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Thoughts on Power
Marked Vantage and the Crackpot Discuss Heavy Hitting and Juicing
Thoughts on Power
Wed, Jun 23, 8:22 PM (14 hours ago)
[I will post comments in brackets. This is a deceptively huge subject.]
James - I posted this and I am curious about your thoughts since you have so much more experience around fighters and gyms
Please forgive the Twitter style shit formatting. Also please don’t attach my real name if you decide to post this for discussion, which you are welcome to do. Thanks.
Punch power can be pulled out of someone that has it within him naturally (Manny Steward with Tommy Hearns being the premier example), but it cannot be built from nothing and it cannot be developed dramatically by just lifting weights or even w/steroid use
[If the boxer is coachable and is not hopelessly uptight and has not been bio-mechanically retarded due to long participation in another sport, his punching power can easily be doubled, tripled and sometimes quadrupled through technical evolutions, through training. I was a low-aptitude person and doubled my punching power between 12-and 15 and tripled my stick stroking power between 35-50 years of age. Power can be built from nothing, like Charles quadrupling his stick stroke power through 13-years of training. I suspect you are speaking of the mystical power that erases men like heavyweight champions with one punch. Yes, that extraordinary power has to have a high natural basis before it is multiplied. Me hitting Tyson Fury twice as hard as I can will not help my cause, as I would need to quadruple my power to phase him. Hearns never lost power moving up in weight, nor did de La Hoya or Duran, they were just punching bigger people who could take more impact.]
Steroids do provide benefits to boxers (strength in clinch, strength in legs, probably muscular endurance and durability too) but the record is pretty clear that it isn’t like effect on a baseball hitter
[I know nothing about Roids. Bigger, stronger muscles only benefit boxers in terms of structural durability and injury recovery when banging around above their natural weight class. They do not help in the clinch but hurt. Fat guys and skinny guys benefit in the clinch, not muscle guys. Tyson Fury and the latter George Foremen basically hung their fat on smaller men and burned out their legs before knocking them senseless. Muscular men always have less stamina than skinny and fat men in terms of combat, provided they have the same fitness level. There are multiple reasons for this. I know zero about baseball. Sorry here.]
Guys gain BIG HR numbers juicing but boxers don’t suddenly become KO beasts
[Muscles slow down punches. So, while more meat increases the baseline weight it decreases the multipliers of speed and relaxation and has no effect on timing at best, and might degrade timing if the muscle is gained doing pushing, pressing and pulling motions.]
The reason for difference in my view is increased strength increases bat speed, which, because there is a HARD and rigid bat, is enough to dramatically increase HRs
[My stick experience shows flex-timing as being almost as important as stick speed, but I just do not know anything about batting mechanics.]
Very rare to see such thudding power like this (link) in a 115lb fighter like Inouye
[I watched this fight and he has the gift of being well knit and has multiplied this gift through training. This man has immense focus, near perfect rhythm sense and has a microflex timing that I cannot explain in writing but is a gift that can be multiplied or degraded but needs to be present naturally and might be that holy grail of power you seem to be reaching for here. Send me another prompt on this if you like.]
Punching power is a fragile muscle/coordination/flexibility/structure phenomena that can be RUINED far easier than it can be developed. This is why fighters traditionally don’t lift weights - even heavyweights
[Power is only fragile among people not naturally well suited for combat, both physically and mentally. Power is the last thing to go in a boxer or stick fighter, unless an injury ruins his shoulder, flexor tendon or back for instance. So, power among karate people, is very delicate. Power among boxers tends to be robust and rather constant, with KOs as much about who you are hitting as how hard you are hitting. Power with the stick is somewhere in between.]
That said, if you are a grown man and not a pro with KNOWN professional-grade power, I believe the other benefits of lifting far exceed any theoretical risk to your punching power
[Being strong in a self defense situation is super important. Power is nice, but I'd agree that strength has wider application. Please keep in mind that awareness and relaxation and rhythm and timing are all more important than either strength or striking power, especially with weapons. Strong men have always been my easiest opponents in the ring and on the pavement. Now, on the grass, strong dudes are less fun to beat up and foil.]
A boxing punch has a looseness & then a firmness at the terminal moment -it isn’t just a function of strength or hand speed.
[Yes. A punch, like a stick stroke, involves weight, speed, looseness, timing, terminal firmness, direction of target—adding his weight to your blow if he is stepping in—and hardness and stability of the striking surface. Bro, some hands are twice as hard as others. Some shins are like axe handles and some like pillows. Some sticks are soft and some ring like steel.]
Punching is also about bodyweight and a sort of “transfer” of the puncher’s weight to the point of strike - also leverage, even HAND weight & structure
[We tend to forget about the target weight shift potential and his weight.]
In short it is one of those weird things but in general it seems wider shoulder frame and heavy hands are common in big hitters
[Reach—meaning wingspan—and not arm length, like the gay HBO measurement, encompasses much of punching potential as a rotational action. It is more. Look at old time boxing measurements before a championship fight. Wrist thickness and hand size are a huge deal.]
That hand weight matters can be seen in both examining the hands of known world-class punchers and, even for yourself, in the use of hand weights (lead lined glove for instance or even a light, firm object held in the hand can make a dramatic difference)
[I look at hands as a baseline for potential when eying up aggressors and new fighters, since it requires the least mechanical adjustment to bring into play.]
(to comment about Holyfield and Morrison being known juicers) Yes and neither had any dramatic change to their power. Holyfield practically NEEDED to juice to even get to a heavyweight body. Tommy was pretty open in the end about WHEN he was juicing too. Mercer even admitted that he thought Tommy would gas out BECAUSE OF the juicing. Vargas, James Toney, the list is long of guys who definitely juiced but didn’t have any dramatic change to their power
[We are talking here about men who were small for their class beefing up. Also, in the case of a man who hooks more than throws straight, like Morrison, muscle helps more than a straight puncher.]
Compare to a horde of baseball players who went from doubles hitters to home run beasts…
-Marked Vantage

Thanks for the interesting walk through this. The bite size line formatting actually made it easy to address point by point.
Strength is always good and weight lifting for combat is most important in developing bone density and joint stability. I like dumbbells, not machines or barbells, as my focus is on joint stability and injury recovery. My guess is that machines and barbells are going to help increase bone density more. But I'll leave that for those who know to address.
For survival I like, from most to least important:
-Relaxation [this multiplies stamina and power, facilitates timing, maintains your strength and takes care of gaps in your awareness]
-Awareness
-Timing
-Durability, including stamina, robustness of bone, etc.
-Strength
-Power as dead last, since a knife requires none to terminate an encounter.
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