There is nothing worse than being first to gas out during a sparring session, especially when you’re versing someone who is already a better boxer than you.
So now you’re stuck in a position where you're out of breath, slightly disorientated and all you can think to do is keep your hands up and wait to throw a hail mary that might catch them off guard.
It’s OK, we’ve all gotten our a** whooped from time to time,
But if you want to become the type of guy who is capable of delivering the a** whoopings instead of taking them
Then your stamina and fitness are crucial aspects that you must conquer to become ‘that guy’ (Want to elevate all aspects of your boxing game to become ‘that guy’, see recommended posts at the bottom 1-3)
So what needs to be done to conquer the fitness aspect of boxing?
HIIT VS SSC
There are 4 key exercises that nearly all world-class fighters use in order to build their world-class stamina.
But before you learn how to develop world-class stamina, you must understand that there are 2 types of stamina you are developing
And that is your Steady State Cardio(SSC) and your High-Intensity Interval Training(HIIT)
SSC and HIIT play distinct roles in the world of boxing, each contributing to a boxer's overall performance in different ways.
SSC training focuses on improving stamina over extended periods of time with low intensity.
Which helps boxers to fight/train for longer periods of time. It also gets them comfortable with continuing to work after fatigue sets in which improves mental focus in and outside of the ring. (Struggling to focus mentally in boxing, see recommended posts 4-5 below)
On the other hand, HIIT focuses on short, intense bursts of activity followed by brief recovery periods.
Which results in improved stamina, delayed fatigue and enables boxers to sustain their power, speed, and agility throughout the entire fight.
So which one is better?
SSC and HIIT are both beneficial and comprehensive approaches to physical conditioning,
And honestly, if you want to excel in your fitness to become ‘that guy’ then you are going to need the best of both.
SHADOW BOXING/BAG WORK:
Shadowboxing and bag work are both great options to improve your fitness.
They are also necessary to prepare you for exercise number 1 on this list(which requires some experience)
So if you want to take that next step in becoming ‘that guy’ and prepare yourself for exercise number 1 on the list, then here are 2 workouts that use the bag and shadowboxing to improve your HIIT AND SSC.
- Set a timer for 2-3 minutes and start by throwing combinations of punches with maximum speed and power for a short duration.
- Alternate between 30 seconds of high-intensity punches and 30 seconds of active recovery (just tap the bag of throw slow punches).
- Repeat this cycle for 3-5 rounds and gradually increase the number of rounds over time.
- You know you have pushed yourself enough when you reach the point where, by the end of each round, you can only say a few words due to the intensity of the workout.
- Repeat this 1-2 times a week and be sure to stretch and recover after you are done
- Perform 3-minute rounds but this time dont stop punching
- Maintain a steady pace and focus on punching with controlled speed and accuracy.
- Incorporate footwork drills, defensive maneuvers, and head movement to mimic the demands of a real boxing match.
- And make sure to constantly change your rhythm and timing (struggle with your rhythm and timing in boxing see recommended post 6)
- Start with 3 rounds and gradually increase the number of rounds up to 10, building your SSC progressively.
- Repeat this once a week and be sure to stretch and recover after you are done
This is iconic among boxers all over the world and it’s for a good reason. There are so many advantages to skipping when it comes to boxing, the only problem with this is that most ropes aren’t designed to be used by a boxer.
Now I'm not going to sell you on the box rope here but are interested then feel free to go check it out here.
Also by the way “trusted by boxers” is not just a claim, here is our rope being used by the former undisputed lightweight champion of the world Teofimo Lopez
Okay, now back to the exercise.
- Use a timer and alternate between intense skipping for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds.
- During the intense skipping periods, incorporate advanced footwork patterns, such as side-to-side movements, double-unders, or high knees.
- Repeat this cycle for 3-5 rounds and gradually increase the number of rounds over time.
- Repeats this 2-3 times a week and be sure to rest and recover to prevent any injuries
- Skip continuously for a sustained period of time, aiming for at least 10-15 minutes without stopping.
- Incorporate different footwork patterns, such as alternating feet, double jumps, or crossovers, to challenge yourself and simulate the demands of boxing footwork.
- Maintain a steady rhythm and pace throughout the skipping session, focusing on proper form and breathing.
- This is a great warm-up that you can do most days without the risk of injury
I’m sorry I even put this on the list. But the unfortunate reality of boxing is that you need to go for runs. In case you couldn’t tell running is my personal pet peeve,
However, you must remember that the exercises you hate the most are the ones that feel the most rewarding once they're done.
So even if you hate running, after you finish your run, you’ll feel like you could wrestle a bull with your bare hands
- Incorporate sprint intervals into your run by alternating between periods of high-intensity sprinting and recovery jogging or walking.
- Find a track or open space where you can perform sprint intervals.
- Sprint at maximum effort for 100m, followed by a slow and steady walk/job back to where you started.
- Repeat this cycle for 10 intervals, and have an end goal of being able to do at least 20 with your last sprint being a similar time to your first.
- Once again, you know you have pushed yourself enough when you reach the point where, by the end of each round, you can only say a few words due to the intensity of the workout.
- Repeats this 1-2 times a week and be sure to rest and recover to prevent any injuries
- Here you want to do a 5km run,
- Aim for steady-state runs at a moderate pace, focusing on maintaining a consistent speed throughout the run.
- And at the beginning try to get your time below 30 minutes, then gradually decrease the time until you can get it in under 20
- Be sure to stretch before and after to minimize fatigue and prevent injuries.
- Repeats this1-2 times a week and be sure to rest and recover to prevent any injuries
Of course, now that the worst exercise is out of the way, we get to talk about the finest exercise you will ever do in boxing
- Yes, you get punched in the face,
- Yes some people have received long-term head injuries from it
- And yes it’s a lot less fun when you're a beginner
But there is a kind of brotherhood-like bond that is formed after you spend 3 minutes trying to kill each other and then soon as the bell goes
You both go back to being friends like it never happened.
Now obviously there are stamina benefits to it and by gradually increasing the number of rounds while reducing rest intervals,
You can build your endurance and overall conditioning.
But sparring is also the place where you truly develop the skills necessary to excel in the ring.
The realistic nature of sparring forces you to face the pressure and demands of a real fight, honing your ability to pace yourself effectively.
And while sparring sessions cannot be done every day due to the physical toll it takes on the body, engaging in sparring at least once a week is more than enough.
Even if not going full power, the experience of being punched in the face is vital for developing resilience, reactions, and mental toughness
So it is through regular sparring, you learn to push your limits, improve your fitness, and beat the absolute crap out of your mates
All while preparing yourself for the challenges of competitive boxing.
It truly is magical
To overcome the frustration of gassing out during sparring, it's essential to focus on improving your stamina and fitness.
This is done by incorporating both Steady State Cardio (SSC) and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
With exercises such as shadowboxing, bag work, skipping, and running.
Among these exercises, sparring stands out as the ultimate training tool. It not only builds endurance and conditioning but also hones your skills, resilience, and mental toughness.
By combining SSC and HIIT training, incorporating a variety of exercises, and embracing the transformative power of sparring, you can elevate your boxing abilities and finally start to deliver some a** whoppings.
So now all you have to do is dedicate yourself to improving your stamina stay consistent, and you will become the boxer that other people see as ‘that guy’.
Other Posts Recommended In This Blog
- THE 10 FUNDAMENTAL COMPONENTS OF BOXING
- HOW TO THROW A PUNCH - PUNCHING TECHNIQUE FOR BEGINNERS
- WHY DEFENSE IS SO IMPORTANT IN BOXING
- HOW TO REMAIN CALM DURING THE TOUGHEST OF BATTLES
- THE BOXERS MENTALITY: FULL BREAKDOWN OF MENTAL TOUGHNESS IN BOXING
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