5 Tips on Structuring a Boxing Fitness Session
Conducting a boxing padholding session isn’t as simple as just picking up the pads and setting a timer. There is a fine balance required to ensure your client is developing their fitness, learning new skills and still having fun at the same time.
So here, we’re providing you with our top 5 tips on conducting a boxing padholding session.
1 – Simplicity
Keep it simple!
Long combinations may look good when you post them on social media, but never in a bout does a boxer intentionally initiate a 20-piece combo. Instead, it’s usually a mix of 1-4 piece combos thrown with the right timing.
It’s very common to see coaches overwhelm their clients with too much information, causing them to spend more time explaining than boxing.
There’s nothing wrong with complexity in a workout, but ensure it matches the experience level of your client. When working with a beginner, start with the basics and build from there. As they become more experienced, you may increase the complexity of the combinations, adding more punches, more head movement, footwork, etc. When creating a long combo, start simple and add pieces to it as you go.
Try not to overwhelm your client. Keep things simple, allowing them to not only focus more on the technique, but also enjoy themselves all the more.
2 – Technique First
As the padholder, it is your job to teach the client boxing and help them develop their skills. This is the number 1 reason the client has hired you. If your client was only interested in improving their strength or endurance, there are many other ways for them to achieve this. Technique is critically important.
There is no use having your clients throw lengthy, complex combinations when they don’t first know how to properly throw a jab. It is all too common to see coaches overemphasising exertion or fancy combos over technique, allowing their clients to reinforce incorrect form.
Before the round starts, ensure your clients fully understand the combo and the technique behind it. During the round, it is your responsibility, as the padholder, to monitor your client’s technique and provide tips & adjustments where needed. Don’t be afraid to slow things down and focus on one specific part of the combination before moving forward.
Your client will greatly appreciate you putting technique over everything as they begin to see rapid improvements in their boxing skills.
3 – Variety
The quickest way to lose a client’s interest, and their business, is repetitiveness.
If the client comes into each session repeating the same set of combinations, the same techniques and the same workout structure they will inevitably lose interest. Your role as a coach involves many things, including keeping your clients engaged and having fun.
Aim to have a new focus for each padholding session, or at least build upon lessons in the last. Perhaps one day the focus is on head movement, the next it’s on footwork and the following all about power.
Add variety not just between padholding sessions, but within them. Rather than following the same structure for each boxing round, you might first spend a whole round just reinforcing the basics, like a jab-cross. Then a whole round focused on slips and another just on countering.
Mix things up, keep your clients interested and engaged, looking forward to what’s in store for their next session, and you are setting up the foundations of a successful coaching business.
Running out combo ideas? Checkout Punchfit’s 50 Pad Work Boxing Combinations eBook
4 – Pace
Not all of your clients are going to be at the same level of conditioning. It is your responsibility as the coach to monitor your client’s fitness level and adjust the workout accordingly.
When working with an experienced, well conditioned client, it may be perfectly fine to push an intense pace. In fact, it may be necessary in order to improve their fitness. Pushing this same pace with a beginner, however, is not only going to take away from their enjoyment during the session, but will likely lead to them throwing with poor technique.
So, aim to structure the workout in a way that allows the client to improve their conditioning while still allowing them to develop their skills – and have fun! For example, with a beginner, you may want to do 1 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks. For an intermediate client, it may be 2 minutes on, 45 seconds off. And for an experienced client, 3 minutes on, 30 seconds off may be more applicable.
Be mindful of your client’s fitness level and adjust accordingly.
5 – Strength & Conditioning
Strength & conditioning is a useful tool to develop the physical aspects of boxing – such as power and speed. However, we do not recommend you include it within your pad sessions.
As the padholder, the client is hiring you to teach them boxing. They didn’t hire a boxing coach to teach them how to do burpees or pushups – these are all things that can be left out. By including these exercises within the rounds, you are taking away from the main focus of the workout and overall reducing the amount of time actually spent hitting pads.
If you must include Strength & Conditioning, ensure it is conducted BEFORE and AFTER the session so it does not take away from the boxing and padwork.
Interested in upskilling your padwork? Checkout Punchfit’s industry recognised Padholding Courses!