Boxing For Fitness

 
A lot of 'brand names' have got in on the act and attached themselves to these types of exercise classes, basically they are just setting up workout classes that loosely use boxing style training for people to achieve fitness. Boxing training workouts are among the best conditioning exercises anyone can ever do. By using those types routines, you will achieve a variety of fitness gains: Explosiveness, strength, rapid weight loss, and a huge boost in your self-confidence. By using certain aspects of a boxers training routine you not only work on your arms, shoulders, back, and chest, but you also work the legs, abs, and arse. In short, almost every major muscle is used in a typical boxing workout, so you exercise your whole body. You are certain to lose weight and firm up by doing these types of boxing style workouts!!
 
There are many people out there looking for fitness goals. To be successful, the routines require to provide focus, balance, consistency and discipline, while you provide the required effort and dedication. People are looking for something that is both time efficient and very effective in improving their fitness levels. The workouts must also be challengling, motivating and offer variety. In other words, they must meet the following criteria:


Intensity - It must challenge both the Aerobic and Anaerobic systems.

Strength Gain - It must improve overall body strength.

Injury Free - It must provide intensity without battering the muscles and joints.

Calorie Burn - It must help burn off any extra fat to help increase or maintain leanness, and encourage rapid weight loss.

Variety - It must be physically challenging and certainly not boring.

Mental Toughness - It must help the person in their daily lives.

 
The type of training routines that are used by boxer's is just perfect for meeting all of those needs.

 

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A Whole Body Workout That Will Meet All Your Fitness Needs

These are exercise classes that are loosely based on the training routines that boxers employ. Classes can take a whole variety of different formats, but a typical one will probably involve shadow-boxing, skipping, hitting pads, punchbags, press-ups, shuttle-runs and sit-ups. Most of these exercise classes are aimed at men and women of all ages and fitness levels. As those class don't involve the physical aspect of actually swapping punches with an opponent, it is a fun, challenging and safe workout for everyone.  

Many local boxing clubs now offer boxing style training classes too, taught by experienced boxers and coaches. While these may be a wee bit more hard-core, you will get a much more authentic experience than you will in a generic health club.  Each class will involve a warm-up and cool-down, with a series of boxing drills and skills. The class will challenge your aerobic stamina with constant moving exercises, plus the short sharp exercises, such as punchballing, that boosts your anaerobic energy. If you are not used to doing explosive, short-burst activity, expect to be challenged. Boxing style fitness training is perfect for everyone, no matter your size, shape or sex.You will soon be fitter, leaner, and stronger.


What are the benefits?

Boxer's are some of the worlds most finely conditioned athletes, these fitness classes take some aspects of workouts they use,then combine them into a fitness programme that is safe and very effective at boosting your fitness. In other words, you learn how to train like a boxer in almost everything except full contact sparring, as that aspect of boxing training is best left to the boxers.

The workout sessions are challenging as they work most of the body’s physiological systems. The Muscolskeletal System becomes much stronger through specialised resistance exercises and boxing specific equipment training drills. The cardiorespiratory and vascular systems become more efficient through fitness workouts that are more than 60% Anaerobic. The central nervous system is trained to respond faster and more efficiently to punching combination skills. In words that we all understand - You will quickly find out how effective those workout drills are, and i guarantee that boxing for fitness workouts will get you fitter and stronger than you have ever been before.

Intensity is the trademark of the exercise class. Many of the drills are made up of two or three minute rounds, with one minute recovery periods between rounds. 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. During the one minute rest period between rounds, you learn how to more efficiently recover your oxygen levels while stretching and reviewing proper technique.

Boxers often work with weights, but they have to be careful not to increase their own weight. So they work with specialised boxing equipment and plyometric devices in a way that maximises calorie burn and increase lean muscle mass, rather than trying to pile on as much muscle as possible. Strength gain is a natural byproduct of these types of workouts.

The workouts will focus on improving speed, strength and explosiveness, while keeping body fat at minimal levels.

Remaining injury free while improving total body fitness, is another one of the major benefits. Mental toughness also increases from learning to cope with the demands of a very challenging workout.

 
So - What Is A Typical Workout Like?


Most formal classes at gyms or health clubs are usually around 60 minutes in length, but that obviously varies in more advanced classes. A typical workout session is broken down into carefully designed components to ensure a total body workout.


Warm Up - A complete head to toe warm up will start off your exercise session. Its purpose is to safely prepare your muscles, joints and tendons for all of the hard work that lies ahead. More detailed information about warming up properly before training routines can be found here ......Approximately 5 to 10 minutes.


Conditioning - This is typically a transition from the warm up into some more boxing specific strength and conditioning exercises. These are often resistence exercises that emphasise muscular strength and endurance, speed, tone and anaerobic conditioning. Normally without weights.......Approximately 10 minutes.

 
Punching Drills - These are at the heart of a typical work out session. Timed rounds are used in a circuit training format that involves everything from Focus Mitts, to Target Shields, to Heavy Bags, and much more. These are highly anaerobic exercises, involving two or three minute rounds, seperated by one minute active recovery periods. After a series of these rounds, you will be refreshingly exhausted and invigorated.......Approximately 35 minutes.

 
Cool Downs - The cool down stretches after your exercise class helps get your heart rate back down towards normal again, while you stretch out and improve your flexibility. It can also act as a Q&A session with your instructor, and he or she will also likely use it to make forward plans for your next workout class.......Approximately 5 minutes. 

 

 

In addition to formal classes, complimentary strength, plyometric and medicine ball training are commonly used to improve overall conditioning as part of a boxing for fitness training programme. Strength training employs resistence exercises involving weights that improve overall strength, with the focus on speed, strength, or the ability to activate those fast-twitch muscle fibres for explosive punching power.

Plyometric and medicine ball training consist of a series of exercises designed to enhance starting speed, accelaration and power.

 
Typical Workout Drill

The typical exercise drills will obviously vary, depending on the instructor. A typical boxing trainng style workout programme will roughly follow these principles though...........

Warm Up and Stretch
Technique Workout
Bag Drills and Pad Work
Circuit Training - Train in intervals of a 2 minute round, 1 minute break, and then move on.
 
Circuits will include at least some of the following -
Cross Training
Cycling
Rowing
Speed Balls
Stomach Exercises
Weight Machines and Free Weights
Step Machines
Punch Bags
Skipping
Jump Bar
  

 

Introduction To Jogging

Assuming you are fairly unfit and want to start jogging, do not expect to just step outdoors and jog five miles straight away. You have to build up slowly, but that is a lot easier than you think it is.

 
It Does No Harm To See Your Doctor First

A basic physical check up should help you find out if there is any reason why you should not jog. If your doctor feels that jogging isn't for you, they can advise you about what other exercises would be more appropriate in your case.

 
Eat A Healthy Diet

Imagine that your body is a car. Even the best of cars won't go anywhere without having fuel in the tank, and it can't be just any old fuel either. Jet fuel is great for jets but not so good in the family car. Diesel is a fuel, but putting diesel into a petrol engine doesn't work either, so you must use the proper fuel if you want that car to run well. Your body works in much the same way. If you fill up your personal fuel tank on high processed, high fat, high sugar crap, you are filling your body with bad fuel, so it's hardly a surprise when your weight rockets up and that engine of yours doesn't operate very well anymore. For those of you who do exactly that, it's little wonder you have a difficult time getting your body to move and work effeciently.

Stick to fresh, whole, unprocessed foods. Shop for healthy ingredients, not prepackaged meals, and learn to cook some easy, basic, healthy recipes (they need not be more expensive). Drink 100% juice, smoothies and plenty of water (add lemon or lime for a little extra flavour) More detailed info about a nutritious sports diet can be found on the diet of a boxer page.

 
Get Good Running Shoes

If you do not have a decent pair of running shoes, you can probably expect to have a painful jog. Running in the wrong footwear can cause foot pain, leg pain, back pain and various other injuries. So make sure to use footwear that is specifically designed for running and fit your feet well. If you have flat feet, or high arches, make sure your shoes are designed for this, and even then you might need to buy additional inserts, like arch supports or heel cups. The right footwear will make a big difference between a miserable run and a good run. Buy new running shoes when you feel that the ones you have do not give you the support that they used to. You can still use your old running shoes for other things, just don't use them for jogging anymore.

   
Wear The Proper Running Clothes

If you are not wearing comfortable clothes, your running experience is going to be less than fun. There is nothing quite as frustrating as getting two or three miles from home and then discovering that the seams chafe your skin, you are sweating buckets because your skin cannot breathe through that material, or your underwear keeps sliding into places you don't want it to go.

Wear workout clothes - Use some comfortable shorts/joggers and tops that allow your skin to breathe and your sweat to evaporate. You don't need fancy designer sportswear. Loose T-shirts, sweat pants (or shorts), yoga pants, etc. will work just fine.

Protect your breasts - Not being female, i can't say that i've ever had that type of problem, but women should wear a supportive sports bra for running.

Don't get too hot - If it's hot outside, wear loose, light coloured clothing. Light coloured clothes reflect the sun/heat and help keep you cooler. Dark/black coloured clothes have the opposite effect and absorb heat, making you feel even warmer.

 

  

Be Safe!!

Run with a friend - Don't go jogging alone in dark or shady areas - Try to run with a jogging partner. Even a big intimidating dog on a lead counts as a jogging partner, but wee nippy, yappy, dogs don't.

Don't be predictable - Change your schedule and your jogging route at regular intervals, to reduce the risks of some crackpot learning that you are liable to jog past a certain place at 5:18pm every day

Listen to your environment - If you use a music player when you run, make sure the volume is not so loud that you cannot hear what is going on around you.

Be seen - Light coloured clothing is best if you jog before sunrise, after sundown, or even in shady locations. This will make sure that other people can actually see you, which is always good for safety. If you are jogging in low light, wear reflective clothing so that drivers notice you. Even buying some reflective tape and sticking it on normal clothes will work fine.

Pay attention to vehicles - Chances are, drivers are not paying attention to you, so try and stay out of their way.


Protect Yourself from Health Problems
 
Don't push yourself too hard - ou are starting a simple jogging routine, not training for a marathon. Pushing yourself beyond your limits, especially at the beginning, will only lead to injury. So just take your time to begin with and very gradually build things up.

If it hurts, don't do it - If it hurts to jog, you are not ready to jog. Take up walking instead, move up to speed walking after a while and then try jogging again. If it hurts to jog for 5 minutes but you do just fine if you jog for 2 minutes, then feel free to just jog for 2 minutes and slowly add time to your jog as long as it feels comfortable.

Strengthen Your Muscles - Yes, even joggers need to strength train as strong muscles are necessary to reduce and avoid injury. If your knees, ankles, hips, or back begin to hurt when you jog, it may just be because your muscles are not strong enough. Strengthen them by doing squats, lunges, balancing exercises on one leg, abdominal crunches, back crunches, and anything else that will strengthen your torso and lower body. Meanwhile, upper body strength training can help reduce the back, shoulder and neck pain that's often associated with bad posture while running.
 
 
Choose Your Jogging Location Well
 
Always try to run on a flat surface when you are starting out. Running downhill can cause knee pain and injuries, while running uphill will tire you out so quickly that you will feel like you are not making any progress. You can incorporate hill training later, but even then you need to be extra careful about the amount of downhill running that you do, and remember to slow down when you go up hill to reduce strain and exhaustion.

   
Start Your Jogging Workout

You need to be able to walk before you can run. If you can't walk for at least 30 minutes, don't bother trying to jog just yet. Get your walking stamina up to scratch first before you move onto jogging.

Don't worry if your first jogging sessions are only 10 to 15 minutes long and you spent much of that time walking. What is important is that you build on the jogging endurance you already have. If you never jog, then you will have little or no jogging endurance, so any jogging, even if its only for a few seconds, is an improvement on what you were doing before. Be patient at the beginning, your stamina will soon start to increase.


1. Warm Up Those Muscles - Walk for at least 5 minutes before running. This is like turning on the switch that tells your body "We are going to exercise now", which will help your body to start supplying extra blood to those muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, arteries and veins involved with jogging. This is very important because it will help you prevent injuries and improve your performance.

2. Try a Slow Jog Using Good Postures and Movements - Pick up the pace and start jogging. It may feel awkward at first, but it will soon begin to feel more natural. There are entire books about the proper jogging technique, but in reality you just need to jog in a way that feels most comfortable for you. While doing that though, pay attention to your posture and how your body is moving. To reduce your chances of developing injuries, try to keep a few of the following things in mind:

Keep your arms relaxed and bent. Allow them to swing naturally, but don't let them cross the front of your body and don't clench your fists. RELAX!

Don't drag your feet, but also don't lift your legs up too high. You want to move forward, not upward.

Avoid bending forward, stand tall with your head up. If you feel yourself leaning forward, as if you're forcing yourself to move forward, you may be pushing yourself too hard, so slow down. Jogging is not a competitive race so take your time.

3. Let Your Body Decide When to Start and Stop - Do not be surprised or disappointed if you can only jog for a minute. Stop jogging before you start huffing and puffing or feeling like you are pushing yourself too hard. This is because you are trying to gradually introduce your body to jogging, so you don't want to push it too far too fast, and you especially don't want to create an experience that is going to make you dread going jogging again in the future. When you feel like stopping, just bring down your pace and start walking again.

4. Catch Your Breath - Walk for only long enough to catch your breath and rebuild your energy. This could take 30 seconds to 30 minutes depending on your current fitness level.

5. Slow Jog Again - When you are ready, start jogging again. Jog until just before you feel worn out. Again, it may be only 30 seconds, but i promise that it will gradually improve with time.

6. Cool Down - Walk slowly for at least 5 minutes at the end of your jogging session to slow your heart rate down towards normal again. This will also tell your body that it no longer needs to supply extra blood to those body parts involved in jogging, instead it will redirect that blood back to the internal organs. You may want to consider increasing the length of your cool down if you have regular muscle ache after jogging. 

7. Stretch - Thoroughly stretch out your muscles for at least 30 seconds each, as stretching out for less than that time won't do much good. The repeated contractions of the jogging will tighten your muscles and tendons, so you must stretch them back out again afterwards. If you don't stretch out after your jog, you will become very stiff and can expect quite a few aches and pains the next day.

8. No More Excuses - Get Out Jogging!!!
 

Some 'health and diet calculators' are available on ScotBoxer - Here's a list of them all (The links will open in a new tab)

BMR Calculator

BMI Calculator 

Body Fat % Calculator 

Daily Calorie Calculator 

Maximum Heart Rate Calculator 

VO2 Maximum Calculator  

Daily Energy Calculator 

WHTR Calculator 

Your Daily Fat Requirements Calculator

Your Daily Protein Requirements Calculator

Your Daily Carbohydrates Requirements Calculator

 

 

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