Boxing Strength vs. Athletic Strength
by Robert Jackson - When it comes to boxing, strength is a necessary component of a formula that includes, speed, quickness, toughness and stamina – which must be possessed by a fighter. But boxing strength has nothing to do with how many pounds one can lift as in Olympic style weightlifting, a one rep maximum as in powerlifting or how many reps can be performed at a certain weight as NFL prospects are now doing at the NFL combine.
Article posted on 28.02.2012
Boxing strength is the kind of strength that must mesh efficiently with a fighters stamina while not building up a lot of tension which will tax that stamina over several 3-minute rounds.. In-short boxing strength must provide the force of a weightlifter without the stress or tension produced by lifting weights which would reduce speed. The muscles of a boxer must be toned, loose and supple unlike the musculature of the bulky powerlifter or bodybuilder.
Weight lifting does indeed produce strength, and brute force – but only force necessary to push and pull heavy weight at a slow rate. Also the bulky muscles of the weightlifter become ‘high maintenance’ appendages requiring lots of the bodies nutritional store and creating a lot of lactic acid as a by-product of that usage.
NFL players for example weight train similar to the training of a powerlifter the ‘one rep maximum’ is necessary to the average 15 seconds of work time to 45 seconds of rest time which make up an NFL play; maximum brute force is premium here. NFL players include plyometric work to increase their explosiveness supplementing the heavy weight lifting they do.
Pro Boxers 3:1 work to rest ratio is just the opposite of NFLers, so any brute force gained must be applicable throughout the whole work cycle, while not affecting other areas of a fighters abilities. That’s why the old-time trainer and many of today’s boxing coaches discourage weight training; at least the heavy kind, instead using ‘resistance bands’, calisthenics and plyometric exercises. These exercises garner a fighter a nominal amount of brute force and explosiveness necessary to keep muscular tension down and build a svelte physique minus the bulky muscles. If any weightlifting is done by a boxer it’s usually of a lighter nature involving many reps to build muscular endurance – which is the ability to endure the buildup of lactic acid and keep on going, this type of musculature also disperses the lactic acid quickly.
To summarize things the, athletics use methods that maximize Athletic Strength for short period athletic goals e.g. dunk a basketball, make a tackle, high jump a bar, at a low cost to the athletes other abilities. And if an athlete does experience fatigue or weakness he’s given a rest on the bench while his backup fills in for him, or the work time to rest time ratio is 1:1 or lesser, giving the athlete time to recover. A boxer on the other hand must have Boxing Strength that will serve him throughout a 3-minute round while not affecting his stamina, movement or other boxing attributes. This strength must supply him with the force to have power to punch hard throughout a fight without falter, while only having a 1-minute break between rounds to recover.
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