Science Behind The Thrill: Jordan Gill Training

Jordan ‘The Thrill’ Gill took his professional record to 14-0 on Saturday 25th July with a dominant points victory against a tough Georgian, George Gachechiladze. Jordan picked off his opponent at will, working smartly at high tempo.

Here we look at how his sport science training camp at Sheffield Hallam University assisted his preparation.

Science Behind the thrill

World class conditioning

We used the 30-15 intermittent treadmill test to measure Jordan’s aerobic capacity before and after the training camp. In the first test, Jordan demonstrated good aerobic fitness, he was only 2 levels (1 kph) behind world level boxers. Impressive for his age and competition standard.

However, a spike in heart rate towards the end of the test (see pic below – blue line) suggested that Jordan’s cardiovascular system was struggling to keep up with the demand for energy at higher speeds.

Initial conditioning training was aimed at challenging Jordan’s ability to perform at high intensities. This consisted of 30 second maximum sprints with a long recovery.

This was supported with ‘red zone’ runs to improve cardiac function, and repeated sprints for aerobic and anaerobic conditioning at the end of camp.

Jordan was also ‘treated’ to some simulated altitude training in our power breathe tent. This was used to stress his cardiovascular system without  fatiguing the legs. This meant he was  receiving a training stimulus but his legs were still fresh for open sparring nearer to the fight.

Results

Jordan Gill 30-15 14.07.15

Jordan performed excellently on the re-test of his 30-15 test, scoring 3 levels higher than his previous score (23.5 kph). His heart rate reached the red zone at much higher intensity (18 vs 20 kph). This is demonstrated in the graph above, with the second test (red line) being lower than pre-camp scores indicating improved cardiac function and aerobic capacity at equivalent speeds.

Jordan was more capable and comfortable at higher intensities.

This also moved Jordan to scores we expect world-level boxers to achieve. This is quite impressive for someone who has had just 14 fights and 21 years of age.

Moving Better, Jumping Higher and Punching Harder

The outcome of Jordan’s strength and movement assessments was not out of the ordinary for boxers, our task was to build foundational strength and get him moving better.

Movement training was based around improving hip, shoulder and rotational mobility through a range of isolated and dynamic exercises. We also aimed to improve glute strength for forceful hip extension to contribute to the kinetic chain.

We also focused on explosive exercises using general athletic and boxing specific movements. We wanted to get some ‘quick wins’ from the program, therefore we prioritised explosive exercises as Jordan’s movement limited the amount of load we could do on the lower body compound moves.

That being said, Jordan started shifting some relatively big weights towards the end of camp. Lifting 1.8 x body weight (bw) on Romanian deadlifts and 1 x bw on Dumbell Floor Press. This is exceptional for his first strength and conditioning training program.

Results
The foundational strength work we have done has transferred to improvements in squat jump height and maintenance of countermovement jump whilst losing body weight. This improved his pound for pound (P4P) force production.

Biggest improvements were observed in his right hand medicine ball punch throw, improving a massive 17%; and 20% P4P.

We also found a 5% improvement in his P4P lean mass of the core. This is important as it is one of the largest physical contributors to estimated punch force. Read more here.

Here is what Jordan had to say following his win…

Click here to see more from Ingle Gym

Summary

Strength and movement training has improved Jordan’s ability to produce force through general athletic and boxing specific movements, making him stronger and punching harder at a lighter weight. Curve sprints and red zone runs have helped Jordan become more capable and comfortable when performing at higher intensities.

These are great results and a massive compliment to his effort and adherence to the program. We are proud to be part of the team supporting Jordan, with head coach Dominic Ingle guiding him to be a technically and tactically gifted fighter. Further mention goes to David Stache of Nourish Restaurants for providing excellent nutritional support to fuel performance and recovery whilst making weight safely and effectively.

With the hard work and commitment, advice and guidance of an exceptional support team, we’re excited to be part of Jordan’s future. Next stop, the English Featherweight title!

Danny Wilson co-founded Boxing Science in 2014 following building the successful Boxing program at Sheffield Hallam University where he has coached over 100 amateur and professional boxers as a strength and conditioning coach. He has also helped prepare Kell Brook for his mega-fight with Gennady Golovkin, and his Ingle Gym stablemates including Kid Galahad, Jordan Gill and Kyle Yousaf.

Away from Boxing, Danny is currently the Yorkshire regional strength and conditioning coach for England Golf and has experiences in youth and professional standards across a range of sports.

Danny is a United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association accredited strength and conditioning coach and has a Master of Science degree in Sport Science at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. For his final research project Danny profiled the physiological characteristics of amateur boxers and will share some of the novel findings on Boxing Science. Danny will be contributing to the Strength and Conditioning section by writing about the science behind the punch, training methods, working with junior athletes and case studies.