>Nothing is more astounding than a single punch knockout. The force, the torque, the power that is behind that punch is something more than just having meat hook hands.
Of course, technique is a major factor in knockout power, but the speed and strength that comes from a good method of training will help you win your battle. Herein lies one type of method of training to increase your punching power called complex or contrast training (not to be confused with A complex, which I wrote about previously).
Complex training is a method of training that allows your nervous system to produce more power output and explosiveness. This explosiveness (strength and speed) is what will create that fast and forceful impact. The idea behind complex training is to increase short-term power output by first lifting a pretty heavy load at a slow velocity followed by lighter lifts or movements at fast velocities of movement. The initial heavy lift will fire up your nervous system in such a way that when it comes time for the lighter resistance, high velocity movement, it is almost fooled into thinking the same work/ strength is needed.
Because the resistance is much lighter, you will be capable of moving at or producing more of that explosive power needed. As an example of how this training may feel, think of a time where you were helping someone move boxes. You know that feeling of lifting a really heavy box, then going and picking up an unexpected light box. It is extremely important that between the heavy and the lighter resistance lifts or movements, you allow for enough rest to replenish your anaerobic energy stores. Some studies have even shown that the recommended rest period of up to 4 minutes is best, unless you have all day to train, then a 2-minute rest period should suffice. Your body will tell you if you need more.
While you may think that punching power comes directly from your upper body, it actually really comes from your core. This is why it is so important to incorporate a full body approach with emphasis on the glutes, back and whole abdominal region. For the heavy load you will want to use about 90% of your 1 rep max for 2-4 reps and 2 sets. You will follow these lifts up with either a medicine ball exercise or using only your bodyweight for 5 reps (5 each side if the exercise is unilateral) and 2 sets. Here are some examples of exercises you can use in your complex/contrast training that will specifically help with your punching power:
•Deadlift – Jump Squats or Sprinter Hops
•Bench Press – Medicine Ball Throws Lying Supine (a partner is needed for this, unless you have really low ceilings) or Plyo-Pushups
•Clean and Press – Burpees or Medicine Ball Thrusters (releasing the ball at the top each time and catching it on the way back down)
•Snatch – Medicine Ball Slams
Be sure to finish with some foam rolling and some kind of light to moderate activity like a series of dynamic stretching and/or even hopping on a bike to calm your system down, aid in recovery, prevent stiffness and to release lactic acid build-up. For even faster recovery, have a shake mixed with some greens, extra vitamin C, some fish oils, waxy maize and protein isolate.