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Check out the video above of Niall Sharp, a junior amateur from Sheffield City ABC.

Niall has been on the Boxing Science program for just over 2 years, and is a true advocate for our youth training program attending our youth workshops and training clusters.

In the video, Niall shows how our program has developed his fantastic movement, speed and co-ordination. Now he is able to do this with higher external loads, lifting 37.5 kg on the clean and 50 kg on the deadlift.

Considering Niall is a boxer, 14 years old and weighing just 47 kg, this is quite impressive. Niall is currently preparing for the National Junior Cadets Championships, go smash it pal!

Influencing the Next Generation of Boxing

Strength training for children has been a much debated activity in the past due to it’s misconceived dangers and negative physical affects. It has always been a wonder to me why children are not allowed to do strength training when they get tackled, barged, blocked and punched in their respected sports… surely this is more dangerous than safely picking a weight up in a controlled environment?

Today, the benefits of strength training for children are becoming better received following a range of safe practices, media coverage and academic literature.

What is Boxing’s current approach to strength training in children?

How To Structure Youth Training

The ‘Long Term Athletic Development’ (LTAD) model is a framework for an optimal training, competition and recovery schedule for each stage of athletic development through childhood and adolescent years.

The model consists of 7 stages, developing a continuum guiding a young athlete from learning fundamental movements to training at an elite level. This model also coincides with the “Window of Trainability”, a period of time where an increased opportunity to move better, be bigger, be stronger and have quicker reactions.

Athletes who engage in the model and its practices are more likely to reach their full athletic potential.

Moving For A Stronger Tommorrow

First things first, we need to get young athletes moving better before focusing on increasing strength. During growth, regions of the brain develop at an accelerated rate, offering a key time frame to learn and improve fundamental movement patterns. This will lead to increased muscular force production and overall motor skill proficiency.

Building a catalogue of competent athletic movement patterns will allow more advanced strength and movement programs in later maturity.

Once this has been achieved, and the window of trainability occurs, there are many ways young athletes can increase muscular strength; including single-set workouts, multiple-set workouts, medicine balls, elastic bands and bodyweight exercises.

Youth Strength Training in Boxing

Athletic development programs for children and adolescents are now being used in a range of sports and athletic competition. At most Football and Rugby clubs, there are youth training systems lead by qualified sport science practitioners.

But what is happening in Boxing?

Howe and Saif

Our mission is to create a training system to athletically develop the champions of tomorrow.

At Sheffield Hallam University, our Boxing Science sessions are open to all ages and abilities, from heavyweight professionals to amateurs aged from 11 upwards (see picture above… still one of my favourite pictures).

We have a junior graduation scheme that consists of 2 x 6-week programs for each of the Bronze, Silver and Gold stages. The aim of these programs are to gradually develop movement patterns to coincide with the LTAD.

How Can I Start?

Start by attending one of our Saturday Morning Sessions at Sheffield Hallam Active (click link for location). The sessions consists of mobility, strength training and conditioning circuits and are a great way to begin your Boxing Science journey, before progressing to one of our training clusters.

Time: 10.30-12.00 or 12.00-1.30