David Price and coach Franny Smith on sparring, track and circuits

Back in August, we spoke with Olympic medallist and British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price and coach Franny Smith about their sparring, track and circuit training regimes

17 December 2012    |    0 Comments

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Image courtesy of: Brian Roberts

What is your sparring regime leading up to a fight?
Franny Smith: We do four weeks of sparring, starting five weeks out from the fight, every other day. We have to cut the weight-training down and sometimes the track work has to be replaced by a steady run if he’s sparred hard the night before. Generally steady runs are to make weight which David doesn’t have to do. He'll finish his sparring nine or 10 days before the fight, then he'll do a 12-round punching session on the Friday - eight days before - which will be intensive, then we'll take it down from there. With Sam Sexton we anticipated him being quite quick on his feet so we tried to get sparring to make David move quicker. We got [pro cruiser and former ABA champion] Danny Price in, you're not going to get much quicker than him. We sparred for two weeks with Kubrat Pulev [now the European heavyweight champion] but that was a different entity. We used that to see where we're at and also we knew it would be quality. No matter what type of opponent you have in front of you, whether you're simulating the fight or not, it's still quality sparring. When we were getting ready to fight John McDermott we sparred David Haye who's much different but it’s still quality sparring.
David Price: I'm always up for sparring the top fellas who are going to be fighting the Klitschko: Solis, Haye, at the time Sosnowski. Holding your own or more brings the confidence out in you. I'd travel anywhere for sparring if it's going to bring me on.

What does your track work routine specifically involve?
Franny Smith: 800m in three minutes. He does five or six when we start camp. He has one-minute rest between sets. The three minutes simulates the time of a round and the intensity of that run...many times the lads have come off the track and said, 'That's harder than a fight.' If we can simulate something that’s going to be even harder than what we’re training for that's going to have a positive effect.
David Price: It's given me an engine.

What circuit training do you incorporate into your fight camp?
Franny Smith: It's a boxing-specific circuit. Many years ago I went to Russia with the amateurs and they were doing those bar pushes in a Russian gym. This is good for creating general muscle endurance. Towards the end of camp, once he's built the strength, we’ll do this to use the muscles he's built up in a more repetitive capacity. It's a bit primitive but it works.

Ropes: A good exercise for shoulders arms, abs and legs.
Heavy bag: Pull across floor forward and back. Good for legs.
Sledgehammer slams: Alternating arms. Good for rotation.
Weighted splits: Good for legs.
Bar push with jump: All shoulders. We say 'keep punching' because that's what it simulates.
Barbell core rotation: Good for twisting from the core.

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