Rocky Marciano's upper body strength

December 1, 2006 | Featured in the December 2006 Issue

Must See Strength Training Videos

By Josh Staph

Rocky Marciano won all 49 of his professional fights, knocking out 43 of his unlucky foes. However, his greatest victory didn’t happen in the ring, under the lights.

During Rocky’s first amateur fight, against Henry Lester, his biggest weakness was exposed. Much shorter and stockier than most heavyweights, Rocky didn’t have the stamina to keep his short, powerful arms raised in defense when he fatigued. With no other way to protect himself, Rocky kneed Lester, and as a result was disqualified.

That night, Rocky made a promise to his trainers, family and himself: Even if he gets outboxed in the ring, never again would he be outconditioned. To build endurance in his bulky upper body, Rocky’s team made a special heavy bag that weighed 300 pounds—200 pounds heavier than a standard bag. To move the heavier bag around with his punches, Rocky had to work his upper body much harder. When he wasn’t pounding the oversized bag, Rocky visited his local pool and threw hundreds of punches while submerged to his shoulders in water. The added resistance was torture on Rocky’s shoulders, back and arms.

Soon, the Rock from Brockton had turned his biggest weakness into his biggest weapon. While most heavyweights were throwing 40 to 45 punches a round, during his ascension to Heavyweight Champion of the World, Rocky had the endurance to average 85 punishing blows each time the bell rang, and it wasn’t unusual to see him unleash over 100 punches. Fellow boxer Archie Moore once said: “He could hurt you, sure, but it was the quantity of his punches. He just had more stamina than anyone else in those days. He was like a bull with gloves.”

Must See
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,559,831
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,903,531
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,779,213

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 66,647
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 5,931
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 124,090
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,506
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,206
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,488
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,633
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,559,831

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

The weight room should be an athlete's second home during the offseason. A well-structured strength and conditioning plan can help an athlete build...

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup