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Physiological support for professional boxing
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Physiological support for professional boxing

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The Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University's approach to sport science support to professional boxers including the world famous Ingle gym.

The Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University's approach to sport science support to professional boxers including the world famous Ingle gym.


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  • Scientific support for boxing #bxar
  • Sport and exercise science is… #bxar @kidgalahad90
  • The physiologist: researcher, inventor, physician, educator and visionary #bxar
  • Clear focus on enhancing performance #bxar
  • Sport scientists use attempt to solve problems through systematic enquiry #bxar
  • First & critical step: Understand your sport #bxar
  • Knockout defined by BBBofC
  • The KO usually results from a direct blow to the face resulting in an acceleration orrotational force which is transmitted to the brain, affecting the cerebellum and brain stem, thereby causing imbalanceand unsteadiness making the boxer unable to remain standingKO caused by torque to head, cerebellum & brain stem #bxar
  • TKO defined by BBBofC #bxar
  • Potential brain injury – just one injury risk #bxar
  • Based on these risks alone – is it ethical to support boxers? #bxar
  • Ethics approval? I must abide by @basesuk code of conduct
  • Boxers awarded points per round – loosely defined by BBBofC #bxar
  • Intentional, serious, llegitimate injury? NO. #bxar
  • Must consider safety, positive aspects & make informed decisions #bxar
  • Not 1 punch KO. Pro boxing like game of chess #bxar
  • Many pieces to play with #bxar@EThomson_Boxing
  • Punches used many times #bxar@spa_shu
  • Punches used in many different ways #bxar@spa_shu
  • Single & combo punches are high speed actions #bxar
  • Punches need cause large impulse (not powerful) #bxar
  • Ft/m = v – important at takeoff. F t = m v – impulse momentum relationship #bxar
  • @podium_perf simple approach to boxing scientific support
  • Boxers need to be proportionally strong #bxar
  • From foot to fist #bxar
  • Boxers need effective metabolic machinery #bxar
  • What does sparring look like to a physiologist? #bxar
  • Contest control is linked to physical capacities #bxar
  • What physiological characteristics determine boxing intensity? #bxar
  • http://www.frontiersin.org/Striated_Muscle_Physiology/10.3389/fphys.2012.00082/fullDon't loose your head... #bxar @proftimnoakes
  • Boxers need a lot of heart #bxar
  • Boxers need a good network #bxar
  • Boxers need metabolic 'power stations' #bxar @musclescience
  • What type of conditioning should boxers do? #bxar
  • Physiological responses to HIIT #bxar
  • 6 - 12 weeks of HIIT improves VO2max #bxar
  • Skinning the cat by @mart1buch & @paulblaursen #bxar
  • Shorter intervals? #bxar
  • Choosing a session that optimises time at 90% VO2max. Longer intervals? #bxar
  • Even longer intervals?
  • Transcript

    • 1. @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 1
    • 2. Alan Ruddock CSci MSc BSc (Hons.) Chartered Scientist BASES accredited sport & exercise scientist Doctoral researcher Academy of Sport and Physical Activity Sheffield Hallam University | Faculty of Health and Wellbeing A016 Collegiate Hall, Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield S10 2BP email: a.ruddock@shu.ac.uk | Telephone: +44 (0) 114 225 4439 @alanruddock #bxar @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 2
    • 3. Sport and Exercise Science The scientific study of factors that influence our ability to perform exercise or physical activity @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 3
    • 4. Physiology of Sport and Exercise The scientific study of how the body responds and adapts to exercise... @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 4
    • 5. ...to enhance performance @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 5
    • 6. @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 6
    • 7. Scientific Method Observation Broadcast Conclusion Systematic Enquiry Data Collection Research question Hypotheses Experimental method @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 7
    • 8. Observation: How to win a boxing match @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 8
    • 9. Knockout Failing to continue with the contest after a boxer goes „down‟ after a legitimate blow. British Boxing Board of Control rules 3.32 & 3.33 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 9
    • 10. Cerebellum @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 10
    • 11. Technical Knockout If at any time during a Contest the Referee decides in his complete discretion that one contestant is outclassed or is unable to continue as a result of injury, or is not in a position to continue boxing or, at the conclusion of any round, is ten points or more behind his opponent, he shall stop the Contest and declare the opponent the winner. British Boxing Board of Control rule 3.34 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 11
    • 12. Potential neurological trauma Three primary manifestations 1) Acute neurological injuries (causing knockout) 2) Persistent groggy states and post-concussion syndrome 3) Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, “punch drunk syndrome” or “dementia pugilistica” The American Medical Association, Australian Medical Association, and World Medical Association have provided position statements opposing boxing and recommending that boxing be banned @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro 12
    • 13. Ethical? @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 13
    • 14. Knowing these risks would our ethics committee approve such activity? I must abide by BASES code of conduct Professional and personal code of conduct 7 a) Members paramount concern is the well-being of their clients 7 g) Members must ensure, where appropriate, the highest standards of safety and working practices and research both in respect of work undertaken by members themselves or by others under their supervision. @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 14
    • 15. Points system For “attack” – direct clean hits with the knuckle part of the glove of either hand to any part of the front or side of the head or body above the belt. For “defence” – guarding, slipping, ducking or getting away from an attack. Where contestants are otherwise equal the majority of points will be given to the one who does most leading off or displays the better style British Board of Boxing Control rule 3.31 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 15
    • 16. Are boxers malicious thugs who intend to put their own and opponents life at risk? No… The majority intend to display their physical, technical and tactical skills within the rules of the sport. “I’m not in this sport to get hit.” - Kid Galahad @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 16
    • 17. Safety aspects Positive aspects Medical examinations Doctors present before, during and after contest Referee’s experience Trainers duty of care Health benefits Cultural traditions Economic opportunities Informed decisions Trainers Boxing commissions Promoters Medics Scientists Boxers @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 17
    • 18. @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 18
    • 19. Performance indicators Defence Attack Jab Rear hand cross Lead hook Rear hook Lead uppercut Rear uppercut Inverted jab Lead hand feint Rear hand feint Head/body feint Foot feint Block both arms Block rear arm Block lead arm Clinch Duck Foot defence Lean back Push Slip left Slip right Roll clockwise Roll anti-clockwise Footwork + precise jab + intensity = contest control J Sports Sci. 2013;31(5):516-28 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 19
    • 20. Number of punches Punch stats 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Round Mean ± SD number of punches per round 34 ± 3 Mean ± SD time between punches 5 ± 0.5 s Often attacks are sustained clusters. Particularly before TKO @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 20
    • 21. Offensive Punches (n=336) Successful (n=94, 28%) Unsuccessful (n=242, 72%) Jab (n=51, 54%) Jab (n=185, 76%) Hook (n=18, 19%) Hook (n=30, 12%) Uppercut (n=11, 12%) Uppercut (n=7, 3%) Combination (n=12, 13%) Combination (n=15, 6%) Cross (n=2, 2%) Cross (n=5, 2%) @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 70% punches = jab 21
    • 22. 26 kph 40 kph Jab Reverse hook 0.6 s 0.2 s Jab Jab in combo High intensity neuromuscular action Sports Biomech. 2011 Mar;10(1):1-11 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 22
    • 23. PEAK IMPACT FORCE = 2000 to 5000 N = 2.5 to 4.5 of body mass PEAK IMPULSE 18.3 ± 2.3 N·s-1 Reduction in momentum of punching arm explained 95% of variance of the J Sports Sci. 2014 Jan 10. [Epub ahead of print] @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing impulse of impact force 23
    • 24. F·t=m·v @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 24
    • 25. Simple approach Energy production  Force production  Force transmission = Mechanically effective punches Winter D. Biomechanics and motor control of human movement @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 25
    • 26. Force production Punches: •delivered at high velocity •from action to contact >200 ms + •require rapid rate of muscular force development •must be impulsive • Increase strength = Increase rate of force development Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006 Jan;96(1):46-52. @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 26
    • 27. Force transmission Effective summation of segmental forces ~ Energy flow Winter D. Biomechanics and motor control of human movement @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 27
    • 28. Energy production Activity (e.g. punch) Result from excitation-contraction coupling @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 28
    • 29. Sparring @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 29
    • 30. Footwork + precise jab + intensity = contest control Capacities set upper limit to performance... 120 Intensity 100 80 60 Cumulative fatigue 40 20 0 A @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing B 30
    • 31. Physiological determinants HRmax Capillary density SVmax Oxidative enzymes Hb; %SaO2 COmax (Ca - Cv O ) max 2 Boxing intensity @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 31
    • 32. Additional considerations... Front Physiol. 2012 Apr 11;3:82 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 32
    • 33. Cardiac (central) adaptations Maximal stroke volume is a limiter to boxing intensity Mechanical overload of the heart caused by reaching and maintaining an elevated cardiac filling is the main stimulus for myocardial adaptations associated with the enhancement of maximal stroke volume (and cardiac output). Intensity of exercise = Cardiac output (heart rate x stroke volume) Sports Med. 2007;37(10):857-80 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 33
    • 34. Muscle capillarisation (angiogenesis) The network of capillaries supplying blood to the exercising muscle is a limiting factor to boxing intensity Possible stimuli causing skeletal muscle angiogenesis • • • • • Exercise induced increases in blood flow Shear stress Muscle 'stretching' - structural disruptions Lowered oxygen tension (PaO2) Metabolic alterations (caused by oxygen demand) Intensity of exercise = Blood flow, shear stress, structural disruption, changes in PaO2 and oxygen demand Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 Dec;39(6):1628-32 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 34
    • 35. Mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative enzyme capacity @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing The number of mitochondria and associated oxidative enzymes is a limiter to boxing intensity Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) and its binding partners are responsible for many training adaptations and in particular mitochondrial biogenesis. Intensity of exercise = Mechanical stretch & tension Increase in reactive oxygen species Increase in muscle calcium concentration Altered energy status (ADP, AMP) = PGC-1α , number and size of mitochondria and aerobic capacity Sports Science Exchange (2013) Vol. 26, No. 115, 1-5 35
    • 36. What type of training induces appropriate physiological strain, in a time effective manner and is specific to boxing? High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 36
    • 37. High energy demand & calcium release High blood flow @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing Cardiac strain 37
    • 38. HIIT Meta analysis 38 Bacon AP, Carter RE, Ogle EA, Joyner MJ (2013) VO2max Trainability and High Intensity Interval Training in Humans: A MetaAnalysis. PLoS ONE 8(9): e73182. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073182 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0073182 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing
    • 39. "There is more than one way to skin the cat" Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Oct;20 Suppl 2:1-10 Sports Med. 2013 May;43(5):313-38 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 39
    • 40. Skin it this way? Sports Med. 2013 May;43(5):313-38 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro 40
    • 41. Skin it this way? Sports Med. 2013 May;43(5):313-38 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 41
    • 42. Even longer? Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2013 Feb;23(1):74-83 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 42
    • 43. Even longer...? Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Feb;113(2):385-94 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 43
    • 44. Sports Med. 2013 May;43(5):313-38 @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 44
    • 45. Train hard. Fight easy. @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 45
    • 46. Typical 10 week training plan FIGHT 0 – 6 weeks 6 – 9 weeks Development of physical capacities Technical training & sparring 9 - 10 weeks 9.9 weeks Taper & cut Make weight, rehydrate & refuel 9.99 weeks Optimised warm-up strategy @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 46
    • 47. Coaching opinion & perspectives Regular trend analysis of collated data Habitual objective & subjective monitoring Training direction & decision- making Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2012 Sep;7(3):242-50. @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 47
    • 48. Acknowledgements Many thanks to Dave Hembrough @dwhembro Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University Dominic Ingle, Ian Grant - Ingle gym @dominicingle @grant_i @inglegym www.inglegym.com Dave Stache @totalbd - Nourish restaurant Edward Winter - Professor of the physiology of exercise @winteredward @alanruddock - Physiology of Pro Boxing 48

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