How to Train for Boxing

By Meredith Berg , last updated November 29, 2011

If you are wondering how to train for boxing, don’t believe everything you see in the movies. Old-school training for boxing included a lot of sustained jogging, for four or five miles a day, every morning, just like Rocky. But aerobic cardio routines, like long distance jogs, are not the best way to prepare for an anaerobic sport like boxing. Here is better advice for how to train for boxing.


Training for boxing is similar to body-building because you are trying to build power that you can use in intense bursts. Amateur boxing rounds are two minutes in length. Professional rounds are three minutes in length. You do not need to train your body for hours of low-level jogging. What your body needs is to be able to bring you maximum effort for two or three non-stop minutes. The best way to train for that is by using interval training.

In short, interval training is where you combine spurts of difficulty with short periods of recovery. A great way to do this, without needing to spend any money, is with interval running. If you are just starting out, then you should work up to longer and longer distances for your runs, up to 800 meters if you are preparing for a professional bout. A good starting level is 200 meters. Here is a sample routine if you are beginning your boxing training.

Jog lightly for one mile to warm up. This is very important to avoid injury.

Run at 70% of your top speed for 200 meters.

Walk back to your start, or stay where you are for one minute, letting your body recover.

Run at 80% of your top speed for 200 meters

Repeat your one minute of recovery. Do not rush your rest time.

Run at 90% of your top speed for 200 meters.

Recover for one minute.

Run at 100% of your ability. Give it all you’ve got for 200 meters. If you can continue, recover for one minute and then do this again. Recover for one minute and do this one more time. Do not do more than six running intervals.

Jog for a few minutes for a cool down. As you advance in your physical health, go up to 400 meters. 600 meter intervals are perfect for amateur training, and 800 meters is the best distance for professional. Always practice by doing one more interval than the rounds you expect to box. For instance, if you plan on a four-round boxing fight, then make sure you are training with five running intervals. Do your intervals two to three times a week, with at least one day of rest in between.

Weight Training

Interval training will increase your power and intensity with running, and can also be used for weight training to build muscle. When training with weights, tire out your biggest muscles first, so that you know you can isolate smaller ones later. Do sets of 12 reps, with one minute of rest in between, using heavier and heavier weights, until your fifth set. For your fifth set, do 24 reps of the heaviest weight you can finish with. When you finish, you should feel like you couldn’t possibly lift that weight one more time. You should typically do four to six exercises per session, and do these on the days you do not do interval training.

These are very intense exercises. Be very careful about not overdoing things and causing yourself harm. Take the weekends to rest. Your body repairs and builds up your muscles while you rest, so you must take breaks to improve.

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