How to Use HIIT, Tabata, AMRAP, & EMOM for Boxing Training

How to Use HIIT, Tabata, AMRAP, & EMOM For Boxing Training

What is interval training? What do HIIT, Tabata, AMRAP, and EMOM stand for? Here we define them and tell you how to incorporate them in your boxing workouts.

Published: August 16, 2021

Topics: Tips & Technique, Training

Author: Jeff Turbett

Training in the sweet science of boxing offers some of the best calorie-smashing workouts you can find. From toning and strengthening to improved mobility, stamina, balance, and coordination, the benefits of boxing are endless. But what if there was a way to take your training to the next level? In this article, we will break down some of the popular workout acronyms and interval training protocols to help you get the most out of your next boxing workout. Let’s dive deeper into HIIT, Tabata, AMRAP, and EMOM…

Interval Training

First and foremost, HIIT, Tabata, AMRAP, and EMOM are all forms of interval training. Interval training involves high intensity bursts of activity, exercise, and cardio combined with a defined set time of rest or recovery. In the past, this style of training was mostly used by athletes, especially boxers, but now it has become more mainstream as it has numerous benefits.

Benefits of Interval Training


One thing it seems we never have enough of in the 21st century is time. Interval training protocols and workouts are perfect for those of us with busy lives. Most interval workouts range from 10-30 minutes, allowing you to get in a full-body workout even on your lunch break. With interval training, you should never have an excuse to not be able to fit in a quality workout.

Exercise variety

Running, walking, swimming, and biking are all great workouts, but some people prefer more variety. Interval training takes the mundane out of training and keeps it entertaining. Opting for interval training keeps things fresh and fun with a variety of different exercises in each session.

Tones the body and burns calories

This is one of the best reasons to perform interval training multiple times a week. Not only do you burn calories during your workout, but you also continue to burn them afterward. This is known as an EPOC effect, which stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or the number of calories burned after a workout. Then to top it off, you gain muscle and tone your body. Double whammy!

Prevents heart disease

Interval training workouts are effective for combating heart disease and illness. Interval training shows a strong correlation to the level of maximum oxygen intake, or VO2max. VO2max is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise, or more simply, a person’s exercise capacity. Interval training increases a person's VO2max, which in turn lowers their likelihood of heart disease and coronary artery disease.


The fountain of youth may be more accessible than people thought. A recent study done in Norway shows that interval training is more effective than longer, slower training methods (running and even resistance training). In the study, interval training was shown to reduce cholesterol, adjust the ratio of fatty acids in the blood, and reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome, all of which play a detrimental role in the aging process.


What Is HIIT?

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a form of interval training that fluctuates between high and low intensity exercises. The usual HIIT protocol calls for a longer burst of anaerobic activity followed by a shorter recovery period at a significantly reduced work capacity. In layman's terms, a typical HIIT workout would be 30-45 seconds of high intensity output, usually between 75-90% maximal effort, followed by 15-30 seconds of recovery. This type of interval training is usually sustained for a total of 10-30 minutes.

Benefits of HIIT

There is nothing wrong with going for a nice long run to increase your overall cardiovascular endurance, but when it comes time to toning your muscles, increasing muscle mass, and decreasing body fat, HIIT is the king of training routines.

A recent 2017 study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of HIIT vs. a routine of slower, steady-state cardio. Two different groups worked out three times per week for a total of 12 weeks. One group performed HIIT while the other followed a slower, steady-state workout routine (jogging). Although participants in both groups had weight loss during the study, overall the participants in the HIIT group lost an additional 2% of body fat, while also gaining an additional 2 lbs. of muscle.

How To Use HIIT In Boxing

Usually, a typical boxing match is made up of 3-minute rounds of intense activity for males and 2-minute rounds for females, followed by 1 minute of rest, sustained over the course of a full 12-round fight. Since HIIT training has a similar level of intensity, many boxers love HIIT workouts to simulate the real-life effects of a boxing match. Often, a boxing workout will cycle through several rounds of punching and training intervals for time, followed by short periods of rest. Here is an example of a HIIT-style boxing workout involving a heavy bag.

The Routine

Before performing any type of workout routine, the best place to start is with a warm-up to make sure the body is ready for action and to avoid any injuries. FightCamp offers a vast resource of routines to get your body primed. Here is a great 5-minute dynamic warm-up routine with Coach PJ. After you warm up, do this boxing HIIT routine.

HIIT Boxing Workout Routine (Heavy Bag)

FightCamp Boxing Workout

Intervals: Work (40 seconds), Rest (20 seconds)

  • Alternating left/right jab - cross

  • Jumping Jacks

  • Alternating left/right hooks

  • Burpees

  • Forearm Plank

  • Repeat 4x


What is Tabata Training?

Tabata training is actually a form of HIIT. Developed in 1996 by Dr. Izumi Tabata, Tabata training is more specific in regards to its work to rest ratios. The universal Tabata training protocol calls for 20 seconds of near maximal effort, usually 80-95%, followed by a rest of only 10 seconds. Typical Tabata workouts are 10-20 minutes.

Benefits of Tabata Training

The benefits of Tabata training are very similar to that of HIIT as Tabata is a form of interval training. One of the added benefits of Tabata training is that the total workout times can be shorter if an individual is in a time crunch, while still receiving full EPOC benefits. This is because the work effort is near maximum effort and the rest time is only ten seconds.

How To Use Tabata In Boxing

Prior to doing this Tabata boxing workout make sure to fully warm up the body with the dynamic warm-up routine above, or check out the FightCamp Blog and YouTube Channel for additional warm-up routines.

Tabata Boxing Workout Routine (Heavy Bag)

FightCamp Boxing Heavy Bag Workout

Intervals:Work (20 seconds), Rest (10 seconds)

  • Jab - Jab - Cross

  • Squat Jumps

    • Lower yourself into a squat position and then propel yourself up, fully extending your legs and lifting off the ground

    • Land softly back into a squat

    • Repeat for 20 seconds

  • Alternating left/right hooks

  • Alternating lunge split jumps

    • Start in a lunge position, right leg forward

    • Jump into the air and switch stances at jump apex

    • Upon landing, your left leg should now be forward

    • Repeat, alternating legs during each jump, for 20 seconds

  • Freestyle (combo any punches together)

  • Repeat 8x


What Is AMRAP Training?

AMRAP, an acronym for As Many Repetitions (Rounds) As Possible, is the Formula 1 of the fitness world when it comes to fierce and fast workouts. First popularized by the CrossFit community, AMRAP training is based off of a set workout routine which has you race against the clock to complete as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) before the time runs out--no rest for the determined!

Benefits of AMRAP Training

One of the best benefits AMRAP offers is the ability to fit in a workout, even on a tight schedule. Most AMRAP workouts are 10-30 minutes of heart-racing intense exercise, making them the perfect option when you don't have a lot of time. Another benefit of AMRAP training is the competitive atmosphere and friendly challenge of competing against fellow training partners, classmates of the same group fitness class, or even strangers all over the world in thousands of different CrossFit community-based AMRAP workouts.

To add an element of competition to your at-home boxing workouts, check out Versus Mode on the FightCamp App and compete against yourself and others! Plus, you can always strive to make it on the Leaderboard, too! Nothing like a little friendly challenge to motivate you to push harder!

How To Use AMRAP In Boxing

After you have properly warmed up, do this AMRAP-style boxing routine on the heavy bag.

AMRAP Workout Boxing Routine (Heavy Bag) (20 minutes)

FightCamp Boxing Punching Bag Workout

Complete as many rounds as possible during the full 20 minutes

  • Jumping Jacks (25 reps)

    • Stand upright with your legs together, arms at your sides

    • Bend your knees slightly, and jump into the air

    • As you jump, spread your legs to be about shoulder-width apart

    • Stretch your arms out and over your head

    • Jump back to starting position

    • Repeat for 25 reps

  • Alternating left/right jab - cross (25 reps)

  • Mountain Climbers (25 reps)

    • Lower yourself into a push-up position with your arms a little further than shoulder-width apart

    • Keep one leg planted, while bending your other leg bringing it up towards your chest

    • Return your bent leg to an extended position and repeat with the other leg

    • When done correctly, mountain climbers will almost look as if you are running in place on the ground

    • Repeat for 25 reps (both sides)

  • Alternating left/right body shots (25 reps)

  • Burpees (10 reps)

    • Start in a standing position, and drop down into a push-up position with your hands planted underneath your shoulders

    • Lower yourself into a push-up until your chest and legs almost touch the ground

    • Push back up and quickly hop to your feet

    • Jump slightly into the air so that both of your feet leave the ground, and reach up towards the sky with your arms

    • Repeat for 10 reps

  • 4 punch combo: Jab - Cross - Left Uppercut - Right Uppercut (x4)


What Is EMOM Training?

Another acronym-based training protocol is EMOM, or Every Minute On the Minute. This is a form of interval training that is perfect for metabolic conditioning. The premise of EMOM is to challenge you to complete a certain exercise for a given number of repetitions within a 60-second time frame. The remaining time that is left over after the individual has completed the stated number of repetitions is used as a rest time. Then, once the second hand on the clock strikes the 60-second mark, most routines move on to a different exercise. This cycle continues for the rest of the routine.

Benefits of EMOM Training

Sometimes the best form of competition is yourself--you vs you. EMOM training has you challenging yourself mentally and physically against the clock to complete each exercise as fast as possible and use as much of the remaining time to recover for the next exercise. This recovery time is crucial for the body to recharge. One of the great benefits of EMOM is the ability to get creative with your workouts. As you progressively get in better shape, you can craft the routine to be more and more challenging. Additionally, EPOC with EMOM training is very effective and you will burn calories long after you’ve stopped working out.

How To Use EMOM In Boxing

Here is an EMOM boxing routine you can do on the heavy bag. Be sure to warm up first:

EMOM Boxing Routine (Heavy Bag) (2 Rounds)

Boxing Core Workout
  • Reverse lunge - Left/Right Jab - Cross (20 reps)

  • Squat - Alternating Left/Right Hooks (20 reps)

  • Burpees (15 reps)

    • Start in a standing position, and drop down into a push-up position with your hands planted underneath your shoulders

    • Lower yourself into a push-up until your chest and legs almost touch the ground

    • Push back up and quickly hop to your feet

    • Jump slightly into the air so that both of your feet leave the ground, and reach up towards the sky with your arms

    • Repeat for 15 reps

  • Boxer Sit-ups (20 reps)

    • Ab crunch, left/right, jab - cross

  • Jumping Jacks (40 reps)

    • Stand upright with your legs together, arms at your sides

    • Bend your knees slightly, and jump into the air

    • As you jump, spread your legs to be about shoulder-width apart

    • Stretch your arms out and over your head

    • Jump back to starting position

    • Repeat for 40 reps

  • 4 punch combo: Jab - Cross - Left Body - Right Hook (15 reps)

HIIT, Tabata, AMRAP, and EMOM are some of the most popular workout routines and protocols being used today, and they can all easily be applied to your boxing training. All are high-intensity, some are friendly competitions, and none is a wrong choice when picking a routine to burn calories and get you lean and toned.

Train Like a Fighter

Take your workouts to the next level and train like a fighter with the at-home connected fitness solution used by world champion boxers Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather. FightCamp has everything you need to work out on your schedule, with premium boxing equipment and hundreds of on-demand strength, conditioning, kickboxing, boxing, core, and recovery classes led by real fighters.

As Mike Tyson said - “FightCamp is the next level of training!” 

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Jeff Turbett

Jeff Turbett has trained in boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA. He is a personal trainer and knows the importance of cross-training for combat sports. He’s also a contributor at BellaVita Fitness and Wellness online.

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