Category Archives: Training

January 18, 2019
January 18, 2019
Manny Pacquiao

Wendell Alinea/Manny Pacquiao Promotions

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My journey
I STILL train my own fighters. I was training fighters with Freddie Roach and someone was doing an interview one day and asked me, ‘What do you do with Manny Pacquiao?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I suppose I do some strength and conditioning.’ That was 2004. Before that there were no strength and conditioning coaches for fighters and then it just sort of blew up. Everyone’s a strength and conditioning coach now! That’s all well and good, there’s a lot of good guys out there, but with fighters it’s a different ball-game. It’s an individual sport and the other guy over there wants to beat you up. If you haven’t been in the ring and experienced what a fighter experiences and know what it is to dig down, suck it up and fight, it’s really hard to relay that to a fighter and expect him to give you his respect and his 100 per cent. If you’ve never been where he’s been, it’s just harder. If I had some guy telling me what to do who’d never been in the ring, I’d be like, ‘Really? Give me a break. What do you know?’

The Pacquiao team
I started working with Manny in 2002, stopped in 2008 and then came back for the last Timothy Bradley fight [in April 2014]. The other guy [Fortune’s predecessor Alex Ariza] was an idiot.

When me, Freddie and Manny are together it’s a good team. We work so well together. Freddie was my trainer since 1992 and we just know each other so well. I know what Freddie wants from a fighter and it’s very easy for us to work together. And Manny was happy, because we’re friends to start with, all three of us. If your athlete is happy, you’re going to get 110 per cent out of him.

Manny Pacquaio

Make him explosive
I work with him every day. It’s a whole bunch of agility work, speed work and upping his strength. We go to UCLA [university campus], do a bleacher work, different things.

Boxing’s pretty boring, it’s the same stuff – bagwork, mitt work. We do a lot of lower-body and upper-body plyometric work because they’re explosive exercises and they use fast-twitch muscle fibres. We do jumps, floor ladder work, and for the upper body, a lot of ball work and basically speed-pushing work. You’ve either got fast-twitch or you don’t, and if you don’t, you might as well go do long-distance running or something, because boxing’s not your bag.

Manny Pacquiao

Keep it interesting
I used to get bored as a fighter so I would always change things up to keep myself interested in what I was doing, and it keeps the body responding. This was 20 years ago, just because I got bored, nothing scientific behind it.

It’s shocking your body into performing all the time. Keep it varied, keep it interesting and we have fun and we work hard.

Manny Pacquiao

Work to the opponent
Obviously you cater towards each opponent. With Floyd Mayweather, it was a lot more leg work because we think we’re going to be chasing him and using a bunch of angles, so Manny needs to be super-explosive off his legs. Legs are where your power comes from, legs and hips, so we’re just developing that.

Manny Pacquiao

Manny’s strengths
He’s a freak, one of those freak fighters. These guys, they run hard, they run fast, they’re explosive. Manny is super-explosive, his legs are ridiculous, his angles are crazy. You don’t know where he’s going to be. He’s all over the place and that’s Manny’s gift.

That’s the way he fights, he’s very, very difficult to pin down, and when you can’t pin someone down, you can’t hit them.

My job
I want my fighter 100 per cent fit and super-explosive. I do my job, Freddie does his job and Manny does his job, we come out with what we want, which is the win. I know what Freddie wants out of a fighter – I’ve trained a few of his fighters – and that’s what I can give him. Freddie puts his game plan into play and that’s it. It’s a hell of a lot of common sense. Everybody wants to reinvent the wheel. All these guys come into camp with ideas but really boxing’s been around forever and if someone knew about it, it would have been done 30, 40, 50 years ago. There’s only certain ways you can train a body and my training falls back on old-fashioned hard work. If you’re chopping wood or lifting hay bales, you can’t help but get stronger, that’s just the way it is. It’s not rocket science.

January 7, 2019
January 7, 2019
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Video: Showtime

January 6, 2019
January 6, 2019

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Strength and conditioning is becoming more and more popular within the boxing community. In a new article series, Boxing Science provide the Top 5 exercises that we use in our programs to improve punch force.

Strength training is important for Boxing

Impulse is the amount of force developed in a short space of time, and this is an important contributor to running, jumping and throwing performance, as well as… yeah you guessed it, PUNCH FORCE.

This can be improved through hand speed drills and technique. However these improvements might be small. Our programs are designed to improve the maximal force production through strength, speed and movement drills. The more weight load you can shift in the shortest amount of time will give you more bang for your buck. Click below to see number 1.


January 4, 2019
January 4, 2019
Gennady Golovkin

Michael Sterling Eaton/Neo Nostalgia

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THE majority of our strength and conditioning program is quite generic as we look to focus on the physical adaptations. We want exercises that require us to generate the most force in a short amount of time; therefore we need a higher external load in order to achieve these adaptations.

That’s why we use exercises such as the Squat and the Deadlift as we know that these are the most effective exercises to help improve rate of force development.

However, this is just producing force through these movements. At Boxing Science, we want our athletes to benefit these improvements in RFD through the punching action. Therefore, we use punch specific exercises.

Power Up Your Punch

At Boxing Science, we use punch specific exercises as part of an explosive warm-up and core supersets during S&C sessions, as well as becoming a key exercise during the taper phase. We also use them in technical training, sparring and competition warm up routines to help fire a boxer up and make them feel strong, sharp and powerful.

The desired outcomes of punch specific training are improved hand speed, punching strength and effective mass. We select exercises that promote the kinetic chain sequencing from foot to fist – coaching and cueing forceful hip and core rotation.

The Landmine Punch

The landmine punch is a great exercise to develop strength, speed and explosiveness in a punch specific action.

Check out the video demo by Danny Wilson as he explains the optimal way to perform this exercise, common mistakes and useful variations.

Want help with putting this into your program?

Boxing Science can help you put these training methods in place with our NEW E-book ‘Punch Harder’

This 20-page guide will explain more about each stage, and provide visual demonstrations of 15 different exercises to set you on your way to a harder punch!

Download your FREE copy today

January 3, 2019
January 3, 2019

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We asked strength and conditioning coach Krool for some tips on how to improve your stamina:


The old method of going running and plodding along, if you take sports specific training and apply it to what a fighter would use in a fight, I don’t think it’s really that effective, if you really look at it. If you think of running a 5k, unless on your 5k route you’re doing sprints and there’s different exercises you’re going to bring, then that’s not really functional enough.

It’s just boring going on the road and running, the old school boxing idea of going on a run. In this day and age everything has to change a bit. You could be running for four minutes and then picking up the pace for two minutes on your run, then half pace, picking it up to three quarter pace. Doing a full sprint for 30 seconds or a minute, then recovering. Runs will be more effective if you have the coach, the coach is interactive with the fighters and the coach is on a bike and the coach picks up the pace of the fighters. It brings a different element.

If it’s plodding along, it’s just conducive to injuries eventually. You don’t need to do 10k runs. 5k, with all the other training they’re doing is perfect.


I’ll do lots of explosive exercises with either a tornado ball or I’ll use a medicine ball. I’ll do lots of explosive throwing. So imagine him throwing punches but not in a boxing gym, I’m taking him out of the boxing environment so we might do that in the park.

With a medicine ball, I’ll have him crouching down, getting up and exploding, twisting maybe from your left to your right, so that’s making sure he’s getting enough leverage in his punches. He has to extend to his right side and throw the medicine ball either against a wall, throw it to me and wait for me to get it back to him. He’ll keep on twisting from left to right or from right to left. We’ll do a minute on each side, so his obliques really get strong.

Again if you just have someone lying on the floor doing a sit up, or doing sit ups with oblique twists, it’s not really functional and it’s not really sports specific because he’s not really going to lie down on the floor and fight on the floor, he’s going to be standing up and throwing punches. Again you have to relate the sport that you’re involved in to the exercises that you’re doing.


Knees slightly bent so you’re getting a lot of work out of your core and lower back, because that’s where the power comes from. We have them swinging the kettlebell between the legs, doing two swings basically (imagine them throwing two punches) going half [way up first], then the full American Swing all the way up and have the biceps and the ears in one straight line. So you first go half [way up] then you go full.

Sometimes I have people doing them for a minute. Boxers especially, when you take them out of their comfort zone, mostly it’s when they’reworking on minutes and they’re working on time. It’s mind over matter working through your exercises.

When I do a kettlebell work out, I’ll have them doing those kettlebell swings for a minute then [with 30 seconds rest inbetween], upright rows with the kettlebell, then single kettlebell swings with one arm, so it’s building up the power individually with each arm, you’ll swap arms obviously. For single arm movements I’ll do that for 40 seconds or 45 seconds. Once they start improving you can take it further. Then you can have them changing direction with a kettlebell. It’s working on foot movement, how they pivot in the ring. You bring that dimension into it, where you’re pivoting on the right leg, turning to the left and pivoting on the left leg and turning to the right. As you go up you pivot and when you come down you’ve changed direction, it’s part of the kettlebell swing. You can have them squatting and pressing with single arms again. Instead of swinging now you’re going into a full press. So you go from a full squat, getting as low as possible, and then extending your arm above your head into a shoulder press, using that as a punch. You’re not punching forward you’re punching straight up. Off that, once you’re getting that, you can then add a lunge forward, throwing the punch, then stepping back into the squat again. You bring the footwork into it.



  • KETTLEBELL swings 1 min, rest 30 seconds
  • UPRIGHT row 1 min, rest 30 seconds
  • SINGLE arm swings, 40 seconds each arm,rest 30 seconds
  • KETTLEBELL Swing with pivot, 1 min, rest 30 seconds
  • SQUAT and press, 40 seconds each arm


YOGA helps your mental focus. Because it’s Bikram and it’s done in a hot room it also helps stretch out the muscles. Boxers put a lot of stress on the muscles so he’s doing two hits in one, the mental focus, having to stay in that room for almost two hours or an hour and a half, he’s controlling his respiratory system and he’s also working out a lot of the lactic acid in the stretches and in the hot room itself.

*For training information and workouts from some of the biggest names in combat sport don’t miss the Fighting Fit: Train like the Stars special*

January 2, 2019
January 2, 2019
strength and conditioning

Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

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HARD work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard. Talent with hard work is unbeatable.” It’s hard to argue with trainer and former world title challenger Jim McDonnell at the best of times, but when he is espousing such compelling principles, it becomes impossible. Below, in his own words, the coach of top super-middleweight James DeGale among others shares some useful tips on how to improve your running for boxers.


IT’S like a menu for a meal. Over the course of a camp, we’ve got to put ingredients into the recipe to get the best product. In a 12-week camp, the first month is what we call ‘Donkey work’, the stuff that when you get sharp, crisp and fast, it’s got to be in the tank; you don’t want to be doing it close to a fight. It’s your endurance work. Putting the miles in on the road. We do it by time because it’s not a race, it’s time on feet. You’re way out from boxing. So we run for two hours at ‘talking’ pace, nice and steady.

These long runs build strength, endurance, conditioning, leg strength. We’ll do a run like this once a week at this stage of camp. We do a run in Hampstead, over six hills, from sub-two hours, steady state, at the start of camp, to doing it in one hour and 15 minutes when DeGale is in top shape.

It’s 8.3 miles and one of the hills is the steepest in London. Sometimes when he goes out he’ll be wearing a lot of clothing, hand weights, boots, and do a slow jog; time on feet. Then, when he goes in his tracksuit or shorts and t-shirt, he’s really fast.


WHEN he’s fine-tuning, in the last six weeks, we do tempo runs. It’s not a luxury run, it’s hard work against the clock. A tempo run is about 5-45, definitely subsix- minute. It’s a measured distance and they have to try and beat me; I’ll run subsix minutes every mile. Sometimes we’ll hit the track and do 1,600m in 5-30, then go up and down the hill, maybe a halfdozen times, that really takes it out of you. Then you do another sub-six mile, before running on the flat for 45 minutes. We do lots of work on the track and the sessions vary. We do one called ’20-10′.

You have to cover a set distance in 20 seconds; if you drop short, you’re out; end of session. You get exactly 10 seconds’ recovery then you’ve got to run the same distance again. You have to do that for 12 minutes; that’s 24 reps. I can count on one hand the amount of fighters in my career who have achieved that. To start, we see how far they can sprint flat-out in 20 seconds. Then, after the 10-second recovery, they have to get back to where they started from. They either drop just short or they go a bit further. If they go further, we say, ‘Oh, you can do that in 20 seconds. Now we know how far you can sprint.’

Sometimes I bring things out in the middle of it. So they do the sprint, and straight after the 10 seconds’ rest, I make them do a round on the pads. They’ve got no breath, their heart-rate’s over the top and they’re doing pads. While the donkey work is aerobic, the interval work is anaerobic. It’s like when we do 15 15s – 15-second sprints with 15-second rests. It replicates when James is in the ring, working in 15-second bursts, then walking around for 15 seconds, and he’s recovered. His heartrate goes from 70bpm to 120bpm, then he takes that walk and it goes back down again. James can throw a huge amount of punches every round because of the training he does.


SOMETIMES, we’re running early in the morning, up a hill in Epping Forest, and I pull some pads out from behind a tree! I’ve stashed some gloves there too and they go through a pads drill. Then, we run another mile, and I pull out two 10kg weights from behind another tree. I’ve got to lay it all out in advance. One of the key things in training is to keep the body from getting accustomed. They have to get used to adapting by working with the unpredictable, prepare for the unexpected, so when something happens in the ring that hasn’t happened before, they can deal with it. That’s why I surprise them in training and I do different sessions, week in, week out.


FIGHTERS sometimes say to a trainer, ‘You don’t know how hard it is.’ You can’t say that to me. Anything they do, I can do and I have done. Every distance, they can’t beat me and they respect the fact I’m still doing stuff. You’re not asking them to do anything you can’t do. I could get a good runner and a strength coach to work with my fighters but, as a bonding thing, if, as a fighter, I know my trainer in the corner has done the distance, and he’s telling me in the ninth round, ‘Come on!’, I think you respond. Leading from the front is sometimes a positive thing.


December 20, 2018
December 20, 2018

Action Images

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HEAVYWEIGHT boxing has been on a meteoric rise over the past few years, now with Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte, Dereck Chisora and the rest, it’s one of the most exciting divisions at the moment.

The size and unique knockout power these heavyweights possess seems to attract the casual boxing fans.

These are athletes that carry their own identity and may require different training approaches in comparison to fighters in lighter weight categories.

A lot of adaptations need to be made technically and tactically in their boxing preparation.

Likewise with their strength and conditioning training. Being taller and heavier will effect exercise selection, plus having the luxury of not making weight also needs to be managed also.

In this week’s episode of Boxing Science TV – S&C coach Danny Wilson provides you with five considerations when training heavyweight boxers:

What needs to be considered?

  • Carefully select exercises – especially for lower-body
  • Accommodating resistance training
  • Longer HIIT intervals
  • Gain muscle AND speed
  • Target peripheral adaptations