Mar 31 2008

Can Lifting Heavy Weights Continually In Your Boxing Strength Training Workouts Make You Slow?

This is the biggest reason the myth of lifting light weights with high reps exists. Thinking heavy weight training makes you slow. Well, can it? I discuss this in this Q/A.

I have been boxing for roughly six months. Before boxing I stayed in the gym and lifted heavily basically trying to bulk up. I was maxing out on the bench at 205. My question is if I continue to lift heavily will it affect my hand speed? I want to have a more developed upper body but I am not sure if heavy lifting will benefit me in terms of a more developed frame while maintaining hand speed.

Don’t waste your time with light weights and high reps.. I really can’t believe people think this is the way to lift. Enough!!

If you JUST lift heavy weights without improving RFD, speed, you can become slower. BUT performing true plyometrics will increase speed/power, RFD.

Even performing speed strength reps with the bench press won’t make you as fast as plyometrics training because you decelerate with the bar at the end of the speed bench movement, to prevent this add bands, or chains to the barbell.

The bench press is just a general exercise. Strengthen your core in rotation, strengthen your lats to better decelerate the punch, and legs to develop fight ending power. Yes I’m repeating this as I stated it in my last post this is what you want ingrained in your mind and practice.

Again, don’t perform light weight with high reps, you won’t get faster or more powerful this way, you get that type of muscle endurance training with your bag and mitt work.

Perform max effort lifts to build base strength, ( Chins, under, over grip chins, neutral grip pull up, 1 arm row in rotation, exercises like this to develop your upper body then perform plyometrics to become frighteningly fast and powerful! Just hope that your competition is lifting with light weight and high reps, cause kicking their asses will be cake with your added power! 🙂

Click here http://boxingperformance.com/ for proven strength training, and corrective exercise programs.


Mar 27 2008

Q/A: Why I Leave The Bench Out Of My Boxing Strength Training Programs.


Hey Rob,
In a follow up to my last question (thanks for the quick and in-depth reply!) – did you leave any bench press or pressing variations out on purpose?
If so, why?

Another question, related again to my previous question. Is going heavy all the time, with all exercises (ie keeping it within the 5-6 rep range, and keeping it tough), does this over-tire the CNS?
I don’t believe so, but I have read it before.

Charis, Look at the video I pasted here of The “G-Man” Gerald McCellan. Watch where the power comes from.

The bench press is a good general exercise however my thinking is when training boxers I don’t want to spend precious time with the push pattern when the power comes from the fighters core rotation, legs, lats, AND relaxing-not being tight when punching. If I was to use a push pattern I would use unilateral db presses add some rotation, then ascend to a standing integrated 1 arm cable push, and then ascend to a 1 arm med ball explosive push/throw with rotation on a rebounder for higher carryover. I don’t want to spend that time when I can get better results addressing the legs, core, lats. Why add more pushing when you spend so much time in a flexed posture? I have used the bench before that’s why I feel this way. Also keep in mind how much time a fighter spends in flexion. Boxers develop pronated shoulders, tight upper abs, and a kyphotic posture, Prone cobras, Scaptations, foam rolling the T-spine, db ext. shoulder rotations, forward ball rolls, barbell roll outs, blast strap roll outs, also stretching the tight muscles, this is what you need to focus on to improve your boxing performance.

You are not going to be using 5 reps Charis for all your exercises, Just your Max lift that day as to not burn out the cns. A 5 rm is a lot different feel than a 1-3 rm. So for a lower day Perform ex. 5 rep front squat, Upper Day, 5 rep Chin Up.. keep the other 2-3 exercises at 6-8, 10-15 can be used for injury prevention, corrective exercise. Core use resistance with reps of anywhere between 8-15.

Click here http://boxingperformance.com/ for proven strength training, and corrective exercise programs.


Mar 24 2008

Q/A: Why Not To Develop Sacroplasmic Hyperthrophy In Your Boxing Strength Training.

This was a good question asked to me about developing sacroplasmic hypertrophy in your boxing strength training.

In Joe Defranco’s WS4SB, it has a lot of hypertrophy related work. In one of his articles he points out that over 10 reps would be sacroplasmic, and less, myofibrilar. Would his repetition work (8-12 reps x 3 sets), on the supplemental exercises, be “detrimental” to my training? I say detrimental in the sense that I want to be as quick and powerful at a certain weight as is possible, rather than adding muscle “just” for the sake of it.

Should I follow that program, but use less reps, like limit them to 5-6?
I plan to follow this plan along with conditioning days and daily boxing training.
Am I better off just doing the standard Westside Barbell system? I understand that a lot of Joe’s athletes are NFL guys who might need the extra size.
Please help,
Charis Louca

Charis, Joe has written sample workouts he uses for fighters and they differ from his WS4SB articles as both needs are different.

You are answering your own questions, Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy will be detrimental to your training. I’m telling you through experience. Mybofibrilar hypertrophy is far more functional, I mean it won’t alter performance to the degree of Sacroplasmic..

Well Charis if you want to stay at a certain weight division don’t lift your way out of it. Right, just adding muscle for the sake of it doesn’t do much in improving the qualities that you need to end fights quick.. Explosive power/speed. If you want to add more size you have to educate that muscle with speed/power training in the movement patterns of boxing when putting it on to transfer for improved performance.

The standard Westside system was created for building up the big 3 lifts of a power lifter, not a boxer you really have to modify it. Search Joe’s article archives on his site he has a good modified template for fighters.

Structure your training for YOUR needs as a fighter.If you don’t want to add muscle for the sake of it then don’t train that way. Using 10-12 reps on supplementary exercises will do that.

Focus more on developing max strength and power.Your max strength rep bracket will depend on your training age/experience with max work. 5-6 if you have a younger training age, 3-5 as you mature. Add plyometric work when you achieve a max strength base. You can add those before your Max effort days or on another day. You can however add plyometic progression training in your program now building your way to true plyometrics.

Now it’s not like I don’t ever use higher rep brackets of 10-15. I will use them for smaller muscles and problem areas,( injury prevention work) or when adding some size to the neck.

I don’t know without assessing you what you need Charis. I will say though that for strength training use exercises like Front Squats, dead lifts, lunges, step ups, rows, chins, pull-ups, posterior chain work, rotational core work, reverse crunches, face pulls, L-lat raises, scare crows.

Keep the volume low performing 3-4 exercises that address your needs per workout so you can recover and focus on boxing and you’ll be fine.

Good Luck with your boxing.

Click here http://boxingperformance.com/ for proven strength training, and corrective exercise programs.


Mar 21 2008

Q/A: What to do when you have a bad experience sparring.


You are gonna have bad days and experiences when you spar. Here is a really good question about dealing with a bad experience and how to remedy it in your boxing training workouts.

Hey Rob, just writing it with an unfortunately bad experience i had last night. I was sparring this guy last night beginning of the first round i was winning against this guy, then i get hit with a straight left(he was a southpaw) and went down on my ass. I got right back up and fought the rest of the round because it will take more than that to put me down. The thing is my whole body felt like it was vibrating and i just really felt more f’d up than I’ve ever felt in my life. So then for the second round i came out still kind of dizzy and buzzing (they only use 30 second breaks at this gym so i couldn’t fully recover) and i went after him basically kicking his ass but he kept countering me with these straight lefts and I got dazed again and the people stopped it. I was fine i was still fighting back but they said my eyes looked messed up. Now today i feel a little bit like a hang over and i have a head ache. Basically although i still think i landed more shots and could’ve finished out the 3 rounds its was a big blow to my ego and confidence and i am really pissed off. i am better than this kid and just really pissed. whatever you have to say on stuff like this happening would be appreciated man, i know ill come back stronger. i gotta wait a week tho my trainer wont let me spar for another week.


Justin, Good times isn’t it bro getting buzzed experiencing shit you never felt before! That’s boxing. Many run from it and never come back. Sounds like you have the right attitude in wanting some get back and improvement.

There is NO need to feel ashamed and bummed. It’s great you experienced what you did. That’s what sparring is about, it’s your grade card. Sounds like you need to go back and work on your footwork and using angles to punch in, move to the left against that south
paw next time so you move away from his left hand. Learn to use your jab to set up lead right hands. Fast lead rights work very well on southpaws. Bro I still spar with them and they can be a pain in the ass if you allow them.

Why the fuck did they have you resting 30 seconds after you got dropped in that round while still boxing hurt?! At least they stopped the sparring session and didn’t allow you to continue for round 3.

Swallow that shit, swallow it good, think about that experience when you shadow box while working on what you didn’t do and need to do as I explained. Visualize him in front of you when you’re shadow boxing and do what you will do to him next time you spar.

Get a fellow fighter at your gym and break down what was hard for you to deal with… What I mean is, even if you don’t have a south paw fighter there have a fighter turn south paw for you and work on moving to your left. Work on timing and slipping the left hand that caused you problems. Just break it down and master what was difficult.

I can’t tell you how many times I was upset at my performance in sparring especially with someone that shouldn’t have done much. That bad taste and hard work practicing what you need to allows you to come back even stronger, and you will if you work. Getting tagged good and yes I’ve seen white lights, couldn’t feel my legs at times, didn’t remember finishing the sparring session several times.. all that creates a strong backbone so in future sparring sessions against better and stronger fighters it should take a lot more to phase you. Mike Tyson was knocked out many times in sparring Justin. IRON Mike… That’s right much worse happens to elite fighters. Behind closed doors. This is boxing, you’re going to continue to be tested, challenged with painful experiences, anything can happen. That’s the sport.

Be glad that happened in the gym Justin as I tell my guys. Better experience it in the gym than in a fight where you DON”T know how to deal with it. Good sparring gives you experiences like that so you can learn to deal with it and overcome it then when you fight if you get tagged and hurt you know how to handle it. Again, good sparring that you are READY for teaches you so much and gives you blessings like what you felt.

Let me tell you something, I had this 28 year old big dude step into the ring last week, he got tagged with a decent, not hard but decent right hand. He melted in there. He couldn’t handle it and quit sparring while tearing up sobbing. He said he couldn’t do anything, nothing was working. 28 years old and big. Doesn’t mean jack. He hasn’t been back.

That’s a fucking pressure cooker in there that at times makes aspiring fighters crack from that pressure.. Many don’t enter the ring for those reasons. The pressure and heat. Good for you for experiencing it and wanting to improve and learn from it.

Buckle up bro… You ain’t seen and experienced shit yet! It’s only going to get better and so will you if you stay with it!

Click here http://boxingperformance.com/ learn my defensive slipping, parrying, and movement drills.