I haven't posted in the standup forum for some times but as some of you may know, I trained boxing for quite a while and had a few professional bouts before I retired due to a serious injury. While I was boxing, I lifted weights to assist my boxing training. So I did research and put a lot of thought into how strength training carries over to fighting. Nowadays since I don't training boxing as seriously, I am focused mostly on lifting for general health and to impress the ladies at the beach (I have for compensate for my height). Honestly, I'm obsessed, almost as much as I was obsessed with boxing when I was active in it. So I have been thinking even more about how lifting and fighting are related, hence I made this thread to share my thoughts and questions. I follow powerlifting style programs and I have been reading articles and watching youtube videos ad nauseam. I've learned a lot about squatting, deadlifting, and pressing, and realized how counterproductive these movements are to boxing and perhaps striking in general. I'm wondering if I spent too much of my effort training these lifts when I could've been doing something else to make me a better fighter. Most of the uneducated populace are impressed by big muscles and assume a jacked dude can fight. Even in this forum, I have seen many threads asking if lifting can give you punching power. Most experience people know that big muscles have very little correlation with fighting prowess, if at all. But it surely doesn't hurt to be stronger. If you have two fighters who are equal in everything else, we can assume the stronger guy would have an advantage. There are many ways to strength train, but I tend to think about three "styles" of lifting: powerlifting, bodybuilding, and Olympic lifting. Powerlifting I've come to the conclusion that to a certain point, deadlifting or pressing heavy weights is not only pointless for fighters, but may even be counterproductive. By watching videos of high level powerlifters (monsters who can lift +800-900lbs) nonstop, I've picked up a lot of different cues and set ups to make lifts more efficient so I can lift more weight. One of the main elements of set ups for all the main compound lifts is that you want to make your body as tense as possible. You want to contract your glutes, your abs, your lats, etc. because any looseness means a loss of power in the movement. You have be tense throughout the movement, which is completely the opposite of what you want when throwing a punch! We all know you should snap your punches, not push. And in order to facilitate snapping, you have to be loose until the moment of impact. I was always a bit too tense and my trainer had me do a lot of drills to loosen me up. Being tense would mean you wouldn't be able to fire off your punches as fast and snappy, taking away speed and power. Being tense also spends energy, meaning you'd gas quicker. Learning these lifts may train fighters to contract their muscles when they shouldn't. As a fan of powerlifting myself, I have admit it doesn't seem all that helpful to fighters. While I was an active fighter, I did squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses to increase my 1 rep max. My idea was that if I can squat more than my body weight, my opponent, who weighs the same as me, would have a harder time pushing me around on the inside. I certainly did feel the difference in the clinch; I could push around guys in sparring even if they were in a bigger weightclass than me (But, I also have to add that it did not help me against more experienced fighters who knew how to position themselves for more leverage, even if they were smaller). I'm not saying deadlifting or squatting should be avoided at all costs. Being strong certainly aids athletic performance, but only to a certain point. That point depends on the sport and the individual. In a sport like boxing, it may also depend on the weightclass. The question is, where is that point for fighters? Bodybuilding I know less about bodybuilding than I do powerlifting, and I'm a noob at powerlifting. But from what I know about bodybuilding, it seems even more counterproductive than powerlifting. Because the point of bodybuilding is aesthetics, people train more for hypertrophy. They do a lot of reps with more time under tension, meaning they also practice being tense, but for longer periods of time. It seems like an inherently nonathletic activity. The old adage that big muscles make you slow and inflexible isn't true, but they way you train could make you slow and inflexible. Now I have to add that there's bodybuilding, and there's "bodybuilding" in the sense most people understand working out. Most people who know nothing about lifting, start off by doing 3 sets of 10 or whatever because they heard it somewhere or read it in a fitness magazine. I started off that way too when I was in high school. The thing I would add is that doing more reps for hypertrophy adds to muscle endurance. So a purposeful workout where a fighter lifts a lighter weight for high volume could help with muscle endurance in theory. Although I'm of the personal opinion that simply training more boxing will develop the muscle endurance you need for boxing. Olympic lifting I also know very little about the details Oly lifting technique but I believe it is possibly the best form of strength training, not just for fighters, but perhaps athletes in general. Because Oly lifting is an inherently an athletic movement for it requires explosive and speed. When I think of sports, the movements are dynamic; you have to adjust on the fly to changes in weight, direction, speed, etc. There's running, jumping, throwing, etc. The moments are much more complicated than simply picking up a weight in one direction. I think Olympic lifting is the best way you can stimulate dynamic movements under load. Since you are picking up a heavy weight from the ground to over your head, lifters can't just pick it up; they have to jerk the weight up and be loose so it can travel over their head and then tense up at the right moment to catch the bar and hold it above their head. This is much more similar to throwing a punch. Now there are other ways to train explosiveness like with plyometrics. You can do box jumps or throw a medicine ball or swing a hammer onto a tire. These are all legitimate ways to train. The thing about Oly lifting is that you can progressively increase the load. A medicine ball can only get so heavy. A conclusion? When it comes to lifting, Olympic lifting seems to have the best carry over to fighting. Now how much of it will carry over in what ways? I am not exactly sure. It will certainly develop explosiveness which can help in suddenly going in for an attack or change in direction. Theoretically it can add to punching power but I think there needs to be a study on this. From what I know, the soviets implemented oly lift training to all of it's olympic athletes, and to success. So how should this be applied to people like us? I think a fighter should have a certain level of strength. Squatting at least his own bodyweight seems like a good start as being too weak to push against someone in his own weightclass won't be good. And these compound lifts should be trained more for speed rather than on increasing the fighter's 1 RM. But the focus within strength training should be on developing explosiveness through oly lifts. The problem with oly lifts is that they are highly technical movements and it won't be easy for most people to learn from legitimate coaches. Not to mention you would need specialized equipment for it. A substitute would be the aforementioned plyometrics. Things like jumping, sprinting, hammer swings, etc might be more suitable for most people. Is it absolutely necessary? I do not think so. Plenty of great fighters did well without ever learning how to snatch their own bodyweight. I don't think Floyd Mayweather was cleaning 147lbs. But I think learning these lifts would be beneficial to most people. At the very least you would be much more aware of certain parts of your body and improve your posture, which is also important in fighting. But of course all of this should come after actually learning how to fight. Technical training comes first, then conditioning (may even come first at some points of a training camp). Strength shouldn't be that high on your priority unless you are really really weak. Thoughts? Any of you implemented lifting to your training? Did it help?