Saturday, December 31, 2011

Boxing Practices for Absolute Beginners

Boxing requires strength, coordination, speed, endurance and mental fortitude to succeed. For beginners to the sweet science, training to meet all these demands can be challenging, so you must develop a comprehensive workout program. Building the right skills early in your career will help prepare you for competition against more seasoned boxers.


Developing your general fitness level is a necessary first step. According to boxing coach Jamie Wadman, 80 percent of your cardiovascular conditioning needs to be anaerobic. He recommends interval training where you jog, run and then sprint for 20-second intervals over the course of two or three minutes. Repeating this process up to five times with a minute of rest between sets will build your capacity to withstand several boxing rounds without tiring. You should also jog up to two miles once or twice a week to build aerobic endurance.


Some boxing trainers advise that you avoid weight training because added muscle mass will make you slow and inflexible, but this is considered a myth. Use a combination of muscular endurance and maximal strength training for your weightlifting routines. During endurance training, set the exercise to between 40 and 60 percent of your one-repetition maximum and perform repetitions for 30 to 60 seconds. Keep your movements explosive throughout this routine, and stop if you become sloppy or slow with the lift. Complement your endurance training with power-training sessions where you lift about 80 to 90 percent of your one-repetition maximum for as many repetitions as you can manage before muscle failure.

Bag Work

Take time to build your boxing skills with the speed and heavy bags. Martial artist and author Alan Kahn says in his book, "The Speed Bag Bible," that you can build foundational skills with the speed bag by punching slowly and allowing the same number of rebounds between punches. Alternate punches and keep an even control over the pace of the bag for three minutes per session. Similarly, train about two or three minutes at a time on the heavy punching bag. Set the heavy bag swaying and work on pacing around the bag as you try to deliver as much jabbing or power shot force as you can.

Shadow Boxing

When you start training, you may not be ready to face a live sparring partner, but you still need to work on using your boxing skills at full speed. Before and after every training session, get in the ring or an area the size of a boxing ring and shadowbox at an intense pace for two to five rounds. Try to envision your opponent and practice moving around the ring and staying off the ropes as you throw punches.

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