Over the course of the coming months I will be sharing with you the key aspects of fitness training used in professional boxing as well has training your mind at the same time. There are some important first steps to complete before you head for the gym.
In the Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
If you are in sales you probably have heard the old adage, “plan your work, and then work your plan.”
Both sayings reflect the absolute need to think before you leap!
The first step in a successful plan, regardless of whether it is for fitness, business or a personal goal, is to sit down with pen and paper and write it out! In law, there is something known as the ‘parole evidence rule’ which states that contracts put into writing can only be amended in writing, which is similar to this step.
Taking the time to write out when, where and how often you plan to work out along with your goals and the particular exercises you plan to do, in effect becomes a contract with yourself! Make copies of that plan and place them in conspicuous places so you can be constantly reminded of the agreement you have made with yourself to achieve your fitness goals.
Your boxing fitness plan should cover four key areas, warm-up, strength, endurance and total body fitness.
A warm-up is vital to getting your body ready, stretching your muscles and avoiding injury. Research has shown that a good warm-up increases strength by as much as 20 percent. Boxing warm-ups can include hitting the speed ball for 3 – 5 minutes, 25 jumping jacks, or 3 sets of 20 pushups.
For strength, you should do five sets of five dead lifts, squats and lunges. A good workout can be a ‘tri-set’ where you do 1 set of each of the three exercises, then take a 1 minute break and cycle through the process again. Although this is mainly a strength builder research has shown it also has cardio benefit as well.
Endurance can be built with classic wind sprints in 6 to 20 sets of 50 to 100 yards. Don’t overdo it as you start doing them for the first time, but push yourself a little more each day and keep track of the progress as your body responds. Explosive jump-rope sets (3 times 1 min each) or max incline treadmill runs are also great.
For total body fitness try burpees in 3 sets of 20 and a trio of 3 minute sets of fast shadow boxing or a 3 by 3 on the heavy bag.
While planning and executing your workout, it is important to understand how a boxing fitness program differs from a traditional fitness program. Most programs simply seek to elevate your baseline fitness level. Boxing raises your baseline but also builds the ability to suddenly explode with force.
This type of training is not unique to boxers—American cyclist Lance Armstrong dominated his sport with this ability to tap into explosive reserves of energy that propelled him ahead of the pack.
When you are away from the gym, the ability to train your mind and body to draw on a deep reserve of physical and mental strength will help you master many of life’s challenges.
So for right now, get busy. Write it all down! Make a contract with yourself to be the warrior you’ve always wanted to be.
Next time, we’ll talk about some winning workouts and winning attitudes.