Most of the training I do is with boxers and Thai boxers and the goal of this program was to improve strength and power for these sports. When developing strength training programs for sports it is worth remembering that being better at the given sport is the priority goal. Strength training may support the overall goal but should not interfere with or supersede it. Many old school boxing coaches are suspicious of using weights for fear of slowing down their fighters. However, if used properly strength training can actually improve speed and power. For this program, consideration needed to be given to; balancing time spent in the weight room against time spent skill training, recovery time, and avoiding adding significant body mass.
Two sessions are used in a split routine to include the main plains of movement; upper-body vertical push and pull, upper-body horizontal push and pull, lower-body push (quad-emphasis), lower-body pull (posterior-chain emphasis).
A separate routine for rotational strength using a body-weight suspension trainer was used along side this program.
Five second lowering (eccentric) phases were used for strength development. Additionally, some exercises were performed as complex pairs (strength move immediately followed by plyometric move) for power development.
The Sub 10 Rep Rule
I picked up this concept from ‘The Four Hour Body’ by Tim Ferris. An excellent book dedicated to dispelling diet and training myths and pairing everything down to the most simple and effective methods. Advocates of the 10 rep rule include renowned strength coaches Pavel Tsatsouline and Barry Ross. The aim is to be able to train heavy and often with quick recovery. The key ingredients of the 10 rep rule are that no more than 10 reps of each exercise are completed. Sets are less than 5 reps (usually 2 to 4) with 4 to 5 minutes rest in between sets of the same exercise. (See the previous article for example set formulas.) Each set should be completed leaving 1 to 2 reps ‘in the tank’ rather than to failure.
I will be posting up my results of a four week cycle. If you want to try this system out I would be interested in your comments!