Boxing is one of the original Olympic Sports and also has a long history as a professional sport. Olympic-format boxing competition (amateur boxing) involves 3 × 3min rounds for men or 4 × 2min rounds for women, with 1 minute rest periods between rounds. Boxers, coaches and commentators recognise that fatigue can influence the outcome of contests.
The purpose of the proposed doctoral research is to explore the manifestation of fatigue in boxing. By understanding boxing-relevant fatigue it will be possible to better examine the effects of acute and chronic interventions proposed for competitive boxers. The first two studies will establish how fatigue manifests itself during boxing competition and attempt to reveal underpinning physiological mechanisms. Methodological research will then focus on establishing a relevant punching performance test capable of measuring boxing fitness under laboratory conditions. Once fatigue can be precisely quantified, a series of acute and chronic intervention studies will be performed to establish the role that vibration of the upper-body, triggered by the impact of a punch, has on boxing-relevant fatigue. The role of vibration in boxing-relevant fatigue will be investigated and training interventions that involve manipulating vibrational loads will be introduced with the intent of improving boxing-specific fitness.
Overall, the proposed studies will provide insight into how fatigue manifests itself in the Olympic sport of boxing. This topic will be of interest to physiologists investigating limitations to performance, sport scientists interested in success in combat sports, and military scientists focusing on preparing soldiers to survive hand-to-hand combat.
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