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Old 07-17-2007, 01:32 AM   #1
AnthonyJ74
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Default Punching Power and Weight Training?

Do you think that heavy weight training makes a big difference in a fighters punching power? Do you think George Foreman would have hit even harder in his prime had he weight trained like Holyfield? What about Lennox Lewis? I have heard conflicting reports as to whether or not Tyson practiced weight training on a regular basis, but it's hard for me to imagine Tyson hitting any harder no matter how much weight he lifted.......Your thoughts?
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:56 AM   #2
fists of fury
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Default Re: Punching Power and Weight Training?

I don't think weight training makes much of a diffrerence regarding punching power. A little yes, but not a lot.
Other factors like balance, timing, snap, leverage etc. determine punching power, rather than raw strength.
Cus D'amato used to talk about punching aptitiude, saying some guys had the aptitiude to punch hard whilst others didn't.

For instance, Tyson would probably come in stone last in a strongman competition, but he punches significantly harder than any of those guys.
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Punching Power and Weight Training?

What do you mean by leverage ?
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Punching Power and Weight Training?

From what I understand, Earnie Shavers worked on a farm growing up, grasping and hoisting up bales of hay repetitiously. Max Baer grew up doing this with heavy slabs of meat, and Joe Frazier worked in a slaughterhouse. As a boy, Roberto Duran stole coconuts by shimmying up tall trees, simultaneously activating all the muscles in his arms and back to act in unision.

This kind of pulling and lifting involves gripping a heavy object, then leveraging it up quickly, getting the entire body into the movement.

Muscle isolated weight training is not the same thing.

Franco Columbo was a successful amateur boxer in Italy, before he took up bodybuilding and powerlifting. But his introduction to weight training came in boxing. However, that was with the use of two and four pound dumbells, which worked very effectively.

If training with heavy weights were to enhance punching power, it would likely be Olympic style lifting, which involves speed, coordination, agility, and balance.

Grip and tensile strength, as well as muscular endurance, could be highly beneficial in developing punching power. In other words, skip the use of any hand wrappings at all, as this would be entirely counterproductive.

The muscular physiques we see on many boxers today is the result of using growth enhancing substances, rather than weight training primarily.

Boxers develop well defined biceps by wailing away at a heavy bag. Wood chopping builds grip and tensile strength, as well as muscular endurance.

It would be best that any weight training performed not compromise a full range of motion to the slightest extent.

To sum up, punching power is more a matter of technique, leverage and usually speed.

As Gene Tunney described it, the "ability of Dempsey to generate such punishing power over a few inches of swing, without seeming leverage, traced from a quick power inherent in his unusual shoulder conformation with its high bulging deltoid muscles." Like freckles or blue eyes, this is an inborn trait, not something subject to change through exercise. When a boxer raises his arms at the scale after a weigh-in, do not check out his biceps, but rather how high his delts are bunched up. Sluggers generally have sloping shoulders which peak like this when arms are upraised.

Some boxers generate tremendous punching power by virtue of having wide shoulders. Wide shoulders = long collarbone, again, something either born with or not. It's rather difficult to lengthen an inherently short collarbone with weight training.

When Sam Langford was asked the secret to his great punching power, he said "T'aint no secret, all I do is put them hips in those punches!," or words to that effect.

Gene Tunney worked for a year as a lumberjack to strengthen his hands. Boxers who are able to generated tremendous punching power frequently have hands which can't withstand that stress. Max Baer and Jimmy McLarnin both had this problem. (One thing that sets Dempsey and Jeffries apart, is that they were power punchers who apparently never had boxing related injuries to their hands, so they could just wail away with abandon. Tommy Gibbons had the top of his head pounded into a mess of discolored lumps, bumps and bruises by Dempsey.)

Benny Leonard did not start out as a hard puncher, but strictly as a boxer. He made a concerted effort to cultivate his punching power in the gym, and one day, he suddenly succeeded, making a quantum breakthrough he was never able to analyze and explain. (I suspect it was an abrupt preconscious undertanding of punching biomechanics.) If Benny had not gotten himself purposely disqualified against Jack Britton when he challenged for Britton's WW Title, he would have been the only person to kayo Britton in Jack's final 349 matches. (I can only speculate that Leonard wanted to test himself against Britton, to affirm for himself that he was superior, since he was having no difficulty making the LW limit.)

The most popular way of cultivating punching power among the octogenarian former boxers I have known is simply to pound away at a heavy bag with one arm for three rounds, nonstop. (By which point the arm should feel like lead, and ready to fall off.)
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:06 PM   #5
AnthonyJ74
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Default Re: Punching Power and Weight Training?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fists of fury
I don't think weight training makes much of a diffrerence regarding punching power. A little yes, but not a lot.
Other factors like balance, timing, snap, leverage etc. determine punching power, rather than raw strength.
Cus D'amato used to talk about punching aptitiude, saying some guys had the aptitiude to punch hard whilst others didn't.

For instance, Tyson would probably come in stone last in a strongman competition, but he punches significantly harder than any of those guys.
I think I would have to agree with you. I think punchers are born rather than made, on average. Althought I believe weight training can aid power, I don't think it will make a huge difference.
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