Thursday, 19 April 2012

Generic Bulls***

I can list a thousand, million reasons why I don't like generic templates. We are all individuals and have different needs and requirements when it comes to strengths, weaknesses and preparation for competitions. There are also many little additions that we can include from day-to-day depending on our requirements, schedule, lifestyles, resources etc.

Saying this, there are many factors to consider and different forms of training that are important. These are:

Skills Training (shadow boxing, pad work, bag work, sparring)
This is the most important aspect. Skills pay the bills. 

Conditioning (roadwork, skipping, groundwork, circuit drills)
Adapting your body to the harsh realities of fighting and pushing your body through fatigue

Core Training 
This is important as it is active in everything and needs to be able to absorb punches, support your posture etc.

Strength Training
It is important to be strong as you are not pushed around and can land KO blows

Be sure to have included all of the above somewhere in your training plan and keep your training intense, relevant to boxing and varied. Work hard in the gym so you won't have to in the ring

I have had requests recently for generic templates. I will upload some but DO NOT use them as the bee-all-and-end-all, just a basic to change and adapt as required. I will mainly look at how to fit training around busy lifestyles. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Why we need 'time off'

Now, I've have had a few debates with individuals on the topic and it has prompted me to post this...

News came out this week that (annoyingly - being a big fan) George Groves has pulled out of his third successive fight. The first two were fascinating enough. Both scheduled to be a rematch against Scotsman Kenny Anderson, the only man to have floored Groves in his professional career, for his British and Commonwealth titles. The second was even more frustrating as it was a world title shot against Germany's WBO Super Middleweight Champion Robert Stieglitz.

I was having a discussion on a forum last week about deloading when it comes to heavy weightlifting and the importance of giving your muscles the time off the rest, recover and then go hard in training again. He was having none of it and claimed it is better to go hard 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

After a stressful training camp and hard fight, there is nothing better that putting your feet up, relaxing and enjoying the finner things in life. It means the hard work has paid off and you've deserved it. Personally, time off gives me a brand new energy boost and makes me want to work even harder than before when I get back in to the gym and itching to train and smash personal goals. Downtime is also important during a training camp. We need that day or two off so we don't feel constantly tired (especially if we have school, work etc.). It gives our muscles a chance to recuperate and also prevents demotivation from the constant struggle of stressful training and what it takes out of you.

Resting prevents 'overuse' (or 'overtraining'), restores glycogen levels and prevents major burnouts that leads to negative training results. In George Groves' case, he did not take much time off from recovering from the Anderson injury to training for the world title bout (although I do not know the full situation). Time off and holidays are essential because we major have little niggles or minor injuries that can turn in to major injuries, or just injuries that have a major effect (i.e. prevent a bout). Resting for several weeks, or consulting a doctor or physio and taking extended time off from training all together, can heel these injuries completely. This may help you train longer in the long run and make you a more overall better and fitter fighter.

 For all you weightlifters, here is a handy argument regarding Deloading:

So remember to lay back, chill, put your feet up and grab a nice chilled... erm... water?


Meglio Fitness - re Dealoading

Many apologies...

I have recieved some messages that comments were restricted. I've now opened the floor for 'EVERYONE'! Please comment!

Any infomation needed; my email is


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

We don't get paid for this...

It's unbeliveable how may times I hear complete rubbish... "how dare you post advise without debate it with philosiphers from Oxford and Cambridge before debating it in front of a group of leading scientists before publishing your work".

We do this for free... if we didn't, the world would be a lot more boring!

Below is a twitter frends of mine... Mr UKWingChunStudent

He has thousands of adoring fans and a few too many keyboard warrior haters. He literally edicates thousands of hours of his own time to give us views, opinions, debates and breaking news from the pugalist world. Please follow and subscribe. Peace.


Have a nice day :-)

To my follows in Russia

Good morning comrades

I have notice I suddenly have a lot of page followers from the great Russia...

As a result, I have posted the following video as a tribute. This is a young Russian fighter showing us how important the basics are when it comes to training. Enjoy!


Channel: edelweiss6677


Monday, 16 April 2012

Workout of the Day 16/04/2012

It's been a while! The bank holiday weekend, time off work with the family and THE FLU have really caught up with me. Here is a boxing specific workout for you to follow with will condition your entire body as well as forcing you to work through fatigue (a major aspect in boxing) and prepare you body for the harsh realities and the demand nature of our great sport!

Heavy Bag x 1min
Fast Skipping x1min
Shadow Boxing x 1min
Rest x 1min
Shadow Boxing x 1min
Press-ups x 30sec
Sit-ups x 30sec
Heavy Bag x1min
Rest x 1min
Skipping x1min
Burpees x30sec
Heavy Bag x30sec
Skipping x1min
Rest x 1min
Shadow Box x1min
Squats x30sec
Press-ups x30sec
Sit-ups x30sec
Heavy Bag x1min
Rest x 1min
Skipping x5min


Hi folks!

I have noticed over the past couple of weeks that I have been getting a few more page views than normal (in the hundreds)!

Thanks - but I would like comments on my post. If you used a workout - how was it? Any improvements you would make? An issues?

I would like to also have some real debates... keep things interesting.

I will link a Youtube video Blogging channel with interviews/demos and other fun things if I have enough interest.

Stay strong


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Workout of the Day 04/04/2012


This will get you extremely conditioned for boxing. This is extremely tough, works your entire body and will get you conditioned specifically for boxing:

5x3 minutes rounds of Burpees (one minute rest between rounds)

As simple as that!

Below is a demonstration of how a 'Burpee' should be correctly perfomed:

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Workout of the Day 03/04/2012

Keeping on the idea of simplicity, I have devised a simple Calisthenic Bodyweight routine that anybody can do anywhere, anytime, with NO EXCUSES! The routine is simple and effective and can be performed after roadwork, after a boxing workout or in 10-15 minutes of spare time. The short workout with increase strength and endurance

Pull-ups 4 sets (stop 2 to 3 reps before failure)
Dips 8, 10, 12 ,14, 12, 10, 8
Superman's 3x12
Pistol Squats 3 sets (stop 2 to 3 reps before failure)

*Finish with a maximum set of Bodyweight Squats and a maximum set of Press-ups

Legendary Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey

Here is some training advice from legendary champion Jack Dempsey. He demonstrates that you do not need expensive gym memberships, fancy equipment or extravagant training regimes to be fit, healthy and ready to fight. Never write-off simplicity!

Training has two objectives: (1) to condition your body for fighting, and (2) to improve your workmanship as a fighter.
Although some exercises help condition and others speed improvement, there's one all-important activity that assists both. That activity is sparring.
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR SPARRING. You must spar regularly and often to become a well-rounded scrapper, regardless of what other exercises you may take.
Sparring not only improves your skill, but it also conditions your body for fighting by forcing your muscles to become accustomed to the violent, broken movements that distinguish fighting from any other activity.
Much has been written about rhythm in fighting. Nearly every scrapper develops some rhythm to his movements in footwork, bobbing, weaving, etc. And some fancy Dans appear to have almost as much rhythm as a ballet dancer when they shadow-box. But when the chips are down, rhythm is destroyed. Your opponent's feints, leads, counters and defensive moves will break your rhythm in a hurry and will force your movements, on attack or defense, to be necessities of the split-second-to be violent and broken.
Because the movements in fighting are violent and broken, fighting is perhaps the most tiring of all human activities. Some college experts insist that rowing on a crew is more exhausting than boxing. I don't know about that. I never rowed on a crew. But I do know that crewmen have a rhythm or "beat," to which they time their strokes. A fellow may be a perfectly conditioned athlete for some other activity-like basketball, football, baseball, rodeo, riding, acrobatics, hurdling, wrestling, etc.-but if he hasn't had sparring practice, he will be completely exhausted by two or three minutes of fast fighting. His muscles will be unaccustomed to the movements, and he will be unaccustomed to breathing while making those movements and while being hit.

For a beginner, at least, Sparring is the most important conditioning activity.
Sparring also is the most important "sharpening" activity. It perfects your timing and judgment of distance in punching against a live and elusive target. It makes you adroit on defense and alert in countering. It grooms you to make exactly the right combination of moves in a split-second-instinctively.
Shadow-boxing is the next best exercise for the twofold purpose of conditioning and sharpening. It might be described as fighting an imaginary opponent. It is particularly helpful in developing footwork. Although most professional fighters do not use boxing gloves during their shadow work, beginners should use them. Their weight will help to develop stamina. As you shadow-box, go through the same offensive and defensive movements you use in sparring. To be most valuable, your imaginary fighting should be done at top speed. Too many scrappers loaf at this work. Bag-punching is another exercise that conditions and sharpens.
At every practice session you should work three rounds on the light, inflated bag, and two rounds on the heavy "dummy" bag. Speaking of rounds, I advise that in your early training-sparring, shadow-boxing, bag-punching etc.-you limit each round to two minutes. Rest one minute between rounds. Later you can extend each round to three minutes, the same time used in rounds in professional fights and for rounds by professionals in gymnasiums. However; continue to limit each rest period to one minute.
Work on the bags will develop all the muscles you use in punching, and it will give "tone" to them. Your chest, shoulders and arms will take on that sleek, well-rounded appearance that distinguishes the bodies of most fighters from those of ordinary chaps.
Work on the light bag is more important than that on the heavy bag; for the light bag is a speedy target that sharpens your timing and judgement of distance, as it conditions your muscles.
Before each session of light-bag punching, you should make certain that the bag is about chin-high and that it's firmly attached to its topboard. If it becomes unscrewed from the topboard while you're punching, you may get struck in the face by the metal attachment. If your bag is too low, the topboard will be too low; and you may strike the board with your fist if you miss a punch. On some punching-bag standards, the board can be lowered or raised. However, if the board is stationary, the gymnasium proprietor usually provides a small, wooden platform, five or six inches high, on which a short chap can stand and be in proper position to hit the bag.
Devote one minute of each round on the light bag to the straight-and-backhand tattoo. You do that tattoo in your normal punching position without moving the feet. The tattoo goes like this: straight left - backhanded left - straight right - backhanded right - straight left - backhanded left, etc. (Figure 82 A and B). That exercise not only develops your muscles and timing for punching from the whirl, but it also gives you a powerful blocking or slicing backhand.
During the other minute (or two minutes) of each round, you should practice all your head blows-stepping straights, fast medium-range exchanges, shovels, cork-screws, tight outside hooks, and uppercuts. Be careful not to strike the topboard with your uppercuts. Hit the bag hard. Don't get the habit of using light stuff, even on the bag.

The heavy bag serves two purposes: (1) It accustoms you to landing solidly with every type of punch to head or body, and (2) it provides a body target that's lacking in light-bag work. Practice all your punches on the dummy, and use the proper footwork when you do. Spend about one minute of every round in sharpening your bob-weave attack. Slide in with corkscrews to the body; then barrage the body terrifically with hooks; next, lift the barrage to the head.
The next time you slide in, try a mixed barrage in which one fist smashes the body and the other the head; then the head-fist to the body and the other to the head, etc. Practice combination series after you slide in.
Use your own striking gloves on both bags. If you use some other fellow's gloves and skin your knuckles, you may get your hands infected. Put camphor ice on your skinned knuckles before you go to bed. In a few weeks your knuckles will become calloused, and you'll have no more trouble with them.

ROADWORK means running on the road. Running strengthens the legs and develops stamina. It also takes off weight if you wear warm, heavy garments while running. Regardless of other apparel, you must wear shoes that have sturdy soles and tops that come up over your ankles. Also, you should wear heavy socks to prevent your feet from becoming blistered.
If you are soft and poorly conditioned when you begin training, you should harden yourself by hiking over rough ground for at least two weeks before attempting any running. When you do begin to run, take it easy at first. Limit yourself to dog-trot jogs of about a half-mile each morning for seven days. Then, gradually increase the distance until you are jogging about two miles.
After you've become accustomed to roadwork and your feet have hardened, mix up your runs by sprinting for 100 yards, then jogging, then shadow-boxing for a few seconds, then jogging, then sprinting, etc. Nearly all professional fighters do their roadwork early in the morning. Do yours whenever you get the chance. Naturally, you'll take a shower when you come in from your spin. Professionals do from three to ten miles on the road.

ROPE-SKIPPING develops stamina, coordination and leg-spring.
At a sports-goods store you can buy a skipping rope (not one of those toy ropes that kids use). Or, you can make a rope by soaking a piece of clothesline overnight in a can of light lubricating oil. Hang up the rope and let it dry out for a day. Then, fold the ends of the rope back and tape them into "handles" with bicycle tape. The skipping rope should be fairly heavy but not too thick. That's why you give it the oil treatment.

In skipping, you do not jump with both feet at the same time; nor do you skip with a hippity-hop, like a school girl. Instead, you bounce off one foot and then off the other (Figure 83A and B). That will seem awkward at first; but soon you'll be skipping with an effortless grace that will surprise you and your friends. To make skipping interesting, you can learn to do it backward. You can learn to cross the rope forward (Figure 83C) and backward, and to make the rope go around you twice while you are in the air once. You'll have a lot of fun with the rope. You'll be able to do footwork while skipping, and perhaps you'll even be able to dance a jig while the rope is whirling about you. Naturally, the skipping is done in a gymnasium or in whatever you are using for a gym. Do at least two rounds of skipping at each workout.
CALISTHENICS for a fighter are exercises designed chiefly to build up protective muscles in his stomach and neck, and to make him supple. A fighter should avoid heavy exercises like weight-lifting, for they tend to make him muscle-bound.
Bending exercises are best to develop the stomach muscles into a protective "washboard" against body blows.

The best bending exercise is done while lying on your back on a reasonably soft surface such as a mat or several thicknesses of towels. Lie stretched out flat with your feet together and your arms extended back of your head (Figure 84A and B). Bend forward slowly, bringing your hands up in an arc, and touch your toes with your hands. Then return slowly to your original stretched-out position. If your feet rise when you bend forward, have someone hold them down. Repeat the bending until you are tired. At first, you'll tire quickly; but in a few weeks you'll be able to do 25 to 30 bends; later, 50 to 100.
You can break the bending monotony by spreading your legs and touching the left toes with your right hand; and on the next bend, your right toes with your left hand, etc.
Also, you can lock your hands behind your neck and, in that position, bend forward until your chin goes between your knees. Keeping your hands in that position, touch your left knee with your right elbow on one bend, and your right knee with the left elbow on the next one, etc.
Be certain you do those bends on a soft surface so that you cannot injure the vertebrae of your lower spine.

In a standing position, you can go through practically the same bends (Figure 85A and B). Keep your knees stiff while doing them. However, the bends are much more beneficial if done while lying down, for then the stomach muscles are required to do more work,

Neck muscles should be strong to absorb the shock of head punches. The best exercise for strengthening the neck muscles is the "bridge" (Figure 86A and B). Lie on your back on the mat. Lock your hands on your chest. Make a simple bridge by raising your body until it is supported by your feet and your head. Still in the simple bridge, roll back on your head until your forehead is touching the mat. Then return to the simple bridge, and then to your stretched-out position. Repeat the procedure several times.
You can also strengthen the neck muscles while you are standing. Turn the head from side to side, and on each turn stick out the chin as far as possible toward a shoulder.
There are many other exercises you can learn around the gymnasium that you can use if you decide to go into amateur or professional competition. But those I've given you are plenty to help you become a well-rounded scrapper.
For example, you can develop strength in your arms and shoulders by using wall pulleys, and by doing "push-ups" from the floor. Some trainers do not approve of the pulleys or the push-ups. They believe those forms of exercise tend to make you muscle-bound. I approve of them, unless you already are heavily muscled in the shoulders and arms.
You can strengthen your hands outside the gymnasium by carrying with you a rubber handball and squeezing the ball for a couple of hours each day, first in one hand and then in the other. I advise that, if your hands are fragile; for strong durable hands are very important in fighting. Strong hands help your explosions and also help prevent bone-breaks.
Some trainers harden the stomach muscles of their fighters by throwing a medicine ball at their stomachs. The fighter stands with his arms relaxed, and lets the ball hit him squarely in the body. He catches the ball as it bounces off his stomach, and returns it to the trainer for another throw. That's a good hardening procedure for a fellow who's already had two or three years of training. But I wouldn't advise it for the average beginner. You might injure yourself internally.
Every boxer-beginner or seasoned professional-must have a gymnasium schedule and a general schedule for the day, and he does best when he sticks to those schedules.
After you've had six weeks or two months of preliminary, informal training-while learning punching and defense, and practicing them in sparring-you might adopt a gymnasium schedule like this:
two rounds
three rounds
Heavy Bag
two rounds
Light Bag
three rounds
two or three rounds
two rounds
Take a one-minute rest between rounds.
Having finished your workout, you take a five-minute "sweat-out" by sitting relaxed or by lying down in the dressing room. In either case, you are warmly wrapped in your bathrobe or in a sheet. Make certain you are not in a draft.
After the sweat-out, take a quick, lukewarm shower.
If the workouts make your muscles stiff and sore, you should take a rub-down after the shower. Most professionals take a rub after each workout, as insurance against soreness and to keep their muscles supple.
The "rubber" (rub-down man) applies soothing lotions to the muscles as he kneads them with his fingers. You doubtless will not have the services of a rubber while you are learning to fight. However, you might arrange for your sparring pal to rub you down in return for your rubbing him. You lie on your back on a rubbing table or on towels on the floor and let him work on the front muscles of shoulders, arms and stomach; then, turn over and let him knead the rear muscles of shoulders, arms and legs.
If you can't make an arrangement like that, you can apply rubbing lotion to your own muscles after each session -if you need such treatment. Omega Oil, which you can buy at any drugstore, is an excellent lotion. Or, you might make your own rubbing preparation by mixing the following: 3 ounces of rubbing alcohol, 3 ounces of witch hazel, 1 ounce of wintergreen, and 1 ounce of olive oil.
If you have engaged in a particularly violent sparring session or in a bruising fight, you can prevent soreness in muscles and bruises by taking an Epsom salts bath at home. Fill a bathtub nearly to the top with very warm water, and pour in five pounds of Epsom salts. Lie in the tub half an hour. Then go to bed.
All professionals do their gym work in the afternoon; but most amateurs have to do theirs at night, because most amateurs have jobs in the daytime. High school and college boys are exceptions, of course. They usually can do their gym work in the late afternoon.
Regardless of when you go to the gymnasium, and regardless of whether you're an amateur or a professional, you should do your roadwork early in the morning.
Here's a good daily training schedule for an amateur who has a job:
6 A.M
Rise. Drink a cup of hot tea, or a cup of beef broth or chicken broth.
6:30 A.M
Hit the road.
7 A.M
Arrive home. Take brief sweat-out and shower. Have breakfast of fruit juice, cereal, eggs, and milk or tea.
12:30 P.M
Lunch of lettuce and tomato on toast (perhaps with two or three slices of bacon). Glass of milk or cup of tea. If you do not have bacon with the lettuce-tomato sandwich, you can drink a malted milk.
6 P.M
Gymnasium. Have cup of hot tea with lemon before the workout.
7:15 P.M
Workout completed.
7:45 P.M
Home and dinner: half grapefruit or glass of fruit juice or cup of broth. A salad with olive oil and perhaps lemon juice. No vinegar! Meat -anything broiled or boiled; nothing fried. Steaks, chops or chicken. Stews are good if you need to gain weight. Also, a baked potato, if you need weight. But no pork, veal, lobster, shrimp, crabmeat, or starchy foods like spaghetti.
For dessert: stewed fruit, prunes, apricots, pears, or rhubarb, etc. Also hot tea. No pastries.
8:15 P.M
Relax half an hour.
8:45 P.M
Take a fifteen-minute walk.
9 P.M
The amateur's diet is about the same as that of a professional; but the pro's schedule is much easier from the angle of time. The pro is on the road at 5:30 A.M. Returning to camp, he can rest until 10 A.M., when he has breakfast. Then he loafs until noon, when he can have lunch or a nap, depending upon his weight. He begins his gym work at 2:30 P.M. Then he relaxes until dinner at 5 P.M. or 5:30 P.M. After that more loafing or a movie until 10 P.M., when he goes to bed.

(Former Heavyweight champion Dempsey in training)
An amateur who is training and working on a job, at the same time, must make sure that he gets eight or nine hours' sleep every night. Otherwise he may go "stale." He may become listless-"dopey"-on his job, and off-form in his sparring. He burns up much energy every day, on the job and on the road and in the gym. He must get more than eight hours of sleep in twenty-four to restore his energy. And he should sleep with his windows open. He can't get oxygen- he can't recharge his batteries-by sleeping in a closed room.
I neither smoked nor drank before I became champion. I would not preach to others that they likewise should refrain from tobacco and alcohol. However, I believe that my avoidance of smoking and drinking gave me that extra bit of stamina which enabled me to win several hard fights by the narrowest of margins.
If you are in an area where no trainer or instructor is available, I suggest that when you go to your doctor for a physical check-up, before attempting to spar, you also have the physician decide whether your weight corresponds properly to your height, bone structure, and age.
Don't let any of your friends tell you, for example, "You should weigh about 155 pounds because you are five feet, ten inches tall."
Your weight depends considerably upon your bone structure. You might stand only five feet seven, yet properly weigh 200 pounds, if you were big-boned and broad-shouldered-husky but squat.
You could be a six-footer, yet properly weigh 165 pounds or even less if you were slender and small-boned. Moreover, if you happen to be a youngster in the fast-sprouting state, you could be skinny and all bones and joints, but still be normal.
Your weight is very important. If you're too soft and flabby, you should pare off some poundage by exercise and proper diet, so that your body will be firm for fighting. And if you're too skinny, exercise and wholesome food will help build you up. Find out from your doctor about how many pounds you should take off to be at your "best weight," or how many you should put on.
Though you resemble a circus fat man or a human skeleton, you'll be able to fight surprisingly well if you practice the fundamentals of explosive fighting I've explained in this book. You'll be able to stiffen many a fellow with one punch, or with a couple of punches. But remember this: You'll be able to fight better if you make your weight conform to your height and bone structure.
Excess fat will slow you up and make you get winded in a hurry. Also, it will prevent your developing protective stomach muscles. On the other hand, if you're skinny and undernourished, you will not be able to hit as explosively as if you had your normal weight. Punches to the body will weaken you more than they should, and you will tire more quickly than you should.
WEIGHT IS ULTRA-IMPORTANT IN FIGHTING. Get your right weight; make the proper use of it; and you'll have happy, explosive landings.

Championship Fighting Explosive Punching


Aggressive Defense

by Jack Dempsey

edited by Jack Cuddy
with illustrations by Ed Igoe
Copyright, 1950, by JACK DEMPSEY
First Edition

Friday, 30 March 2012

So what is Strength Training? And how does it relate to Boxing?

In this post I want to discuss strength training specifically for boxers. I want to get as far away from general strength training as possible, distancing myself from powerlitfing and bodybuilding. I may reference other sports where atheism and flexibility play a role with speed and strength similarly to boxers (sprinting, basketball etc) but I am coming from a functional-athletic-performance perspective and NOT a brute strength view point (boxers are not 'Strongmen').

I am a sports’ enthusiastic and have to say over the years, as humans and our understanding of our bodies and genetics have developed in the training of many sports, Boxing’s dinosaurs have held it back. I like to look at advances in other sports and integrate them, where beneficial, in to boxer training, strength and conditioning.

I would not like to call the strength training in my blog pure strength training but more strength conditioning. I always look to give my fighters a power edge over opponents but also interlink this aspect very closely with speed, stamina and endurance. If I was prioritising, which I never really do when I am planning a fighters training schedule (depending on strengths and weaknesses of course), strength training falls behind conditioning, as you can get ready to fight without strength training but not without conditioning (as you will 'gas-out' extremely early with conditioning). What it will do, however, is make your punches stronger, make you able to load heavier punches through your legs, make you stronger in clinches and aid with speed improvements (strength and speed can interlink if trained correctly). That is why I have kept all strength sessions brief but very intense.

Below are eight very important points to consider when planning your strength training. Most are common sense but can be ignored in our industry.

  1. Strength training is not weight lifting
One does not need to perform any specific exercise or even lift weights to be strong (I often hear phrases like "you need to Squat to be strong" don't). One form of training is no more effective than the other, only an addition. Try to wean yourself away from the internet and people saying “you must Squat to have strong legs” and statements like that. Bodyweight exercises are convenient and just as effective (in some cases they are 'more effective' and individuals improve differently). Performing a Handstand Press-up for five reps and pressing a 50kg Dumbbell overhead are both great feats of strength. Not one is better or more effective than the other. Strength Training in combat sports is about improving aspects as a fighter, not a weight lifter.

  1. This is NOT bodybuilding!
We are not aiming to improve muscle mass or make your muscles look better in a T-shirt or on the beach. We are looking to make you a stronger and a more functional boxer. We will stay away from any type of bodybuilding scheme or workout as it will be completely ineffective to your boxing. If you want to look like Arnie, then boxing is not the sport for you. What boxing training will bring you however, is a fit and healthy look and an engine to compete for a very long time.

  1. Be flexible
Flexibility is vital, especially when executing heavy loads. It is important to stretch and warm-up properly (I will target this more specifically in a later post). There are also exercises that you can include in your programme that increase flexibility, such as Back Extensions, Windmills and Overhead Squats. If you plan your sessions correctly and use good form with your exercises, you can improve strength greatly without decreasing flexibility at all. 

  1. Not just a strong punch
Strength is not just punching power. A strong pair of legs are not only the foundation to powerful shots, but stops you being pushed back and bullied by an opponent. You can stand strong, battle on the inside when required and immediate an opponent with your strength. It also makes you more stable, balanced and co-ordinated. A well thought out programme with leave no imbalances found commonly in uneducated athletes which will lead to better co-ordination and general fitness levels, as well as posture.   

  1. Technique, technique, technique
Strength is nothing without technique. You may be able to push or pull a truck around but without the correct punching technique, your strength is useless. This is why I can’t tell you enough how important your skill sessions are. You generate your force when you step in to punches, rotate your hips, hands and shoulders with precise timing and snap your punch. A weaker opponent can land much more devastating punching if their technique is better than yours.

  1. Mind over matter    
It is also in the mind! This cannot be emphasised enough. If you want to hurt an opponent and punch from within, you will generate much more force. If you go in to punches scared or half-hearted, then your punches will cause little effect and could result in injuries. Aim beyond your opponent’s head, like you are trying to punch through it. Stay relaxed but hit with intent. Work on your core. Your core is the centre of your world. All power and force comes from within. Core strength is the most important aspect of your strength training.  

  1. Speed is power!
The speed that a punch is executed will influence the power that is generated. Take a look at sprinters. The force that they exhort is down to the speed of their movements and this speed is influenced by the force they hit the ground with. Speed is strength and strength is speed. Also, what is strength without speed? A powerful but slow punch will be read, blocked, parried or slipped.

  1. REST!!!
Rest and recovery is essential due to the intensity of this type of training. Ideally, try to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Eat cleanly and do not over-train. Stretch and listen to your body. Plan your training around your resting and not your resting around your training as without rest, your results can decrease dramatically because your body is not recovering sufficiently from sessions which will have a domino effect of all of your training.

I can state enough how much of a scientist I am not but I have an understanding on the science of the sport and how to use it in your training. Below are some definitions of different aspects of strength and how they relate to your training:

(Source: Brianmac - with thanks)

  • Maximum strength - the greatest force that is possible in a single maximum contraction (i.e. your one-rep max)
  • Elastic strength - the ability to overcome a resistance with a fast contraction (also known as speed strength)
  • Strength endurance - the ability to express force many times over (e.g. completing a maximum set of Sit-ups)
  • Absolute strength - The maximum force an athlete can exert with his or her whole body, or part of the body, irrespective of body size or muscle size
  • Relative strength - The maximum force exerted in relation to body weight or muscle size.

Workout of the Day 30/03/2012

Hey folks! Sorry I've been off the boil with this of late; it's been a 'very' busy week in the gym. This morning, we went through a boxing session, followed by a core workout.

I can't express enough the importance of a solid core. Just like the earth can't function without a strong core, an athlete, in any physical sport, cannot function without a strong core. The core is activate in everything we do; from walking to lifting weights and especially absorbing punches. Many fighters make the mistake of just training the 'show-off' abdominal muscles that 'look good' on a beach. The more important muscles are the one's we cannot see, behind those 'show-off' muscles. Also, many people neglect the lower back, leading to muscle imbalances and common injuries.

In the circuit below, we will be working on core strength to aim with throwing hard punches and muscluar endurance to give us that engine, as well as aid with absorbing punches through the course of a fight.

Complete 3 to 5 rounds of the following:
  • Ab Wheel Rollouts x5 (Standing if possible)
  • Dragon Flies x10
  • Incline Russian Twists x12
  • 45 Degree Back Extensions x15
  • Full Sit-ups x20
*Finish with either a maximum set of Plank, Medicine Ball Drops to the stomach or a round of punches to the stomach

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Workout of the Day 21/03/2012

Boxing Training for Hand Speed, Explosiveness and Endurance

Shadow Box (General)
5 minutes

Shadow Box (Fast, explosive punches)
4x2 minutes

Heavy Bag (General)
2x3 minutes

Heavy Bag (Tabata Punch-outs - maximum speed and power)
8x20 seconds/10 seconds rest

Speed Bag
3x3 minutes

Ground Work/Endurance Finisher
10 minutes non-stop of the following (vary exercises each set)
  • Squats or Lunges x10
  • Press-ups x10 (Close-Grip/Wide-Grip/Knuckles/Fingers)
  • Core Exercise x10 (Sit-ups/V-ups/Sit-up and Twist/Bicycles/Crunches)
  • Burpees or Squatting Star Jumps x10
  • Medicine Ball Slams or Tyre Flips x10
The typical boxing exercises have been given a slight twist with the aim of speed and explosiveness improvements. The Ground Work Finish works the entire body and focus you to push through it after a tough session to improve physical endurance and mental strength.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Workout of the Day 20/03/2012

This is the type of circuit I like to incorporate in to my fighters scheduele once or twice a week. They are EXTREMELY challenging and intense and require a full effort. This type of circuit works strength, speed, explosiveness and endurance. All 'all round' workout...

Complete five rounds of this circuit with minimal rest between rounds:
  • Rope Climbs (2-5 Ascents)
  • Box Jumps x10
  • Depth Clap Press-ups** x10
  • Chin-ups x5-10
*After five rounds, complete 100 Medicine Ball Slams

**For this exercise, you need to be in a Press-up position; slightly closer grip than normal with a box to the left of your left arm and right to your right. Lower your chest to the floor and push yourself off the ground with your hands landing on the boxes. Push up from the boxes and land on the ground in the orginal Press-up position. This is two reps.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Workout of the Day 19/03/2012

Now as our understanding of the human body develops, so does the need for functionality in sport. Strength has been debated in boxing for a very long time. There are different types of strength:
·         Max Strength
·         Speed Strength
·         Strength Endurance

I won’t be getting in to the descriptions of each of the above right now, but the following ‘Workout of the Day’ is a favourite of mine for improve all-round punching specific strength and endurance. We will be looking at pushing strength, rotational strength and punch specific movements to show an overall improvement. Workout as follows:

Pushing Exercise/Specific Arm-Shoulder Strength (3-4 sets of 3-5 reps)
One-Arm Press-up/One-Arm Dumbbell Press/Incline Dumbbell Press/Barbell Punch

Leg Pushing Strength (3-4 sets of 3-5 reps)
Squat Variation (Barbell, Front, Pistol)/Step-ups/Bulgarian Spilt-Squats

Accessory Back-of-Leg Exercise (2-4 sets of 6-12 reps)
Glute-Ham Raise/Romanian Deadlift/Stiff-Leg Deadlift/One-Leg Deadlift

Rotational Strength (2-5 sets of 10-20 reps)
Woodchoppers/Broomstick Twists/Russian Twists

Punching Specific Endurance (2-3 Exercises performed continuously in a circuit for 10-30 seconds)
Barbell Punches/Plyometric Press-ups/Medicine Ball Shot-put/Band Punches/Isometric Punches


John Cooper

Friday, 16 March 2012

Recipe of the Week

As well as doing my 'Workout of the Day' thread I will be include a 'Recipe of the Week', offering cheap, tasty, filling, easy to make and calorie friendly meals. Note to all allergy sufferers - the meals may not be suitable for you. Always read the label of each individual product and consult your doctor first.

Egg, Ham and Cheese Sandwich

1. One Large Egg or Two Medium Sized Eggs
2. 2 Slice of Turkey Ham
3. One Slice of Chedadr Cheese
4. One Medium Sized Tomato
5. Some Lettice
6. Two Slice of Wholegrain Bread

1. Cook Egg with light cooking-spray or Coconut Oil
2. Toast Bread if preferred
3. Load Sandwich with all the above!

This recipe is a great 'quick' breakfast that is high in protein and gives you sustained energy levels.

Light-spray is better than using the usual cooking oil and Coconut oil is even better! Turkey slices tend to be healthier than ham.

Do not remove the Egg Yolk as it contains healthy/essential fats.

This meal will give you roughly 20-30 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates and roughly 9 grams of fat (3 grams saturated). A fried sandwich does not always have to be unhealthy!

At the end of the day, boxing is about hitting the other guy!

Punch specific fitness is import because it works the exact muscles used when punching. You will be using the same muscles but adding intensity and other exercises around it. Although general fitness and physical preparation is important in any sport, sports specific fitness is extremely import too. You see a lot of combat athletes that perform Bodybuilding routines that have no purpose to their sport. We will be looking at function fitness and increase the strength, speed and endurance of your punching. We will use different techniques, angles and tools to simulate all of the common punches.

Isometric Punching

This is an incredible form of fitness, mainly because it costs nothing and can be done anywhere at any time. Isometrics require holding a position with maximum muscle tension for a period of time. You can find speed gains (one to five second holds), strength gains (five to seven second holds) and muscular endurance gains (over ten second holds) from Isometrics.

All Isometric Punching requires is a wall and a pair of boxing gloves. You can work any punching motion. An example would be the jab. You can train this at close, medium and long range and see increased speed and power specifically to that movement and the muscles involved. An example routine is below:

5 Rounds
  • Jab close range x5 seconds
  • Jab medium range x5 seconds
  • Jab long range x5 seconds
  • Barbell Punch x10

Remember to squeeze your muscles with maximum tension. Do not rest in between ranges, rest in between rounds. This type of punch specific fitness is something I learnt from Strength and Conditioning expert, Ross Enamait (

Punching Endurance

When perform your normal circuit training workouts, consider adding exercises that simulate punching movements. You can increases punching endurance and experience muscular endurance gains from other exercises. Movements could increase Medicine Ball Shout-puts (simulate a jab or cross), Barbell Punches, Dumbbell Hooks or Dumbbell Uppercuts. See example below:

Circuit Consisting of
  • Press-ups x20
  • Barbell Punches x10 each side
  • Pull-ups x10
  • Dumbbell Uppercuts x10 each side
  • Shadow Box x30 seconds (throw hard and fast punches)
This is a brilliant workout for rounding off your arms and adding snap to your punch as two exercises work primary the front of your arm and two primarily hit the back.

Much of a fighter’s strength and endurance is rotary. This is logically as boxers turn their bodies to punch (from their feet, through their legs, hips and torso). A fighter’s general strength and conditioning could be great but if they are lacking in the rotational department, this can really show in a bout. That’s why I recommend including a lot of movements that rotate the body in your training plan, such as Russian Twists, Broomstick Twists and Woodchoppers. Remember, when you are training you need to think specifically and functionally!


Ross Enamait

Workout of the Day

Right then, just for a bit of fun, I'm going to post some favourite sessions or workouts of mine daily. They are not a specific routine to follow, just a few workouts that either I use myself or my fighters do. All are intense; all are brutal!

Roadwork Session 16/03/2011

Sprint 6x300m (one-minute rest between rounds)
100x Bodyweight Squats (as many as possible in a row (ideally 100))
150 Press-ups; broken down in to:
  • Normal Press-ups x50
  • Fist Press-ups x40
  • Close-Grip Press-ups x30
  • Finger Press-ups x20
  • Clap Press-ups x10
*Finish with a mile run (maximum effort)

This type of roadwork session beats a long, slow run anyday! It is important to remember that boxing is roughly 70% anaerobic and 30% aerobic and this session caters for that. It's gets you're legs moving in explosive burst, like in the ring, the bodyweight calisthenic increase endurance dramatically and the mile run is a great endurance finisher.

This session will take about the same time as a 3-5 mile run and is a lot more intense and benefical to a fighter. It requires maximum effort and a great mental toughness!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Fun of Making Weight, Nutrition and Diet Plan Examples

The Fun of Making Weight, Nutrition and Diet Plan Examples

There are too many miracle diet plans and magic potions that are supposed to make to either stick thin or the Incredible Hulk within two days. There are also many vitamin pills and supplements that are meant to turn you in to a machine. Let me tell you; I have been called a machine. My fitness levels are very high and I had brilliant all round strength. I am not telling you this to boast, I am proving a point that supplements are generally a waste of money. Don't get me wrong, there are some very good products on the market, such as Glutamine, that can aid with recover but don't get too drawn in to myths! You get enough protein, vitamins and minerals from REAL food. If you eat healthily, then you will get all of the nutrients your body requires. Anything else your body will piss and shit out. Your money will literally be going down the drain. This is coming from a man who has tried it. Protein shakes make me go to the toilet in minutes! Some good advice will be if any food or drink does this to you, cut it out. Your body is obviously rejecting it. For example, if I drink a glass of milk, I usually end up straight on the bog; so I have cut milk out of my diet and found alternatives (such as Cottage Cheese and Greek Yoghurt as a  Calcium and Casein Protein). The general rule of thumb is that you will be healthier eating natural food than eating man-made processed food and as a result fitter. Fitness and nutrition go hand in hand. You are an engine and you need to provide your body with the right oil to work. Can you drive a petrol car with diesel in it? No!

If you look at a common Protein Shake brand, you will be spending roughly £30-50 a month and take in creatine and other supplements in to account you can be blowing your wallet! Save your money. Spend it on useful equipment such as a jump rope or dumbbells! Water soluble proteins I would recommend are 100% natural one’s. They cost roughly the same as your common high street brand of Protein and they have completely natural ingredients that are very good for you. Hemp and Pea Protein Powder Shakes are two favourites of mine.

You should always aim to eat five to seven small but frequent meals daily as your body makes better use of the nutrients and it keeps your metabolism (fat-burning furnace) working throughout the day. ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST as it gives you energy for your day ahead and kick starts your metabolism. It is a fact that skipping meals actually makes you fat. You will lose more weight eating five or six meals a day than eating two or three because your metabolism is always working, constantly burning away fat. Just don't make them indulgent meals!

Don’t  exclude all fats from your diet. Steer away from saturated fats that you find in common fast foods. There are fats that are healthy and essential to your body. These are mono-unsaturates and poly-unsaturates. These are generally found in foods such as oily fish (e.g. Sardines, Mackerel) and nuts. I would recommend eating at least a handful of natural nuts (or some Peanut or Walnut butter) daily and oily fish at least two or three times a week. Believe it or not, these healthy fats help burn fat! Here's some information to back that up; I know that fat countering fat may seem confusing at first:

ALWAYS EAT AT LEAST FIVE PORTIONS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES A DAY. I eat five portions of each a day but aim for at least five of both. Always drink at least three litres of water daily. Your body needs it more than anything else! I always have a bottle of water with me that I constantly sip on. Dehydration can kill your skills and performance so keep sipping! Also, don’t rely on energy drinks. I know some people who think that can’t train without them. You will only be allowed water during your fight and there is far too much sugar in most sports drinks and added empty calories. If you need an energy boast, add natural honey to your water and a touch lemon or lime for taste.

Our bodies require carbohydrates for energy and protein to help our muscles repair from a hard day’s work. I would recommend eating about 0.75 grams of protein daily for every pound of bodyweight (e.g. a 200 pound person would eat 150 grams of protein in a day). Most fitness and muscle magazine recommend between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein for your body but this is overkill. What is the ideal for a bodybuilder is not ideal for a fighter. Your body will focus too much on digesting protein it will focus less on absorbing the other nutrients your body requires. It can also be too much for your liver to handle and could cause poisoning. Here is some handy information regarding to over-consumption of protein and its effect on the body:
If you are making weight it is good to give yourself a good time scale and not starve yourself. Give yourself a target (e.g. I need to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks). Keep track of your weight daily and only weigh yourself at the time of day you are going to be weighted officially for your fight. This is because everybody’s weight changes throughout the day. Start early and time weight making right. You don’t want to have to starve and dehydrate yourself before a bout as this will affect your strength and fitness levels and is dangerous to your health, especially when someone is trying to thump you constantly in the head. You will lose fluid around your vital organs and most importantly, your brain! If you are losing weight, my advice to you would be to vary between high and moderate carbohydrate days (see example plans below). If you are trying to gain weight, eat a balanced meal five to seven times a day (including carbohydrates).

Personally, I have never been one to calorie count but there are many great websites and applications that can do this for you. A basic measure is that if you have a negative calorie output (i.e. you are burning more calories than you are consuming), then you are likely to lose weight. If the calorie output is positive, then you are more than likely going to gain weight. I have never strictly measured my food intake, percentages of protein, fat and carbohydrates and I have had success making weight regularly. I am always roughly aware how much of a nutrient I am consuming (e.g. the packet says that this yoghurt contains 10 grams of protein and I need between 20-30 grams of protein in my meals) but as long as I am eating clean and healthy, I am on the right track.

Remember to keep it healthy and simple. Natural foods are always better than processed crap. Our bodies were not made to digest processed foods so it makes sense. Allow yourself a cheat day, about once every ten days or so, to keep you motivated. During your cheat day, eat whatever you fancy. I catch up on Haribos (I love sweets) and lamb curry’s. Remember that you are training hard and sticking to a strict diet so you have earned it. Pig out on cheat day and then start healthy again the next day.


Over time, every that enters your body causes a build up in toxins that are poisonous to your body and affect training and perform. Toxins have been seen to also dramatically reduce energy and motivation levels. They can be caused by smoking, saturated fats, complex carbohydrates, alcohol, artificial colours and flavourings and even tooth paste!

A detox diet can prove to be expensive but I would recommend it for the first week or two of your training programme. You can give your body all the minerals and nutrients it needs and destroy all the bad things that lurk inside your body. Eat all natural foods and natural carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes. Drink at least three litres of water daily and you will feel very fresh, energise and ready to go. You must also sleep at least eight hours a night and try to replace normal tooth pastes with an Aloe Vera substitute. Stay away from red meats, poultry, pork and lamb for this period and eat nuts, raw dairy, fish and unpasteurised egg whites for protein. Here is an example daily diet for you below:

Meal One
Fruit Salad with Organic Greek Yoghurt and Sprinkled Rolled Oats
Green Tea with a Squeeze of Lemon and Ginger

Meal Two
Organic Hemp or Pea Protein
Vegetable Juice

Meal Three
Unpasteurised Egg White Omelette with Peppers cooked in Coconut Oil
A portion of Broccoli and Carrots

Meal Four
A portion of Almonds
Green Tea

Meal Five (post-workout)
Hemp or Pea Protein Shake with Natural Honey and Raw Milk

Meal Six
Salmon Mixed Salad
Fruit for Dessert

Below are a few healthy and performance friendly diet plan examples...

Moderate Carb Sample Day

Meal One
Fruit Salad with Cottage Cheese (e.g. Pineapple, Apple, Orange, Kiwi, Grapes)
2 Slice of Brown Toast with Peanut Butter

Meal Two
Tin of Mackerel or Sardines
1 Portion of Fruit (e.g. Banana, Pear)

Meal Three
Chicken Salad with Brown Pasta
Vegetable Soup

Meal Four
3 Boiled Eggs
1 Portion of Fruit (e.g. Pear)

Meal Five (post-workout)
Chicken Breast

Meal Six
Steak with Sweet Potato and Broccoli
(Optional) Greek Yoghurt and Fruit for Dessert

High Carb Sample Day

Meal One
3-4 Eggs
Porridge with Semi-Skimmed Milk, Honey and Banana

Meal Two
Cottage Cheese with Wholegrain Rice Cakes
1 Portion of Fruit

Meal Three
Tuna Salad with Wholegrain Pasta
Vegetable Soup

Meal Four
Greek Yoghurt
Wholegrain Jam Sandwich
1 Portion of Fruit

Meal Five (post-workout)
Chicken Breast in Wholegrain Pitta or Jacket Potato

Meal Six
Salmon with Mixed Vegetables and Jacket Potato with Cream or Cheddar Cheese

Example Week

Week Day
Carbs Plan
Moderate Carbs
High Carbs
Moderate Carbs
High Carbs
Moderate Carbs
High Carbs
High Carbs

Below I have listed the main food groups and healthy options of what you should be eating:

·         Meats – Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Pork Loin, Pork Ribs, Lamb
·         Dairy – Cottage Cheese, Milk, Greek Yoghurt
·         Nuts – Peanuts, Walnuts, Cashews, Pecans, Sunflower Seeds
·         Beans
·         Fish – Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Sardines, Prawns, Shrimp, Muscles, Oysters, Crab, Cod, Haddock, Plaice, Squid, Eel
·         Eggs

·         Wholegrain Breads
·         Wholegrain Rice
·         Wholegrain Pasta
·         Oats
·         Cereals (non-sugary, healthy brands .e.g. Bran Flakes)
·         Potatoes – Sweet, Jacket, Boiled

Healthy Fats
·         Nuts and Fish
·         Oil- Flaxseed Oil, Olive Oil, Omega 3, Vegetable Oil
·         Eggs

·         Apples
·         Bananas
·         Berries – Strawberry, Blackberry, Raspberry, Blueberry
·         Grapes
·         Pears
·         Pineapples
·         Kiwis
·         Figs
·         Pomegranates
·         Grapefruit
·         Mango

·         Broccoli
·         Peas
·         Beans
·         Carrots
·         Swedes
·         Cabbage
·         Sweet Corn
·         Spinach
·         Lentil
·         Brussels Sprouts

Each meal should ideally contain a list of most or all of the above sections.