Just a few hours ago, and a matter of days following that brilliant press conference, Wladimir Klitschko has pulled out of his fight against the charismatic heavyweight Tyson Fury.
Much to the disappointment of the British boxing fans, Dr Steelhammer has claimed a minor injury has ruled him out of the eagerly anticipated fight in Dussledorf. After a fantastically entertaining press conference and just under a month to go, the excitement for the undisputed heavyweight clash had reached fever pitch, for only it to be dampened by the sorry announcement of a calf injury picked up during sparring.
“I am training so much, I have never trained like this before”
In Wednesday’s press conference, ‘Wlad’ claimed he has been training more than he has ever done before. Increasing his training from three to four sessions per day, and sparring 80 more rounds than normal.
At Boxing Science, we believe in purposeful, systematic and deliberate practice. This leads me to a few questions for Team Klitschko….
- What is the purpose of adding an extra session per day? What are you adding to the process that is worth losing recovery time?
- How have you phased the increase in volume through a systematic process?
- What are the benefits from these changes? And how are you going to measure them?
Whether it be type, volume or intensity, there are initial negative effects on physical fitness when exposed to a new training stimulus. Structured programming and recovery will cause an eventual improvement – this is called adaptation.
If the new type of training is too high in volume and intensity, the initial effects maybe too damaging and take a lot of time to recover. If this training is continued, this can cause fatigue, overtraining and injury.
Furthermore, this process is made even harder considering the Ukrainian’s age and training history.
Given this, we can presume that the injured calf is a result of Wladimir not being able to adapt to the substantial increase in training volume.
A dramatic change for a special occasion
Although we think that you should train more than 4 times a week (I feel that he was winding his rival up anyway), Tyson absolutely nails it on the head in this interview when he says “I train 4 times a week, I am not gonna change it for Wladimir or anybody else”.
We couldn’t agree anymore with this statement, as we firmly believe in setting world class training standards at the earliest stage possible, instead of trying to tick all the boxes soon as the big fight comes along.
Effective training requires continued consistency and frequency in order to progress. The boxers that we coach at the moment are not only training for their next fight, but are preparing for their future careers.
What can we learn from this?
In future programs, boxers should consider structuring their training programs to control progression in training volume and intensity. This will ensure optimal gains in fitness and peaking for competition whilst reducing likelihood of overtraining and injury.
We are fully aware there is always a risk with athletes getting injured, particularly in the hurt business. Even with strength and conditioning practices being able to reduce the likelihood of injury, we cannot fully bulletproof a fighter.
We are aware that we are going off very limited information, we can only presume what has caused an injury for our own boxers, never mind a boxer we have limited access to. However, with the statements made during the press conference, we can make assumptions of what contributed to the injury. For an undisputed world heavyweight champion of over 20 world title defences, we expected much smarter training.
Commiserations to Tyson Fury during a frustrating period, and we wish Klitschko a speedy recovery as we are still excited for the match up.