When we think about boxing, everybody pictures a boxing gym full of special equipment: boxing ring, heavy bags, double-end bags, speed bags, etc. Boxers also frequent weight lifting gyms full of weights and special machines to work on their strength and power.
by Coach Jarek Slagowski, Owner & Head Coach, Grind Boxing Gym
But for the most important attribute in boxing, cardiovascular endurance (conditioning), boxers can find great workout options outdoors.
There are two types of conditioning: general and special. Special conditioning can be achieved in the boxing gym by working on heavy bags, target mitts (pads), and sparring. General conditioning is a base for the special conditioning workout.
One of the best general workouts is jogging outdoors. Jogging is a very important type of exercise for all boxers, whether you box for competition or you simply box for fitness. An effective jogging routine is done two to four times a week. Two to 5 miles is plenty because boxing is not a long-distance sport.
Action in a boxing bout varies. So jogging can be mixed with quick marching and shadowboxing. Mixing running with shadowboxing is most beneficial for boxers because it keeps it real from the fighting point of view. A good ratio is to stop jogging every 10 to 15 minutes and do 1 to 2 minutes of shadowboxing.
Another great way to work on endurance is riding a bicycle either on the street or by mountain biking. You can create an effective bicycling routine similar to the jogging routine by mixing hard riding with slower speeds or even getting off the bike to shadowbox.
Jogging and biking are aerobic activities, but for boxing you also need anaerobic training.
The best outdoor anaerobic workout is sprints. You can run sprints at the track (stadium) or just a flat terrain. Sprints can be done in 60- or 100-meter distances. Elongated sprints like 400 (one lap) or 600 (one and half lap) meters are also great for building cardiovascular endurance.
It is a good practice to check and record times on your sprints to know if you are achieving progress.
This time of year, I remind all of my boxers that a good outdoor workout is not only beneficial for their training but can also be a lot of fun.