Why do boxers do so much cardio

Boxing training in the gym with professional boxer Yusuf Sultanoglu

He is a successful professional boxer and multiple champion - Yusuf “The Prince” Sultanoglu has already achieved a lot. He has already contested 50 amateur fights and 8 professional fights (of which he won 7 times, 6 of them by knockout) and he has already won the title of Upper Bavarian, South Bavarian and Bavarian Champion. At 22, he is still relatively young and has a promising future ahead of him. If you've ever seen a boxing match, you've probably noticed that a boxer needs to be able to perform quick and explosive movements, such as punches and dodging an opponent's punches, over a period of up to 12 rounds in a fight. Because of this, boxers must use a combination of resistance (strength) and endurance training as they prepare for a fight to ensure they have the strength and condition they need to win. I - Yusuf Sultanoglu - will explain to you how I design my boxing training in the gym in order to perform optimally.

Boxing training in the gym: what is important?

If you want to improve your strength and stamina in order to improve your performance as a boxer, there are some special routines that I perform to keep myself in top shape and to prepare myself optimally for the fight.

Boxing is about 80% anaerobic and 20% aerobic, which is why I included interval training with cardio and strength training. This workout combines strength, performance, speed and agility all in one to ensure that you become a balanced boxer.

Boxing training in the gym: the warm up

Before I start the actual training, I will briefly discuss the warm-up, which is essential to achieve optimal performance.

Skipping rope

This popular form of cardio training ensures that your circulation gets going and, at the same time, an entertaining and intense workout. There are many other skipping rope benefits that are vital to a boxer, including improved coordination, speed, endurance, agility, and footwork.

There are many different types of skipping rope jumping, but I'll name the two that I use the most:

Jump on the spot

Stand in place and lift your knees up with each turn of the rope. This is the most basic and easiest type of jumping rope.


Cross your arms from elbow height and jump through the loop. Then bring your arms to the starting position and repeat the process. This type of skipping rope is great if you are looking for a challenging type of skipping rope.

Shadow boxing

This exercise is often done as a warm-up exercise before using the sandbag. This exercise is actually very simple: just hit the air and use the reflection in the mirror as an opponent.

The actual boxing, strength and cardio training

Boxing training


The sandbag has been around for a long time and it is, so to speak, the go-to variant if you don't have a partner. It has many advantages, which are listed below.

Increase in aerobic endurance - Training with the sandbag at maximum intensity increases your aerobic endurance. Divide the workout into 3 five-minute rounds in which you try to do as many punches as possible.

Increase in clout - The sandbag is the perfect tool for boxers to work on their punching power and technique. Beginners can learn to use the correct muscles when striking, such as shoulders, arms, chest, back, waist, and legs. Remember that the power comes first from the legs and then from the waist, which your core includes, which then transfers the power to the upper body.

Improvement of boxing technique - I try to perfect my posture and strokes on the sandbag.

Footstand - With the sandbag, I also train the correct stance and footwork, which is important for boxing.

  • Here is a brief explanation of the popular Orthodox stance.
  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart
  • Take a step forward with your left foot
  • Your right foot should be kept at a 45 degree angle
  • Put your weight on the balls of your feet
  • To keep your balance, distribute your weight evenly across your feet
  • Keep your knees slightly bent
  • Stretch your elbows to one side
  • Put your fists at cheekbone level
  • Put your chin down and look up
  • Roll your shoulders forward slightly


Here I am listing a few stroke variations that I sometimes incorporate into my training.

Jab - A quick, straight punch executed with the leading hand. The movement begins with a slight twist of the hips and waist, followed by a straight blow.

hook - A semicircular punch hit with both hands aimed at the side of the opponent's head. Hold your back hand against your jaw to protect your chin.

Uppercut - A vertical punch performed with the back hand to hit the opponent's chin. If done correctly, an uppercut can ruin your opponent's balance.

Strength training

Boxers need to focus on compound movements, such as deadlifts and squats, that involve practically the entire body. Exercises such as shoulder presses and pull-ups are also included in this program.

I train here in the area of ​​strength endurance, i.e. a repetition range of about 15 to 20 and this in a total of 5 sets.

Exercises for boxing training in the gym

Deadliftn - This full body exercise primarily works the trapezius, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and abdominal muscles.

Squats - This exercise works the thighs, glutes, lower back, and abdominal muscles

Bench press - This exercise works the chest muscles as well as the front deltoids and triceps.

Dumbbell shoulder press - This exercise works the anterior and lateral deltoid muscles.

Pull-ups - This movement works the lats, with the support of the biceps and brachioradialis.

Hanging Leg lifter stretching - Acts on the lower abdominal muscles.

Plank variations - One of the best exercises with your own body weight, which trains the stabilization of the core and the abdominal muscles.

Cardio training

HIIT should be done as cardio training, as it increases both aerobic and anaerobic endurance capacity and burns calories faster than any other form of cardio training.

The following explains how HIIT is performed

I always start with a 5-minute warm-up and stretching phase to prepare my body. Then there is a 1 minute sprint phase in which I run around 15-16 km / h. Then I run out for 1 minute (at about 9 km / h) and then I repeat the process. This type of workout takes 15 to 20 minutes, ending with a 5-minute cool-down and stretching.

Gym boxing workout summary

I hope that I was able to give you an insight into my strength training for boxers and maybe even motivate you to try something new. If you have any questions about general strength training routines or anything else, don't be afraid to ask the clever fit staff in your area. The trainers are very competent and know what they are doing.