This is an absolute must read if you want to get the most out of Boxing as a workout or as a fighter.
YOU DON’T THINK TECHNIQUE
Progress equals happiness. If you aren’t getting better, even if just by a tiny bit, you’re not getting the most out of your life and your Boxing workout. The cause of this lack of progress is often times people don’t think while they work. I have seen it before with fighters and with fitness enthusiasts, they don’t focus on their present work and therefore do not improve. They zone out on a bag and just repeat bad form after bad form, cementing their bad technique deeper and deeper into their body to the point where if they actually tried to change it would be harder for them than a person who has never thrown a punch in their life.
Part of the huge thrill of Boxing for fitness and for sport is the large array of techniques and combination sequences that can be employed. This is what makes Boxing such a fun workout because it can always be challenging and exciting. So no matter what you do in your workout, give it a purpose and enjoy the process of progress. Treat a bag like an opponent, visualize punches coming at you and respond accordingly or initiate your attacks in different ways to keep your imaginary opponent on their toes. Control the bag with your punches don’t let the bag control you. Like I tell my fighters, “If you can’t control that bag how can you expect to control an opponent?”. Think when you shadowbox, viewing yourself in the mirror watching for technical efficiencies and technical flaws. Think when you do mitt work, think, think, think! No matter if you are an aggressive fighter, a puncher, a brawler, a counter puncher, a mover… you still have to think if you want to be good. If you want to train, get in great shape and want to look like a boxer when you throw punches you have to think when you train.
IT NEVER CHANGES
Boxing is a sport where you do either 2 minutes or 3 minutes of work with a 1 minute break in between rounds. Even though the time limits are only these 2 options for a varying number of rounds in actual competition, world class boxers and even just decent boxers change their time intervals when they train. Floyd Mayweather has been know to spar 5, 10 and even 20 minutes straight even though he never competes for more than 3 minutes a round. If your boxing workout is always 3 minute rounds followed by a 1 minute rest you need to make some changes. Yes, as a fighter starting out you need to get use to those intervals, but it is essential for long term conditioning and success to cut breaks down and increase times. It is a physiological fact that when the body is presented with the same time intervals month after month gains in conditioning tend to slow down. The perfect antidote is change! Even doing short burst like 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off or a Tabata interval of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off will shock your system and make your body use it’s full potential. For a person just looking to get in shape or a person looking to become a Champion this type of change in a workout is required.
Now obviously, there are not only time intervals than can be changed to supercharge your workout. There are so many alterations or additions it’s almost infinite. You can change the weight of gloves you use, change the weight of dumbbells, change the reps or sets of your strength and conditioning work, wear a weight vest or ankle weights, add new exercise, the list goes on and on. This this type of change does two great things:
1. It forces your body to adapt and get stronger.
2. Assists in preventing overuse injuries and burnout.
If you want to unleash your full potential I strongly recommend taking all of these options into consideration.
YOU NEVER GET BETTER
I have seen so many individuals at our gym in Athens repeat the same mistakes over and over again to the point where they can tell you themselves what they are doing wrong. Like so many things in life knowing what’s wrong and even what needs to be done is not enough, one must actually do something about it and follow through. This change requires you the trainee to take charge. That is the beautiful thing about Boxing, if you want to be better you are the one that has to do the work.
Many clients who are doing Boxing for fitness unfortunately do not look like they have any idea what they are doing. Often times they are being lead by someone who took a 2 day boxing course and began instructing based off of that alone. It is the blind leading the blind and it ends up making clients feel self conscious about themselves because deep down they know they look and feel like they don’t know what they are doing. Instead of the the self empowering feeling you should get from being able to buckle a bag and move with grace and poise they are unconfident and disempowered. Not only from bad instructing do clients get these negative feeling, but it also sets them up for injury. One Personal Boxing Client I had years ago tried one session with a unqualified Boxing instructor and broke their hand in their very first workout! I cannot stress enough how important it is to get proper instruction to not only get great results and feel good, but not get injured.
It would seem the answer to bad instructors or Coaches would be to simply get an instructor or Coach that has fought and competed and therefore has done more than a weekend workshop. Sadly this is not a sure fire solution either. Some of the best fighters I’ve known and met our not the best Coaches. It is a different set of skills to be able to become a Champion than it is to make someone a Champion. I have seen Coaches that are poor boxers, but amazing Coaches and Boxers that are phenomenal fighters and very poor Coaches. You need someone who knows the art and the science and has the ability not only to teach you, but to condition you and inspire you.
THE FINAL BELL
Boxing is a very safe and rewarding workout when done right. When done correctly it can produce amazing results for your body and your mind. If you haven’t yet tried a high quality Boxing Workout now would be the best time. It doesn’t matter how old or out of shape you are, there is much to be gained from something like this for someone like you. If you’ve done Boxing before, but have fallen off because life got in the way, steer yourself back on course. Remember a ship is off course 99% of the time, but what’s important is that the crew on board constantly turns the wheel ever so slightly so the ship hits it’s desired destination.