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Weightlifting & Exercise/Ideal body fat for a Heavyweight Boxer


QUESTION: I'm a heavyweight boxer, mesomorph, 5'11 and 223 lbs at 18% bodyfat. Now I have about 180 in lean muscle mass. I want to increase my lean muscle mas to about 190 so I weight in at around 210 at 10% bodyfat. Now with the boxing training 5 days a week, I'm also lifting weights 3 times a week, all heavy compound movements. And I'm doing my daily roadwork of about 3-5 miles a day as well.

Now I wanted to be the best athlete I can be. I want to have speed, strength, power, endurance, and stamina. Would 10% body fat be a good bodyfat to be at for a heavyweight? Because wouldn't being ripped at that weight not only make stronger but faster as well? And do you have any other advise on how I can build the muscle but still increase speed and strength?

ANSWER: Thanks for the question.  I don't profess to know much about boxing and the type of training needed etc., but I do know about getting an athlete in tip top shape.  You are correct in assuming that you keep the bodyfat down and keep the lean muscle up, my thought would be you are going to be a better boxer for it.  If you are at 210 at 10% bodyfat, then your lean muscle will be at 189.  If you are 210 and have 15% bodyfat, your lean muscle would be 179.  Same weight except you now have more fat to lug around.  Change that 10 pounds to the muscle and now you have more muscle to fire with.  You'll be punching with more force and you'll probably be quicker.

My advise first would be to look at the food you are eating.  You need enough food to match your energy level, so my guess would be that it is a lot of calories.  If you can get a lot of those calories from good food sources (getting quality carbs for your energy and a decent amount of protein to build muscle) you will be able to shift your bodyfat around that way.  Avoid eating fatty foods and fast foods and that combined with your boxing training will get that muscle developed.

With your weight lifting, if I want to develop speed, I would add in plyometric works (jumps or throwing medicine balls) and some Olympic weightlifting (snatches and cleans).  Only add the Olympic movements if you have a good coach to teach you.  They will really develop your power and speed, but they are high technical lifts where you could hurt yourself if not doing them properly.  

Hope that helps you out.  Let me know if you have other questions.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks. Also should i go on a bulking phase? Because i have fights coming up in a few mins and i still wanna be in fighting shape of at least 13% bodyfat. And i know its hard to gain a lot of muscle while getting lean. So what should i do with that?

I think if you look at it as you are leaning up you will be gaining muscle as the scale weight is going down.  You said you are 223 with 18% bodyfat which gives you about 180 pounds of lean muscle.  If you got down to 210 with the 10% bodyfat your lean muscle would be more at 189.  The weight that was lost would be primarily fat.  So once again not knowing much about the strategy of boxing, you could shoot for trying to keep the same weight but lessening your bodyfat.  So the scale wouldn't move, but you would have an increase in lean muscle and less fat.  You would probably be leaner (yet the same weight), quicker, and more powerful.  So maybe you try that approach, then worry about going down to 210 later.

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Adam Kessler


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