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vocabulary La Rochefoucauld: "We lack the strength of character to obediently follow all the dictates of reason."
Circular training for boxers, preparation method in the USSR

Circular training for boxers, preparation method in the USSR


As a result of conducting several tests to determine maximum speed and agility, it is possible to talk about a method for improving the speed-strength indicators of each boxer. Individually for each boxer, a training methodology is selected. Measuring indicators during training allows adjusting the methodology itself so that its effectiveness is maximized.

When it comes to increasing the speed-strength component of a boxer, the circular training method is considered very effective.

The fact is that circular training allows developing strength, speed, and endurance not separately - but as a complex manifestation: strength endurance, speed-strength endurance, and speed-strength.

What is this circular method about?

Vsevolod Grigoryevich Chernyi, Senior Lecturer of the Boxing Department of the State Central Institute of Physical Education, Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR, explained the essence of the method.

Vsevolod Grigorievich Cherny

«The outward sign of this form of training is that it is carried out in a circle, in almost any gym or ordinary hall, a sports ground. With the availability of a minimal amount of sports equipment, a series of stations are marked, that is, places where exercises are performed. The number of stations depends on the number of athletes. The boxers should pass through all the stations and perform the exercises assigned to them. The material for improving the means of general physical training, in the general preparation period, are practically simple and not difficult exercises of basic or auxiliary gymnastics. As the level of training increases, the exercises, in the way they are carried out and in the nature of the efforts developed, should be as close as possible to the specialised exercises. This is due to the fact that the transfer of training from general exercises to special exercises changes as the level of qualification increases. The alternating influence on those muscle groups of the boxer that are involved in the technique of movements during the fight: the shoulder girdle, the legs, torso.»

Let's consider the purpose of the main stations

1.Jumps over the bench

This exercise is designed to strengthen the calf muscles and the foot ligaments. It helps to maintain a better balance when landing and to quickly orientate oneself and take up a fighting position after an attack or counterattack.

Bench Jumping

2.Exercise with wall blocks (straight punches with resistance)

It is characterised by a peculiar type of muscular tension inherent to boxing. Performed at the prescribed pace, the exercise helps develop the ability of the muscles to relax quickly after a sudden and strong contraction. Here you can use resistance bands instead of blocks.

3.Core bends from the prone position (abdominals on the floor)

They contribute to strengthening the abdominal muscles, mobility and flexibility of the spine in the lumbar region. A sharp transition of the abdominal muscles from relaxation to tension increases resistance to punches. The bend should be combined with a sharp exhale in the final position.

Rocking abs on floor - torso bends from lying position

4.Exercise with a barbell - throwing the barbell forward while standing

Applied to develop explosive strength and quickness of the arm, upper shoulder girdle and back muscles. The weight of the projectile depends on the weight and preparedness of the boxer. The barbell is held by the fingers at chest level. An initial powerful voluntary and muscular tension is necessary – an explosion. The exercise is characterised by a strong muscular-motor sensation.

Throwing the barbell, barbell standing in front of you

5.Depth jumps (jumping onto a bench + shadowboxing)

Develops the explosive strength of the leg muscles. The main focus is on the push-off moment after landing. The contact time between the feet and the ground should be minimal. And the height of the jump after the pushback - maximum.

bench jump and shadow fight

6.Medicine Ball Exercise (throwing a heavy ball forward from the shoulder, into wall)

This exercise is designed to develop explosive strength and speed in the muscles of the arms, upper shoulder girdle, back, pelvis and legs, and to improve their coordination. The athlete's movements should be as close as possible to boxing movements. The exercise cultivates a valuable ability for boxers to instantly transition from tension to relaxation and vice versa.

throwing heavy ball forward from shoulder, into wall


They are an effective means of enhancing the vestibular stability of boxers, mastering the ability to maintain a stable dynamic balance. Without this, their actions in the ring will be ineffective, and they will be more vulnerable to the opponent's punches.

Forward-back tumbling

8.Floor Barbell Exercise (pushing forward with one hand, vertical bar)

Develops arm strength, endurance and lateral trunk muscles. This exercise should be performed in the starting position of a boxing stance, for both the left and right hand. A strong initial acceleration is required and it is important to start the movement without a swing.

One-hand floor bar toss

9.Jumping over a vaulting horse

Here the coordination of movements is perfected and the ability to measure movements accurately in terms of strength, speed, direction and amplitude is developed. The unusual position of the body in space and the speed of change during jumps contribute to quick orientation in combat situations.

Goat jump

10.Sledgehammer Exercise

Under the influence of striking movements, muscles gain elasticity, arm joint mobility improves, wrists are strengthened and grip strength increases. The punch is combined with a sharp exhalation and therefore with the movement of the respiratory muscles, which helps to regulate the boxer's breathing and also cultivates the ability to concentrate effort at the moment of impact.

Sledgehammer exercise, for impact

To check the optimal workload after every three minutes of clean work on equipment, a one-minute break is given, during which the pulse rate of the trainee is determined. If the workload is optimal, the pulse rate should correspond to the pulse value of a boxing match – that is, 120-140 beats per minute after three minutes of work. 160-180 beats after 6 minutes. 200-220 beats per minute after 9 minutes of work. If the pulse rate does not meet the requirements, the coach should optimize the load by changing the intensity of the exercises on the station.

In Soviet times, there was no workout movement yet, or rather, there was something similar: our fathers went to exercise on horizontal bars and parallel bars in schoolyards, on sports grounds (An open-air gym in the Hydropark appeared precisely on the initiative of ordinary people who brought scrap iron from all factories).

This training method is also applicable in the pre-competition period. By using the structure of circuit training, by including specific exercises, it is possible to successfully improve special strength qualities. The principle of training is the same as in the preparatory period.

The following stations are included in the circuit training

1.Pneumatic punching bag

The punching bag strikes the platform and moves quickly and rhythmically after the punch is delivered. With this projectile one develops rhythm, speed and accuracy of striking, speed endurance. Here you can improve both straight and side kicks.

Pneumogrush work

2.Heavy Bag

Punching with a heavy bag develops strength, the ability to throw punches in a seamless combination, and the stamina to punch at a high speed for long periods of time. On heavy bags, it's better to perfect strikes from below.

Heavy bag boxing work

3.Hanging speed bag

The hanging bag can be filled with sand with sawdust, peas, water - this determines the weight and capabilities. On this apparatus all kinds of blows are perfected, their accuracy and speed are developed, the sense of distance, the ability to correctly differentiate the effort in the final position of the blow.

Boxing work with a hanging bag

4.Light bag

Hooks and side punches are perfected on smaller diameter bags. Their technique is very different from the technique of striking from below and straight. Different muscle groups are involved in the movement. That's why it is necessary to pay special attention to the correct application of the hooks.

Light bag work


This station improves the coordination of the legs, the speed of their movement, the ability to subtly feel the transfer of body weight from one leg to the other, and increases stability, which is very important when performing offensive and counter-attacking actions.

6.Wall-mounted pad

The basic equipment for practising powerful, accentuated punches. Due to its immobility, it allows you to develop a specific sense of impact, the maximum concentration of force at the moment the glove makes contact with the target. Direct punches are the most appropriate.

Work with wall pad

7.Dumbbell exercises (shadow boxing  with dumbbell)

It is important to pay attention to the correct punching technique. Explosive work is necessary. Punches must be delivered with maximum initial acceleration, but without swing.

dumbbell air work

8. Ducking

During a fight, a boxer is affected by a complex series of accelerations resulting from different motor activities. These accelerations affect the athlete's vestibular system. This exercise improves a boxer's specific vestibular stability.

9.Floor Punching Bag (or Double Ended Punching Bag)

This equipment is used to perfect the delivery of straight and side punches. It helps to develop a sense of distance, coordination of movement, rhythm, speed and accuracy of punch.

During the circuit training itself, it is important to focus on maintaining a high speed as you move through the stations, while still paying attention to proper technique.

punching bag work

What is the methodological basis of circuit training

One of the main advantages of circuit training is that it mimics a fight, as it involves multiple alternations of rest and work, dosed in an order that is specific to each athlete, i.e. it develops the qualities that are lacking.

Work at each station alternates with periods of rest, known as interval training. The duration of the work at each station and the rest period will depend on the training load. For example, at the beginning of the general preparation period, the time spent at each station may be up to three minutes, while the rest intervals may be up to one minute. As your fitness level increases, the intensity of the exercises increases and the time spent resting and working decreases significantly.

A well-known scheme can be used: at the end of both general preparation and pre-competition training, a three-round boxing match is simulated. The work time at each station is 20 seconds, with a 10-second transition from one station to the next. Three minutes of pure work time. Nine stations are completed, followed by a one-minute rest, and the cycle is repeated twice more. The whole circuit takes 15 minutes.

vocabulary La Rochefoucauld: "We lack the strength of character to obediently follow all the dictates of reason."

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