by Steve Baccari, RKC
Several months ago I put together a strength program for one of the young boxers I work with. Ryan Kielczweski is 14 years old; he has been a competitive amateur boxer for over seven years. During those seven years he compiled a record of 82-11. To call Ryan a good amateur boxer is like calling the New York Yankees a decent professional baseball team!
With this in mind it was very important to develop a strength program that will enhance his ability in the ring without taking anything away from his already exceptional skill. I chose the Power to the People! dead lift/press program, because it has worked so well with several professional boxers that I work with. The only problem was Ryan was having some trouble pulling from the floor. I brought this up in a conversation with Jeff Martone. Jeff suggested the partial dead lift, or what Pavel refers to as the ‘Health Lift’ in his book Power to the People! The following is Ryan’s exact program:
A partial dead lift, 5 sets of 2 Reps using the staggered grip. The reason for only doing sets of two was to make certain Ryan was following and perfecting all of the PTP tension techniques. These techniques are key to generating maximum strength safely. In between each set Ryan performed a decompression hang. This is followed by Janda sit-ups. Ryan also practices one-arm military presses using a KB, but not on the same day.
When working with young athletes it is best to keep it simple and focused. More is not better, it is just more. After a couple of months Ryan has shown the following improvements:
- Increased core strength
- Increased grip strength
- More stability in the ring
- Increased punching power
Partial dead lifts are a great way to start any athlete on the right road to proper strength training.
Fast forward 13 months down the road.
There is no real off-season in boxing. But if you’re going to take some time off, the summer is the best time to take off. I’ve never been in a boxing gym with air conditioning and most have very few windows. In short, you’ve got to be tough just to handle the smell. With this in mind, and the fact that Ryan had a very busy fight schedule this past year, his head trainer Steve Maze and myself decided that after Ryan’s fight in early June that he would take the rest of the summer off.
Having decided that, we wanted Ryan to continue his strength program throughout the summer. Because you can never be too strong. To keep Ryan’s interest in his strength program, Ryan’s dad, Rick Kielczweski entered Ryan in a dead lift contest. The whole point was really just to keep him occupied and on the road to improving his strength.
None of us, including Ryan, ever imagined that he would break the dead lift world record for his age & weight.
You will notice in the picture that Ryan has no weight-lifting belt on, no wraps, and very little chalk. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that Ryan has perfected Pavel’s methods of generating power. This being the case, the bells & whistles of weightlifting are not required.
It is very important to note that this world record is merely a side effect of Ryan’s training program. First & foremost, we were improving his boxing.
If you’re looking for a simple and safe program to increase your overall strength from your nose to your toes, I highly recommend the PTP program by Pavel Tsatsouline. In your quest for self-improvement, who knows.. you just might break a world record.