recovery, fatigue
will probably limit subsequent perfor-
mance (5).
In professional boxing, fatigue might
manifest as a transient decline in
punch impulsiveness, frequency or
precision, poor decision making and
limited defensive actions. Repeated
high-intensity actions are associated
with a decrease in phosphocreatine
(10), reduced activity or inhibition of gly-
colysis (11), increased cellular hydrogen
ions (31), altered calcium sensitivity (2),
impaired sodium-potassium pump func-
tion (2), and skeletal muscle damage
(15). However, performance is suggested
to be an integrative multifactorial process
(29) and it is likely that a combination
of mechanisms determine short-term
recovery (26). When boxers are required
to perform above their critical intensity
(8) or with limited recovery, physiolog-
ical perturbations in skeletal muscle, car-
diovascular functioning, metabolic strain,
and pain sensation (22) integrate to alter
perceived exertion and voluntary activa-
tion of the neuromuscular system, and
manifest as fatigue (26). Skillful boxers
can control the pace of the contest
Table 1
Conditioning recommendations for professional boxing
Weeks before
Training phase Example session Frequency Intended physiological adaptations
12 to 9 Oxygen extraction
and utilization
30-s all-out maximum effort
sprints, 3 min 30 s passive
recovery, 4–6 repetitions
2–4 sessions per
training wk
Increase maximal activity and content
of oxidative and nonoxidative
Provide stimuli for improvements in
rate of force development
8 to 3 Oxygen delivery 4–8 min at 85–90% maximum
heart rate, 2–4 min passive
recovery, 4–6 repetitions
2–4 sessions per
training wk
from 9–6
Improve cardiovascular capacity (stroke
volume, cardiac output, muscle
capillarization, and systemic vascular
resistance), delivery of O
enhance venous return
1–2 sessions per
wk from 6–3
2 to 0 Taper 20 s all-out maximum effort, 10 s
passive recovery, 4–8
repetitions, 1–2 sets, 5 min
recovery between sets
1–2 sessions per
Transfer adaptions induced from
previous training blocks to boxing-
specific activity profiles (fight/tactical
dependent) while maintaining
cardiovascular and neuromuscular
Reduce training volume
exponentially while
maintaining high external
Strength and Conditioning Journal | 83
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
and, if required, limit the attack of an
opponent by using footwork to control
the ring and direction of activity, defen-
sive tactics such as holding, and the
1-minute interval between rounds to
recover. These tactics allow at least par-
tial restoration of homeostasis, achieved
by speeding recovery (e.g., repaying an
oxygen debt) or limiting physiological
strain in the first instance.
Of primary importance for many pro-
fessional boxers is the development of
aerobic capability. Athletes with well-
developed aerobic energy systems are
likely to recover from high-intensity
activity faster (4), or perform at inten-
sities that do not exceed their critical
intensity (17). Precise quantification of
aerobic capacity and an understanding
of physiological characteristics of a pro-
fessional boxer are important to mon-
itor changes and program individual
training intensities.
Data derived from assessments (Fig-
ure 2) might assist in identifying
strengths and areas for improvement
relating to energy system dominance,
running economy, substrate utilization,
and provide heart rate and rating of
perceived exertion data required to
prescribe and monitor training intensi-
ties. It is important that conditioners
understand the physiological charac-
teristics of their athletes, develop meth-
ods to assess characteristics, and use
information derived from these tests
to design specific training programs to
develop these qualities. We recommend
preparing professional boxers by devel-
oping aerobic capability in a sport-
specific manner, based upon their
strengths and areas for improvement.
Using information derived from valid
and reproducible tests, it is possible to
tailor training programs in an appropri-
ate way to develop physiological capa-
bilities, whereas boxing training (bag
work, pads, and sparring) might develop
these more specifically.
There is compelling evidence that
high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
improves aerobic capacity (7,20,25,27).
The mechanisms by which adaptations
occur are complex and it is unclear as
to what type of stimulus and interven-
tions provide optimal benefits for
a particular physiological characteris-
tic. Three possible sites for the main
effects of HI IT are the active myocytes
(utilization and cellular buffering), cap-
illary structures (extraction), and myo-
cardium (delivery). It is likely that HIIT
induces central, peripheral, and neuro-
muscular adaptations with training de-
mands being influenced by 9 variables
(7). Despite this complexity, HIIT’s
strength is in its variety of application
and it is clear that the choice of HIIT
should be dictated by a boxer’s in-
dividual strengths and areas for
improvement, training and competitive
schedule, and additional environmen-
tal/lifestyle constraints.
Table 1 provides an overview of con-
ditioning recommendations for a typi-
cal 12-week preparatory period. Sprint
interval training demands the recruit-
ment of high-threshold motor units
and is a potent stimulus for rapid im-
provements in skeletal muscle oxidative
capacity (12), making this type of train-
ing ideal for improvements in force pro-
duction and aerobic capability, early in
the training phase. These peripheral
adaptations should be progressed by
using high-intensity interval training
for around 6 weeks to stimulate myo-
cardial adaptations and muscle cap-
illarization, which contribute to
improvements in aerobic capacity (27).
Finally, a taper phase of 2 weeks before
competition, which also includes
a reduction in boxing-specific technical
training volume is recommended. This
reduction should be athlete-specific but
a volume decrease of around 40–60% of
total training load is recommended (6).
It should be noted that the aim of this
training structure is not intended to
replicate the potential time-motion de-
mands of boxing. Rather, evidence-
based interventions are used as stimuli
for improvements in aerobic capacity
and to a lesser extent, mechanical force
production. Adaptations in these areas
can be used to facilitate increases in
boxing-specific technical training vol-
ume, and more specifically used as a base
for high quality open sparring, which
requires an adequate standard of aerobic
fitness. To this extent, conditioning
training is usually constrained by the
coaches’ decision to increase the volume
of open sparring, however, a period of
Figure 3. Assessment, prescription, and monitoring recommendations for strength
training. RM 5repetition maximum; RPE 5rating of perceived exertion.
Boxing Training
VOLUME 38 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2016
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
around 6 weeks of focused conditioning
is typical. Thus, optimizing training stim-
uli and adaptation using evidence-based
training prescription is paramount in the
preparation of a professional boxer.
Striking an opponent with a clean “hit”
irrespective of force will gain favor with
judges and potentially disrupt an oppo-
nent’s acute strategy. More forceful sin-
gle punches or repeated high-force
punches are intended to position an
opponent for a sustained attack (lead-
ing to contest termination) or display
skill, technical ability, and dominance
during the contest. Forceful punches
are also used as a defensive tactic to
limit the advance of an opponent and
their attacking strategy.
In principle, 3 factors contribute to the
effectiveness of a single punch. Firstly,
movements in sprint running, karate, or
boxing typically involve fast skeletal
muscle actions, highlighting the impor-
tance of developing large magnitudes of
force in short periods of time (1). Sec-
ondly, the momentum of the punching
arm is important and has been demon-
strated to be a key variable contributing
to the impulsiveness of a punch (28).
Finally, a second pulse in muscle
activation is required on impact and
has been defined as “stiffening” to create
“effective mass” (23). These factors (rate
of force development [RFD], momen-
tum, and second pulse) are determined
by effectiveness of a boxer’s ability to
generate force through hip, knee and
ankle extension, rotation of the trunk,
and arm extension (21).
It is likely that the impulse generating
capacity of a boxer is important and is
intrinsically linked to segmental momen-
tum during force generation and, at
impact. Indeed, reductions in momen-
tum of the punching arm before impact
are suggested to explain around 95% of
Table 2
General strength training exercise recommendations
Weeks until fight 8–12 wk 4–8 wk 3 wk
Focus Strength Strength and strength-speed Speed and specific
Mobility/trunk Eagles Eagles Eagles
Spiderman and twist Spiderman and twist Lunge and DB sweep
Lunge and twist Lunge and MB rotation Lunge and MB woodchop
Glute bridge Glute bridge with overhead reach
suitcase deadlift variations
Pallof press Rotational plank
Overhead squat
Rate of force development CMJ Drop jump MB woodchop Wall throws
Broad jumps Ice skaters MB punch
Lateral hop and hold MB rotational throws Band punch
Key lifts Squat variation Squat variation Speed squats
Loaded hip thrust Hang snatch or KB variation Hang power snatch or KB variation
Bench press DB floor press Landmine punch
Volumes and intensity 70–80% 1RM 80–90% 1RM 50–65% 1RM
5–8 repetitions 3–5 repetitions 2–5 repetitions
3–5 sets 4–6 sets 2–8 sets
Assistance exercises Suspension trainer row KB row and rotate, DB step-ups Suspension trainer row and rotate
Pull-ups Weighted pull-ups—dips MB twist and slam
DB push press Goblet squat to press Band press ups
Goblet squat KB swing
Bulgarian split squat
CMJ 5countermovement jump; DB 5dumbbell; KB 5kettlebell; MB 5medicine ball; 1RM 51 repetition maximum.
Strength and Conditioning Journal | 85
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
the variance in peak impulse at impact
during rear-hand straight punches (28).
The main contributor to the impulsive-
ness of a punch might be hand speed,
because it explains around 40% of the
variance in hook and straight punching
force. Therefore, a goal of strength train-
ing should be to increase the momentum
of the punching arm, resulting in greater
impulse on the target.
An obvious way to increase the momen-
tum of the punching arm is to increase
mass (from Newtonian physics). It is
common across most sports for practi-
tioners to target muscular hypertrophy
in the off-season or early mesocycles
to stimulate increases in physiological
cross-sectional area, building a founda-
tion for strength development. However,
body mass classifications make hypertro-
phy training difficult to implement, and
can complicate dietary practices; there-
ority for the practitioner.
The rate at which force is developed is
likely to be influenced more by the
capacity to produce force irrespective
of the phenotypical myosin heavy
chain content of muscle fibers alone
(3), suggesting that neuromuscular fac-
tors are integral to the RFD. The devel-
opment of hand speed by inducing
favorable adaptations in series-elastic
components and the neuromuscular
system is therefore a key variable in
the prescription of strength training
for professional boxers. Therefore, we
recommend the selection of appropriate
assessment methods, some of which are
presented in Figure 3, to program multi-
planar exercises, with carefully struc-
tured external loads that enable the
boxer to train with attention, appropri-
ately focused on strengths and areas for
Table 2 provides examples of general
strength and movement training for
professional boxers. Development of
the hip extensors, in particular, func-
tion of the gluteal musculature, is
important and is recognized for its role
in athletic ability. These can be trained
Table 3
Specific strength training program for professional boxers
Exercise type Day 1
Reps 3Sets
Day 2
Reps 3Sets
Week 1–6 Week 7–12 Week 1–6 Week 7–12
Lower body Goblet squat/box
8–12 reps 33–4 sets 6–8 reps 33–4 sets Trap bar deadlift/Romanian
6–8 reps 33–5 sets 5 reps 33–5 sets
Upper body
DB floor press/tempo
8–12 reps 33–4 sets 6–8 reps 33–4 sets Kneeling shoulder press/landmine
shoulder press
8–12 reps 33–4
6–8 reps 33–4
Upper body pull Pull-ups 8–12 reps 33–4 sets 6–8 reps 33–4 sets Hanging row/Suspension row 8–12 reps 33–4
6–8 reps 33–4
Unilateral Goblet split squat 15–20 reps 33 sets 20–24 reps 33 sets DB step up 15–20 reps 33 sets 20–24 reps 33
Trunk Isometric trunk holds,
plank rows
15–20 reps or 20–30 s
33 sets
20–24 reps or 30–40 s
33 sets
Landmine rotations, MB
8–12 reps 33–4
8–12 reps 33–4
Punch specific Landmine punch 12–16 reps 33–4
8–12 reps 34–5 sets Landmine punch throws 10–12 reps 33–4
6–8 reps 34–5
DB 5dumbbell; MB 5medicine ball; reps 5repetitions.
Boxing Training
VOLUME 38 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2016
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Figure 4. (A) Medicine ball lunge woodchop, (B) medicine ball punch, and (C) landmine punch.
Strength and Conditioning Journal | 87
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
using key lifts such as squats, deadlifts,
and Olympic-style lifts where there is
a focus on developing forceful hip
extension. In addition, assistance exer-
cises such as dumbbell floor press, pull-
ups, plank rows, and others detailed in
Tables 2 and 3, are also recommended
for their role in developing the force
generating capability of a professional
boxer, as well as improving robustness,
and facilitating increases in boxing-
specific technical training load.
In conjunction with strength and move-
ment training, we also recommend that
professional boxers incorporate exer-
cises that require rapid rates of force
development. Jump height depends on
impulse (18), and as such the rate and
magnitude of external-mechanical force
development (24). Strength training de-
signed to improve peak force combined
with low-external load jump training to
improve the RFD (24), should have pos-
itive transfer to force production during
punching. Table 2 provides examples of
jump training that might be used by
Effective force transmission is derived
from optimal force-coupling and
length-tension relationships of active
musculature, however, boxers are at
risk of ineffective performance and
injury because of dysfunctional move-
ments and poor force production.
Frequent physical impacts caused by
blows to the body, collisions, structural
imbalances, and overuse can result in mi-
crotrauma. The resulting inflammatory
response might lead to fascia scar tissue
over time and subsequent muscular dys-
functions. Physical impacts and collisions
are unavoidable in professional boxing.
However, our observations suggest that
structural imbalances are common and
are likely a greater cause of ineffective
force transmission.
Synergistic force transmission occurs
across myo-tendinous junctions (16),
and summation, or “force transmission”
is essential to create effective musculo-
skeletal sequencing and punching force.
Malalignment within the kinetic chain
might contribute to suboptimal length-
tension relationships, constraining peak
force and causing it to occur at a more
acute joint angle. This is an obvious
concern when force is generated in
the upper body, because a limited reach
caused by insufficient range of motion
and reduced force at near full elbow
extension might impair the effectiveness
of a jab or rear hand punch. It is impor-
tant to recognize that these limitations
might restrict the ability to summate
force, causing reduction in momentum
and decreasing the subsequent impulse
applied to the target.
It is likely that pelvic and trunk speed
and stability contribute to increased
hand speed during a punch. During
rotation, a stretch of the trunk allows
for a more forceful rotation through uti-
lization of the stretch-shortening cycle
(19), generating torque at the shoulder
joint, and enhancing force transmission
through the elbow extensor musculo-
tendinous unit. Indeed, punches require
multiple angular displacements through
sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes
throughout the full range of punch var-
iations, with the punch type determin-
ing segmental force contribution and
a countermovement before initiation
of a punch, thereby increasing the
capability to produce an impulsive
punch (30). Exercises that are de-
signed to improve the capability of
the trunk to provide stability and
contribute to the effectiveness of
punching are detailed in general in
sented as part of a 12-week training
program in Table 3.
A double “peak” in muscle activity is
evident during striking actions. Stiffening
of the body at impact through isometric
activity is postulated to create “effective
mass” and reduce energy loss (23). Stiff-
ening can be developed using pad and
heavy bag training in technical training
as well as using effective cues such as
“popping” of the hips and “stiffen up”
cises which might induce double
activations and stiffening. Moreover,
isometric contractions paired with
rapid relaxation can be beneficial in
improving end range stiffening.
Trunk training can also be used as
means to facilitate improvements in
the generation of “effective mass” by
increasing isometric force production
(bracing) at impact.
Research regarding the physical prepa-
ration of professional boxers for compe-
tition is limited. Professional boxing
comprises repeated high-intensity ac-
tions interspersed with brief periods of
low intensity activity or recovery. These
demands require large contributions
from both oxidative and nonoxidative
energy pathways. As such, a range of
physiological characteristics should be
assessed using valid and reproducible
tests. Variations in carefully prescribed
high-intensity interval training tailored
to the strengths, and areas of improve-
ment elucidated from physiological as-
sessments can be used to develop
aerobic capacity. Punches are intended
as both offensive and defensive actions,
and a combination of rapid whole body
RFD, resulting momentum of the arm,
and isometric muscle activity at impact
contributes to forceful punches. The use
of multi-planar exercises with the aim of
improving rotational range of move-
ment, RFD, and segmental sequenc-
ing is recommended to develop
an effective punch. A boxer who re-
ceives individualized and evidenced-
based recommendations at all stages
of preparation for a contest is an ath-
lete who enters the ring with less risk
of incurring serious medical condi-
tions in the short- and long-term. A
limitation of this review is that it gen-
eralizes across body mass categories,
gender, ethnicity, and performance
standards. As such, scientific support
and research for professional boxing
should be encouraged, particularly
by governing bodies in the interests
of athletes’ health, international audi-
ences, media, and medical and scien-
tific communities.
Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding:
The authors report no conflicts of interest
and no source of funding.
Boxing Training
VOLUME 38 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2016
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Alan D.
Ruddock is
researcher and
physiologist for
sport perfor-
mance at the
Centre for Sport
and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam
Daniel C.
Wilson is
a strength and
coach at the
Centre for
Sport and Exer-
cise Science,
Hallam University.
Stephen W.
Thompson is
a lecturer in
strength and
conditioning in
the Academy of
Sport and Physi-
cal Activity,
Sheffield Hallam University.
Hembrough is
senior sport sci-
ence officer and
strength and
coach at the
Centre for Sport
and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam
Edward M.
Winter is
Professor of the
Physiology of
Exercise at the
Centre for
Sport and
Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam
1. Aagaard P, Simonsen EB, Andersen JL,
Magnusson P, and Dyhre-Poulsen P.
Increased rate of force development and
neural drive of human skeletal muscle
following resistance training. J Appl Physiol
(1985) 93: 1318–1326, 2002.
2. Allen DG, Lannergren J, and Westerblad H.
Muscle cell function during prolonged
activity: Cellular mechanisms of fatigue.
Exp Physiol 80: 497–527, 1995.
3. Andersen LL and Aagaard P. Influence of
maximal muscle strength and intrinsic
muscle contractile properties on contractile
rate of force development. Eur J Appl
Physiol 96: 46–52, 2006.
4. Bishop D, Edge J, and Goodman C. Mus cle
buffer capacity and aerobic fitness are
associated with repeated-sprint ability in
women. Eur J Appl Physiol 92: 540–547,
5. Bishop D, Girard O, and Mendez-
Villanueva A. Repeated-sprint ability—Part
II: Recommendations for training. Sports
Med 41: 741–756, 2011.
6. Bosquet L, Montpetit J, Arvisais D, and
Mujika I. Effects of tapering on
performance: A meta-analysis. Med Sci
Sports Exerc 39: 1358–1365, 2007.
7. Buchheit M and Laursen PB. High-intensity
interval training, solutions to the
programming puzzle: Part I:
Cardiopulmonary emphasis. Sports Med
43: 313–338, 2013.
8. Chidnok W, Dimenna FJ, Bailey SJ,
Vanhatalo A, Morton RH, Wilkerson DP,
and Jones AM. Exercise tolerance in
intermittent cycling: Application of the
critical power concept. Med Sci Sports
Exerc 44: 966–976, 2012.
9. Davis P, Leithauser RM, and Beneke R. The
energetics of semicontact 3 x 2-min
amateur boxing. Int J Sports Physiol
Perform 9: 233–239, 2014.
10. Dawson B, Goodman C, Lawrence S,
Preen D, Polglaze T, Fitzsimons M, and
Fournier P. Muscle phosphocreatine
repletion following single and repeated
short sprint efforts. Scand J Med Sci
Sports 7: 206–213, 1997.
11. Gaitanos GC, Williams C, Boobis LH,
and Brooks S. Human muscle metabolism
during intermittent maximal exercise.
J Appl Physiol (1985) 75: 712–719,
12. Gibala MJ, Little JP, MacDonald MJ, and
Hawley JA. Physiological adaptations to
low-volume, high-intensity interval training
in health and disease. J Physiol 590:
1077–1084, 2012.
13. Guidetti L, Musulin A, and Baldari C.
Physiological factors in middleweight
boxing performance. J Sports Med Phys
Fitness 42: 309–314, 2002.
14. Heilbronner RL, Bush SS, Ravdin LD,
Barth JT, Iverson GL, Ruff RM, Lovell MR,
Barr WB, Echemendia RJ, and
Broshek DK. Neuropsychological
consequences of boxing and
recommendations to improve safety: A
National Academy of Neuropsychology
education paper. Arch Clin Neuropsychol
24: 11–19, 2009.
15. Howatson G and van Someren KA. The
prevention and treatment of exercise-
induced muscle damage. Sports Med 38:
483–503, 2008.
16. Huijing PA. Muscle as a collagen fiber
reinforced composite: A review of force
transmission in muscle and whole limb.
J Biomech 32: 329–345, 1999.
17. Jones AM, Wilkerson DP, DiMenna F,
Fulford J, and Poole DC. Muscle metabolic
responses to exercise above and below the
“critical power” assessed using 31P-MRS.
Am J Physiol Reg Integr Comp Physiol
294: R585–R593, 2008.
18. Knudson DV. Correcting the use of the
term “power” in the strength and
conditioning literature. J Strength Cond
Res 23: 1902–1908, 2009.
19. Kubo K, Kawakami Y, and Fukunaga T.
Influence of elastic properties of tendon
structures on jump performance in humans.
J Appl Physiol (1985) 87: 2090–2096, 1999.
20. Laursen PB and Jenkins DG. The scientific
basis for high-intensity interval training:
Optimising training programmes and
maximising performance in highly trained
endurance athletes. Sports Med 32: 53–
73, 2002.
21. Lenetsky S, Harris N, and Brughelli M.
Assessment and contributors of punching
forces in combat sports athletes:
Implications for strength and conditioning.
Strength Cond J 35: 1–7, 2013.
22. Mauger AR. Fatigue is a pain-the use of
novel neurophysiological techniques to
understand the fatigue-pain relationship.
Front Physiol 4: 104, 2013.
23. McGill SM, Chaimberg JD, Frost DM, and
Fenwick CM. Evidence of a double peak in
muscle activation to enhance strike speed
and force: An example with elite mixed
martial arts fighters. J Strength Cond Res
24: 348–357, 2010.
24. Mclellan CP, Lovel DI, and Gass GC. The
role of rate of force development on vertical
jump performance. J Strength Cond Res
25: 379–385, 2011.
Strength and Conditioning Journal | 89
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
25. Milanovic Z, Sporis G, and Weston M.
Effectiveness of high-intensity interval
training (hit) and continuous endurance
training for VO improvements: A systematic
review and meta-analysis of controlled
Trials. Sports Med 45: 1469–1481, 2015.
26. Minett GM and Duffield R. Is recovery driven
by central or peripheral factors? A role for
the brain in recovery following intermittent-
sprint exercise. Front Physiol 5: 24, 2014.
27. Montero D, Diaz-Canestro C, and Lundby C.
Endurance training and VO2max: role of
maximal cardiac output and oxygen extraction.
Med Sci Sports Exerc 4: 2024–2033, 2015.
28. Nakano G, Iino Y, Imura A, and Kojima T.
Transfer of momentum from different arm
segments to a light movable target during
a straight punch thrown by expert boxers.
J Sports Sci 32: 517–523, 2014.
29. Noakes TD. Fatigue is a brain-derived
emotion that regulates the exercise
behavior to ensure the protection of whole
body homeostasis. Front Physiol 3: 82,
30. Piorkowski BA, Lees A, and Barton GJ.
Single maximal versus combination punch
kinematics. Sports Biomech 10: 1–11,
31. Robergs RA, Ghiasvand F, and Parker D.
Biochemistry of exercise-induced
metabolic acidosis. Am J Physiol Regul
Integr Comp Physiol 287: R502–R516,
32. Smith MS. Physiological profile of senior
and junior England international amateur
boxers. J Sports Sci Med 5: 74–89,
33. Smith MS, Dyson RJ, Hale T, and
Janaway L. Development of a boxing
dynamometer and its punch force
discrimination efficacy. J Sports Sci 18:
445–450, 2000.
Boxing Training
VOLUME 38 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2016
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
... Squat strength shared a moderate correlation with all rear hand strikes and a trivial correlation to front hand strikes such as left hook and jab and dominant striking leg. Squat strength is deemed a necessity for striking performance, punches are initiated at the rear leg which producing forces which transmits through the body, with high importance of the front leg displaying muscle isometric strength to propel contralateral force through the body (27,33,34). With the transmutation of force produced from the lower limbs, transmitted through the torso, and expelled onto the upper limbs (3,23) squat strength is shown to be essential to producing higher impact on punches. ...
... The bench press targets the anterior upper torso and limbs and correlated with hooks, demonstrating a requirement for base strength to increase impact on striking. But strength to produce ballistic force on its own wouldn't necessarily create the desired outcomes required in punching performance, therefore specific exercises and intensities are required to convert connective tissues and muscles to become more explosive in nature (33). ...
... Although anaerobic power (Wingate) and aerobic capacity (VO2max) were trivial and small correlations to striking performances, the athletes in this study demonstrated a moderately trained aerobic system (10) and similar Wingate power to other studies (1,8). Both energy systems are required to maintain the volume and intensity of attacks, that are highly taxing on the physiological system, creating the need for faster creatine phosphate resynthesis during the brief pauses of high-intensity actions performed such as kicking and punching (1,8,31,33,35,36). Facilitating a faster recovery is heavily dependent on aerobic fitness, where Franchini et al. (14) states, due to the prominence of the oxidative contribution recorded in combat sports, aerobic power and capacity have been considered relevant to performance. ...
BLUF Thai Boxers display high levels of strength and power that correlate to striking performance; however, programming should be aimed at both the aerobic and anaerobic systems to be successful. ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to observe and identify the physiological profiles of competitive Muay Thai athletes, to further understand what is required to be successful. Muay Thai bouts are set in differing formats, with timings of 3 x 2 minutes, 3 x 3 minutes or 3 x 5 minutes in duration dependant on weight category, fighter experience and tournament rules, with a 1-minute restorative period in between rounds. 24 Muay Thai fighters (21 males, 3 females; age: 26 years ± 6; stature: 1.75m ± 0.11; body mass: 76.30kg ± 16.22; body fat %: 12.88 ± 3.35), with a minimum of five years Muay Thai training and two years competitive experience (20 bouts ± 5) participated in the study. Participants completed a battery of physiological measurements, along with a series of strike performance measures. Correlation coefficients were used to assess the relationship between strike performance and physiological test performance. All striking performances apart from front hand Jab had a large correlation to pull ups, with back squats demonstrating both large and very large correlations with all strikes performed. Jab, rear hand cross and roundhouse strikes identified large correlations with reactive strength index. Right hook predictor variables are able to predict performance, F(6,17) = 4.754, p=0.005. The R 2 value (.792) suggests the model can explain 63% of the variance in right hook performance. Analysis of the coefficients showed the predictor variable of relative-bench press had a positive and significant influence on right hook impact power (B=2123.15, t = 2.402, p=0.028). Within the fight camp, fighters should be trained with a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, with emphasis on strength and explosive strength.
... However, in comparison, there has been a lack of research investigating the role of the neuromuscular system (i.e., muscular strength) on punch impact forces in boxers. Although technique is likely to play a major role in a boxer's punching ability, recent research suggests that the force production capabilities of the neuromuscular system may also be a limiting factor (i.e., peak force and rate of force development [RFD]) (12,27,37). Given the complexity of the physical training process for both amateur and professional boxers (e.g., calorific deficit, weight loss, sparring, conditioning, and pad work) (36,37), trainers and support staff would benefit from evidencebased guidance regarding the efficacy of strength training on improving the neuromuscular system and potentially punch impact force. ...
... Although technique is likely to play a major role in a boxer's punching ability, recent research suggests that the force production capabilities of the neuromuscular system may also be a limiting factor (i.e., peak force and rate of force development [RFD]) (12,27,37). Given the complexity of the physical training process for both amateur and professional boxers (e.g., calorific deficit, weight loss, sparring, conditioning, and pad work) (36,37), trainers and support staff would benefit from evidencebased guidance regarding the efficacy of strength training on improving the neuromuscular system and potentially punch impact force. Furthermore, limited research suggests that in an effort to "make weight" for a fight (e.g., calorie deficit and potential compromise in muscle mass), boxers may potentially reduce the function of their neuromuscular system (i.e., RFD) and therefore punch impact force (18). ...
... Furthermore, there is some evidence to suggest that there may be double "peak" in muscle activation during an effective punch (24,29). Immediately before the impact of a punch, some researchers suggest that there is a second pulse of muscular activation that causes the arm, chest, and torso to "stiffen," creating a larger punch impulse (i.e., effective mass) (24,29,37). This effective mass concept proposes that the upper body may have an important role in the terminal stage of a punch (i.e., the "second pulse") (23). ...
Full-text available
Beattie, K and Ruddock, AD. The role of strength on punch impact force in boxing. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2022-The ability to punch with a high impact force is beneficial to boxers as there is an increased likelihood of success. Punch impact force differentiates between performance level, weight class, gender, and punch type in competitive boxers. Although technique is likely to play a major role in punch impact force, the capabilities of the neuromuscular system may also be a limiting factor. This review examines the role of strength on punch impact force in amateur and professional boxers. The maximal strength qualities of the lower body, as well as explosive strength qualities of both the upper and lower body, are largely associated with punch impact force in elite amateur boxers. Specifically, elite amateur boxers who punch with "high" impact forces have greater levels of lower-body maximal strength and explosive strength when compared with elite amateurs who punch with "low" impact forces. However, the maximal strength capabilities of the upper body are not associated with punch impact force and does not differentiate between elite boxers who punch with "high" and "low" impact forces. Therefore, based off the present evidence, this review recommends that for boxers who aim to develop their punch impact force, it may be advantageous to emphasize both maximal and explosive strength development of the legs, with only an explosive strength focus in the upper body. However, it is important to highlight that, to date, there are a lack of experimental studies in both elite amateur and professional boxing. Furthermore, there is a dearth of research in female boxing. Future experimental studies are needed to infer causality regarding the role that strength training has on punch impact force in both elite amateur and professional boxers.
... Various authors (Cheraghi et al., 2014;Filimonov et al., 1985;Lenetsky et al., 2013;Turner et al., 2011) noted how the generation of force via lower body triple extension (hip, knee and ankle) is critical to the degree of force transmitted by the fist upon impact with a target. Meanwhile, the lack of a relationship between upper-body strength and punching force could be deemed surprising, especially considering prior recommendations to enhance this trait within previous literature (Chaabene et al., 2015;Ruddock, Wilson, Hembrough, & Winter, 2016;Turner et al., 2011). Previous research has also illustrated that a positive relationship exists between dynamic muscular strength and punch acceleration. ...
... OL and its derivatives (e.g. hang clean, hang snatch, high pull) could be useful within a boxing-specific RT programme as a successful 'lift' requires the boxer to demonstrate considerable force and power characteristics (Fleck & Kearney, 1993;Ruddock et al., 2016;Turner et al., 2011). The ability to lift high loads at speed, such as with OL movements, augments an athlete's explosive power and RFD that transfers to various sporting actions, particularly striking within combat sports (Souza-Junior et al., Turner et al., 2009a). ...
... Contemporary research has attempted to verify the role of specific physical qualities and/or training methods to maximal punching (Kim et al., 2018). However, due to the different methods recommended by authors to improve punching performance, boxers and coaches have often depended on 'time-honoured' approaches to training (Bourne et al., 2002), including Olympic lifts (OL) and barbell/dumbbell lifts (Lenetsky et al., 2013;Ruddock et al., 2016;Turner et al., 2011), weighted plyometrics (PT) (Bružas et al., 2016), and punching against elastic resistance (Markovic et al., 2016) or weighted resistance (Matthews & Comfort, 2008). Increasing the knowledge and understanding of this area could foster the development of training practice and punch-specific RT interventions with the aim of augmenting key kinetic and kinematic variables associated with the fundamental punch techniques observed. ...
Full-text available
Punches in boxing are intricate actions requiring the coordinated and synergistic recruitment of leg, trunk and arm musculature. Maximal punches can have a marked impact on the outcomes of boxing contests. Currently, there is an absence of research appraising the biomechanics and physical performance-related qualities associated with boxing punches, and as such, there are no practical guidelines pertaining to resistance training and its impact upon these important characteristics. In this respect, coaches and boxers are reliant consequently upon non-scientific approaches to training and contest preparation. Thus, the purpose of this thesis was to quantify the biomechanics and physical performance-related qualities associated with maximal punching techniques common to amateur boxing, and investigate the extent to which resistance training enhances such features. Study 1 quantified the three-dimensional kinetics and kinematics of maximal punches common to boxing competition to identify the differences between punch types (straights, hooks, and uppercuts), whilst Study 2 investigated the movement variability of these measures across punch types. These studies revealed significant differences for the majority of kinetic and kinematic variables between punch types. High within-subject, between-subject, and biological variability were recorded for the same variables across punch types, independent of the amount of boxing experience. These findings confirm that kinetic and kinematic characteristics vary from punch to punch, with boxers appearing to manipulate kinematic variables in order to achieve a consistent intensity and end-product. Study 3 quantified the relationships between physical performance-related traits and kinetic and kinematic qualities of maximal punches, and revealed moderate-to-large associations with muscular strength and power. From this, Study 4 appraised the extent to which strength and contrast resistance training enhanced maximal punch biomechanics and physical performance-related qualities. The findings highlighted that contrast training was superior among male amateur boxers over a six-week intervention, though strength training alone also brought about improvements. This current research has advanced our understanding of maximal punching and the influence of resistance training on a variety of its determinants. Nonetheless, future research is required to identify if the same findings can be generalised to higher standards of boxing and whether alternative strength and conditioning strategies are equally, or more effective.
... Boxing is a combat sport with a significant role in sports history, 1 and it still has great worldwide recognition. 2 Currently boxing is divided into amateur/ Olympic and professional levels. An amateur boxing match consists of three rounds, 3-min each with a 1min rest in-between. ...
... It has been a great challenge to reproduce the demands of combat due to the inherent technical and tactical complexity of these sports disciplines. [9][10][11] Although evaluation of mechanical parameters has been successfully done in boxing, 2,12 there is a lack of information regarding cardiorespiratory parameters. 13 Therefore, it is important that when evaluating aerobic performance in boxing athletes, external and internal load indicators, aerobic power-related parameters, and indicators of aerobic capacity must be included as the anaerobic threshold (AT). ...
This study aimed to investigate the validity of a boxing-specific test to predict anaerobic threshold (AT) using the heart rate deflection point (HRDP) in boxing athletes with mobile technology. Ten male boxing athletes performed the boxing-specific incremental test (TBOX). Maximal heart rate (HR MAX), HRDP, pace, maximal punch frequency (FP MAX), and punch frequency relative to HRDP (FP AT) were measured. Participants also performed an incremental running test on a treadmill (IT) as a reference test. Paired t-tests were performed to verify differences between the mean values of HR MAX and HRDP during TBOX and IT. Pearson linear correlation was applied to test correlations and the Bland and Altman visual analysis was used to verify the level of agreement. A significant level of p < 0.05 was adopted. The average HRDP was 174 +/- 7 bpm, which corresponded to 92% of the observed HR MAX. FP AT and FP MAX presented values between 39 +/- 4 and 73 +/-8 blows, respectively. No differences were found, and strong correlations were evidenced between TBOX and IT for HR MAX (p = 0.281; r = 0.73) and heart rate response related to HRDP (p = 0.096; r = 0.85). The 95% limits of agreement for the differences between TBOX and IT for HR MAX should be considered with bias by 2.1 +/- 9.7 found between -7.65 and 11.85, as well as the 95% limits of agreement for the differences between TBOX and IT for HRDP with bias -2.3 +/- 7.68 found between -9.98 and 5.38. HR MAX and HRDP obtained during TBOX leads us to infer that the test was well founded to estimate parameters associated with the aerobic power and aerobic capacity of boxing athletes. In addition, TBOX shows significant applicability for the aerobic assessment of boxers based on real competition movements and can be useful to determine and control training intensities.
... This sport of boxing is a sport that focuses on good physical condition and also good mental (Ruddock et al., 2016). Good physical factors for athletes are what are needed to support their performance when competing and training (Berrezokhy et al., 2020). ...
... Good physical factors for athletes are what are needed to support their performance when competing and training (Berrezokhy et al., 2020). In preparing athletes need to pay attention to the physical strength factor that athletes have (Ruddock et al., 2016). The ability of physical condition is very necessary for sports athletes, because by having a good physique then the athlete can show his best performance (Sugito et al., 2020). ...
Full-text available
The research objective was to see the physical condition of boxing athletes in the ontang-anting gym prepared for the 2020 championship, as well as to prepare for PORPROV in 2022 because the majority of athletes are included in the Kediri City PUSLATKOT team. The research method used a quantitative descriptive approach. This type of research was non-experimental. The research population was all male and female boxing athletes, male and female, 15 athletes. Sampling technique with saturated sampling. The data collection instruments were in the form of tests and measurements, while the test items included leg muscle strength, leg muscle power, arm power, arm muscle strength, leg muscle agility, cardiovascular endurance and back flexibility. Data analysis using a percentage. The results of this study show the results of the overall tests carried out, athletes who are in the very good category are 20.00%, athletes who are in the good category are 46.67%, athletes who are in the moderate category are 20. , 00%, while athletes who were in the poor category were 6.67% and those who were in the less category were 6.67%).
... The oxidative and non oxidative power sources must significantly contribute in order to meet these demands. 10 In a boxing match, a knockout victory is probably the most well-known. A punch usually results in a knockout, but several real high-force hits are frequently delivered before that. ...
Full-text available
Background and Purpose: This study's aim was to conduct a systematic review to investigate whether respiratory endurance with core training enhances boxers' athletic performance. Methods: Identification of studies via PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Web of Science, CINAHL, SPORT Discus, and SciELO between January 1970, and November 2022 were included in there view. Results: 2540 citations that the search technique turned up, 29 of them matched the inclusion criteria, according to the systematic review's findings. When increased respiratory endurance and core strengthening were coupled, its how a noticeable positive effect on boxers' performance. Discussion and Conclusion: In conclusion on, improving core strength and respiratory endurance in boxers will enhance their athletic performance. Closer attention required during athletic Competition and more aggressive progression of training intensity including respiratory endurance and core strengthening may show greater improvements in future studies.
... The trunk muscles are multifunctional. They are designed to stabilise, co-contract and brace when required in lifting tasks or contribute to the generation of torque at the shoulder utilising the stretch-shortening cycle in rotation, as a boxer throws a powerful punch (Ruddock et al., 2016). Chaudari, (2011) showed that professional baseball pitchers who had greater lumbo-pelvic control had greater velocity, control and endurance. ...
The classical ballet profession requires both athleticism and artistry in a professional dancer with a physique that satisfies the aesthetic demands of the artform. Intensive training starts very young in vocational schools, but injury rates and attrition are high. Based on the consensus of a modified Delphi Survey sent out internationally to enquire about the most frequently selected attributes in the professional dancer, a battery of musculoskeletal assessment tests, some already in use, was selected. A focus group of experts was consulted to advise on suitability for inclusion in the audition profile prior to entry into vocational training. Fourteen range of movement (ROM) and functional movement control (FMC) tests were trialled on eighteen preprofessional ballet students (16 – 17 years) who had newly entered training. Three experienced physiotherapists conducted a repeated assessment, and reliability studies were carried out. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was calculated. The intraclass correlation coefficient (Model 3,1), standard error of measurement and minimal detectable change were used to calculate the intra-rater reliability. The continuous measures were also divided into categories and the alpha coefficient was used. The filmed FMC tests were scored, and the Kappa coefficient was calculated. Intra-rater reliability was moderate to excellent for ROM (ICC = .614 - .970) and substantial to excellent for the FMC (Cohen’s kappa = .670 – 1.000). The inter-rater reliability for hip rotation reached moderate acceptability only on the right (ICC = .515 - .622) and spinal extension in the second round (ICC = .584). When continuous measurements were categorised and the Alpha Coefficient was used, hip rotation was acceptable on both sides and both rounds (.616 - .856). For spinal extension the Alpha Coefficient was acceptable at .748. The inter-rater reliability of the three FMC tests was acceptable (.449 - .820) but the ballet technique-based tests resulted in low agreement with Raters 1 and 3 only, reaching moderate agreement (.410 - .654). The modified plank test was fair to moderate (.347 - .471) in spite of excellent intra-rater reliability (.838 – 1.000). The use of categories when measuring ROM is recommended to improve agreement between raters. Scoring functional movement requires practise by therapists to improve reliability, and familiarity with technical movements in ballet requires physiotherapists to develop specialist skills. Standardised, reliable tests are recommended to capture each physique and its particular combination of attributes, including spine, hip and plantarflexion. Decision making at audition can be supported and facilitated.
Full-text available
Athlete stature and armspan is anecdotally assumed to provide an advantage in mixed martial arts (MMA), despite an absence of supporting data. In contrast, winners of MMA bouts have been shown to be younger than bouts losers. Whilst absolute measurements of stature, armspan and armspan:stature scale (A:S) have been shown to not distinguish between winners and losers of MMA bouts, relative differences between competitors have not been analysed. This study aimed to analyse 5 years of athlete age and morphological data to replicate and expand previous studies to determine whether absolute and/or relative age and morphological variables effect winning and losing in MMA. Bayes factor (BF>3) inferential analyses conducted on the cohort overall (n=2,229 professional bouts), each year sampled and each individual body mass division found that only absolute (winners = 29.8±4 years; losers = 30.7±4.2 years) and relative age (winners=0.82±5.3 years younger than losers) differentiates between winners and losers across the whole cohort, in 4 of the 5 years, and in 4 of the 13 divisions sampled. Armspan appears to provide an advantage in heavyweight only (winners = 198.4±6.6cm; losers = 196.1±7.7cm), with greater A:S being a disadvantage (winners = 1.003±0.022cm∙cm-1; losers = 1.010±0.023 cm∙cm-1) in women’s strawweight only. No variables had any effect on how bouts were won. These results confirm previous reports that the effect of athlete morphology is greatly overstated in MMA, appearing to be irrelevant in most divisions. Bout winners tend to be younger than losers, particularly in divisions displaying more diverse skill requirements.
Full-text available
This study aimed to collect and identify the physiological parameters that are required to produce winning performances in an army boxing competition. Army boxing competitions are sanctioned and governed by ‘England Boxing’ and consist of three rounds of two minutes with one-minute restorative periods. The Parachute Regiment are an elite infantry fighting force within the British military, with a continued success in the inter-army boxing championships. 22 male participants were recruited (mean ± SD age 28 ± 2 years, stature 178 ± 8.1cm, body mass 79 ± 7.1 kg, BMI 24.9 ±2.5).Body fat %. V̇O2max, lower limb power, and 1RM max strength test protocols for back squat and bench press were performed. Additionally, impact punch power measured from rear hand cross strikes, and punching velocities were measured using a linear positional transducer. Countermovement (CMJ) and repetitive (n=10) jump data were collected using a jump mat. The physiological parameters in mean scores; body composition showed body fat 11.8±8.1%: CMJ height 35.5±5cm: Repetitive jump 28.5±5.6cm: Wingate peak power (body mass to power ratio) 11.5±1.6W/kg: Wingate average power, 8.1±1.4W/kg: V̇O2max 53±4.8 Back squat (body mass to weight lifted ratio) 1.95±0.2kg: Bench press 1.1±0.1kg/BW: Rear cross strike velocity 8.47±0.8m/s: Impact power 15227±2250W. Significant relationships were observed between anthropometric data and power, strike velocity and V̇O2max in addition to relationships being evident between some strength and power variables. by the participants in this study. Although punch impact power is an essential performance indicator in boxing, other physiological factors, such as lower limb power and strength have been demonstrated to attribute to the continued winning performances by 3PARA boxing team.
Objectives This study investigated the postactivation performance enhancement (PAPE) effects of medicine ball throwing (MBT) and bench pressing (BP) on punching impact at different recovery times. Methods Fourteen amateur boxers performed three lead-hand (lead-hand) and rear-hand straight punches (rear-hand) at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 min after MBT or BP exercise. Peak force, time to the peak force, and rate of force development (RFD) of each punch was measured by a force plate. Results There was no significant condition × time interaction effect for any variables (lead-hand: F = 0.744–0.913, p = 0.448–0.542; rear-hand: F = 0.240–1.355, p = 0.245–0.944). No significant main effect for condition for any variables (lead-hand: F = 0.103–0.219, p = 0.644–0.751; rear-hand: F = 0.070–0.459, p = 0.504–0.793). The time effect was significant on peak force ( F = 4.411, p = 0.005) and RFD ( F = 5.002, p = 0.002) of lead-hand, time to the peak force ( F = 5.791, p = 0.001) and RFD ( F = 5.514, p = 0.001) of rear-hand. Peak force and RFD of the lead-hand, as well as time to the peak force and RFD of the rear-hand enhanced significantly at 6–15 min ( p = 0.001–0.042), compared to the baseline. Conclusions MBT and BP may equally enhance punching impact for amateur boxers; moreover, there was no difference in recovery time between conditioning activities.
Full-text available
Background Enhancing cardiovascular fitness can lead to substantial health benefits. High-intensity interval training (HIT) is an efficient way to develop cardiovascular fitness, yet comparisons between this type of training with traditional endurance training are equivocal. Objective Our objective was to meta-analyse the effects of endurance training and HIT on the maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) of healthy, young to middle-aged adults. Methods Six electronic databases were searched (MEDLINE, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, CINAHL and Google Scholar) for original research articles. A search was conducted and search terms included ‘high intensity’, ‘HIT’, ‘sprint interval training’, ‘endurance training’, ‘peak oxygen uptake’, ‘VO2max’. Inclusion criteria were controlled trials, healthy adults aged 18-45 y, training duration ≥2 weeks, VO2max assessed pre- and post-training. Twenty-eight studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. This resulted in 723 participants with a mean ± SD age and initial fitness of 25.1 ± 5 y and 40.8 ± 7.9 mL•kg-1•min-1, respectively. We made probabilistic magnitude-based inferences for meta-analysed effects based on standardized thresholds for small, moderate and large changes (0.2, 0.6 and 1.2, respectively) derived from between-subject standard deviations (SDs) for baseline VO2max. Results The meta-analysed effect of endurance training on VO2max was a possibly large beneficial effect (4.9 mL•kg-1•min-1; 95% confidence limits ±1.4 mL•kg-1•min-1), when compared with no exercise controls. A possibly moderate additional increase was observed for typically younger subjects (2.4 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.1 mL•kg-1•min-1) and interventions of longer duration (2.2 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±3.0 mL•kg-1•min-1), and a small additional improvement for subjects with lower baseline fitness (1.4 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.0 mL•kg-1•min-1). When compared to no exercise controls, there was likely large beneficial effect of HIT (5.5 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.2 mL•kg-1•min-1), with a likely moderate greater additional increase for subjects with lower baseline fitness (3.2 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.9 mL•kg-1•min-1) and interventions of longer duration (3.0 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.9 mL•kg-1•min-1), and a small lesser effect for typically longer HIT repetitions (-1.8 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.7 mL•kg-1•min-1). The modifying effects of age (0.8 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.1 mL•kg-1•min-1) and work:rest ratio (0.5 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.6 mL•kg-1•min-1) were unclear. When compared to endurance training, there was a possibly small beneficial effect for HIT (1.2 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±0.9 mL•kg-1•min-1) with small additional improvements for typically longer HIT repetitions (2.2 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.1 mL•kg-1•min-1), older subjects (1.8 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.7 mL•kg-1•min-1), interventions of longer duration (1.7 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.7 mL•kg-1•min-1), greater work:rest ratio (1.6 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.5 mL•kg-1•min-1) and lower baseline fitness (0.8 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.3 mL•kg-1•min-1). Conclusion Endurance training and HIT both elicit large improvements in the VO2max of healthy, young to middle-aged adults with the gains in VO2max being greater following HIT, when compared to endurance training.
Full-text available
Prolonged intermittent-sprint exercise (i.e., team sports) induce disturbances in skeletal muscle structure and function that are associated with reduced contractile function, a cascade of inflammatory responses, perceptual soreness, and a delayed return to optimal physical performance. In this context, recovery from exercise-induced fatigue is traditionally treated from a peripheral viewpoint, with the regeneration of muscle physiology and other peripheral factors the target of recovery strategies. The direction of this research narrative on post-exercise recovery differs to the increasing emphasis on the complex interaction between both central and peripheral factors regulating exercise intensity during exercise performance. Given the role of the central nervous system (CNS) in motor-unit recruitment during exercise, it too may have an integral role in post-exercise recovery. Indeed, this hypothesis is indirectly supported by an apparent disconnect in time-course changes in physiological and biochemical markers resultant from exercise and the ensuing recovery of exercise performance. Equally, improvements in perceptual recovery, even withstanding the physiological state of recovery, may interact with both feed-forward/feed-back mechanisms to influence subsequent efforts. Considering the research interest afforded to recovery methodologies designed to hasten the return of homeostasis within the muscle, the limited focus on contributors to post-exercise recovery from CNS origins is somewhat surprising. Based on this context, the current review aims to outline the potential contributions of the brain to performance recovery after strenuous exercise.
Full-text available
Despite worldwide popularity of amateur boxing, research focussed on the physiological demands of the sport is limited. The physiological profile of Senior and Junior England international amateur boxers is presented. A gradual (8 to 21-days) and rapid (0 to 7-days) phase of body weight reduction was evident with 2.2 ± 0.3 % of the 7.0 ± 0.8 % weight loss occurring over the final 24-hours. An increase in body weight >4% was observed following a recovery period. High urine osmolality values (> 1000 mOsm·kg-1) were recorded during training and competition. High post-competition blood lactate values (>13.5 mmol·l-1) highlighted the need for a well-developed anaerobic capacity and the importance of not entering the ring in a glycogen depleted state. The aerobic challenge of competition was demonstrated by maximum heart rate values being recorded during 'Open' sparring. Mean body fat values of 9-10% were similar to those reported for other weight classified athletes. Normal resting values were reported for hematocrit (Senior 48 ± 2 % and Junior 45 ± 2 %), haemoglobin (Senior 14.7 ± 1.0 g·dl-1 and Junior 14.5 ± 0.8 g·dl-1), bilirubin (Senior 15.3 ± 6.2 μmol·l-1) and ferritin (Senior 63.3 ± 45.7 ng·ml-1). No symptoms associated with asthma or exercise-induced asthma was evident. A well-developed aerobic capacity was reflected in the Senior VO2max value of 63.8 ± 4.8 ml·kg-1·min-1. Senior lead hand straight punching force (head 1722 ± 700 N and body 1682 ± 636 N) was lower than the straight rear hand (head 2643 ± 1273 N and body 2646 ± 1083 N), lead hook (head 2412 ± 813 N and body 2414 ± 718 N) and rear hook (head 2588 ± 1040 N and body 2555 ± 926 N). It was concluded that amateur boxing performance is dependent on the interplay between anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. Current weight making methods may lead to impaired substrate availability, leading to reduced competitive performance and an increased risk to a boxers health.
Background: The increase in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) with endurance training is associated with that of maximal cardiac output (Qmax), but not oxygen extraction, in young individuals. Whether such a relationship is altered with ageing remains unclear. Therefore, we sought systematically to review and determine the effect of endurance training on and the associations among VO2max, Qmax and arteriovenous oxygen difference at maximal exercise (Ca-vO2max) in healthy aged individuals. Design and methods: We conducted a systematic search of MEDLINE, Scopus and Web of Science, from their inceptions until May 2015 for articles assessing the effect of endurance training lasting 3 weeks or longer on VO2max and Qmax and/or Ca-vO2max in healthy middle-aged and/or older individuals (mean age ≥40 years). Meta-analyses were performed to determine the standardised mean difference (SMD) in VO2max, Qmax and Ca-vO2max between post and pre-training measurements. Subgroup and meta-regression analyses were used to evaluate the associations among SMDs and potential moderating factors. Results: Sixteen studies were included after systematic review, comprising a total of 153 primarily untrained healthy middle-aged and older subjects (mean age 42-71 years). Endurance training programmes ranged from 8 to 52 weeks of duration. After data pooling, VO2max (SMD 0.89; P < 0.0001) and Qmax (SMD 0.61; P < 0.0001) were increased after endurance training; no heterogeneity among studies was detected. Ca-vO2max was only increased with endurance training interventions lasting more than 12 weeks (SMD 0.62; P = 0.001). In meta-regression, the SMD in Qmax was positively associated with the SMD in VO2max (B = 0.79, P = 0.04). The SMD in Ca-vO2max was not associated with the SMD in VO2max (B = 0.09, P = 0.84). Conclusions: The improvement in VO2max following endurance training is a linear function of Qmax, but not Ca-vO2max, through healthy ageing.
The effectiveness of plyometric training is well supported by research. Complex training has gained popularity as a training strategy combining weight training and plyometric training. Anecdotal reports recommend training in this fashion in order to improve muscular power and athletic performance. Recently, several studies have examined complex training. Despite the fact that questions remain about the potential effectiveness and implementation of this type of training, results of recent studies are useful in guiding practitioners in the development and implementation of complex training programs. In some cases, research suggests that complex training has an acute ergogenic effect on upper body power and the results of acute and chronic complex training include improved jumping performance. Improved performance may require three to four minutes rest between the weight training and plyometrics sets and the use of heavy weight training loads.
Abstract The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the reductions in momentum of punching arm segments and the impulse of the impact force when boxers throw a punch at a movable target with a mass almost equal to that of the human head. Nine male expert collegiate boxers threw a rear-hand straight punch at the target with their full effort. The reductions in momentum of the upper arm, forearm and fist plus glove of the punching arm during impact and the impulse were determined using a motion capture system and an accelerometer attached to the target. The reduction in momentum of the punching arm explained approximately 95% of the impulse: 40%, 35% and 20% for the upper arm, forearm and fist plus glove, respectively. The Pearson correlation coefficient between the peak and impulse of the impact force was 0.902. These results suggest that for boxers increasing the momentum of the punching arm rather than that of the other body segments immediately before the impact is effective at increasing the impulse of the punch into the face of an opponent.