Boxing and Bodybuilding

Can Combining Both Disciplines Stagnate Muscle Growth?

Here is a typical query on combining cardio training and bodybuilding. This query relates to boxing, but the reasoning is the same for other cardio workouts – avoid doing cardio and weight training for the same muscles every day or growth is unlikely to occur and injuries may result.

Here’s an actual query to consider:

I do 4 full body workouts per week. I also do boxing on my days off. I do a session of 30 mins on the punching bag on off-days between gym sessions. I wonder if I am stopping my arm muscles from building up as they are not being rested on my rest days.

Here’s my response:
I think your suspicions are absolutely spot-on. There are a number of things you may wish to re-consider here:

*4 full body workouts are unlikely to get you meaningful growth because it is next to impossible to progressively develop your strength when training the muscles so often.

*All heavy training – including 30 minutes on the punching bag – will tax your recovery systems (meaning you are going for 5 or 6 days with no rest for the shoulder, chest and arm muscles).

*Your routine is a big risk for shoulder injuries and you will eventually get a shoulder injury on this routine – I am willing to bet on that. There is no rest for the shoulders and the shoulders are very fragile joints. Once the injuries manifest it will be very difficult for you to ever return to normal – avoid shoulder injuries before you get them.

*What you could do is do 15 minutes on the bag before a weight training session as part of the warming up, and then have a ‘real’ day off the following day. Aim to do a training session every other day, instead of daily. This is good for circuit training and fitness, but not for bodybuilding.

*If you want to body build, do one upper body session and one lower body session – separated by one boxing session of 30-45 minutes duration. Have a day off between all sessions (so you train every other day).

*Keep all training sessions to less than 45 minutes in full duration so you don’t become over trained and so you can keep developing.

*Aim to increase poundage’s and/or reps monthly so you can grow – growth is not possible by keeping the exercise routine the same.