The physical response to pad and bag based boxing-specific training modalities

Mitchell Finlay, Matt Greig, Jake McCarthy, Richard Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


This study examined the differences in the physical response elicited from a contemporary Boxing Specific Exercise Protocol (BSEP) performed using a punch bag and a pad routine. Fourteen male elite amateur boxers (age= 22 ± 2 yrs; height= 176.9 ± 7.3 cm; mass= 78.8 ± 8.7 kg; VO2max= 55.94 ± 5.96 ml∙kg-1∙min-1) were recruited. The BSEP comprised 3x3 minute rounds. Average (HRave) and peak (HRpeak) heart rate, average (VO2ave) and peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), Blood lactate (BLa) concentrations, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and both tri-axial and uni-axial PlayerLoadTM metrics were recorded during each trial. The PlayerLoadTM metrics were recorded at both the cervical and lumbar spine. BLa increased significantly across rounds, with higher values recorded in the pad trial (pad= 2.7 ± 0.8 mmol∙l-1; bag= 2.3 ± 0.9 mmol∙l-1). A similar response was also identified for the HRave (pad= 160 ± 9 beats∙min-1; bag= 150 ± 16 beats∙min-1) and VO2ave data (pad= 38.00 ± 0.31 ml∙kg-1∙min-1; bag= 34.40 ± 1.06 ml∙kg-1∙min-1). A significant main effect for time was also recorded for the RPE data; however, there were no significant differences between trials. Conversely, the Tri-axial (PLTotal) and medial-lateral (PLML) data was higher in the punch bag trial. There was also a main effect for time for all of the PlayerLoadTM metrics. PLTotal, PLML, and vertical PlayerLoadTM were significantly higher in the lumbar region when compared to the cervical region. With implications for boxing-specific conditioning, the pad routine was more physiologically demanding, but less mechanically demanding than the bag routine.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Early online date24 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Oct 2018


  • Protocol
  • PlayerLoad
  • Pad
  • Bag
  • Combat
  • Biomechanics
  • Physiology.


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