Boxing is a competative combat sport, where two people fight each other in a boxing ring. As a combat sport boxing can lead to injury when fighting. For fitness purposes Boxing classes can be used as a workout, and it is a great for building and toning muscle. Boxing classes provide a good cardiovascular workout - increasing aerobic strength.
Boxing classes may include a selection of skipping,body conditioning, targetted pad work, partner drills and work using a punch bag. Reflexes and eye to hand coordination should improve with this type of workout, as should aerobic fitness, stamina and muscle definition (particularly upper body).
Boxers will often train three times each day in the lead-up to a tournament. These sessions include weight training, running (for endurance), sparring, technical skill work and conditioning such as medicine ball work and skipping. Much of the activity is explosive, however boxers require a solid aerobic base to enable them to perform over the entire duration of a bout.
Competitive boxers are among the most fit of all athletes in sports today. The training routine for boxing is often long and strenuous. It is common to undergo intense morning roadwork followed by an evening filled with sparring and other boxing specific exercises and drills. As a fighter, you must train to be the best. You can count on your opponents to be working equally as hard to defeat you in the ring. One way to gain the advantage over your opponent is by following an effective, well-planned nutritional program.
Nutrition is of utmost importance to boxers for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the strenuous workout of the boxer can cause severe strain on your muscles and overall body. It is impossible to continue an intense training cycle without properly fueling the body. An old trainer once told me that having no energy in the ring is like having a brand new Cadillac with an empty tank of gas. Without fuel, your body will not respond or react in an optimum fashion. You require carbohydrates for energy as well as protein for muscle repair and growth.
Another unique aspect of boxing is that it requires athletes to compete within a confined weight range. Unlike football players who can enjoy endless portions of steak and chicken following a practice, boxers (except for heavyweights) must be careful to stay within a certain weight range. Failure to do so will result in the boxer having to drastically cut weight prior to competition which is a sure way to enter the ring with fatigue and weakness. It is best to follow a proper nutritional program throughout training to stay within 3-5% of your fighting weight. If you allow yourself to fluctuate higher, your body will often respond negatively to the drastic weight loss tactics.
Many fad diets and fat loss commercials preach the idea of reduced carbohydrates. The most common example is the Atkins Diet which prohibits carbohydrate intake while supplying the body with protein and fat. Unfortunately, fad diets such as these provide no value to the competitive boxer. As athletes, our nutritional demands are unique from the average person. The Atkins Diet is unhealthy for the boxer. The primary reason for weight loss under this diet is due to reductions in water weight as opposed to pure fat loss. In addition, the restriction of carbohydrates is unacceptable to the boxer whose energy needs far exceed the average person.
Carbohydrates provide energy thus are extremely important to our diet. We need carbs to fuel our bodies for the demands that we impose on ourselves both in the gym and while doing our morning roadwork. A good rule of thumb is to eat based on what you plan to do in the next few hours. For example, if you plan to workout at 4pM it is a good idea to get some carbohydrates in your system at around 1pM. You will use these foods as energy to get you through your workout.
Carbohydrates have got a bad rap as many claim them to be the cause of weight gain. This is untrue as weight gain is caused by an increase in calories accompanied by a decrease in physical activity. For example, do not eat a meal high in carbohydrates before you go to bed since you will not burn these calories while you dream the night away.
protein is another important nutrient for the boxer. protein is required for muscle repair and muscle growth. Following a strenuous bout or workout, you can expect tiny muscle tears, which give you the feeling of soreness. protein works to restore muscles and aid in new muscle growth and development. Failure to eat sufficient protein will cause increased muscle soreness which leads to decreased performance. Good sources of protein include tuna, chicken, and egg whites (stay away from the yolks). Another good way to meet your protein requirements is through protein shake supplementation. protein shakes provide a quick, convenient way to restore the body with 20-30 grams of protein.
Finally, lets talk about fats. We often shy away from the word fat as it is considered to be poison to our diets. While we must limit our fat intake, there are still some essential fats which are required for certain reactions to take place within the body. It is important to remember that there are different kinds of fat, some good and some bad. Fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 are used for production of many different components including prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that help regulate many functions in the body. Research suggests that a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids called omega-3 may actually lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered the best and are found primarily in seafood. Good sources include mackerel, tuna, and salmon. Fish provides not only great protein but essential fats as well. The fats that you should avoid are those that are saturated. Stay away from fried foods and be careful to read the labels on all foods. Remember to get most of your calories from carbohydrates and protein. Some fats are OK as long as they are not saturated. Eat fish a few times per week and you will be fine. If you'd like a way to supplement the essential fatty acids without the fish, try taking the supplement Flaxseed Oil. It is available at any nutritional store or pharmacy and provides you with your essential fatty acids. I recommend a daily supplement of Flaxseed Oil.
Boxing is a sport governed by weight divisions - i.e. boxers of similar body weight compete in weight capped categories. As a result, there are numerous dietary implications as boxers attempt to manipulate their weight in order to gain a competitive edge over competitors. The various weight divisions for amateur boxing are listed below in Table 1. These weight divisions are specifically for amateur boxing, as professional boxing employs different weight divisions and rules to govern weigh-in procedures before competition.
|Strawweight||up to 105 lbs|
|Light Flyweight||105 to 108 lbs|
|Flyweight||108 to 112 lbs|
|Super Flyweight||112 to 115 lbs|
|Bantamweight||115 to 118 lbs|
|Super Bantamweight||118 to 122 lbs|
|Featherweight||122 to 126 lbs|
|Super Featherweight||126 to 130 lbs|
|Lightweight||130 to 135 lbs|
|Super Lightweight||135 to 140 lbs|
|Welterweight||140 to 147 lbs|
|Super Welterweight||147 to 154 lbs|
|Middleweight||154 to 160 lbs|
|Super Middleweight||160 to 168 lbs|
|Light Heavyweight||168 to 175 lbs|
|Cruiserweight||175 to 195 lbs|
|Heavyweight||over 195 lbs|
Success in any fitness program is an elusive moving target. There are many exercise devotees out there who continuously take aim. However, few consistently achieve a solid hit, when it comes to their fitness goals. Success demands focus, balance, consistency and discipline. It also requires the ability and dedication to continuously overcome obstacles.
Endurance athletes such as runners, cyclists, kayakers and others engaged in outdoor exercise regimens recognize winter as one of these obstacles. Icy roads, snow covered trails, freezing temperatures and reduced hours of sunshine all make regular outdoor workouts dicey.
However, for many of these athletes, tapering off simply is not in their creed. They have worked too hard to watch their fitness levels slip away. They need an alternative that is both time efficient and effective in improving their fitness levels. It must also be challenging, motivating, provide variety and be convenient. In other words, it must meet the following criteria:
Fitness Boxing is a whole body workout that meets the above criteria and more.
It takes the best aspects of workouts used by some of the worlds most finely conditioned athletes, boxers. It combines them into a fitness program that is safe for the mainstream exercise devotee. In other words, with Fitness Boxing, you train like a boxer in everything but full contact sparring. (That aspect of boxing is left to professional boxing coaches in the relative safety of a standard boxing ring.)
Fitness Boxing is definitely challenging. It works most of the human bodys physiological systems. The musculoskeletal system becomes stronger through specialized resistance exercises and boxing specific equipment drills. The cardiorespiratory and vascular systems become more efficient through workouts that are more than 60% anaerobic. The central nervous system is trained to respond faster and more efficiently to punching combination drills. (2)
Intensity is the trademark of a Fitness Boxing workout. As indicated above, it is more than 60% anaerobic. Many of the drills are made up of two or three minute rounds, with one minute recovery periods. You push through your current lactate threshold and improve it during the round, or anaerobic interval, by working at 85-90% of your maximum heart rate. (3) During the one minute rest period, you learn to more efficiently recover your oxygen debt while simultaneously stretching and reviewing proper technique.
Strength gain is a natural byproduct of the Fitness Boxing workout. Boxers work with weights, specialized boxing equipment and plyometric devices in a manner that maximizes calorie burn to increase lean muscle mass. The Fitness Boxing workout focuses on improving speed, strength, explosiveness and lactate threshold management while simultaneously keeping body fat at minimal levels. (4)
Remaining injury free while improving total body fitness is one of the major benefits of a Fitness Boxing program. As a cross training alternative, it provides a break in routine and adds variety to your overall training program. It distributes the load of training across various body parts. (5) For endurance athletes who do a lot of running, this means a break from pounding your knee and ankle joints, while still getting an intense training session.
Mental toughness comes from learning to cope with the demands of a challenging workout. The more you work through a series of rounds that push you into your anaerobic zone, the better you will deal with intense endurance training or other demanding exercise routines.
So, Fitness Boxing offers all these great cross training benefits. What does a typical workout look like
Most formal classes at boxing gyms or health clubs are 60 minutes in length. A typical session is broken down into several carefully designed components to ensure a total body workout.
In addition to formal classes, complementary strength, plyometric and medicine ball training are commonly utilized to improve overall conditioning as part of a Fitness Boxing program. Strength training employs resistance exercises involving weights that improve overall strength with a particular focus on speed strength, or the ability to activate fast-twitch muscle fibers for explosive punching power. plyometric and medicine ball training consist of a series of exercises designed to enhance starting speed, acceleration and power. (6)
Ok, it sounds like a great cross training alternative. How do I get started
If you want a great Fitness Boxing workout, but have no desire to become a competitive boxer, you might want to stay clear of the more hardcore boxing clubs. If this is the case, check out a local health club or look for an upscale boxing gym that caters more to the workout than to the competition. Many health clubs now have some sort of boxing program geared more toward the fitness aspects of the workout. (7)
personal trainers with prior boxing training experience can also offer comprehensive Fitness Boxing workouts. Just make sure the trainer you select is certified by a nationally recognized certification organization and has the appropriate experience and personality to meet your needs.
Each cell in our body relies on biochemical reactions for proper metabolism, growth, and recovery from strenuous exercise. These reactions rely on specific vitamins and minerals to facilitate their actions. Failure to supply the body with adequate levels of these nutrients will lead to decreased performance levels. Energy production and muscular growth rely heavily on specific vitamins and minerals. Boxers are notorious for overlooking the importance of these valuable nutrients. Without vitamins, muscle mass will decay, bone density deteriorates and body systems will fail.
As boxers we need higher levels of vitamins and minerals due to the nature of our training. Intense workouts deplete valuable nutrients in the body. For the human body to perform at its maximum potential, it requires a vast and complex array of vital nutrients.
precursor to the neurotransmitter GABA. This is a vital function, as GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that produces serenity and relaxation. Important glycogenic amino acid, meaning that it is essential for helping to maintain normal and steady blood sugar levels. Involved with muscle strength and indurance. Essential to gastrointestinal function; provides energy to the small intestines. The intestines are the only organ in the body that uses L-Glutamine as its primary source of energy. L-Glutamine has the highest blood concentration of all the amino acids. precursor to the neurotransmitter amino acid Glutamate (Glutamic Acid). Involved in DNA synthesis.
Creatine monohydrate induces an increase in body mass while increasing muscular energy reserves. Creatine augments energy levels by increasing the availability of ATp, the organic compound that yields energy for muscular contraction. Boxers need to be careful when supplementing with Creatine as it can cause moderate weight gain due to water retention by the skeletal muscle. So why bother with Creatine Creatine (if used correctly) can increase strength and explosive power. It can help you get more out of your workout while increasing recovery rates. Boxers should only supplement with 3-5 grams per day. They should avoid the loading phase prescribed on most Creatine packages. I recommend taking a very small amount prior to your anaerobic training sessions. Do not experiment with Creatine right before a fight. It may cause weight gain that will be difficult to lose in time for weigh-ins. If you supplement Creatine correctly, you will not gain weight. Experiment in between bouts or during off-season training.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Our daily protein requirement is really a need for amino acids. Dietary amino acids are classified as "essential" or "non-essential." Essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, Iysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine) cannot be manufactured by the body and must be supplied in the diet or ill-health results. The non-essential amino acids are also essential for health but can be synthesized in the body from the essential amino acids. Both the essential and non-essential amino acids are reassembled as hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters (chemical messengers), antibodies and nutrient carriers.
The term "non-essential" may be misleading. Although histidine was once considered an essential amino acid for infants only, subsequent research has determined that histidine may also be essential for adults. Arginine, ornithine, cysteine, cystine, taurine and tyrosine are classified as non-essential amino acids but may be essential for individuals with certain diseases or nutritional concerns. A suboptimal intake of the essential amino acids increases the body's need for the non-essential amino acids.
L-Arginine: It is essential in muscle metabolism because it provides a vehicle for transport, storage and excretion of nitrogen. L-arginine is an important component in tissue generation and regeneration. It is highly concentrated in the skin and connective tissue and helps to remove ammonia from the body as part of the urea cycle.
BCAAs: (Branched Chain Amino Acids: L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine) Muscle tissue is largely composed of BCAA's which are used for energy production and protein synthesis. BCAAs are also involved in the metabolism of neurotransmitters, natural chemicals in the brain which influence mood and mental functions.
L-Carnitine: Carnitine is actually a dipeptide - an amino acid made up of two other essential aminos, methionine and lysine. L-carnitine is important for fat metabolism, especially in heart and muscle cells. It is also necessary for the transport of long chain fatty acids into cell mitochondria where the acids are oxidized and burned for energy.
L-Histidine: Children and adults can synthesize some histidine in their bodies, but most of the histidine processed in the body is from the diet. It is formed from histidine and is released by cells usually as an immune response. Lastly, L-histidine is significant for growth and repair of tissue.
Complete Start to Finish professional Racing Fuel After first stacking with pre-Load, this is the product for serious athletes taking part in gruelling endurance competitions. Developed to keep you going under the most arduous of conditions. Enduro Load has been designed to help athletes in competitions of more than one hours duration or where intense physical activity takes place. For example Cycling, Triathlons, Marathons, Martial Arts, Bodybuilding, Boxing etc
professional pre-Race Carbohydrate/phosphate Stacking System. This is not just a pre-race drink, this is a complete carbohydrate/phosphate stacking system, which is taken over a three day period prior to the event. Designed to give you the competitive edge. A supplement for serious competitors. A non drug product developed specifically to help endurance athletes increase their stamina. The more intense and lengthy the competition the better are the benefits of pre-loading.
High Carbohydrate powder Supplement - Hi-CARB enables you, in a healthy way, to Carbohydrate Loadi. Contains all the essential ingredients, mixes readily and tastes delicious. ALLSpORTS HI-CARB IS FREE FROM ARTIFICIAL ColOURINGS, SOYA AND pRESERVATIVES. This versatile product can be beneficial to the athlete in so many ways. It can be used as a pRE WORKOUT Booster or an after workout energy replacer (or both) Ideal for CARBING Up. THE pREMIER CARBOHYDRATE DRINK
ATp Muscle Fuel
A new pre-workout drink based on the latest research on creatine. Take ATp Muscle fuel 20 minutes before your workout and you'll notice the difference. provides creatine monohydrate with vanadyl sulphate in a unique mixture of high glycaemic index carbohydrates. reseach has shown that these increase creatine transport into muscle cells by raising blood insulin levels.
For aspiring boxers and athletes who are looking to develop a complete training program. These individuals seek assistance compiling a program that integrates strength training, plyometrics, sprint work, conditioning, skill work, and a multitude of other training techniques. There are numerous training techniques available, which often leave the aspiring athlete confused and befuddled when attempting to construct a weekly regimen.
There are many pieces in the complex puzzle that formulates a complete athlete. Time constraints, busy work schedules, family responsibilities, and class work only add to the madness. There is only so much time in a day, yet so many exercises you wish to perform.
How do you fit everything into one complete workout schedule
One of the best ways to create your training schedule is by viewing your workout as a recipe for success. When you prepare a meal for dinner, you follow a recipe with certain ingredients. Certain meals taste better than others. These tasty meals are better for a variety of reasons. The quality of their ingredients may be superior. A meal may be cooked too long or not long enough. The amount of a certain ingredient may be too little or too much. An extra tablespoon of salt can ruin the meal
Although this is not a cooking class, many of these ideas transfer to the fitness world. A recipe for athletic success includes superior exercise selection. It allows for better use of limited training time. Certain recipes prescribe longer rest periods, more or less intensity, more or less repetitions, and so on There are a variety of training systems and techniques available to each athlete. The athlete may not have time to perform each and every exercise that he desires. He must make best use of his time.
Lets take a look at a few simple steps you can take to outline your own training program.
Once you have your list of available times and types of training, you can begin to piece together the puzzle. Lets look at a quick example.
Below is a list of training techniques that you may wish to include in your workout.
Conditioning drills: 2 or 3 days per week
plyometrics: Not to be performed on consecutive days
Strength training: 2 or 3 days per week
Balance training: 5-10 minutes per day, every day or every other
Sparring: Not to be performed on consecutive days
Skill training: 4 or 5 days per week
Core training: 3 days per week
Lets suppose that you have 6 days per week available to train. You have allocated between 1 and 2 hours per day. Lets try to put these pieces together into one complete puzzle.
Monday: Balance training Skill training Conditioning drills
Tuesday: Sparring Skill training Core training
Wednesday: Balance training Shadow boxing - Strength training - plyometrics
Thursday: Sparring Skill training Core training
Friday: Balance training Skill training Conditioning drills
Saturday: Shadow boxing - Strength training plyometrics Core training
A serious fighter would also add a roadwork program to this schedule. Roadwork consists of various sprints, intervals, and distance runs. It recommended that a fighter run early in the morning so that he has all day to rest before training again in the evening.
This is just one example of a possible training program. This routine includes 3 days of conditioning drills, never on consecutive days. It emphasizes skill training 4 days per week. Skill training for boxing includes heavy bag work, focus mitt training, double end bag, speed bag, etc If you are involved in a different sport, you should adjust accordingly. Strength training and plyometrics are integrated into a complete routine twice per week. Balance training is performed 3 days per week. Core training is also performed 3 days per week.
It is much easier to develop a complete training schedule when you write down your available training times along with the exercises/training techniques you wish to include. Once you determine these two steps, you can piece together a complete workout that fits into your schedule. It is important to determine your needs, rate the importance of each training type, and allocate the time necessary to fulfill your goals.
So, You Want To Spot Reduce Here's How...
Besides launching millions of sit-ups, leg lifts and torso twists, the desire for a toned and taut physique has sold a long line of exercise devices of dubious worth. Countless inventions, such as vibrating belts and 'gut-busting' contraptions, have claimed to miraculously tighten and tone our trouble spots. But the miracles we were expecting never materialized, and our 'spots' remained 'unreduced.'
What's Wrong With Spot Reduction
Where did we go wrong In our efforts to tone our bodies we neglected the most important factor: fat. Exercises such as crunches or leg lifts improve the tone and endurance of the muscles, but they don't burn fat. When we do exercises that elevate the heart rate, such as bicycling, walking or aerobic dance, the body will draw upon its fat stores for energy.
Eating a low-fat diet and following an exercise program that combines aerobic activity and strength training is the key to changing the shape of your body. In addition to burning calories through aerobic activity, strength training will increase the amount of muscle, which burns even more calories. But many people shun the idea of intensive exercise, scared off by the idea of five-mile runs, barbells or aerobic classes.
Thankfully, any aerobic activity that elevates your heart rate can help you burn fat and take off unwanted pounds. Many experts recommend doing at least three sessions of 20 minutes of aerobic activity per week. Ideally, for long-term weight control, you should engage in at least four sessions per week, for 45 minutes each time.
For instance, these enjoyable alternatives to traditional aerobic exercise are effective fat burners:
Country Line Dancing
In addition to these activities, which can be done solo or with friends and family, take advantage of the wide variety of fitness tapes currently on the market. You can learn everything from martial arts to swing dancing. Choose an activity because it interests you, not because it is touted as a great workout.
A few things to keep in mind when starting any new activity:
Don't start out too hard or too fast or you may injure yourself or quit before enjoying any benefit.
Always concentrate on enjoying yourself, rather than on what a particular exercise might do for you.
Keep your exercise comfortable and only increase intensity after your body becomes accustomed to new activity levels.
And always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you're over 40, or have cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease.
Due to the weight considerations of the sport, some athletes develop unhealthy eating and drinking patterns. Occasionally, boxers develop dietary habits that resemble the clich "feast or famine". When they are not in specific competition preparation they gorge themselves on high-fat, high-kilojoule food such as takeaways, deep fried foods and soft drinks. Then immediately before competition they restrict their intake to low energy foods in order to achieve rapid weight loss prior to competition.
Specific education that targets a yearly weight management plan assists athletes in avoiding this situation. Athletes are encouraged to maintain their weight close to their competition weight in order to avoid periods of restrictive dieting. A more balanced long-term approach ensures that athletes reach their weight safely, without undertaking extreme measures.
Many boxers and wrestlers find both Maxim Original and the Energy Bars particularly useful for maintaining energy levels in the competition phase when attention is focussed on making weight. They can be used to supplement a low bulk diet in the days leading up to competition and to boost energy levels in the period following the weigh in and immediately prior to a match. The high intensity activity nature of training for boxing, judo and wrestling results in significant sweat losses and fluid replacement is critical to prevent dehydration. Maxim Electrolyte can be used during and immediately after hard training sessions to replace fluid and electrolytes and rapidly restore fluid balance. It also provides a source of complex carbohydrate to fuel the muscles during activity and to promote recovery. Where athletes have resorted to fluid and food restriction to make weight, Maxim Electrolyte can help to rehydrate and restore carbohydrate levels prior to competition.
Boxing, wrestling and judo places great demands on the anaerobic energy systems and athletes involved in these sports may benefit from supplementing with Maxim C150 Creatine. The increases in the body's creatine stores results in improvements in the ability to generate muscular power and in greater speed and stamina. Creatine loaded muscles also recover more quickly between short bursts of activity and are more resistant to fatigue. Many athletes find that they experience less muscle soreness after hard exercise and that the recovery time between training sessions is shortened.
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