Aside from soccer players, boxers are some of the top conditioned athletes around — George Foreman excluded, of course. You’ve probably spent hours upon hours in the gym trying to look like some of the best boxers of all time, Evander Holyfield and Floyd Mayweather, but never coming close. That’s probably because you aren’t doing what they do. Sure, they have full time trainers and millions of dollars on the latest and greatest in fitness technology, but you can employ the basics of a boxer’s workout and achieve at not looking like your usual couch potato self.
Of course, I’m not a boxing trainer, nor am I a medical professional by trade, so if you hurt yourself while following these exercises, don’t come crying to me.
Understand the Conditioning
Before you kick off your boxing workouts, take a look at what it entails and why some boxers look the way they do. Boxing emphasizes overall strength, speed and stamina, because it takes all of those things to survive in the ring. Unless you are planning on breaking into the sport as an actual participant, you won’t need to focus too much on the strategy and outwitting an opponent. But the conditioning portion of the boxer’s life is what you are after. Learn it, know it, love it.
This is an area most dudes ignore in working out. But you absolutely cannot avoid warming up for a boxer’s workout because so much of your body is used. So get your stretch on before getting into it.
For your quads, sit on the floor and grab a foot. Pull it back behind you as far as you can while leaning back. Make sure you can feel the stretch working and hold for 20-30 seconds. Do this on both legs.
Next, take care of the hamstrings. Stay on the floor and keep one leg straight and the other leg curled under you. Lean forward and lie against your extended leg — making sure to feel the tugging in your hamstring. Do on both legs and hold for 20-30 seconds each.
Finish the legs with stretching the calves. Stand on a step or raised platform with only the front half of your feet touching the surface. Allow the back half of your feet to lower below the surface of the platform so your calves stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
To stretch the tris, clasp both hands together and extend your arms above your head. Push for the sky. Then keep your hands clasped and put your arms behind your back. Push toward the floor. If you aren’t feeling the burn in your triceps, you’re not doing it right.
Biceps can be easily strained during workouts and definitely need some stretch work. Keeping your arm straight and parallel to the floor, place your hand against the inside of a door frame. Then twist your body so that the bicep is the only muscle taking the brunt of the stretch. Repeat on the other arm, 20-30 seconds each.
To stretch the shoulders, pull one arm across your body and back, until you feel the burn in your shoulder. Repeat, 15-20 seconds on each shoulder.
The heart should already be pumping a little, but you need to kick it into high gear before plowing into your workout. There are a couple of things you can do. Two minutes of jumping jacks will work. A light high step jog for a quarter of a mile will also do the trick. The point is to do a cardio exercise for at least 2-3 minutes and get the blood pumping through the old ticker while loosening the muscles.
Split It Up
Like soccer players and American footballers, the best boxers employ a split system to their workouts. It’s debated whether cardio or gym training is best for the morning or evening workout, so pick which fits into your life the best. If you are starting from scratch, back off on the volume, reps, numbers, etc. until you can build up to it. Regardless, this workout routine should be done 3-4 times per week, resting at least a day in between.
Workout of the Day #1
— Warm up.
— Five rounds of three minutes each of pad work. If no trainer is involved, bag work will do fine.
— Five sets of duck and skips (two minutes each). To be done by skipping and then ducking as low as you can while staying on your feet, then back into a skip, etc.
— Five sets (four minutes each) on the speedball.
— Five sets of pull ups until maxed out.
— 15 minutes of shadow boxing or sparring if a partner is available.
— Make sure to keep your rest to under a minute between sets and your ‘rest’ should be doing push ups or sit ups.
Workout of the Day #2
— Warm up.
— Jump rope, five sets of two minutes each.
— Jog 5 to 7 miles.
— Alternate: jog 3 miles regular, then finish with 2 miles backwards jogging.
If you don’t properly cool down after each workout, you could be moving like an 80-year-old the next day. Stretching like you did when you warmed up is good. Walking ‘it off’ is also helpful. Whatever you do, don’t stop your workout and then head for the local pub. Give your body time to come down from the workout high and ease the tension that has built up. Then head to the pub. Or just save time and drink at home. (Note: drinking is not part of a boxer’s training regiment.)
Don’t Eat Like Crap
Working out like a mad man is one thing, but mamma always said that you gotta’ eat right, too. And this is true. You can drop even more LBs while doing the above workout by…wait for it…following a strict diet. And it’s by eating more than you are probably eat now. These type of ‘eat-all-day’ diets vary, but if you want to get extreme about it, follow the below. Because boxers do and they are badass — and chicks kinda’ dig that.
Notes: Specific times vary depending on your schedule.
1 – Protein bar, coffee or juice
2 – Oatmeal with soy milk
3 – Skinless chicken (1-2 breasts) and corn or potatoes
4 – Can of tuna and a serving of a green vegetable
5 – Protein bar, coffee or juice
6 – Protein shake
7 – Skinless chicken breast, veggies, and a serving of fruit if needed
Get out there and be the best boxer you can be.
By: Kipp Tribble