Special training modules to improve training system efficiency in boxing

PhD, Professor V.A. Kiselev1
PhD, Professor V.N. Cheremisinov1
PhD, Associate Professor S.S. Gorbachev1
Postgraduate G.A. Raschetin1
1Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (SCOLIPE), Moscow

Keywords: modular design (MD), structure of module, micro-cycle priority.

Background. It is rather normal for the modern sports that the sport excellence stage trainings tend to be less and less effective in the competitive progress domain – that may be indicative of the athlete’s body being less sensitive to the training workloads with the growing sport mastery. Further competitive progress may be attained by more efficient methods other than the training workload stepping ones – all the more that the modern trainings have come to the natural maximums. We believe that the progress may be facilitated by modern modular training system design [1-4, 7, 8].

Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of the special training modules to improve efficiency of the training systems in elite boxing.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was based on an analysis of the relevant theoretical and practical literature and competitive progress statistics of the national elite boxers in 2016-17.

Results and discussion. It is normal for the traditional training systems to apply practices to advance a variety of physical qualities in every training session and every micro-cycle; and the modern boxing systems are no exclusion [5]. Proponents of the modular design argue that the traditional training systems largely fail to improve specific physical qualities and, hence, secure competitive fitness and progress [1-4, 7, 8]. The key idea of modular design is to single out and train specific physical qualities in a sequential manner, with a special emphasis on the strength, speed and endurance training elements. Some part (taking 2-3 weeks, e.g.) may be dominated by the aerobic mechanisms improvement elements; followed by the glycolytic and then alactate anaerobic (speed-strength) mechanisms training ones. Numbers and durations of such elements within the same module will be determined by the target energy supply mechanisms, motor skills and physical qualities deemed to be particularly beneficial for the competitive progress. Such focused ones-sided trainings may be highly efficient for the specific physical quality improvement purposes [1-4, 7, 8] and secure progress as required by the key calendar competitive events in every season with relatively short rest breaks. Such modular design shall give a special attention to the sport form retention i.e. the time period when the achieved sport form – rated by the specific physical qualities – is retained during a break in the trainings. Given in Table 1 hereunder are training effect retention periods classified by the relevant qualities and mechanisms.

Table 1. Training effect retention periods classified by the relevant qualities and mechanisms [8]

Physical qualities/ mechanisms

Training effect retention period, days

Aerobic endurance


Glycolytic endurance


Alactate anaerobic/ speed


It should be mentioned that every energy supply mechanism and the relevant physical qualities must be well developed for success in boxing [5]; and, hence, every module shall include these three parts/ micro-cycles. Training system elements in every part shall secure progress of the relevant energy supply mechanism. In view of the above training effect retention times, trained first and last shall be the aerobic and alactate anaerobic mechanisms, respectively.

We believe that the following modular design is highly beneficial for application in elite boxing. A training module shall include 3 parts/ micro-cycles with their durations determined by the modular phase purposes. Micro-cycle 1 shall prioritize the aerobic trainings in the non-stop, repeated or interval formats, with every practice taking up to 30min. Such practices may include cross-country races, shadow boxing, conditional/ free boxing bouts, and a few rounds of sparring bouts with one or few partners. Trainings will be run 4-5 times a week and finished 25-30 days before the target event.

Micro-cycle 2 shall prioritize the glycolytic mechanism mobilizing trainings, with the training workloads cut down by around one third to the prior cycle; with every practice taking 2-3min and rated within the sub-maximal intensity zone. Such glycolytic mechanisms centered practices may include: special sparring bouts; progress test sparring; and high-intensity conditional/ free fights [5]; and be designed to achieve high anaerobic shifts, with the рН growing up to 7.18 and the HR rising to 180-200 beats per min [5].     

Serial practices with the boxing wall may mobilize the glycolytic mechanisms, with each series including three 3-minute rounds with 2-3min rest breaks after each round and a 6-8min break after the series. Particularly high anaerobic shifts were found for the short (1min) rounds with the boxing wall and short rest breaks of 1min, 1min and 30s successively [5]. These glycolytic trainings may include other practices as well, with Micro-cycle 2 taking 1-2 weeks at most, with 4-5 trainings a week. Micro-cycle 2 may be even reduced to one week with 3-4 training days when the occasion requires.

Micro-cycle 3 (alactate anaerobic) shall prioritize the speed-strength practices, with the training workload further reduced by around one third and the training intensity increased. Every sub-maximal-intensity practice shall be under 30s long. Such maximal-intensity practices may include sparring bouts, practices with the boxing wall and punch-bags, with every episode taking 10-15s and repeated 3-5 times, followed by the 1-2min rest breaks. Every training session will include 3-5 such series with 7-8min rest breaks in between. Micro-cycle 3 will ideally take 1-2 weeks, with each training day followed by a rest day, and finalized for at least 2 days prior to the target competitive event. After the competitions and prior to the next training module, the system will offer a relaxation/ rest module taking a few days to one week.

One of the key issues is the role of the technical and tactical training elements in the modular training system. Such elements will offer the specific standard boxing practices geared to improve the relevant physical qualities, energy supply mechanisms, techniques and tactics. A special emphasis in every training micro-cycle will be given to the performance quality – so as the technical and tactical training goals are attained in combination with the skills-specific trainings.

Modular-design-based training systems are particularly beneficial for the modern boxing sport with the competitions run on a virtually non-stop basis every calendar year with the relatively short rest breaks in between. Such competitive schedules normally make long-term training modules unreasonable. We believe that an ideal training module for the modern elite boxing sport shall take 4 weeks at most. The longer modules may result in detriment to some physical qualities, particularly the speed-prioritizing qualities which are known to fall fast as soon as their focused trainings are stopped. We found the aerobic and glycolytic mechanisms mobilizing top-intensity trainings being highly beneficial for the speed qualities maintenance purposes. On the whole, intensity of the practices shall be customized to the specific training goal. When the competitive schedules give place for a relatively long break, the training system in this period is recommended to include two modules.

Conclusion. Our analysis of the 2016-17 schedules of the boxing events sponsored by the Russian Boxing Federation showed the potential benefits of the modular trainings. Each such module shall offer the aerobic, glycolytic and alactate anaerobic mechanisms mobilizing elements/ micro-cycles, ideally in the following sequence: aerobic, glycolytic and the alactate anaerobic ones.


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Corresponding author: kiselev.v.a47@gmail.com


It is rather normal for the sport trainings that the sport excellence stage trainings tend to be less and less effective in the competitive progress domain. The study analyzes benefits of the special training modules to improve efficiency of the training system in elite boxing, with every successive module focused on specific physical qualities beneficial for progress. The article gives a sample elite boxer training module with analysis of the module design, its elements (micro-cycles) and relevant training methods and tools. Each training module shall ideally include the aerobic, glycolytic and alactate anaerobic mechanisms prioritizing elements in the following sequence: aerobic, glycolytic and alactate anaerobic. A special attention in the study was given to the technical and tactical training elements of the modular training model, with the trainings dominated by the boxing-specific exercises to secure progress in the specific motor skills and energy supply mechanisms in the regular boxing techniques and tactics excellence process.