Monday, March 31, 2008

Can Lifting Heavy Weights Continually In Your Boxing Strength Training Workouts Make You Slow?

This is the biggest reason the myth of lifting light weights with high reps exists. Thinking heavy weight training makes you slow. Well, can it? I discuss this in this Q/A.

I have been boxing for roughly six months. Before boxing I stayed in the gym and lifted heavily basically trying to bulk up. I was maxing out on the bench at 205. My question is if I continue to lift heavily will it affect my hand speed? I want to have a more developed upper body but I am not sure if heavy lifting will benefit me in terms of a more developed frame while maintaining hand speed.

Don't waste your time with light weights and high reps.. I really can't believe people think this is the way to lift. Enough!!

If you JUST lift heavy weights without improving RFD, speed, you can become slower. BUT performing true plyometrics will increase speed/power, RFD.

Even performing speed strength reps with the bench press won't make you as fast as plyometrics training because you decelerate with the bar at the end of the speed bench movement, to prevent this add bands, or chains to the barbell.

The bench press is just a general exercise. Strengthen your core in rotation, strengthen your lats to better decelerate the punch, and legs to develop fight ending power. Yes I'm repeating this as I stated it in my last post this is what you want ingrained in your mind and practice.

Again, don't perform light weight with high reps, you won't get faster or more powerful this way, you get that type of muscle endurance training with your bag and mitt work.

Perform max effort lifts to build base strength, ( Chins, under, over grip chins, neutral grip pull up, 1 arm row in rotation, exercises like this to develop your upper body then perform plyometrics to become frighteningly fast and powerful! Just hope that your competition is lifting with light weight and high reps, cause kicking their asses will be cake with your added power! :-)

Click here for proven strength training, and corrective exercise programs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Q/A: Why I Leave The Bench Out Of My Boxing Strength Training Programs.

Hey Rob,
In a follow up to my last question (thanks for the quick and in-depth reply!) - did you leave any bench press or pressing variations out on purpose?
If so, why?

Another question, related again to my previous question. Is going heavy all the time, with all exercises (ie keeping it within the 5-6 rep range, and keeping it tough), does this over-tire the CNS?
I don't believe so, but I have read it before.

Charis, Look at the video I pasted here of The "G-Man" Gerald McCellan. Watch where the power comes from.

The bench press is a good general exercise however my thinking is when training boxers I don't want to spend precious time with the push pattern when the power comes from the fighters core rotation, legs, lats, AND relaxing-not being tight when punching. If I was to use a push pattern I would use unilateral db presses add some rotation, then ascend to a standing integrated 1 arm cable push, and then ascend to a 1 arm med ball explosive push/throw with rotation on a rebounder for higher carryover. I don't want to spend that time when I can get better results addressing the legs, core, lats. Why add more pushing when you spend so much time in a flexed posture? I have used the bench before that's why I feel this way. Also keep in mind how much time a fighter spends in flexion. Boxers develop pronated shoulders, tight upper abs, and a kyphotic posture, Prone cobras, Scaptations, foam rolling the T-spine, db ext. shoulder rotations, forward ball rolls, barbell roll outs, blast strap roll outs, also stretching the tight muscles, this is what you need to focus on to improve your boxing performance.

You are not going to be using 5 reps Charis for all your exercises, Just your Max lift that day as to not burn out the cns. A 5 rm is a lot different feel than a 1-3 rm. So for a lower day Perform ex. 5 rep front squat, Upper Day, 5 rep Chin Up.. keep the other 2-3 exercises at 6-8, 10-15 can be used for injury prevention, corrective exercise. Core use resistance with reps of anywhere between 8-15.

Click here for proven strength training, and corrective exercise programs.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Q/A: Why Not To Develop Sacroplasmic Hyperthrophy In Your Boxing Strength Training.

This was a good question asked to me about developing sacroplasmic hypertrophy in your boxing strength training.

In Joe Defranco's WS4SB, it has a lot of hypertrophy related work. In one of his articles he points out that over 10 reps would be sacroplasmic, and less, myofibrilar. Would his repetition work (8-12 reps x 3 sets), on the supplemental exercises, be "detrimental" to my training? I say detrimental in the sense that I want to be as quick and powerful at a certain weight as is possible, rather than adding muscle "just" for the sake of it.

Should I follow that program, but use less reps, like limit them to 5-6?
I plan to follow this plan along with conditioning days and daily boxing training.
Am I better off just doing the standard Westside Barbell system? I understand that a lot of Joe's athletes are NFL guys who might need the extra size.
Please help,
Charis Louca

Charis, Joe has written sample workouts he uses for fighters and they differ from his WS4SB articles as both needs are different.

You are answering your own questions, Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy will be detrimental to your training. I'm telling you through experience. Mybofibrilar hypertrophy is far more functional, I mean it won't alter performance to the degree of Sacroplasmic..

Well Charis if you want to stay at a certain weight division don't lift your way out of it. Right, just adding muscle for the sake of it doesn't do much in improving the qualities that you need to end fights quick.. Explosive power/speed. If you want to add more size you have to educate that muscle with speed/power training in the movement patterns of boxing when putting it on to transfer for improved performance.

The standard Westside system was created for building up the big 3 lifts of a power lifter, not a boxer you really have to modify it. Search Joe's article archives on his site he has a good modified template for fighters.

Structure your training for YOUR needs as a fighter.If you don't want to add muscle for the sake of it then don't train that way. Using 10-12 reps on supplementary exercises will do that.

Focus more on developing max strength and power.Your max strength rep bracket will depend on your training age/experience with max work. 5-6 if you have a younger training age, 3-5 as you mature. Add plyometric work when you achieve a max strength base. You can add those before your Max effort days or on another day. You can however add plyometic progression training in your program now building your way to true plyometrics.

Now it's not like I don't ever use higher rep brackets of 10-15. I will use them for smaller muscles and problem areas,( injury prevention work) or when adding some size to the neck.

I don't know without assessing you what you need Charis. I will say though that for strength training use exercises like Front Squats, dead lifts, lunges, step ups, rows, chins, pull-ups, posterior chain work, rotational core work, reverse crunches, face pulls, L-lat raises, scare crows.

Keep the volume low performing 3-4 exercises that address your needs per workout so you can recover and focus on boxing and you'll be fine.

Good Luck with your boxing.

Click here for proven strength training, and corrective exercise programs.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Q/A: What to do when you have a bad experience sparring.

You are gonna have bad days and experiences when you spar. Here is a really good question about dealing with a bad experience and how to remedy it in your boxing training workouts.

Hey Rob, just writing it with an unfortunately bad experience i had last night. I was sparring this guy last night beginning of the first round i was winning against this guy, then i get hit with a straight left(he was a southpaw) and went down on my ass. I got right back up and fought the rest of the round because it will take more than that to put me down. The thing is my whole body felt like it was vibrating and i just really felt more f'd up than I've ever felt in my life. So then for the second round i came out still kind of dizzy and buzzing (they only use 30 second breaks at this gym so i couldn't fully recover) and i went after him basically kicking his ass but he kept countering me with these straight lefts and I got dazed again and the people stopped it. I was fine i was still fighting back but they said my eyes looked messed up. Now today i feel a little bit like a hang over and i have a head ache. Basically although i still think i landed more shots and could've finished out the 3 rounds its was a big blow to my ego and confidence and i am really pissed off. i am better than this kid and just really pissed. whatever you have to say on stuff like this happening would be appreciated man, i know ill come back stronger. i gotta wait a week tho my trainer wont let me spar for another week.

Justin, Good times isn't it bro getting buzzed experiencing shit you never felt before! That's boxing. Many run from it and never come back. Sounds like you have the right attitude in wanting some get back and improvement.

There is NO need to feel ashamed and bummed. It's great you experienced what you did. That's what sparring is about, it's your grade card. Sounds like you need to go back and work on your footwork and using angles to punch in, move to the left against that south
paw next time so you move away from his left hand. Learn to use your jab to set up lead right hands. Fast lead rights work very well on southpaws. Bro I still spar with them and they can be a pain in the ass if you allow them.

Why the fuck did they have you resting 30 seconds after you got dropped in that round while still boxing hurt?! At least they stopped the sparring session and didn't allow you to continue for round 3.

Swallow that shit, swallow it good, think about that experience when you shadow box while working on what you didn't do and need to do as I explained. Visualize him in front of you when you're shadow boxing and do what you will do to him next time you spar.

Get a fellow fighter at your gym and break down what was hard for you to deal with... What I mean is, even if you don't have a south paw fighter there have a fighter turn south paw for you and work on moving to your left. Work on timing and slipping the left hand that caused you problems. Just break it down and master what was difficult.

I can't tell you how many times I was upset at my performance in sparring especially with someone that shouldn't have done much. That bad taste and hard work practicing what you need to allows you to come back even stronger, and you will if you work. Getting tagged good and yes I've seen white lights, couldn't feel my legs at times, didn't remember finishing the sparring session several times.. all that creates a strong backbone so in future sparring sessions against better and stronger fighters it should take a lot more to phase you. Mike Tyson was knocked out many times in sparring Justin. IRON Mike... That's right much worse happens to elite fighters. Behind closed doors. This is boxing, you're going to continue to be tested, challenged with painful experiences, anything can happen. That's the sport.

Be glad that happened in the gym Justin as I tell my guys. Better experience it in the gym than in a fight where you DON"T know how to deal with it. Good sparring gives you experiences like that so you can learn to deal with it and overcome it then when you fight if you get tagged and hurt you know how to handle it. Again, good sparring that you are READY for teaches you so much and gives you blessings like what you felt.

Let me tell you something, I had this 28 year old big dude step into the ring last week, he got tagged with a decent, not hard but decent right hand. He melted in there. He couldn't handle it and quit sparring while tearing up sobbing. He said he couldn't do anything, nothing was working. 28 years old and big. Doesn't mean jack. He hasn't been back.

That's a fucking pressure cooker in there that at times makes aspiring fighters crack from that pressure.. Many don't enter the ring for those reasons. The pressure and heat. Good for you for experiencing it and wanting to improve and learn from it.

Buckle up bro... You ain't seen and experienced shit yet! It's only going to get better and so will you if you stay with it!

Click here learn my defensive slipping, parrying, and movement drills.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Learn Jim "Smitty" Smith's Advanced Training Secrets for Explosive Strength and Power in Combat Core.

My Buddy Smitty has just released a new kick ass MUCH needed product called Combat Core, Advanced Training Secrets for Explosive Strength and Power.

Click Here

It's been reviewed by the best in the business and we all are VERY impressed and thankful that Jim as created this product. Everything you need to develop explosive strength and power is in this ebook.

I recently had a chance to sit down with Jim Smith, CSCS of the Diesel Crew and the author of I was able to get the low down on his new product and talk to him about what "real" strength is all about.

Rob Pilger: Jim, First off, thanks for the interview. What do you think is the biggest mistake most trainers make when trying to develop core strength?

JS: Most trainers focus on what I have dubbed building strength of movement patterns. What they fail to realize is that this is only one piece of the total puzzle. Building strength in the gym with movements like leg lifts, sit-ups, reverse sit-ups and so a compliment to a bigger, more comprehensive core strength program. There are other criteria that make up the rest of the pyramid that I have established in .

Rob Pilger: What, in your opinion, is the biggest myth concerning abdominal programs?

JS: For trainers, I would point to my previous response. For the general public and even athletes, I would say that they believe that "more is better." They believe, if they do 1000 crunches each workout, they will get ripped abs. Of course, the real answer is that being able to display a sick set of abs is the direct result of low body fat levels. If you want abs, you better get the fat off that is covering them.

Rob Pilger: How does core strength affect back pain and posture?

JS: Your abdominals and back musculature work together to stabilize and protect the spine, hips and pelvis. If any of these muscle groups (and surrounding structures) are weak, posture is affected and sometimes the muscles (groups) become inhibited which causes the secondary movers to become overactive or on-tension. This will inevitably lead to injury and poor performance. Building torso strength by incorporating compound exercises that activate many muscle groups at the same time, teaches the lifter or athlete to move their body as a single, coordinated unit. Isolated exercises tend to lead to imbalances if used too much.

Rob Pilger: How has your abdominal training strategies changed over the years?

JS: I used to think that by throwing in a couple sets of sit-ups or leg raises at the end of the workout was enough torso strengthening work. But over the years as I have gained experience and continued to study performance, I have developed a new, more comprehensive training model specific to athletes. The same attention and effort that you put in to planning your primary training sessions, you must also spend on designing your core training strategies.

About the Author
Jim Smith is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist who writes for Men's Fitness and the Elite Q/A Staff. Jim has been involved in strength training as a performance enhancement specialist for over 8 years and has worked with athletes from various sports who compete at various levels. He has published articles about his unique training style and innovative methods for many prominent strength and fitness related sites. He is also the authored of three renowned strength manuals. For more innovative training solutions, visit

Click Here To Get Combat Core Now.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Grading Pacquiao-Marquez.

It was a tough nip and tuck fight as I predicted. Although not as dramatic as Vazquez-Marquez III, it was still a pretty damn good fight. Both fighters fought through bad cuts trying to impose their will on one another with several momentum changes during the fight. I agreed with the 114-113 score for Pacquiao, however I wouldn't have bitched at Marquez getting the nod. It was just a damn tough close fight to score.

Both fighters displayed great conditioning deserving an A. Really in speed, and conditioning too. You have to give Manny an A in strength/power since he dropped Juan good and Marquez a B+ stunning and hurting Pacquiao throughout the fight. Both corners deserve an A+ as they steered their fighters very well keeping them focused through several momentum changes throughout the fight.

In losing Marquez is still the best super featherweight with Manny Pac now moving up to lightweight to fight WBC Champ David Diaz in his next fight. I would love to see Marquez fight Joan Guzman or Edwin Valero next. Both would be very exciting fights. Marquez is just such a solid fighter and professional. He is always willing to go through hell to win and is so poised in the ring. A true pro! Juan doesn't really need to fix anything.

I was surprised to see Manny neglect a lot of the new improved skills he displayed in his previous fights. He relied on his powerful straight left too much. He's really going to need more than that in his rise to lightweight. Yeah Diaz isn't an ultra talented fighter but he is a relentless bruising fighter who likes to wear you out. Manny must increase his strength and power for this upcoming fight if he is to win it and not be bullied around the ring by Diaz. As with the rise in weight, so must be the rise in strength/power. Without both Manny is just not going to enjoy the power advantage he had at 130lbs. He's going to need more than his dynamite Publish Postleft hand and speed to beat Diaz. The well rounded skills he was honing need to come forth. If Manny wants the same success at lightweight he better make some changes in his strength/conditioning regimen now. Or else he's in for a rude awakening.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Marquez-Pacquiao II Tonight... My prediction

The rematch everyone has been waiting to see is finally here! No you won't be watching two unskilled and over paid heavyweights... The TRUE big men once again share center stage.

This fight guarantees action as both fighters don't fuck around in the ring! They are fighting for their countries and the pride behind that. Mix that in with the bad taste of a draw still wet in their mouths and you've got a fight that could be a fight of the year candidate. That's how great it looks on paper and I seriously doubt Manny and Juan will dare perform any different.

I like the positive retooling Freddy Roach has done with Manny Pac. He's becoming and really is now a more balanced fighter. That was NOT the case in their first fight so Marquez will be facing a totally different beast in the ring tonight. On top of that Manny has reportaly had his best camp since the first Barrera fight. Unlike their first fight, this time he's focused and in great shape.

On paper Marquez is older, has more wear and tear but the dude is still a helluva fighter! He's a terrific counter puncher and that may cause Manny fits once again in this fight. Juan is very tough and durable, has good power, he recovers VERY quick when hurt, has good hand speed. Marquez makes it very uncomfortable when your fighting him. He's very crafty and just knows how to fight. He'll force Pac to fight like hell tonight cause that's what Juan is bringing with him. Juan is still pissed and brining extra venom from the outcome of his brother Rafael's fight with Vazquez a few weeks ago.

It won't matter as Manny will be too fast and strong for Juan. He's not that one punch fighter that gassed out and lost focus 4 years ago. Manny's more balanced skills and speed will allow him to adjust to anything Marquez brings to him. Freddie Roach is a brilliant strategist so their fight plan is going to be solid allowing Manny to stay focused and execute a tough win this time with NO controversy.

Manny Pacquiao by close decision.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This is why you want to develop a powerful upper cut in your boxing workouts.

I feel that the upper cut is the most neglected and lethal punch in a fighters arsenal. It's a sneaky and viscous punch that can change the fight quick and end it in your favor. Fighters MUST master the upper cut and when to throw it. Want more proof? Check out this clip of Bernard Hopkins vs Joe Lipsey. I remember this fight like it was yesterday. When you watch the clip you'll see why.

Click here to learn how to develop a fight ending upper cut. I'll give you a hint, it's NOT an arm punch.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Grading The Big Fight Weekend.

Well David Haye did what he said he was going to do in his fight against Enzo Maccarinelli. He exited the cruserweight division unifying the titles with a spectacular A+ KO of Enzo. David has a lot of people excited. He will bring much needed excitement to the dreadful heavyweight division whether he wins a title or not.

The Sam Peter and Oleg Maskaev fight was a joke! Yeah there was one good round and that was it. Both get an F ( Peter's power/strength is a B+ though when he doesn't hit in the back of the head and yes he did hit Oleg clean so he earns two good grades) and it's scary to think that people are calling Sam Peter the future of the heavyweight division. I think not. When the hell is Tony Thompson going to get his chance! If Tony fights Peter, Tony beats his ass! The dude has skill and heart. Peter has no skill and it's sad to see a fighter who relentlessly clubs fighter in the back of the head to earn the majority of his KO's champion.

The best fight on HBO was Diaz-Campbell. Campbell did what he said he was going to do against Diaz and that was to bring it all night long. He did and Nate won his first tile at ht e young age of 36! Juan Diaz is the fighter who usually overwhelms his opponents with his non stop punching. He finally faced a fighter who would not wilt but return the favor forcing his will and earning the big win. Nate Campbell showed great conditioning A+, Strength A, Power A, opening a cut with his power and stopping Diaz from marching in, Speed A, He was catching Diaz with good hooks and uppercuts early in the fight when Diaz was still in it. His corner earns an A+ too in having Nate ready and keeping him focused to the final bell. Great job by former 2X Champ John David Jackson's team. y!

Coming this weekend is an awesome mega fight with a score to settle. I'm talking about Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manual Marquez . The true big men once again take center stage. This fight is guaranteed to satisfy!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why it's not wise to go to failure in your boxing strength training.

I often hear people talking about how great it is in going to failure in their supplementary strength training for boxing? Why I say? Why instill faulty movement patterns and create shit motor engrams? How can going to failure at the end of your push up set while it looks like you're fucking the floor benefit you? It can't and it's a bad idea.

Maybe it's the go hard or go home mindset that makes coaches and fighters think and act this way. Strength training will only enhance your sporting skill if it's applied correctly. Many seem to over look this.

Instead of going to failure keep a good rep or two in the tank at the end of the set. This eliminates faulty movement patterns ensuring proper motor engraming ( stored movement patterns in the brain ) , improves recovery, while also reducing the chance of injury.

The motto is...train don't drain. Don't fuck up your boxing skill with a garbage approach to your strength training.

Click here to learn proper boxing skill and performance enhancing training.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Looking back on Varquez-Marquez III

So far it's the fight of the year. Both get an A+ in their performances. Both fighters came in superb condition and as hungry as their first encounter. Both showed tremendous conditioning, speed, strength, power, and the special ingredient.... will

I thought Pat Russell did a great job by taking a deducting a point for low blows and by calling the knockdown in the last round. Terrific calls. He maintained control of the fight by deducting a point for the belt line low blow. Low blows take the fight out of the fighter and can ruin such a great fight. Russel didn't allow one of those to sneak in. Marquez was obviously held up by the ropes preventing the knock down. I can't believe that Gary Shaw is protesting it! His fat ass knows damn well it was a great call!

Watching that fight you were just in awe of the physical and mental conditioning of both fighters. Performances like this make you proud to be a boxing fan. That's why both fighters deserve A+ grades and beyond for their effort. Sigh...If only the heavyweights could put forth such an effort... Sigh.

Maybe the score will be evened in four. Meaning Vazquev-Marquez IV... But both need a LONG rest for that fight even being mentioned!