I’ve always had a keen interest in Boxing.
What I find more interesting is the level of fitness required to compete as a Boxer.
Now I’m not suggesting that you need to become a professional Boxer, however implementing a Boxers routine into your program is a great and fun way to get good results!
Take focus pads for example, for those that don’t know this is when someone wears a set of mitts to catch your punches. This exercise will get your heart rate up and work your arms and shoulders but also your core, legs and co-ordination.
Another example is hitting the heavy bag, what a fun and exhilarating way to let out some frustration whilst burning calories. You can make these exercises more challenging by setting yourself a goal to punch for 1 minute straight, or setting a specific number of punches to complete in a timed set.
Now lets look at the 5 components of fitness and how Boxing fitness covers all 5.
#1 cardiovascular fitness
‘This is the ability of the heart , lungs, and vascular system to produce oxygen rich blood to working muscles over a sustained period of activity’.
Boxing fitness will usually include jogging, running, jump rope, and other such activities like hill sprints, shuttle runs and running with resistance such as a weighted vest or parachute.
#2 Muscular endurance
‘The ability of a muscle or muscles to repeat a movement many times or hold a position for a long time’.
A good way of getting this area of fitness up and what Boxers do is to set a circuit of 10 to 12 exercises (start with what you can manage).
Here’s an example of 6 exercises you can complete twice over:
- Push ups
- Leg thrusts
- Star jumps
The number of reps will vary depending on fitness levels but you can switch it up by doing each exercise for 30 seconds then moving onto the next one. It’s all about increasing so once you get good at it increase the reps/time and change the exercises to harder more advanced ones.
#3 muscular strength
‘Amount of force muscles can exert against heavy resistance’.
This is generally done with weights. Preferably use compound exercises which use more muscles at once like barbel squats, bench press, and deadlift. Also other explosive exercises like power cleans and squat jumps which increase punching power and speed.
‘The ability of a joint to move with it’s full range of motion’.
This is very important for Boxing training because you need to be so versatile that all the joints need to have a full ROM.
Sometimes the stretch routine is so over looked and before you know it you’ve got tight hamstrings and getting injuries all over the place.
Always do some sort of cardio for 5 to 10 minutes before your pre workout stretch this will help the muscles to be more supple. Then do a post workout stretch when your muscles are really warm as this will improve recovery and keep good range of movement.
I introduced yoga into my personal training plan which I found great.
#5 Body composition
‘Amount of body fat compared to lean mass I.e muscle and bone’.
Competitive Boxing has weight division which each Boxer must make in order to compete with there fellow opponent of the same weight category.
This is another reason why Boxing is great to plan your training. Training camps are usually between 8 to 12 weeks in which time a fighter will get into top condition. They will be monitored with weekly weigh-ins and their training will be meso cycled meaning progressively harder and consistently monitored.
For example the first few weeks will be getting into shape with long distance running and cardio machines. Then you at move into more specific training like hitting the bag, focus pads, and calisthenics (push ups, sit ups etc).
Once your strength and endurance is up then we move onto the next stage which might be sparring. In this instance as we are not competing and just trying to get fit you can up your pad work from 3 minute rounds to five minute intense rounds.
At this stage you will be hitting more explosive stuff like the free weights and circuit training. By this time you should be reaching your peak if you have pushed yourself and beat your personal best records.
Along with a calorie controlled diet which means eating sensibly with a mixture of complex carbohydrates, proteins and unsaturated fats, your body composition should stay in check. And remember, body fat for men and women are different due to physiological differences. Men should be between 14% and 17% where as women are 21% to 24%.
To learn more about Boxing fitness contact me or book a private session and let’s get you in fighting condition.
A common opinion is why use a treadmill when you can go running outside for free? Of course there are benefits to running outside – fresh air for example! However for beginners there are more benefits starting your cardio program on a treadmill.
Here are five reasons why beginners should use the treadmill:
- The treadmill will set a consistent pace. A lot of people don’t know their own jogging pace and run out of steam after 5 minutes because they’ve gone too fast to maintain it. You can set a comfortable pace on the treadmill to begin with and then gradually start to increase over a period of time.
- The treadmill has a level surface which reduces the risk of injury (tripping, falling).
- If you are a beginner and trying to stay motivated then running in the rain can be off putting and give you that excuse to not go on your new routine run. Staying in the dry and warm is a much better way to initial get your fitness levels up.
- Monitoring your progress. All treadmills have a monitor which allows you to record your time, distance, speed and heart rate. This is important in the beginning stages to keep track and see your improvements.
- Longevity! Even a seasoned pro will tell you that pounding the pavement on a regular basis puts an incredible amount of stress on your lower body. You need to be well conditioned to run outside on a regular basis and the place to start is on a treadmill.