You’ll build explosive punching power and muscle endurance with this HIIT boxing bag workout. But it’s not all Rocky Balboa. Between boxing bag intervals you’ll be working through a series of strength and functional exercises.
The combination of boxing and functional exercises makes this a highly engaging whole-body workout. One that can improve multiple components of fitness while also developing combat conditioning.
Before gloving up and getting stuck into this HIIT boxing workout, you might want to review the training outcomes and fitness benefits up for grabs. If not, hit the link – Boxing Bag Workout – and get in the ring.
HIIT boxing bag workout outcomes
This boxing bag workout has been designed to deliver a broad range of fitness outcomes. In addition, the structure and variation in training intensity have been adjusted to simulate competition conditions.
So, as well as putting your fitness to the test, this workout will also give you a taste of just how physically exhausting a boxing bout really is. Other workout outcomes include:
Provide a whole-body training session
Activate a broad range of muscle groups
Offer a demanding yet rewarding exercise experience
Engage your cardiovascular system – get your heart rate up and increase blood flow
HIIT boxing bag workout benefits
The above list showcases the immediate outcomes of this workout. If you incorporate it into your general training routine and complete it at least once a week, it can confer a fist full of fitness benefits.
For example, high-intensity boxing bag intervals offer an effective way to build both strength and stamina. Hitting the heavy bag with all you’ve got helps to enhance explosive punching power. It’s also physically demanding which is why it promotes stamina and muscle endurance. The fitness and boxing benefits of heavy bag training account for why it is a staple of the boxer’s training routine.
Related: How to Improve Your FItness for Boxing
HIIT boxing builds strength
A common misunderstanding is that HIIT workouts only involve cardio exercises – usually sprinting on a treadmill. Another HIIT myth is that you can’t include resistance exercises, especially not strength movements.
While it’s true that you shouldn’t apply HIIT to heavy lifts, there is absolutely nothing wrong with interspersing intervals with strength exercises. To broaden the training effect (i.e., the fitness outcomes) of this workout, functional resistance exercises feature throughout.
Whereas the HIIT boxing bag ‘blasts’ build punching power and stamina, the resistance exercises develop strength and functional physicality. In short, this workout aims to promote many of the fitness attributes that all boxers need to remain competitive.
Related: Improve your boxing workouts with these 4 Punch Bag Tips
How to do this HIIT boxing bag workout
This workout starts with a 10-minute progressive intensity warm-up. After 5-minutes of steady skipping, you’ll ascend a series of intensity intervals. Once you’ve completed the final interval, you should be sweating profusely and ready to get stuck into the workout.
Before binding your fists into clubs and slipping on your gloves, first, you need to decide which workout level you plan to pit your pugilism against. The levels are as follows:
Beginner – 8 rounds of 2-minutes
Intermediate – 10 rounds of 2-minutes
Advanced – 12 rounds of 3-minutes
Pro – 15 rounds of 3-minutes
The HIIT formula that is to be applied to all levels is 10-seconds high-intensity followed by 10-seconds low-intensity. Repeat this formula for the full round duration – which is 2-minutes for beginner and intermediate and 3-minutes for advanced and pro.
A point of note. You are not resting for the low-intensity intervals. This is a short recovery period during which you should continue to work the bag – just at a much lower intensity.
When the bell sounds at the end of the HIIT round, you’re to slip off your gloves and get straight into the resistance exercise. That’s correct, there’s no rest period throughout this sweat session – it’s all work, work, work. Remember to give yourself 10-seconds to get your gloves on before the next interval commences. That’s round one.
Related: Master the basics of boxing with this Complete Guide
HIIT workout key points
Ensure to complete the warm-up. (Here are four reasons why you should always warm up before a workout.)
Select the workout level most suited to your current level of fitness.
Oscillate between high- and low-intensity intervals of 10-seconds.
For the 1-minute rest period, you will be maintaining a consistent output on the resistance exercise.
Remember, though, you don’t have to do the exercises during the rest period. Also, if there are exercises that, for whatever reason, you cannot do, simply change them. (This list of boxing-specific exercises will give you some ideas.)
Progress through the workout as per the plan.
Boxing bag workout hints and tips
The most important aspect of any HIIT workout – second only to the warm-up – is the timings. Sticking to the timings upholds the HIIT structure while also preventing the workout from deteriorating into a disorganised slugfest. It’s for these reasons that you should use a proper training timer. A stopwatch or countdown function on your phone will likely impair the fluidity of the workout. This is because you’ll be forced to keep stopping to check how long remains of the interval. And trust me, the more fatigued you become, the more stopping you’ll do. Then there’s the annoyance of having to reset the timer after each interval. When you’re tired and weary during a tough session, fiddling with your watch will test your patience. Save yourself these frustrations and download a boxing timer app. They’re completely free and fully customisable. Meaning you can set as many intervals as you want, including rest length, and inner periodic alarms and reminders. Once the workout has been programmed, just hit play, and away you go.
Before the minute rest elapses, signifying the commencement of the next HIIT round, give yourself 10-seconds to get gloved up. It’s better to cut the exercise short than to disrupt the intervals. You won’t need to do this for all the exercises, only those involving resistance equipment. If you need more time than 10-seconds, take it. Remember, you don’t have to complete the exercise for the one-minute rest period. Instead, you can either rest or, better still, shadowbox (or skip!).
Related: Learn how to Skip Like a Pro
My personal experiences with this workout
Having developed the workout, I had to test it. Which, of course, meant that I had to complete the Pro level. I won’t sugar-coat my personal experience: the workout was extremely arduous. By the 10th round, I was ready to throw in the towel. And, truthfully, if it wasn’t for the fact that I planned to review the workout, I probably would’ve called it a day at the end of the Advanced level.
But, while wearing a Balbo grimace, I wailed away with spaghetti arms to the final bell – which couldn’t come a second sooner.
The most challenging aspect of the workout was the exercises. They were like being subjected to a barrage of energy-sapping body shots. Gloving up and getting back in the fight afterward required considerable fortitude. Just the thought of jumping straight into a series of heavy bag HIITs after almost a solid minute of medicine ball slams sends spasms through my shoulders.
The suffering was well worth the pay off though. Honest. Concluding the workout, I was left with that satisfying hard-earned fatigue feeling. The sort that makes the post-workout shower and pasta salad all the more enjoyable.