critique this please

I am training for boxing. I use med. ball and plyos for power. I read on this forum that its good to keep the same small pool of excersizes. Here is the pool of excersizes I will be useing for the next 12 weeks. Keep in mind this is only for my weights not my plyos or medacine ball work.
1 leg squats, 1 leg deadlifts, wide stance goodmornings, knee raises, landmines, janda sit ups, hammer grip bent over rows, chins, hang shrug pulls, bench press, and DB JM press. I will change things up by varying intensity, reps, sets, and methods(chains, bands, isometric pauses, etc…). The 1 legged squats and deads are from Ian King, he says to master those befor you use regular squats and deads. I am pretty new to athletic training, I have a few years experience with bodybuilding methods. I would appreciate anybody from this forums opinion on any of this. Thanks a ton.

If you’re training age is relatively young, then I would be more inclined to suggest that you develop bilateral (both legs)squatting and deadlifting before any unilateral (single leg) lifts.
Also, as a relative beginner to sport specific strength training, keep things simple. Utilize compound lifts, and as you progress in strength you will need to emphasize rate of force development (RFD), which is how much force you can generate in the least amount of time.
Work on building up your strength levels before you start incorporating accomodating resistance techniques (i.e., bands, chains).
As a boxer it is in your best interest to pay special attention to your core strength, as this is where much of your striking power is initiated.
Additionally, utilize interval training for your conditioning. Set up your conditioning intervals so that they closely approximate the time of your rounds (i.e., intervals of 3 minutes in which you vary the intensity from high to moderate)
Be specific with your programming and organization of training, if you cannot justify every lift in your program, with respect to your training goal, than it must be eliminated. Feel free to visit and under the power development sections, where I have written a few aricles on strength training and fighting.
James Smith

If Ian King said that he needs to be sentenced to 50 years working with obese elderly women. Inexperienced or not, stick to bi-lateral compound movements (3 exercises per session). Uni lateral exercises do not permit the maximum expression of strength due to decreased stability.

Don’t try to make strength training ‘specific’, use it only to increase organism strength. (Your med ball training should be sufficient stimulus for RFD).


“Inexperienced or not, stick to unilateral compound movements”

Don’t you mean BILATERAL?


Yes, sorry.

Personally, I would have you train unilateral moves first. Doing such in a proper manner will help to eleviate various muscular imbalances that may be existing. In doing so, I’ve found that my clients tend to make better gains when they switch to bi-lateral compound moves. I would only go through this uni-lateral phase for 4-6 weeks max. Then I would begin to incorporate squats, deads and the like.

Thank you to all that have replied. I didnt mean to make it sound like I was really weak(which it kinda does sound like that after rereading my post). I’m 220 lbs, squat- 520(paralell), deadlift-495, and bench-310.
I know i’m not incredibly strong but am doing ok considering ive spent most of my lifting doing bodybuilding stuff with the exception of about 3 months of Westside Barbell stuff. I think i’m going to test my 1 leg squats and deads this week to see if I have imbalances. If I do i’ll correct them now and if not i’ll go right into bilateral stuff.

DavidW- Am I correct with keeping the same excersizes for about 12 weeks at a time? And for variation vary other things other than excersizes? 3 excersizes per session, 3 days per week thats only 9 excersizes for the whole 12 weeks. I will also be keeping the volume pretty low (probably somewhere around 12 sets per session), I seem to gain more weight than I want when I use higher volumes.

There are so many arguements against unilateral work:

  1. Volume must be doubled
  2. Session duration is increased
  3. Stabilising muscles, (e.g. erectors in one-legged squats) common to both sides, may become fatigued before prime movers
  4. Approaching maximum brings substantial saftey risks
  5. Exercises are more difficult to master - is it time efficient to do so?

etc etc etc

Boxing is a sport that is in general either left right side dominant. This will result in is unilateral differences in ROM and strength. If you only ever do bilateral work you will be end up working through asymmetrical different joint angles with unilateral differences in strength and will ultimately be asking for future trouble.

The role of strength training is more than just producing maximal strength!

No its not! Attain the specific neural adaptations through the activity itself, i,e, boxing. Anyway, boxing is bilateral in the lower body.

David W, I am merely recomending a short 4-6 week period of this type of training. Nextly, there are plenty of arguments against bi-lateral training.

  1. will promote muscular imbalances.

  2. Higher injury rate due to lack of strength in stabilizing muscles.

Why learn an exercise requiring high motor control only to drop it?

:smiley: So you believe injury risk is lower performing one leg (one hand!) cleans than standard cleans?

Bilateral exercises = greater loads = greater stimulus to ‘core’.

With unilateral exercises the weaker limb will be overtrained and the stronger one undertrained. Also remember, F = ma, therefore even if loads are the same, forces are likely to be greater in the stronger limb due to the higher movement speed (therefore training stimulus still isn’t ‘even’).

So strength training has no role to play in injury prevention?

Nobody is talking about trying to mimic boxing movements in the gym or performing explosive exercises in an unstable enviorment, just insuring that when it comes time to develop max strength the body recruits correctly in order to maximise gains and ensure the athlete stays injury free. As many sports produce ‘specific neural adaptations’ which leave the athlete unbalanced, and the body always takes the path of least resistance, there are periods work must be done to return correct function to the athlete. Strength should not be developed in the absence of function.

Also boxing is bilateral in the lower body but the movement around the ring will lead to variations in ROM and strength around the pelvis.

I am not recomending to “drop” anything. It’s called periodization, you use a technique for a while then move on to another movement. DB cleans where never part of my recomendation for a general prep phase. (I am not a fan of them really at all.)

AS far as the last part of your statement, using exercise judisciously, and listening to your body will prevent over and undertraining. (It has been my experience that quite the opposite occurs.) Also, i am not recomending explosive uni-lateral moves. I merely talking about using step-ups, split squats, db presses, and other like moves with a controlled tempo, to control the F=M.A equation. I am merely stating one should take a short period to “straighten” themselves out, as opposed to just jumping back into the fire.

I like to do a few sets of single leg work with high reps for remedial purposes after the main core movements. They work well for correcting imbalances and get some blood flow in there after all the low rep 2 legged stuff

Mike 89
I wouldn’t suggest using one movement or exercise for a time and moving on to another as part of periodization, rather, you can raise and lower the emphasis on individual componants which remain present throughout. This way you avoid the stiffness and injury risk that will inevitably follow constant re-adaptation.

CoolColJ is there any post where you elaborate on what you’re doing, if not could you please do so? I’m thinking of incorporating some single leg work too (after my main work) because of an imbalance. Do you prefer structural exercises like one leg squats or something like leg curls and leg extensions, etc with one leg? My core is weak so I’m thinking of the latter because to avoid unnecessary fatigue.



thank you all for responding once again. You all know a great deal more than me so I learn from just about every post on this forum. I will definately not be doing any “max effort” unilateral work. The most intense I will go is 5 reps while leaving at least 2 reps in the hole. I’m not going to use them as replacements to bilateral stuff either. Just once in a while and only if my strength is starting to get imbalanced.

well I have 2 different leg workouts, on the heavier one I do 2 sets of bulgarian split squats at the end of the workout and the other I do 12inch box stepups, again 2sets reps around 8-10
I don’t go heavy, and it’s nor anywhere near failure. Bulgarian split squats do tax the hip flexors quite a bit though - staticly in the stretched position - which is good IMO.

I also do bulgarian splisquat iso holds - a Jay Schroeder special :slight_smile:
This one kills

I stay away from isolation moves like leg curls and leg extensions. I am proud say I have never done a leg extension or curl, waste of time IMO :slight_smile:

If your core is weak, well you should attack it even more! It’s the best way to get it better in a hurry :rolleyes:

I have found it interesting to read the above posts. I’ve noticed in this industry that dogma results in closed minds and lack of high potential improvements.

Shawn - my advice? all the talk in the world results in nothing without action. yes plan…then make up your mind and go to it!

I look forward to hearing your of success!