There will always be new fads and crazes in the world of health and fitness, but boxing is not one of them – and remains one of the best to get and stay supremely fit. It’s an unbeatable, total body workout – perfectly stripping away body fat and at the same time building strength and super stamina. Plus it’s much more than that: it also helps to build confidence, courage and self-discipline.
This is partly why, unlike so many other get-fit-quick trends, people tend to go the distance with boxing rather than throw in the towel after a few weeks. It’s a skill that you develop and improve and get to see noticeable results which keeps you motivated. It’s not just aimless exercise.
Boxing, is often romanticised as the “the noble art” and has been captured in some excellent Hollywood movies, from Rocky to Raging Bull to more recently Southpaw and now Creed, which is generating Oscar buzz for Mr Sylvester Stallone. Each time a new boxing film comes out, there is a surge in interest for the sport.
It has been the undoing of some screen icons, Carl Weathers thought himself supremely fit when he signed on for the role of Apollo Creed. After 2 minutes in the ring he realised he had a lot of work to do after becoming easily winded.
Rise and Shine
Wakey, wakey. It's 4:30am and you need to get moving. Hop out of bed and stretch, a series of upward and downward dog yoga positions will get the muscles warm without risk of injury.
Next it's on with the running shoes and a quick 15-20 min jog to the gym. This gets the blood flowing, the heart and lungs warmed up.
Yep, it's a movie cliche now but it's a classic boxers exercise for a reason. Start every training session with a few rounds of skipping, over time you'll develop the timing for the classic running on the spot, driving the knees up toward the chest. Then "Double Unders" where the rope goes round twice for each jump. Speed rope is so important as it develops footwork and co-ordination between hands and feet.
Shadow boxing is a fundamental in boxing; it teaches confidence, to move around the ring, focus and engage in punch combinations. Keeping your hands high and your head is always moving: no easy targets here!
This is the bulk of the workout; The first part is technique, for 2 minutes practice the same punch combination you were doing while shadow boxing. Keep punches sharp and move in and out of range....
Take 1 minutes rest....
.....The next round is Power. 1 minute go all out on the bag, every shot thrown has to be 110%, trying to seriously damage the bag.....
Take 1 minutes rest.....
....Final round is Speed. For 30 seconds throw a continuous 1, 2 jab cross as many times as you can. Rest for 30 seconds, go to work for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Another basic routine to master. A few rounds with a trainer or partner, who calls out punch combinations. This gets you used to having someone else in the ring and reacting to their movements and footwork. It will also boost confidence, improve footwork, timing, headwork and technique. This is a great warm up prior to sparring.
Sparring is the ultimate way to improve timing, combinations and get accustomed to taking punches. Always spar with a coach or a boxer who is equal to you, never punch it out with someone above your weight. At the end, bump gloves out of respect.
Boxing is not a fad, craze, diet or health gimmick. It is centuries old and remains the supreme test of physical strength, speed and stamina.