I personally took up boxing a long time ago because I wanted to know that I could fight off any person or at least defend myself, my family, my kids or my wife in any situation. I wanted to know that I had the basic skills and confidence in my reaction for that unexpected moment. I was never worried about competing professionally. It was a skill I wanted to have. I wanted the experience of sparring with another human being to really understand and be ready.
I want to remind you, boxing like running and jumping most of us know and understand how to do in its most basic form of moving our body in a certain direction. Most people inherently know how to run and how to swing their arms in an attempt to strike or hit something, in this case someone. We know how to put our hands up to shield our face or to jump or lean away from contact to our body. Getting good at it takes practice. Learning how to throw a solid punch or defend or dodge the right punch combination takes some learning, some skill and a whole shit ton of effort! What doesn’t?
I’ve designed a routine that will cover everything someone would need to do to get involved in the sport of boxing from training to nutrition. This guide here focuses on the training portion. There is a lot of information here so I am going to recommend that you bookmark this page or subscribe to my mailing list so you can come back to it for reference. Not only come back to it for reference I do intend to update the page.
Realize that if you ever want to compete and be good at it, you are going to have to hire a real coach & trainer. You can not learn everything from books and the internet. Although with video and virtual coaching along with some innovative ideas, it is easier to get feedback when you are training by yourself.
Conditioning is the end all and be all. Boxing is the ultimate workout as it covers everything: strength training, agility, aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, speed and power. If you can’t last 3 minutes in the ring and can’t recover in 1 minute afterwards, you have no business being there. Even if you can last, you still have to train everything in a logical and well planned out manner and that includes getting enough rest to recovery properly between sessions and bouts. At the end of the day it is a lifestyle!
Boxing Skills must be developed before stepping into the ring. You have to practice drills and perfect them. You eventually have to understand why you are throwing a jab before a right cross or why you slip to the outside. Learning proper mechanics is essential and learning defense is of utmost importance.. When you are in the middle of a confrontation your brain will shut down and your body will depend on what it has been taught to do in all of those drill sessions. Battle inoculation is the term. Come prepared with a plan and then rely that solid good training to take you to the finish.
Nutrition is the third item on the list that you really need to pay attention too. All the exercise in the world is not going to get you in peak physical shape. The fuel you put in your body is going to be directly related to the results you get from your training. I see a lot of advice about eating multiple times a day, up your protein, up your carbs, blah blah. The truth is everyone responds a little differently but one thing is generally the same…if you are eating less, you lose weight. If you are eating more calories than you are using for energy, you put on weight. Mystery solved. How those extra calories are stored (as fat or muscle) depends on other factors. Basically though, one can predict how much of each nutrient – vitamins, proteins, carbs, and fat (yes FAT) one should be eating.
I can’t possibly prescribe a meal plan that is generic enough for everyone out there – even a beginner, but understand that you need protein, you need carbs, you need some fat, and you need to eat regularly. Do not cut any of that out and make sure you are keeping hydrated.
To come up with a meal plan, you have to determine your basic metabolic rate, adjust it for your activity level and then adjust it again to reach your goals. Then you determine what balance of nutrients that number requires and then pick the foods that will give you that. – Sounds complicated and it is, but luckily there are calculators that do most of the work.
Track Your Progress
You should really keep a log of your progress so you can visually see the differences in your body and abilities. This will not only motivate you to keep going, but will provide concrete evidence that all of the hard work you are putting in is leading somewhere. If you’ve made this far through this entire post, one I know you are serious enough so e-mail me or register on the main website. I will set you up with a free trial with this entire workout plan loaded into a training app which you can track your progress, and show you how to connect with your other tracking apps like myFitnessPal or other apps.
Implementing a complete boxing routine requires some serious planning on your part. You have to plan numerous workouts, devise an efficient meal plan, ensure you are getting plenty of rest, learning the trade, and fit a life in there. Time management is crucial. If self discipline is not your strong point, do not think for a second you can dream your way to the Contender. You have to make a lot of sacrifices that I feel are well worth it in the long run.
Here I have designed a very basic beginner boxing program. It is suitable for someone who has no boxing experience and no exercise experience.
Heavy bag, bag gloves, hand wraps, and jump rope, towel & water
(optional: suspension cables, dumbbell or plate or kettlebell)
Frequency: 5 times per week – eg… Workout A (M, W, F), Workout B (T, Th)
For Speed and Explosiveness vary the speed of your repetitions.
Sets: As indicated
Pushups – 25, 25, 25
Pullups – 10, 10, 10
Diamond Pushups – 15, 15, 15
Wide Pushups – 15, 15, 15
Chinups – 10, 10, 10
Mountain Climbers – 20 each leg
Squats – 100, 75, 65
Lunges – 100 each leg
Standing Calf Raises – to failure, to failure, to failure (could take a while)
Wall Sit (back against a wall, legs at 90 degrees) to failure, to failure, to failure
Burpees – 20, 20, 20
Plyometrics (Very Basic Routine)
Frequency: twice a week (not on same days as Workout B – Strength Training)
Squat Jumps – 10, 10, 10
Bounding – 50metres, 50 metres
One legged hops – 20 metres frontwards, 20 metres backwards (both legs)
Clap Pushups – to fail, to fail, to fail
Step Jumps – 30, 20, 10 (get something about calf height and jump sideways over it)
Frequency: 3 times per week (eg. M, W, F)
1. Pick a start line and mark off increments of 25 metres up to 400 metres. If you have a road with telephone poles on it, it works well as the poles are usually spaced 25 metres apart.
2. From the start line, sprint as fast as you can to the 25 metre mark. Stop, turn around and walk back to the start line.
3. When you hit the start line, immediately sprint to the 50 metre mark. Stop, walk back.
Do the same for 100metres, 200 metres, and 400 metres
(if you have anything left and haven’t puked all over yourself, good, then work your way back down)
The idea is to push your heart rate up fast as you sprint and then return it to normal during the walk back (or at least close to it). These will hurt, I guarantee it.
Frequency: 2 x per week (eg. M and Sat)
Take a long run and by long I mean more than 45 minutes. Pick a good pace that you can comfortably run and then increase that pace as often as you can. It takes at least 15 minutes of continuous running before your aerobic system kicks in, so the first 15 minutes are a write off, after that you will begin to develop your aerobic capacity.
Frequency: Ideally 5 times per week (2 days with a trainer and 3 on your own).
On your own – a basic routine.
1. Warmup – Skipping – 5 rounds of 3 minutes/round, 1 minute rest in between
2. Shadowboxing – 3 rounds of 3 minutes/round, 1 minute rest in between.
1st round – focus on footwork
2nd round – add a jab to your footwork
3rd round – do 1-2 combinations for the entire round.
3. Heavy Bag: (all are 3 minute rounds, with 1 minute rest)
Round 1: Footwork – push the bag and move around it, get the feel for moving in a proper stance. Move with the bag, around it and against it. Become fleet footed.
Round 2: Jab to the head. Move, stick and jab. Move stick and double jab. Practice your jabs the entire round (good shoulder workout)
Round 3: 1-2 combinations – Move and jab/right cross (straight right). Make sure you move right after you throw. Think circles and angles. Switch directions.
Round 4: 1-2-3 combination – Move and jab, right cross, left hook combination (these are your basic punches).
Round 5: Free for all – hit away
Round 6: Sprints – 1 minute of continuous punching to the head. Think speed, not power – let your hands fly as fast as you can.
If you want, add another Round but this time focus on 1 minute of power punches rather than speed. (If you are beginning, you are going to be wasted by now…)
4. Ab Work: 3 minutes – do as many reps as you can and switch exercises every 30 seconds. Repeat for another round if you can.
Basic crunches – 30 seconds
Basic situps – 30 seconds
Leg raises – 30 seconds
Bicycle – 30 seconds
Left side crunch (oblique crunches) – 30 seconds
Right side crunch (oblique crunches) – 30 seconds
5. Neck Exercises – Yes’s and No’s to failure
Yes’s – lie on your back and bring your chin to chest and then back to the floor.
No’s – lie on your back, lift your head about 45 degrees and then look as far left as you can, then as far right as you can, repeat until you can do no more.