I love using a boxing bag. Before I got serious about hitting the gym and putting on size, I used my bag up to two times per day for 30-60 minutes each session. I was very strong even without lifting any weights at all, and had very defined arms, traps, back and core. With that said, I would not consider any of those muscles as being anything close to 'big' at the time.

When I began weight training to gain size, I read a lot about the impact of cardio when trying to put on size. Because of this, I stopped using my bag altogether.

I have noticed that since then (about 5-6 months ago) my stamina and overall fitness has degraded severely. My strength and size however have of course skyrocketed.

I want to start using a bag again, but I am concerned about reducing my gains. I am not sure whether the boxing bag will restrict my gains to the same degree as say cycling or running, but I am much more interested in size gains than my fitness at this stage. I have compared running to boxing and to me it seems like if anything it may even assist with size gains, because of all the muscle groups used. I do still consider boxing as cardio though, which is why I've stopped doing it.

How will my gains be affected if I start using a boxing bag frequently? Will how I use the bag impact on the results? For example, can I hit much harder and less frequently to reduce the impact on my gains vs a more agile and fast-paced heavy bag workout?

3 Answers 3


It all depends on the way youre training with the bag - the intensity of that training. The same rule apply to running.

Basically doing marathons and 100m sprints is running, but they are completely different - just compare a sprinters musculature to a marathon runners.

You can treat your boxing sessions as a form of High Intensity Interval Training and try to incorporate it into your trainintg regimen. For more info on combining resistance training and HIIT, please check out some other questions here, like this one: Combining HIIT and weight training

  • Eh.... yes and not. By nature, hitting a heavy bag is going to involve explosive movements and resistance from the bag. While there may be some slimming effect form all the cardio, I would not equate that to running or cycling, even if it's more of an endurance workout. Once you gain the muscle, it doesn't just go away unless you do hard-core endurance work. Sep 13, 2016 at 13:33

Not if your punching properly. If you punch right you should be putting your body weight behind your shots and that type of punching won't build lots of muscle but it will put some more in just the right places.

You can use heavy bags to work on your power and light bags to work on your speed but whichever bag you are on you need to punch right through. Typically people will instinctively bring their hand back as soon as they feel the bag touch their fist and this is a bad habit unless you are finding your distance or setting something up so you need to consciously avoid doing it until you don't need to anymore.

With the heavy bag try planting your feet in your stance and working on different movements like dipping and rolling between the shots rather than steps or pivots until you get the swing of it.


it is all relative. if you are starting with ver little muscle, you will gain muscle using a bag. If you are a bodybuilder, then maybe youd lose some. Running or cardio, in my opinion would just define you down; take off any body fat so that your muscle build would show more. Youd have to be doing copious amounts of cardio to have a break down effect on muscle mass.


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