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Michael Rust
Michael Rust's picture
Bag Work

How many people would agree that it's best to do rounds on the heavy bag after lifting weights to improve conditioning ? Thoughts/Comments ?

Gavin Mulholland
Gavin Mulholland's picture

I'd agree that lifting weights and bagwork improves conditioning but I'm not sure about  the sequence.

Also (and you'll get a lot of this here!), you'd have to ask, conditioning for what? Rounds for what? What are you trying to achieve and for what purpose?

Both essential bits of kit in my opinion though...

Michael Rust
Michael Rust's picture

Hi Gavin,

I like to do bag work for building overall conditioning as well as increasing punching & kicking power. I have talked to a lot of people who seemed convinced that doing rounds on the bag at the end of your work out will build your overall conditioning. I do find it tiring especially in the arms, but I'm worried about injuries just because everything feels so heavy do to lactic acid build up and I'm really pushing it. So I'm wondering if that's the best way to go ? I haven't been injured or anything, but just pushing myself to my limit.

Gavin Mulholland
Gavin Mulholland's picture

It sounds good to me Michael as exhaustion is a good way of training the never-give-up muscle.

I can't see how it could fail to improve your conditioning other than over-training but as long as you are fitting in your proper rest days, it should be fine.

Check out Ross Training on the web as I don't think there is much those boys don't know about conditioning.

Michael Stolberg
Michael Stolberg's picture

There is a scientific paper from a peer-reviewed journal which did the following study.  They tested a training method which involved high intensity weight training followed by a 10 minute break and then followed by sprint training. This was done with soccer players. The study found that this type of training not only improved the players' strength but also their power. On the other hand the same study found that resistance training only improved strength.

Work cited:

Kotzamanidis, C., D. Chatzopoulos, C. Michailidis, G. Papaiakovou, and D. Patikas. The effect of a combined highintensity strength and speed training program on the running and jumping ability of soccer players. J. Strength Cond. Res. 19(2):369–375. 2005.

Unfortunetly you will proabably not have access to this paper. If you are interested I can sedn it to you.

Some quick thoughts about your question in light of the abovementioned paper:

-the resistance training has to be of high intensity

-the volume of sprint training was progressively increased throughout the weeks.

-is your bag work of an equivalent intensity to sprinting?



Michael Rust
Michael Rust's picture

I try and go as hard as I can until I burn out. My work out routine goes something like this 30 min run at about a level 6 on the treadmill then 25 minutes of weights compound exercises. Then I do the bag work I try for 5 - 3 minute rounds as hard as I can. So the intensity is high, I'm certainly not lobbing punches.

Gary Chamberlain
Gary Chamberlain's picture


According to Kurz we should train skill before strength and strength before stamina.

In practise then if you're treating bagwork as 'stamina' I'd bin the running and do weights followed by bagwork.

If you're treating the bagwork as 'skill', I'd do that before the weights.  Maybe not 5 x 3 minutes though as that's extensive intervals (i.e. the rest is shorter than the work)  I'd do intensive intervals (maybe 10 x 30 seconds of sharp work with full recovery)

I wouldn't do all three in one workout as you'll compromise the quality and intensity of all the parts.  Two - done hard - is enough in one go.  45 minutes is a quality session.  90 is a marathon.