Not sure if this belongs here or on the Physical Fitness stack.

When on heavy bags training for western-style boxing we will do interval drills, so 10 seconds of easy boxing followed by 10 seconds of fast punches followed by 10 seconds of power. This is repeated for the duration of a 3 minute round.

Is there a significant difference in the benefit(s) that you get by changing the duration of intervals? Or put another way, is there an optimum interval duration to use if you are training for a 3x3minute round amateur bout? For example, I've seen YouTube videos of the same drill but with the duration of intervals at 30 seconds... if I did this maybe I increase my stamina as I'm throwing more heavy punches before resting, but on the other hand I'm giving myself longer to recover.

  • There is no generally optimal duration formula. You need to ask yourself, "optimal for what?" Be extremely specific—"stamina" is not specific enough. Also, this question will get better quality responses on the fitness stack exchange as long as it remains about intervals and not training for boxing. Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 17:36
  • @Dave Liepmann - I tried to specify that I'd like to optimize my training to be able to compete in an amateur bout of three rounds of three minutes each. I'm not talking about actually winning, but being able to be competitive and go the distance. This means a combination of stamina, speed and power, as well as the psychological aspect.
    – Doug B
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 18:30
  • There is no generally optimal duration that will improve all physical attributes, even if a 3x3min round structure is given. Different durations benefit different things differently. Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


It's difficult to know what is "optimum" with regards to any kind of training regimen. I'm not sure at this time whether or not this has been proved out for all kinds of high intensity interval training. The only thing I can tell you is that the Tabata Protocol was developed in order to address this for one particular type of exercise (speed skating). And I believe he attempted to find the optimal combination of work and rest. Does it apply to boxing? No idea. But it's a good start.

Tabata Protocol is basically 8 sets of: 20 seconds of maximum level activity, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

There are a lot of warnings when approaching this kind of exercise. It will destroy you. You need to work up to it. Otherwise you could really hurt yourself.

Here are some links that discuss it:



These links specifically talk about using it for boxing and MMA:




You can find more if you Google "Boxing Tabata Protocol".

Hope that helps.

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