Weightlifting vs Calisthenics For Boxing | Pros and Cons

Should i lift weights or do calisthenics to get better at boxing? This question comes up for many fighters who want to up their game even more – not to mention this comparison is often drawn by people who don’t even fight.

Weightlifting Pros

Image by 3dman_eu via Pixabay

It can get you stronger. Not saying you can’t get strong by doing push-ups or pull-ups, but weights allow you to increase the resistance of a specific exercise easier – as example, doing 5 sets of 5 reps barbell squats will get your lower body stronger than doing 5 sets of 20 reps regular body weight squats. A great program that covers fundamental weight training exercises that works great for boxers is the good old Starting Strength (link to Amazon).

Has more varied equipment. Kettlebells, dumbbells, specific machines can all be used to build strength and power, while with calisthenics the selection is not as large.

Calisthenics Pros

Image by Simongrizon via Wikimedia Commons

Less chance of getting injured. Lifting weights requires more precise technique to execute, not to mention the additional weight your body has to bear, therefore making even the slightest mistake potentially dangerous.

It’s free. Many boxing gyms have basic weight training equipment but not all, and doing most of the calisthenics exercises requires almost none.

It’s also great that you don’t have to go to the gym just so you could do some resistance training, especially if you get a pull-up bar (link)┬áthat you can fit on your doorway.

A lot of boxing coaches suggest on doing calisthenics only. It does make sense why as lifting weights is more strenuous to recover from, is more dangerous to perform and can build unwanted muscle mass that can actually hinder your performance, if done incorrectly.

More information on strength training

Isolation exercises such as bicep curls are a waste of time – you should focus on main compound movements such as squats, deadlifts and pull-ups.

Another thing you can use in your strength training is resistance bands (check them out on Amazon). Getting a set of different bands allows you to do variety of exercises as they differ in resistance – you can also use them for shadow boxing.

So which’s best?

It entirely depends on your opinion. Personally i would go with both.

What you have to understand is that following just one discipline of strength training will definitely get you better, but not the best you can be.

Look at how fighters like Gennady Golovkin or Vasyl Lomachenko train – they do everything: medicine ball throwing, shadow boxing with weights, agility ladder work, jumping barbell squats, dips, sometimes you see them doing exercises you have never seen before!

Boxing world is constantly evolving, so strength and conditioning trainers of these fighters try new things that can make them win fights and stay champions.

What i suggest is incorporating both of these strength training methods with a lot of more additional exercises.

This is a great video that covers just about everything you have to know:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *