Jun 30 2010

Q/A: Strength/Power Training For Fighters With Dr. Don Chu!

Here’s a peak into an awesome q/a I did with veteran and renowned strength/conditioning coach Dr. Don Chu.

Dr. Chu is working with super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Andre just posted another impressive win in the super six tournament when he dominated Allan Green.

Many were very impressed with how strong Andre has become and how his strength has improved his in fighting.

Well you get a peak into what Dr. Chu did with Andre Ward and does with his other fighters in this q/a. The entire q/a is published on the interview section of my boxingperformance.com site. Its damn good coming from a veteran in this business who helped pioneer plyometrics and power training in the USA.


Rob Pilger: When you first begin working with a fighter, what’s the first thing you do to determine what they need and how you design their program?

Dr. Chu: In working with a fighter: I look at their history, training experience, length of time training, prior fighting experience, current rank, how fast did they get here and body composition. I rarely test a fighter physically preferring to observe the workout endurance and capability as we go through the first couple of sessions.

I will also perform what is called the “90 second box drill”. My friends who know me would laugh
because I have been staking my reputation on this test for years. Taking a 12” high box
which is 20” wide and 30” deep I have the athlete stand on one side and jump to the top
with both feet (moving sideways) and then off to the other side and then back again for
a total time of 90 seconds. If they can do 90 counts (land on top of the box) 90 times in
90 seconds they are in pretty good physical condition. Anything less and I know where
we are at as to their conditioning level. It is also a “gut” check so I get a look at their
heart from outside their body. About 60 seconds is where it feels like someone throws a
refrigerator on your back and we can decide what your mental set is.

RP:How do you manage the volume and intensity of your fighters training in accordance with his skill training workouts? What determines how much and how little?

Dr. Chu:
Given the fighters schedule; I periodize their time and base my training programs on the volume increases I am interested in achieving. Example, depending on 1st time fighters v. experienced fighters volume will start at 3 X 12-15 reps for most exercises and increase up to 5 X 12-15 reps and even up to 12 sets of 12 reps for special exercises, i.e up and unders (a drill that utilizes a 48″ hurdle. Fighter dons a 60# wt. vest and stands to one side of the hurdle cross bar and starts ducking under the bar with his feet splitting the distance under the bar. He continues going side-side back and forth for 12-15 reps for 12 sets with 1 min. recovery between sets. Intensity is based on their ability to complete the number of reps with quality of movement. Example upper extremity exercises: rope drills: 40 sec bouts for 3-4 sets for initial workouts; up to 6-8 sets by mid way through the training cycle. We decrease volume on the way towards the actual event.

Click here For the entire q/a in the interview department on boxingperformance.com!