Occlusion Training for Boxing

Cal Occlusion Training

3 Ways To Gain Muscle and Speed
Step 3: Occlusion Training

Occlusion Training is where you wrap around a device to apply pressure towards the proximal (top) of a muscle in order to restrict blood flow to the muscles. The picture above shows how Callum Beardow wrapped therabands around the top of the thigh whilst performing a single leg leg press.

Various studies have found that the restriction of blood flow reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to the working muscle, this fatigues the slow-twitch muscle fibres, therefore, more fast-twitch fibers are activated despite a low external weight load.

Impact: The fast twitch muscle fibres are activated to increase functional mass favourable for fast contractions – needed for explosive actions such as a punch.

Where have we used this before?

We used Occlusion training to help amateur boxer Callum Beardow gain 2 kg of muscle mass during rehabilitation training following shoulder surgery. 

Callum Beardow Progress

Due to time spent off training due to recovery from the surgery, Callum has seen a rapid decrease in muscle mass. Standing at a modest 5”10, Callum’s muscular build is vital for him competing at 81 kg. Therefore, our main objective was for him to regain this skeletal muscle mass as quickly as possible.

Considering the amount of soreness and strain on tendons that may occur from weight training, Callum was restricted in how much external load in the initial stages of rehab. Therefore, we opted to prescribe Occlusion Training as this is a great way to increase functional mass without exposing an athlete to heavy weight training.

This resulted in The biggest improvement was 8% increase in arm muscle mass, this was important to protect his shoulders when returning to training.

Click here to find out more about Callum’s rehabilitation training

Click here to revisit Step 1

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.