When you step into the ring for your first ever full length sparring session, you will see that you are not in a shape as good as you previously thought you were.. You learned how to build stamina for beginners, which was fine when you wanted to start training and spar a little bit. But for a full fledge boxing match, you need more. You need to increase your stamina and endurance level in order to compete with other boxers on the same level. The pressure of the match, the movement, the hits, etc. take out more from you than you currently have in your tank.
The question is how to build stamina for that next level? Below are some of the steps that will help you reach that level of conditioning
1. Build Stamina by increasing Cardio
The goal for cardio is to enable your body to absorb more oxygen. You have to increase your heart rate and push your body beyond its usual limits. For example, if you run 3 miles a day without exhausting yourself, it won’t do you any good. You need to increase the time day by day so that it exhausts you and increases your stamina span.
Let’s break it down; you use all your muscles when you fight and muscles need oxygen to create fuel for themselves. When you are able to increase your oxygen intake, with the help of cardio, you can keep the muscles running on all cylinders for longer. In due time, you will be able to do more exercise without getting out of breath. Boxing itself is a great cardio. When you are done with your usual training, spend some extra time sparring or working the bag.
In regards to your exiting cardio plan, increase the time period you spend doing cardio exercise. Soon you will feel comfortable with the increase and you can add even more time to it.
2. Build Stamina for Muscles
You may think, aren’t my muscles being trained for endurance when I do cardio? Not exactly. Muscle endurance is different from your body’s stamina. The muscles need to be strong enough to handle the movements inside the ring. Your legs should be able to carry you around the ring for 10 rounds, sometimes more. The core should help you generate more power for the punches. Similarly, the shoulders and arm muscles need to give you the speed required to land killer punches. You have to start working out all these muscles more. Spend more time in the gym, do bodyweight exercises and train the muscles that you will utilize once inside the ring.
3. Muscle Memory
If you don’t know how muscle memory works, here is the short version;
The more time you spend doing a certain physical activity, the easier the movement becomes. The movement of walking is stored in the area of the brain that keeps the information about muscle memory. This way you don’t have to ‘learn’ that movement again and again. When you are in boxing training, you are told to repeatedly practice the fighting movement. Shadow boxing, sparring and hitting the punch bag, all these help you build your muscle memory for fights. The best method for building muscle memory for boxing is shadow boxing.
Sparring and punch bag workouts can tire you quickly but you can shadow box for hours.
4. Learning Correct Technique
Say you don’t have the correct technique to throw the uppercut. Every time you throw it, you will have to expend extra energy. Result…you will get tired a lot sooner than you should. Precision, speed, and strength all come through correct technique. In the same way, if you do not know how to dodge and defend properly, you will tire yourself out by moving around too much.
A prime example of this is Floyd Mayweather. A 50-0 record, all because he knew exactly how to use his boxing technique at the right moments. He always picked his spots and his timing was epic. Which is why he was successful. To reach that level of boxing, you need to perfect your technique. Offense, defense, footwork, and everything else you need to do in the ring should be perfected outside of it first. These are the steps that you need to take in order to improve your stamina and endurance. After acting on the advice mentioned above, you will start to see the difference inside the ring. An important thing to note here is that there is another level of conditioning that is required when you step into the ring with more experienced boxers. We will talk about that in a later post, for now you should focus on the improvements that we have mentioned above.