Four essentials of an effective boxing workout plan

Updated: May 5, 2021 @ 10:12 am by Imrus

I believe boxing is one of the best workout techniques to get a fit body. It works all your muscles, helps burn fat, and develops your cardio, endurance, and skills. Plus, it is more exciting than lifting weights in the gym. It is an all in one fitness activity that is so exciting.

However, if you want to get the best from boxing, it is not enough to buy a heavy bag and punch it. If that was the case, there were boxers everywhere. It is much more complicated than that.

When you plan your workout routine, you should include the four most critical blocks. These are strength, skills, endurance, and speed.

Let’s see them in detail.

Strength developing workouts

It is evident that you should be strong to beat the opponent or hit the punching bag with power. Hence, you should do strength training.

There are many ways for that. You can lift weights, do bodyweight exercises, or combine them. There is always a debate about if weights are beneficial or bad for boxing. Some experts say lifting weight is wrong because it slows the fighter. Others say it has a positive impact.

I think the solution is the combination of weight and bodyweight exercises. I do that, and it works well.

For example, I make the most beneficial bodyweight moves such as pull-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, squats, etc. but I use dumbbells for curls and shoulder exercises.

But, keep in mind that boxing strength training is not the same as the bodybuilders or the powerlifters do. Your aim is not to build huge muscles and extreme strength. Hence, it is enough to do fewer sets and exercises, but maybe more reps with lighter weights. Besides, do not forget to train each muscle group, especially your abs.

Furthermore, it is enough to have strength training sessions twice a week, and the workouts should not be done in a row. Your muscles need time to rest and recover.

Here is a useful video on the topic.

Developing skills

Another crucial part of an effective boxing workout routine is practicing the various techniques. As with everything in life, you cannot learn anything without continuous training.

Although boxing seems to be just a sport where people throw punches and move here and there, it is a very complicated system requiring a lot of practice.

You have to learn many skills, such as punches, combinations, footwork, defense, etc. You have to spend a lot of time practicing until those skills come naturally.

Shadowboxing and heavy bag training are the best ways if you are at home to improve your drills.

There are a lot of tutorials online from experts from whom you can learn techniques. If you are a total beginner, I recommend you to start with the footwork. Also, do not want to learn everything at once. Pick one skill and practice that until you get familiar with it.

My favorite tutorials:

Boosting your endurance

If you have ever punched a heavy bag for 3 minutes, you know how tiring it is. And just imagine how exhausting it is to survive in the ring for 8 or 12 rounds while you have to attack and protect yourself. I respect boxers for their enormous endurance, which is one reason I started boxing.

So, your workout routine should include many activities that develop your endurance. These are mainly various cardio workouts such as jump roping, running, sprinting, cycling, or compound exercises such as burpees.

To get better stamina have at least 20-minute intervals four times a week, but that depends on your fitness level. If you are a newbie, start with 5-minute intervals, and as you get better, increase the length and the intensity of your drills.

I prefer the high-intensity interval training. For example, I jog for 1 minute and sprint for 30 seconds, and I do 15 circuits. However, there are many types of HIIT you can try.

Here are my favorite sources.

Developing your speed and reaction time

Finally, about speed and reaction that are vital as well.

It is understandable that the faster you are, the harder it is for your opponent to catch you or protect your punches. You can increase your hand speed using a speed bag or shadow boxing if you can train at home.

Enhancing the reaction for a boxer is crucial as well. It helps the fighter to react quickly in various situations when the opponent wants to catch off their guard. The best way to enhance this skill to spare with someone, but shadow boxing, is also a good exercise.

About sparring

Practicing with someone is the best way to develop your techniques. It is an excellent opportunity to learn various styles and to find out how to handle different situations. It prepares your mind for the real fight the best.

More tips on how to improve your reflexes.

Related: Punching with weights


No matter if you want to start boxing at home or in a gym, you should include these blocks in your workout routine to have a comprehensive plan. Although, if you have a coach, he will lead you.

And if you cannot afford to go to a gym, do not worry. By practicing at home, you can learn more than you think, even if you do not practice sparring. Just get a punching bag, gloves, dumbbells, a jump rope, and pair of good running shoes.


Bucko Imre

Hi there, I'm Imre. I started boxing when I was 15, but nowadays I hit my old, dirty heavy bag at home (you know, family, business, etc.) I love boxing so much, so I made this blog to help people get started with it (at home).

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