Training Like a Pro Boxer: Hints and Tips
17th April 2017.The bell rings, and suddenly two fighters are circling each other, their feet dancing back and forth as they look for an opening to make the first strike. When a gloved punch finally connects with its target, the crowd roars to life. There's no doubt that boxing is one of the most exciting sports. As you watch, do you ever wonder what type of routine boxers use to develop their incredible physiques? It's natural to be curious ? after all, it must take an incredibly rigorous workout on a regular basis to achieve those results. Well, why not explore the world of boxing training for yourself? You don't need to train for a fight, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of the way boxers exercise. When you want to develop strength, agility, and boost muscle mass, this is one of the better workouts to approach. Keep in mind that this is a fitness plan with a high-intensity level. Though you can tailor it to your needs, you will see the best gains if you work hard and push yourself. So, let's break down the boxing workout into its component parts and analyse those elements. Where should you begin your journey?
Build a foundation of excellent cardio endurance
Remember those gruelling runs Rocky went on in his quest to be the best? They were for a reason: cardiovascular fitness is essential for any boxer's performance. He needs to be able to access quick bursts of power while also darting around the ring for round after round. That kind of heavy activity means the heart and lungs have a big job. To start developing your stamina, begin running daily ? up to five days each week. The distance should be at least three miles, but it is ultimately a personal preference. If you want the true boxing training experience, throw some punches while you run. High-intensity cardio activities like sprints and plyometrics (jump training) can help build up this foundational base, too. In fact, you should include shuttle runs or stair sets on at least two or three of your running days. Remember, all of this is in advance of the rest of the day's workout, and will not only give your stamina a boost, but it will be very helpful when you begin working on improving your agility later. If you're just beginning, spend some time adjusting to the running schedule before adding further exercise. This way you can reduce the risk of an injury.
Develop a plan of attack for weight training
You don't create a boxer's physique without spending some serious time in the weight room. Once you feel comfortable with your level of cardio fitness, turn your attention to how you will use weights. Here, you're trying to develop staying power at the muscular level while increasing your level of strength. Boxers can develop such devastating punches in the ring with this method. A good weight workout involves a wide variety of exercises. Target your arms, both upper and lower, as well as your shoulders. Simple curls with barbells are a good place to start. Bench presses and deadlifts will help you develop reserves of power in your muscles for sudden bursts of energy. Work in regular sets of varying repetitions, but aim for three sets of each exercise you plan. Activities that don't require weights can still develop your strength. Push-ups and chin-ups will improve your core and arm strength substantially. Don't forget to incorporate rest periods into your routine! Your muscles take time to grow and strengthen. Push yourself, but don't push so hard that you could hurt yourself. Always observe good form, and use a spotter where necessary. No boxer trains alone, so don't be afraid to ask other people at your gym for help.
Start practising your punches next
Continue adding more activities to your workout roster once you've fallen into a solid routine with your weight training. The key to success is consistency, so do not move on to the next level until you feel more confident in your athletic abilities. Now is the time to begin actually throwing punches like a real boxer. You've progressed to thepart of your training where you will be taxing many parts of your body at once, it's a milestone in the workout plan. Known as "bag work," your goal is to deliver swift strikes to the punching bag. Understanding the mechanics of hooks, jabs, and cross punches is essential so brush up on your boxing techniques if necessary. Develop a few basic combinations and throw the punches to the bag. Put forth your maximum effort for one minute, rest, and then proceed for another minute. During this routine, you should not stay still. Hop side to side or back and forth and continually move your head. In other words, act like the punching bag is a real opponent in the ring! Bag work is exhausting, but for a good reason it's pushing your body to its limits and perhaps even beyond.
Develop agility through constant drills
During your bag work sessions, do you feel sluggish as you try to move your feet? Slow footwork has been the downfall of many boxers, and it is an underrated technical aspect of the sport. The best remedy for frustrations with your feet is to work agility drills into your workout. What are some ways that boxers learn how to move faster? Try ladder drills first; your gym may even have areas specifically for these drills. A ladder-like pattern on the ground provides a guide for your feet. Rapidly step between the "rungs" of the ladder back and forth. You must concentrate to stay within the lines, and it encourages you to go faster. Box jumping is another traditional agility drill among boxers, using step platforms common to aerobic exercise. These drills can take several forms. One of the most popular, the marching jump, requires you to rapidly kick your feet back and forth from the platform to the floor. Others involve higher jumps involving leg raises. The goal of these exercises is to develop fast-twitch muscle fibres that respond rapidly to your nerve impulses. The better trained your muscles, the more agile your footwork.
Eating right is a necessary part of training
Throughout this entire process, your body will burn through an enormous number of calories. At the same time, growing muscle demands protein while your body needs more vitamins and minerals. While you don't need to develop a taste for raw eggs like a stereotypical boxer, what you eat is nonetheless paramount. So, what are some of the essential elements of the boxer's diet? Part one is a regular and regimented meal schedule. Some boxers eat up to six times a day, or about every four hours. This diet is high in carbs, making up nearly two-thirds of the diet, but includes plenty of protein, too. Stay away from coffees, teas, and sugary soft drinks ? water is the essential beverage for the boxer. Including "healthy" fats in your diet is also essential. For protein, foods like chicken breasts provide a lean, healthy source of what your muscles need to repair and improve their fibres. You can find fats in many nuts, which also have the benefit of containing many essential vitamins. While you don't need to observe special dietary restrictions like boxers experience before a fight, you should still monitor your food intake. While you may shed weight at first, don't be surprised if you start putting on pounds again. That's not fat -- it's muscle!
Grab your gloves and pretend you're in the ring
Professional boxers don't just train part-time. Their training becomes a lifestyle unto itself. While you don't need to take it to such an extreme if you're just interested in self-improvement, you should still dig deep for motivation and drive. Sticking with this level of exercise can be tough. However, between intense work and a balanced diet, you can reshape your body to be more lean and agile. Of course, nothing is stopping you from taking a turn in a sparring match, provided you can find a partner. From your initial cardio efforts to every flurry of punches you throw at the bag, give it your all just like every boxer does! Follow @SportNessUK