Joe Hewitt, Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Sport Wales Institute, the elite performance function of Sport Wales, explains the vital role of strength and conditioning in developing the boxing stars of tomorrow.
Incorporated into a wider programme of work with the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association, I’ve spent the last few days working to identify talent and assess the levels of physical ability amongst some of Wales’ most promising boxers.
Built into an assessment camp which has seen boxers from all over Wales put through their paces, mock strength and conditioning sessions have been giving them a taster of what could become a regular part of their boxing training and routine.
Boxing is all about repeated explosive effort, effectively the length of time that a boxer can sustain a level of force and so the sessions will expose them to the level of strength that they will need for nine minutes in the ring.
We’ll introduce the type of exercise techniques typically associated with strong man competitions, so carries, drags and lifting weight to develop their structural strength. The ultimate goal is for them to be able to deal with the physical demands of their sport as well in the third round as they do in the first; to take a hit and to not be rocked by it.
We can often move on to the external loading work relatively quickly so once we’ve held next weekend’s camp in North Wales, a couple more in Cardiff and one with our female boxers, we’ll be able to start getting our future boxers into the Sport Wales National Centre and put these techniques into practice.