question from an amateur - stamina

i received this email. i'm sure this has been addressed in the past. but let's discuss this again, so we can archive it here and help this boxer out.hey i am an amateur boxer and ive been boxing for 3 years.(46 wins 9 losses). im in ok shape but i usually tire the last round. i wanted to know what can i do to improve this? i want to be able to fight hard all threerounds.p.s. i also wanna say i have learned alot about boxing do to ur post. even tho i have a great coach i accredit most of my success in the ring to u thnxi will adress the p.s. first. i emailed back letting him know that i will not take credit for the threads/advice/posts i archived on my site. i credit that to people like Rastus, Keith Palmer, buddie, lefthooker, Frank Benn, et al. they are the real reason this amateur as advice, i mentioned 3 things:1) train an extra minute per round. i forget what the amateurs' time limit is, say it's 2 mins, i advised to train 3 min rounds2) make sure to get plenty of rest and not overtrain, but him having 50+ bouts under his belt, i'm sure he knows this. however, in the zest of training, sometimes boxers will forget.3) something i remember lefthooker advising, when working the heavy bag for example, the last 30 secs go all out.any other advice to stamina/endurance? TIA.

thanks lefthooker. good advice on the relaxation.

any other advice?

I'll second LH on the intervals. They're tough, and I hate doing them. But I think my endurance has really started to benefit from them.

There are a number of ideas to increase stamina. Here are some of the things that I recommend to improve stamina.

1) how is your weight and what is your weight? Carrying extra body fat can be a major contributor to exhaustion. Make certain you are getting enough fluids because dehydration is a major factor in loss of stamina. Also remember that in amateur and pro boxing you are only allowed water between rounds. So its a good idea to consume some liquid carbohydrates which can be utilized quickly before the fight starts. I recommend cutting gatorade with water at about a .75 gatorade to .25% water ratio. The NFL, although endorsed by gatorade also does this because gatorade will give you carbohydrates which your body will burn as their first line of energy. However the sodium content in some sports drinks is high, (for taste) which will dehydrate you more quickly.

Here is my recommended ritual before a fight. (Day of the fight to build lasting stamina.) Then we'll talk about steps you can take in training to extend your stamina.

Wake up in the morning and weigh in. After that, replenish water like crazy. The first meal you eat should be low in staturated fats like always. I recommend a complex carbohydrate meal source such as wheaties or a whole grain that your body will consume slowly. this will give you a moderate sustained energy throughout the day. Remember that things like creatine, ephedrine and caffene are all dyeretics so you'll need to consume extra water if you use any or all of these products.

In training, I'm sure you eat several small meals a day. This will help to stimulate your metabolism. Continue with this routene durring the day of the fight. Consume lean protien and complex carbohydrates every 2.5 to 3 hours. Make sure you eat plenty of lean vegtables with your meals also. Dry salad actually has a catobolic effect in that you burn more calories digesting it than you do consuming it. Its a great way to stay lean for guys who love to eat (like me).


iam a amateur boxer as well, and i found that for me long distance running gives me better stamina then sprints, im getting ready for the provincials thatsin like 10 days,i run 5-6 miles, pretty hard, i used to do the 10 100m sprints and jog in between but i get in better shape with long distance. Everybody is different,for me its also how lean iam the leaner iam the better staMINA i have ive had 11 bouts, iam a open fighter we fight 4 rounds (2minutes), he said he only goes 3 rounds ,that couldnt happen if he has 50 plus bouts

about an hour before your fight (I realize that you can't always tell what time you will fight in an amateur tournement) consume a small orange. This will give you a spike in your glycogen stores. Your body will use this as energy 1st and foremost. Combined with the complex carbohydrates you consumed throughout the day and this simple carbohydrate energy source, your energy will be peaking. Its also a good idea to sip (not slam) gatorade cut with water. The idea is not to over consume these foods because that will make blood travel to the sight of digestion. You want blood flowing to your muscles.

Which is why its a good idea to warm up properly before your fight! A proper warm up will help you stay loose and envigorated. Your heart will be pumping and your body will be warm and ready to react. Getting the blood flowing is a must do for a pre fight ritual. Don't kill yourself, just walk around, jump a little rope maybe at first at a controlled pace, shadow box a little and then hit the mitts, move your head and get a small sweat going on. And keep warm. There is nothing worse than warming up and then cooling down. If your club doesn't provide you with a warm up jacket, buy your own. Windbreakers are nice but they are hard to get off once your gloves are on.

Stay away from caffenee and stimulants. Your nerves will contribute big time to being tired later. Caffenee will only aggrivate this. Water and gatorade are your best bet.

Take a nap. I always took a nap before a fight. Before I warmed up. A lot of guys don't realize that in an amateur show, its not like in pro boxing where you get your own dressing room. You typcially share a back room (if there even is one) with everyone, fighters trainers event staff, EVERYONE. I didn't pay it any mind. I layed down on the floor and took myself a nap. Your opponent sees you laying down in the midst of all this craziness taking a nap and let me tell you, that gets in his head. Its a good idea to try to stay relaxed as possible before a fight. Don't try to worry about staring your guy down and looking mean. That's a waste of energy and his coach will tell him that just means you are scared. Take a nap. Then pull out your boom box and put on your favorite CD (I like Mo Town) and smile, bounce around, kid with your friends. Keep it light until its time to get down to business. No use in letting things weigh on your mind. When its time to focus, focus. But until then, stay loose and relaxed. Have someone on your coaching staff give you a massage.


Now before a fight, you need to run. That much is obvious. Everyone runs. People try to put the cart before the horse and talk about plyometrics this and fancy sprints that. I love sprints and I love plyometrics. But those are not your staples. You have to learn to cycle those things in. Try this routene for greater stamina.

Mon- 3 mile run

Tues- sprints

Weds - 3 mile run

Thurs - interval training

Friday - three mile run

Saturday - two mile run on a track, sprint the corners, jog the straight away.

There are a million variations on this, but you'll notice its a nice blend of stamina inducing excercises with some short burst mixed in. The key is balance. But the truth is, most guys are dog ass tired after the first round. Running sprints won't help them much when they get to that point. Training your body to move when its dead tired is a key idea.


You need to get your body 7-8 hours of sleep every night. You also need to follow the same sleeping, eating and work out patterns as much as you can. Your body will adjust to this groove.

Work in the gym on your :30 second drill. In case you are not familiar with that term, every time you get to :30 seconds left in a round, you have a coach call it out. "THIRTY SECONDS" that's your signal to go balls out on whatever you are doing. Jumping rope, you jump as fast as you can, hitting the bag you hit it with as many 1-2 combinations as you can in that thirty seconds. Don't worry about your technique as much in these last 30 seconds, because you will lose some. Don't worry about it. This training will make you have that extra something later in the rounds.


I myself am not as big of a fan of training 4 minute rounds. I think that this lends to training your body to fight a slower pace. You fight 3 minutes, you train 3 minutes. But, if you want to take a 30 second rest that will train you to need less recoup time.

Want to learn to be REALLY fresh? If you are fighting in a big tournement, use a round robin. I loved them to help me stay more crisp later in fights. I'd bring in 4 or 5 guys and we'd spar 6 rounds. The only thing was, I'd spar all five and every guy would come in at the beginning of each round and at the end the first 1 or 2 guys would come back in. The more tired you get, the more fresh they are. You really have to stay at the peak of your game.

You have to listen to your body. If its telling to take a break, take a break, but at the same time its a fine line. Sometimes, I think its good to train if you are a little tired. As long as your diet is ok and you are getting enough rest, its pretty tough to over train. Training when you are a little tired will help you in the long run because it'll teach you to dig inside of yourself and to focus on keeping your technique strong and not trying to overwealm people.

Take naps. I think its a great idea to take little naps throughout the day if you can sneek them in. 15-20 minutes is all you need because that'll help to rejuvinate you but it also shouldn't affect your sleeping patterns at night.


Eat the right foods. Not just on fight night but throughout the year. Throw out anything that has the words bleached, enriched or any combination thereof on the list of ingredients. That stuff is bad news. Your body isn't meant to handle that type of carbohydrate and it breaks it up inefficiently. Typically it'll give you a short insulin spike and then you'll be tired! Pay attention to what you eat, the amount you eat and when you eat it.

Make sure you stretch and relax. Yoga and massage can both be effective tools to use if they don't interfere with your regular routene. Don't sacrifice your normal staples of training for these things but use them as a reward. The hot tub, the steam even a hot bath can really rejuvinate you in training.

Are you carrying extra muscle weight? I talked about carrying extra body fat, but extra muscle weight will make you tired as well. Structure your lifting routene around body weight excercises. If you guys aren't familiar with some of these I can post a few to give you an idea of some really good body weight routenes. You shouldn't be lifting for poundage, you should be lifting for endurance if that's what you lack.

Are you wasting movement? A lot of times I see guys in the gym bouncing around from one foot to the other. Wasting movement. A shift doesn't require a bounce. That's a waste of time and energy. If you bounce from one foot to the other, you have to wait until your bounce ends to set and punch. By then your opponent has socked you and is long gone. Learn to use your footwork effectively by having your legs beneath you and stepping and shifting purposefully. Watch Joe Louis do this and you'll see the absolute PERFECT example of how its done. Shorten your punches up, sloppy punches cost you a lot, including energy. They get you hit, they cost you time when you could be launching effective offense, and they make things ugly. Shorten your punches and return to proper position after punching. Don't pose when you punch. This isn't a picture contest to see who's prettiest. Watch how much crisper your shots land if you return to proper position and prepare to counter, defend or continue the attack. It beccomes automatic with proper technique. Every offensive move will lead to another if properly executed. Every defensive move will lead to an offensive one if you execute properly. Pay attention to moving, feeling, find your neutral point. Don't force things but don't over think them. Find a place where all you are is a reaction point. A reaction to where your offense takes you and where his offense takes you. You are not angry, you are not pressured or tired, you just are. Clear your mind and focus. Breathe with your punches. Some guys forget to breathe. When they punch they don't breathe outward and they get hit with counters and it knocks the wind out of them. If this is a problem, hiss and snort like a fighter. If you get good at this you can actually use your hiss as a feint. If every punch is accompanied by a "psst", he'll expect that. If you make that noise and don't punch, he'll automatically be trained to defend. Once his guard is up, you can find the opening and nail his ass.


Run hills and run in cumbersome clothes. I love this idea. You train with the biggest gloves you can find. Then when you put on small gloves your hands fly. When I train in ju jitsu I train in the biggest, heaviest, most annoying gi I could find. When we train no gi, I fly around and I feel so incredibly free and unrestricted. That stress becomes an accompaniment of the motion. If you take it away you can really move. I don't recommend punching with weights in your hands for various reasons, but use big gloves, run in heavy sweat pants. Ditch the treadmill. Run outside where you can't glide most of the time.

However the more variation you can give yourself in training methods the better off you'll be. Use a precore, a stair climber, a bycyle or a stationary bike, just as long as your heart rate is high, it'll be good suppliment one day a week.

Don't be afraid to run in the snow or wind. That's added resistance for free. Mother Nature is telling you to get your ass in gear.

Want a great way to improve stamina? Run in the sand. I use it sometimes and it kicks my ass. Ray Robinson used to run backwards in the sand all the time and he said it helped tremendously with his stamina. After trying it, I believe him without a doubt! We used to get together as a boxing club and run all the stairs at old McNichols Arena here in Denver. Sometimes you'll puke, sometimes you'll feel like you are going to pass out. But damn its sweet when you can puke and then get back out there for the last lap.

Punch with economy. Pick your shots. If you feel like you get drawn into exchanges that you shouldn't and its wearing you out work on footwork and statagey. You shouldn't get walked around. Even when you shadow box, you move with a purpose. Move with an idea of where you are going in mind. If you don't know what to throw, jab. Don't just throw shots to throw them. Throw the right shots. This means throwing not where you man is, but training to understand where he will be. Don't let him walk you down and don't just walk around him. Learn to change tempo and make him tired by walking to you.

What type of condition is your body in? Taking body blows will severely limit your ability to be effective with your offense a strong body is an undeniable asset to a smart fighter.

That said, work on your body punching to slow him down.

yea being relaxed is very important but if youve had 50 plus bouts ,you wont have that problem, ive had 11 and im relaxed, back when i had 4,5 fights i used to be real tense

EXCELLENT buddie!!thank you. i will forward these tips to him.

TTT for an AWESOME set of posts!!

Buddie is my hero

Buddie as usual you are the man, TTT for this.

BTW, if I may add something, the sodium and potassium in gatorade serve as eletrolytes to help deliver the water to your cells (an isotonic solution in your body will get in your system faster than just water) You can also eat a banana or two with just water and get the same potassium for electrolytes without as much sodium. This has worked for me anyway. Peace and good luck.


excellent post

buddie for balance do u think its ok to have your weight on the balls of your feet the whole time,even when your feet are flat on the ground your weight is on the baLS

wow great posts, thanks Buddie