by: Steve Baccari, RKC
The most common form of strength training, used for a boxer, is circuit training. Circuit training enables a coach to train a large number of fighters at the same time, with the following goals in mind:
- To improve strength endurance;
- To increase work capacity;
- To target various physical qualities.
The circuit-training format is the system of choice for the USA Olympic Training Center. Jeff Martone’s H2H video, in my opinion, takes circuit training to a whole new level. First, it simplifies the equipment down to one kettlebell. Second, by seamlessly blending one exercise to another Jeff has removed the brief rest an athlete gets when he moves from one piece of apparatus to another. This usually accounts for 10-15 seconds. Without this brief rest interval the intensity of the circuit goes through the roof! Third, by varying the complexity of the exercises, you can insert an active rest period. This would eliminate the typical 30-60 second rest intervals given between trips further increasing the intensity of the overall training session. I have already started formulating specific flow drills to use with my boxers. I honestly believe this type of training would benefit any kind of fighter.
Having said all that about circuit training/H2H, before you can endure strength first you must develop strength. Pavel’s Power to the People! program is the very best base strength program we have ever used at the South Shore Police Athletic League School of Boxing. I am currently using PTP with three professional fighters. Shaun Creegan, Jimmy Leblanc, and Chris Tillman. Their sizes range from 5’ 8” 165 Lbs. to 6’ 0” 140Lbs. to 5’ 10” 190 Lbs. All three of these fighters have a completely different style of fighting. Amazingly, this single short simple program has benefited all three fighters immensely. In fact, it would be hard to tell which fighter has gotten the most out of it. They are all using the ‘strength and tone only’ program in a step cycle three times a week exactly as it is in the PTP book. Another bonus of this Power to the People! program is that all three training sessions only total 45 minutes for an entire week. Adding in three sessions of H2H drills for another total of 45 minutes brings us to an hour and 30 minutes per week. This is crucial because a fighter has so much sport specific work that has to be done before he can even consider additional strength and conditioning programs.