Bob XL vs Heavy Bag: Which Is Better For MMA?

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If you’re looking to kit out your home gym, you’ve probably instinctively thought you’d need to get a heavy bag mounted against the wall.

But even professional fighters, like Sean O’Malley, use a Bob XL at home to train and keep themselves sharp.

The Bob XL is an ideal replacement for the heavy bag if you don’t have a sturdy wall for mounting, as the Bob XL stands freely, unlike a heavy bag. The Bob is best for developing combinations and accuracy.

If you’re ready to get to know him on a first-name basis, here’s where to get your own:

You’re probably wondering whether this human-like Bob is better than the traditional heavy bag.

In this article, I’ll help you decide which is better between Century Bob XL vs heavy bag.

Bob XL vs Heavy Bag: Is Bob better than a heavy bag?

Good
Great
4.6
4.8
  • Provides realistic training experience
  • Convenient height adjustment (60"-82")
  • Highly durable and resilient
  • Enhances precision strike targeting
  • Suitable for various combat techniques
  • Encourages high-intensity cardio
  • Portable and versatile for any environment
  • Realistic training experience
  • Large striking surface
  • High-quality build and design
  • Easy to move around
  • Excellent for both boxing and kicks
  • Loved by all ages of martial artists
  • Can move when hit hard
  • Gloves needed to avoid injury
  • Potential for toe injury with low kicks
  • Missing appendages
  • No support for wrestling
  • Bulky size for some spaces
Good
4.6
  • Provides realistic training experience
  • Convenient height adjustment (60"-82")
  • Highly durable and resilient
  • Enhances precision strike targeting
  • Suitable for various combat techniques
  • Encourages high-intensity cardio
  • Portable and versatile for any environment
  • Can move when hit hard
  • Gloves needed to avoid injury
  • Potential for toe injury with low kicks
Great
4.8
  • Realistic training experience
  • Large striking surface
  • High-quality build and design
  • Easy to move around
  • Excellent for both boxing and kicks
  • Loved by all ages of martial artists
  • Missing appendages
  • No support for wrestling
  • Bulky size for some spaces

A Bob punching bag isn’t better than a heavy bag but is more specialized for the different needs of the fighter.

The Bob is perfect for combinations and perfecting your accuracy because it looks like an actual human opponent.

A heavy bag is better for kicking and conditioning.

The Bob and the Bob XL are designed to withstand a lot of beatings.

This human-faced bag can take a punch, and the materials don’t wear down easily, which is a common result of regular boxing gloves on a heavy bag.

It feels exactly the same even if you strike the same spot hundreds of times over, it keeps its form and doesn’t become denser at the base like a heavy bag often does.

If you’re trying to improve your accuracy and combinations as a fighter, then a Bob is a great tool to use for that because you can develop your strikes with pinpoint accuracy.

It’s hard to do that on a heavy bag unless you literally draw a face on it (not cool).

A demonstration of punching a Century Bob

Having a Bob allows you to practice, with full force and full accuracy, a lot of the strikes you couldn’t otherwise.

You can practice effective hooks, elbow strikes, and specifically aiming for the jawline or temple areas for maximum damage.

The Bob is also great for other defensive or aggressive martial arts that involve eye gauging, slaps, and throat strikes like some used in Kenpo Karate.

These kinds of attacks simply can’t be practiced fully without something like a Bob that can keep on taking it.

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The main negative about a Bob is that it probably isn’t the best tool for kicks and conditioning your kicks.

When the Bob is full of water or sand, it’s a more comfortable sponge-rubbery response each time you strike it, so it’s not going to actually help your shins get the conditioning they need to withstand nasty leg kicks or to deliver them yourself.

A heavy bag has a firm material, usually made from leather which is tough. And as the filling inside the heavy bag becomes denser near the bottom, it makes it a good conditioning area for your shins.

So at the end of the day, it’s all about what you want a punching bag for. Neither of them is necessarily better than the other.

A Bob is great for developing pinpoint accuracy and combinations.

A heavy bag is always a winner for leg kicks and conditioning, particularly as a leg kick is often a cutting-across motion that is almost always going to hit its target no matter how it moves, whereas a punch needs to connect with exactly where it was intended to go.

What is the difference between Century Bob and Century Bob XL?

The main difference between the Bob and the Bob XL is that the XL version has an extended torso allowing for even more kinds of strikes in the lower abdomen and upper thigh areas.

It allows for practicing groin strikes in self-defense martial arts and high leg kicks for MMA.

A collection of Century Bob punching bags

Bob basically got himself upgraded to an XL and was given a pair of shorts to go along with his torso. For some kinds of martial arts, that can be pretty useful.

There are also some improvements to the aesthetics of the design in the Bob XL, which make him look a bit more realistic and muscular.

Both the Bob and the Bob XL have a height adjustment allowing it to go from 60″ to 78″ (inches) tall.

Is Bob XL better than Bob?

Century BOB XL
4.8

Experience dynamic training with this life-like, adjustable-height opponent bag.

Pros:
  • Realistic training experience
  • Large striking surface
  • High-quality build and design
  • Easy to move around
  • Excellent for both boxing and kicks
  • Loved by all ages of martial artists
Cons:
  • Missing appendages
  • No support for wrestling
  • Bulky size for some spaces
Buy On Amazon

Bob XL isn’t exactly better than the regular Bob.

In function, they both have the same materials and features, like being highly durable and height-adjustable.

Bob XL just has more materials in the lower abdominal/upper thigh region, so the XL is only better by having more surface area to hit.

A woman preparing to train on a Century Bob

The right Bob for you is probably dependent on the kinds of martial arts you practice.

You might be able to save yourself some money by going for the regular Bob if you don’t plan to be practicing groin shots any time soon. If you’re an MMA fighter in training, then that certainly is the case.

You can check out the regular Bob below and decide for yourself if he swings your boat:

Century BOB Body Bag
4.6

Experience realistic, partner-based training with this lifelike freestanding heavy bag.

Pros:
  • Provides realistic training experience
  • Convenient height adjustment (60"-82")
  • Highly durable and resilient
  • Enhances precision strike targeting
  • Suitable for various combat techniques
  • Encourages high-intensity cardio
  • Portable and versatile for any environment
Cons:
  • Can move when hit hard
  • Gloves needed to avoid injury
  • Potential for toe injury with low kicks
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Are Bob punching bags realistic?

A Bob punching bag is only realistic in that it has the shape of another human to strike.

Punching a Bob is the same feeling anywhere you hit it, so it isn’t comparable with a human opponent who has bones and muscles, which you can only really get from sparring.

By all means, use the Bob to improve your movement around a stationary opponent and improve your pin-point accuracy in your strikes.

But when it comes down to learning how to fight another person, there is no comparison between a Bob and the real thing.

If you want to get better at beating another human opponent, you need to get involved in sparring at the gym.

How do I stop my Century Bob from moving?

To stop your Century Bob from moving around too much when hitting it, you need to fill it with kiln-dried sand.

Kiln-dried sand is very dry and fine sand that fills up the Bob compactly while giving the right amount of weight to stop it from moving.

Most people will fill up their Bob with water because it’s usually the easiest and quickest solution to get using it.

But if you take a little extra time to go down to your local builder’s shop or gardening center, you should be able to find sand (and ideally, the kiln-dried kind) that will give it the best base and withstand heavy strikes without tipping over.

Can I leave Century Bob outside?

If you leave your Century Bob outside, it will wear down faster as it will suffer from the elements.

If you fill your Bob with water, you can leave the base outside and bring Bob’s body indoors with a quick twist and pull to remove it.

Both Bob XL and regular Bob have the same base, which is circular, to be able to easily tip it over to one side and roll it to a new location.

You don’t need to worry about lifting it every time you want to use it, so you can fill it up once with water or sand and wheel it around as you wish.

What to read next

Now that we’ve covered the comparison between Bob and the heavy bag, these next articles might be exactly what you want to know next:

1 thought on “Bob XL vs Heavy Bag: Which Is Better For MMA?”

  1. this is very good article. I think Bob punching bags are perfect for boxer they need to use it.by the way good article keep it up.

    Reply

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