You won’t just improve whole-body fitness with this boxing circuit workout. Because it features boxing-specific drills and training methods, you’ll also improve your boxing skills as well.
Inspiration for this boxing circuit workout has been taken from great books like Jack Dempsey’s Championship Fighting and Joe Frazier’s Box Like the Pros. We’ve condensed their training wisdom into a workout that promotes a wide range of boxing and fitness benefits.
Boxing circuit workout benefits
In the introduction, I claimed that this boxing circuit workout can promote whole-body fitness. But how does it achieve this outcome?
The stations that comprise the circuit feature a broad range of exercises. In addition, for each of the primary components of fitness, two exercises have been selected.
For example, skipping and shuttle sprints improve aerobic stamina. And, though they engage the same component of fitness, they do so in different ways. Of course, cardio is essential for boxers as it enables them to sustain a high work rate during a contest.
Muscle endurance is enhanced by the body weight exercises press-ups and burpees. Strength is developed by barbell deadlifts and kettlebell swings. Explosive power in the legs and upper body is stimulated by plyometric box jumps and medicine ball slams. These are just a handful of the potential fitness benefits this circuit confers.
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As for boxing skill development, four of the exercise stations feature boxing-specific drills. Working the heavy bag promotes punching power and endurance.
In addition to improving reaction time and coordination, shadowboxing enables boxers to focus on their technique (skill set). And, finally, punching with weights (or a resistance band) helps to increase stamina in the shoulders. This enables boxers to maintain a solid guard throughout a contest.
This combination of exercises can help enhance ring fitness while providing opportunities to hone basic boxing skills.
Related: Check out our Complete Guide to Boxing Basics
Boxing circuit workout benefits
Improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness
Enhanced muscular endurance
Increased strength and explosive power
Sharpened coordination and reaction time
Developed boxing skill set
How to do this boxing circuit workout
First, you’re going to warm-up with 10-minutes of skipping followed by three two-minutes rounds of shadowboxing. Between rounds, instead of resting for a minute, you’ll be performing press-ups.
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Right, once warmed up, you’re ready to start the boxing circuit. To meet the training needs and preferences of a wider audience, the circuit has been organised into three different structures. For ease of explanation, they have been titled Option 1, Option 2, and Option 3.
Option 1: Circular circuit
The first option is your box-standard, no-thrills circular circuit. The exercises are numbered one through to 12. After setting a repeat one-minute countdown on your training timer, you will progress around the circle of exercises. One complete lap of the circuit takes 12-minutes. Concluding each full lap take a one-minute rest. Beginners are advised to complete one lap, intermediates two laps, and advanced three laps.
Option 2: Boxing AMRAP
AMRAPs (as many reps as possible) are usually reserved for CrossFit gyms or committed gireviks with their sights on securing the title of Master of Sports. However, as we discuss in our Complete Guide to AMRAP Training, the AMRAP method can be applied to pretty much any exercise or sporting discipline.
In the case of this boxing circuit, the AMRAP is applied as follows.
You have one chance on each exercise to achieve the highest rep score possible in the time allotted. For shuttle sprints, simply mark out a 10, 15, or 20-metre course, then see how many crossings you can make. When you have a number multiply it by the length of your course.
Observing a similar setup as outlined in Option 1, beginners will be competing against a one-minute AMRAP; intermediates two minutes; and advanced boxers will be going toe-to-toe for the full three minutes.
Option 3: HIIT boxing workout
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a great exercise method for promoting both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Both energy systems feature heavily in a boxing contest.
Here you will spend three minutes on each exercise station. However, the three minutes will be subdivided into 10-second intervals of work and rest. So, if you select Option 3, you’ll need to set on your training timer 18 rounds of 10-second intervals. The objective is to complete the 18 rounds o each exercise ensuring to work as hard as possible.
HIIT, in many respects, is very similar to the way boxers fight: short, high-octane exposures of activity followed by lower-intensity evasive manoeuvres. With this in mind, instead of resting for 10-seconds, shadowbox or practice footwork drills.
Boxing workout key points
🥊 Be disciplined and warm-up well before starting the workout.
🥊 Select the option most suited to your training objectives and preferences.
🥊 Prior to embarking on the circuit, set up the equipment required. If possible, localise kit in one area as this improves transitioning efficiency between exercises. (Best to do this before warming up.)
🥊 Progress through the 12 exercises observing the methodology outlined in the option selected.
🥊 Use the session plan below to keep track of your progress through the circuit.
Boxing circuit workout
Boxing circuit workout hints and tips
Perhaps an obvious tip but using a proper training or boxing timer for this workout will enhance your exercise experience. For years I put up with using my trusty old Timex watch to keep track of boxing rounds and HIIT intervals. However, the faff of fiddling with the buttons and the constant need to clock watch disrupted the workout.
I eventually put a stop to this and downloaded a boxing timer app (completely free). Honestly, this app has made a huge difference to my boxing workouts, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Simple set the number of rounds, including the round and rest duration, hit play, and away you go!
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Use the session plan provided to keep track of your progression through the circuit. In his chef-d’œuvre, The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about the power of tracking training productivity. ‘I would come into the gym and draw out a line on the wall in chalk for every set I intended to do […] the marks /////////// on my chest day would stand for five sets of Bench Press and five sets of Dumbbell Flys.’
He would then put a mark through each line on completion of a set. By the end of his workouts, the wall would be peppered in ‘X’s. Schwarzenegger tells us that this training method gave him a 'tremendous sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.’ In addition, the visual feedback, which you’ll get by filling in the session plan above, helped keep his ‘training goals clearly in mind’ while also reinforcing his determination to ‘push myself to the limit every workout.’
Related: Get motivated with these Best Boxing Quotes
Enjoyed this boxing circuit workout?
Get your hands on 70 more with the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits & Workouts Volume 2.